Are pot smokers more fit than average?

Pot Smokers weigh less

In a recent study conducted by the University of Miami, cannabis users were found to have a lower body weight than nonusers. Considering the munchies that come with cannabis consumption, these results are shocking. The stoner you picture munching away while lazily seated on the couch might actually be skinnier than you! According to the study published in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, marijuana users appear to have a lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs). In fact, one study found medical marijuana laws were followed by decreases in the probability of obesity.

How?

One reason for the link between decreased BMI and cannabis consumption may be a decrease in alcohol consumption. In states with legalized marijuana, the rate of alcohol use typically decreases. As a result, less calories are being consumed by cannabis users. It’s hard to argue with the numbers. According to a Study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, twenty two percent of Americans who don’t use marijuana were found to be obese. Only fourteen percent of marijuana users were found to be obese. That’s 8% less than those NOT consuming a substance that increases appetite.

Other research, has pointed to the fact that marijuana users have been found to have higher metabolisms than non-weed smokers. This means that even if cannabis users are consuming more food due to their munchies, they can still be burning more calories. So in a sense, marijuana can help you lose weight.

For older stoners, smoking pot can relieve pains that would normally prevent physical activity. For example, by using cannabis to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, patients will be in a better position to engage in physical activities. As a result, they can exercise more and lose more weight than those who just deal with their debilitating conditions rather than treating it.

Study Results

The latest study on marijuana’s impact on BMI found cannabis use in both men and women was linked to a lower average BMI. Females using cannabis on a daily basis were found to have a 3.1 percent lower BMI than females not using cannabis. Similarly, men using cannabis daily had a 2.7 percent lower BMI than those who didn’t use cannabis.

A slightly older study found that smoking marijuana could help individuals lose weight. The study noted that states with medical marijuana had a 2 to 6 percent decrease in obesity.

In Conclusion

The exact reasons for why marijuana users seem to be more fit is uncertain. More research would need to be provided. More research would need to be conducted on the subject in order to determine the exact reasoning for marijuana use decreasing BMI.

“Future theory-based research is necessary to explore the pathways underlying the negative associations between marijuana use and BMI,” one researcher wrote in their report. “A broader understanding of such mechanisms along with causal elements will be most helpful to both policymakers and clinicians.”

With several studies pointing to marijuana’s potential for decreasing obesity, research on the exact ways in which marijuana does this should soon follow.

image: shutterstock

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