Marijuana, and weight gain

In the world, cannabinoids (eg marijuana, hashish, synthetic imitations) reach about 182.5 million people (3.8% of the population). However, no cases of death related to cannabis abuse have yet been heard, and no deaths even. Certainly, marijuana is not indifferent to health, as well as alcohol. But let’s skip its effect on cognitive functions, the nervous system and the lungs for a moment (it can be carcinogenic). 


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Does it cause unwanted weight gain? 

The use of marijuana is classically associated with snacking. It has an appetite stimulating effect, there are reports that it increased the body mass of people suffering from cancer or HIV. Thus, the use of marijuana stimulates the appetite, especially for people with low body mass. Regarding large epidemiological studies in the general population, results consistently show that marijuana users tend to have lower body mass indexes than non-users. How to explain it, is it a contradiction? Not necessarily. Sometimes a person uses marijuana occasionally, very rarely, and what is quite different is the regular use of the drug. Sometimes a person uses other stimulant weight loss drugs (eg amphetamine, MDMA and derivatives). Researchers also speculate that marijuana acts as a metabolic regulatory substance that increases weight in people with low body weight, but not in people with normal weight or overweight. 

How can marijuana affect hunger? 

Two types of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors have been detected in mammalian organisms. They are found mainly in the brain and immune system. In addition to their major receptors in the brain (e.g., the hypothalamus and forebrain), some CB1 receptors are found in other areas of the body, including the stomach and intestines. The substances stimulating the receptors stimulate appetite, so they began to experiment with their antagonists. There were agents on the market that acted antagonistically to marijuana, e.g. taranabant and rimonabant – a selective CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist. Rimonabant was discontinued on October 23, 2008. He increased the number of suicides. He performed under the trade name Acomplia and to this day there are illegal counterfeit in circulation. Besides, in the illicit market there is sibutramine – withdrawn in 2010 and Adipex-phentermine never admitted to trading in Poland. 

The conclusion of marijuana can increase appetite, so its use in people who control body weight can be problematic.