Marijuana users weigh less compared to non-users, study finds

A man is seeing rolling a joint with marijuana. Reuters

A new study claimed that marijuana users are less prone to gain weight when compared to non-users. The research conducted by experts at Michigan State University literally breaks the traditional belief that having marijuana will increase the appetite, thus causing weight gain among users.

During the study, researchers analyzed the data from the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions, and later studied the body mass index of more than 33,000 people.

"Over a three-year period, all participants showed a weight increase, but interestingly, those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used. Our study builds on mounting evidence that this opposite effect occurs. We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight. Only 15% of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20% of non-users," said Omayma Alshaarawy, an assistant professor of family medicine at the Michigan State University and the lead author of the study in a recent statement, reports.

Omayma Alshaarawy made it clear that the real reason behind the trigger of weight loss among marijuana users is still unknown. However, he revealed that a certain factor or a combination of factors could be directly impacting the body mass index of people who use marijuana.

"It could be something that's more behavioural like someone becoming more conscious of their food intake as they worry about the munchies after cannabis use and gaining weight. "Or it could be the cannabis use itself, which can modify how certain cells, or receptors, respond in the body and can ultimately affect weight gain. More research needs to be done," added Alshaarawy.

In the study report, researchers also urged people not to start smoking marijuana as the risks associated with weed smoking outweigh the potential positive benefits.

A few weeks back, another study conducted by a team of European researchers had found that regular use of marijuana could trigger psychosis among people. The research report also suggested that the chances of developing psychosis are high among people who regularly use high potency marijuana.

This research was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.