Does Weed Make You Lose Weight?

by Haley Mills · January 11, 2023

We all know someone who seems to be able to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. But could their secret be marijuana?

a person about to stand on a scale

We all know someone who seems to be able to eat whatever they want and not gain a pound. But could their secret be marijuana?

What does the research say?

Scientific evidence has demonstrated that smoking cannabis may increase metabolism, which can help you burn more calories, resulting in a reduced body mass index (BMI). The potential pain and stress-relieving properties of marijuana may aid in losing weight. You’re much more likely to exercise and maintain a lifestyle when you aren’t feeling intense pain every day.

Stress strongly correlates with weight gain and increased cortisol levels and can be significantly decreased by using certain cannabinoid products. In turn, people who are less stressed and anxious get better sleep and are less likely to suffer from obesity. Cannabidiol CBD, primarily, has been known to help with insomnia. There are many ways smoking weed can help with weight loss, although many benefits may be indirect. 

Cannabis and Weight Loss

Several biological systems, including metabolism, depend on the functions of our body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is made up of various cannabinoid receptors. There are two cannabinoids: endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids, and both types can interact with the ECS to influence body functionality, such as metabolism, and help people reach a lower body weight.

The standard American diet typically includes an abundance of calories from sugars and refined starches, leading to an increased glycemic load and an elevated omega-6/omega-3 ratio. People who consume the American diet are more likely to have an endocannabinoid system that doesn’t function properly, resulting in a slow metabolism and a higher body weight. It’s essential to try and deviate from the Western culture and maintain a healthy diet.

CB1 receptors play a major role in maintaining homeostasis, including appetite and metabolism. Suppose you have an elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratio. In that case, you end up with an overstimulation of CB1 receptors, leading to increased appetite and metabolism dysfunction, and, ultimately, you gain weight.

Luckily, cannabinoids can also interact with CB1 receptors of marijuana users, particularly the THC Phytocannabinoids. Experts have several ideas about why cannabis use is linked to a lower body mass index and a reduced chance of obesity, but nothing is set in stone regarding cannabis-induced weight loss research.

Does strain choice affect hunger levels?

Yes. Cannabis users tend to report that Sativa-dominant strains suppress hunger and “munchies” onset more than Indica strains. If you are worried about gaining weed weight, we recommend sticking with a pure Sativa or Sativa-dominant hybrid.

Cannabis Indica

Indica strains have higher CBD content than Sativa. Most Indica weed contains an almost even amount of CBD and THC levels. Since Indica tends to be relaxing, they’re best for nighttime use due to the intense body high.  

Effects include: 

  • Relieving intense body pain
  • Reducing nausea
  • Easing insomnia
  • Reducing anxiety symptoms

Cannabis Sativa

Many people report that smoking Sativa makes them feel energized, creative and focused. These psychological effects make Sativa strains best for daytime use because using them at night may cause insomnia due to the higher THC levels. 

Effects include:

  • Easing depression symptoms
  • Migraine relief 
  • Increasing appetite
  • Better Focus
  • Cerebral High

Weed Strains to enhance appetite

Lemon Skunk is our first strain for appetite stimulation. This potent Sativa strain has around seventeen percent THC. This citrus bud begins with an energetic high followed by hunger and relaxation. This is the perfect weed to take before a light workout or taking your dog for a walk, but bring some water because you may have mild cotton mouth.

Blue Dream is a Sativa strain with over twenty-two percent THC and two percent CBD. It provides a balanced, yet euphoric high that will have you feeling creative and hungry. It’s the perfect weed to enjoy before cooking or going out to a gourmet dinner.

Skywalker OG is a potent Hybrid cannabis strain with twenty percent THC. It is known to cause an intense high that leaves you feeling happy. This weed not only increases appetite but can also make food taste better. Try out this berry delicious blend before your next big meal and you’ll notice the difference.

Cannabis strains to suppress hunger

Pink Boost Goddess was specially designed by California-based company, Flow Kana for THCV purposes. It has an average of eighteen percent THC and around 4 percent THCV. This strain is known to reduce anxiety and suppress appetite. PBG is an Indica-dominant hybrid with vanilla and floral aroma and flavor profiles.

Durban Poison is a legendary landrace African Sativa and has been around for centuries. It has won awards and is a commonly used strain for medicinal purposes. It has nineteen percent THC and one percent THCV and sparks creativity, focus, and uplifting feelings. While it promotes being productive, it also suppresses the appetite.

Pineapple Purp is a super Sativa that has a 3:1 ratio of THC to THCV. THCV is a cannabinoid that provides an energetic, euphoric, low-anxiety feeling. It does not promote the munchies, but it does provide extra energy for your day. The only problem with this sweet, pineapple-flavored bud is that it can cause significant dry mouth so pack some water, just in case.

What are the Munchies?

Urban Dictionary describes the munchies as “the compelling and intense feeling of hunger after smoking weed.” While accurate, there is an even more scientific explanation for this feeling. Read on to find out more about what causes a munchies hit and the best snack to relieve those intense cravings.

THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that makes you high and it can affect your body in many ways. Ginger Hultin, RD, is the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the owner of Champagne Nutrition. She states that the munchies happen when THC stimulates your body’s endocannabinoid system in the brain to promote an urge to eat. She goes on to say that there is evidence that weed encourages the production of a hunger hormone called ghrelin.

Medical Marijuana Card for Appetite

Some states have obesity and appetite-related symptoms as qualifying conditions for MMJ. Every state is different so it’s important to research your individual state’s criteria. Your medical marijuana license is an identification card with which you can legally purchase, possess, and use a specific amount of cannabis as long as your conditions qualify for an MMJ recommendation from an approved marijuana doctor. Some states even offer cultivation cards so you can grow your plants at home.

Medical cannabis is available in over thirty states nationwide and hundreds of thousands of patients with qualifying conditions. Research suggests that patients can use medical marijuana to treat various conditions, ranging from chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, and insomnia to cancer, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS.

Fortunately, there’s now a convenient solution in many states to get a medical marijuana card online on the same day as your appointment. Many other states allow licensed physicians the responsibility to evaluate whether a patient is recommended for medical cannabis use.

Evaluation clinics run in every state with an active MMJ program; however, Leafy DOC is now offering those appointments via a telehealth process.

The Takeaway

When used correctly, cannabis can relieve chronic symptoms of pain, fatigue, and stiffness. Using marijuana may help people with mobility issues be more active throughout the day. Some researchers suspect that young people who use cannabis may consume less alcohol, which could contribute to less calorie intake and, thus, lower BMIs.

Studies show that people are more likely to overeat when stressed and that medical weed might replace stress eating and help to reduce anxiety. There’s evidence that cannabis can help insomnia patients get a better night’s rest. Scientific evidence shows that high amounts of cannabis interact with the CB1 receptor, which may help to increase metabolism and reduce fat storage. In summary, there are many potential ways that MMJ can help cannabis users maintain a healthy weight. 

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes

medical marijuana card example on leafy doc

Keep Reading

asian woman sitting by her bed
Health & Wellness
The 5 Best Strains for Migraines

Find out which are the best strains for migraines and learn how to use them effectively! Get tips on the top 5 strains that provide relief for headache and migraine pain.