In one of our previous posts, we covered some of the health benefits of cannabis. One of the benefits mentioned was cannabis’ ability to help people lose weight. A common side effect associated with cannabis usage is the munchies, which may have you confused on how this can be the case. A more in-depth look at cannabis usage however may provide you with a clearer picture.
Evidence within the scientific community suggests that when the proper strain, dosage, and time are considered, cannabis can be an effective tool for losing weight.
Below we’ll take a look at some of the factors that support cannabis as a weight loss tool.
It is safe to say that we all experience stress in our lives at some point or another. Our lives are busy and filled with responsibilities. Stress is thus inevitable. The pressure and unease associated with stress are bad enough, but did you know that stress is one of the most significant promoters of weight gain?
In times of high anxiety, our bodies produce heightened levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is often referred to as the ‘stress hormone’ and is produced readily as our bodies respond to stressful situations. This is because, when exposed to situations that we perceive as dangerous or troubling, our bodies trigger a “fight or flight” response. In this state, the high cortisol levels heighten your blood pressure and place your body in survival mode. In survival mode, your body has a tendency to store large amounts of fat. For those that stress frequently, you can see how this can quickly become a problem for weight gain.
The solution to avoiding this effect is to prevent high cortisol levels in your body. The best way to do this is to relax more, and that’s where cannabis comes in. Cannabis products rich in CBD are very effective in relaxing your body, without prompting the feeling of being ‘high’ associated with THC products.
The research surrounding cannabis and metabolic rate is still ongoing and somewhat unclear, but a professor at Harvard Medical school seems to be confident that there is a correlation between the two. Cannabis users have been observed to have lower fasting insulin levels relative to non-cannabis users. Additionally, cannabis users appear to be more resistant to the insulin produced by their bodies to maintain normal blood-sugar levels, on average.
Blood sugar levels play a large role in regulating hunger. High blood sugar levels cause appetite suppression while low blood sugar levels promote hunger. Some studies suggest that tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), a cannabinoid found in cannabis, may play a role in blood sugar regulation.
This improved blood sugar level regulation helps people to better manage hunger. When you are able to better manage your hunger, you are generally capable of making better nutritional choices.
Dosing is the big caveat when discussing cannabis as a focus-enhancing drug. Everybody responds to cannabis differently so it is important to understand how your body responds to the drug before using it in this manner.
The strain you choose is also an important factor to consider. Indica strains contain high amounts of THC, which tends to lead to deep feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. Sativa strains tend to have the opposite effect however. There may be some evidence to suggest that sativa strains lead to improved awareness, focus and mental alertness.
For more information on which cannabis strain is right for you, feel free to check out our guide to cannabis strains.
As we mentioned, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is believed to play a role in regulating blood sugar levels in the body. This helps people to manage their hunger better and as a result, THCV can be an effective appetite suppressant. Sativa dominant strains generally contain high amounts of THCV and therefore are recommended as an appetite suppressant.