Marijuana users less likely to gain weight than non-users, study finds

GettyNew research suggests that cannabis users may have healthier body weight than non-users, even in despite of going through urges of eating known as “the munchies.”

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, experts from Michigan State University found that people who regularly consume cannabis are less likely to be overweight or obese when compared to non-users.

“Over a three-year period, all participants showed a weight increase, but interestingly, those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used,” study co-author Dr. Omayma Alshaarawy, assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University, said in a statement. “Our study builds on mounting evidence that this opposite effect occurs.”

Researchers analyzed Body Mass Index (BMI) data for 33,000 participants, and found that cannabis users measured a smaller average weight of two pounds compared to non-users. The difference held true across nearly the entire study group.

“An average two-pound difference doesn’t seem like much, but we found it in more than 30,000 people with all different kinds of behaviors and still got this result,” said Alshaarawy.

Despite the findings, researchers warn against using pot as a weight loss supplement, as there simply is not enough research to definitively prove a link between losing weight and cannabis use.

“There’s too many health concerns around cannabis that far outweigh the potential positive, yet modest, effects it has on weight gain,” Alshaarawy added. “People shouldn’t consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight.”

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.