Study finds cannabis smokers are thinner: surprise!

Posted on September 5th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

foodLast year, when the New York Times ran a story on "haute stoner cuisine"—suggesting that cannabis use by chefs is encouraging a trend for "chin-dripping, carbohydrate-heavy food"—we responded that, while we did not have the figures to back it up, there is probably a higher percentage of vegetarians and healthy eaters among pot-smokers than the general population. Now, our assumption appears to be vindicated by a new study. From the NY Daily News, Sept. 4:

"We found that cannabis users are less likely to be obese than non-users," Dr. Yann Le Strat, French psychiatrist and co-author of a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology told MSNBC. "We were so surprised, we thought we had [made] a mistake."

Using data from two epidemiologic studies of U.S. adults, researchers found that between 22% to 25% of participants who didn’t smoke pot were obese.

But only between 14% and 17% of those people who admitted to taking a toke at least three times a week were overweight.

Le Strat said other factors, such as the stoners' level of physical activity or diets, could have contributed to the results, but his team tried to rule out those factors.

The researches were also quick to point out that sucking on a bong isn't the key to a tight tummy.

"The take-home message is certainly not 'smoke cannabis, it will help you lose weight,'" Le Strat said. "The possibility that cannabis is associated with a lower risk of obesity remains an interesting hypothesis, but certainly does not counterbalance its negative effects on health and mental health."

Of course he had to close with that requisite diss of the weed, although he failed to say what "negative effects" he was referring to. OK, we aren't going to say that smoking cannabis will automatically or necessarily help you lose weight. But we will say that cannabis helps you get in touch with your body. After all, people smoke it to enhance bodily pleasures like food and sex. And if you listen to your body, it will tell you when it is satiated. Maybe there is a link between pot's psychological effects and healthy eating. Maybe it encourages us to eat with gusto and relish—but not compulsivity. In this case, it may have positive effects on physical and mental health!

Some medicinal tokers do report that cannabis has helped them lose weight—such as ​Jason Beinor, who was recently in the news when he was denied unemployment benefits after being fired for testing positive for the herb on a drug test (despite the fact that he lives in Colorado, a medical marijuana state). We don't think it is a coincidence that contemporary American cannabis culture has its roots in the same 1960s ferment that also brought increased awareness of health and fitness.

Sure, the cliché of the zoned-out stoner stuffing his face full of chips or Ding-Dongs in front of the TV (or prowling the night insatiably for White Castle sliders) has some basis in reality. But—again—we'd wager that such specimens are vastly outnumbered by cannabis-enhanced vegetarian (or at least health-conscious) epicures for whom food and herb go together with conviviality and social consciousness. And, even if its authors seem afraid of their own conclusions, this study does seem to support that assumption.

Photo by avlxyz



Another study finds cannabis smokers are thinner

Global Ganja Report's picture Researchers from the University of Miami, writing in the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, found pot smokers had a generally lower body mass index (BMI)—a measure of body fat based on height and weight. With data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, the researchers found that females who toke on a daily basis had a BMI approximately 3.1% lower than non-users. Males had a BMI of approximately 2.7% lower. (HT, Sept. 14)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Sep 14th, 2016 at 4:34 pm

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