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One of the most notorious side effects of cannabis consumption has got to be the experience known as the munchies. Some of the active compounds in cannabis stimulate the appetite, while the overall experience of being high can increase someone’s appreciation of the flavors in their food. The result is that those who overindulge in cannabis will often find themselves overindulging in snack foods as well.
For some people, that insatiable appetite, commonly called the munchies, is their primary reason for avoiding cannabis even if it could offer medical benefits for them. Now, research from Michigan State University could help allay the fears of those who watch their waistlines. In a study of 30,000 people over three years, researchers found that cannabis users gained less weight. Most everyone in the study did gain weight, but the cannabis users, on average, gained two pounds less than those who didn’t partake.
That’s right: researchers reached the surprising conclusion that regular cannabis use may actually be somehow correlated with a slower overall rate of gaining weight. The exact reason for this discrepancy between perception and experience isn’t outlined in the study, but there are several conclusions that individuals could reach.
The first is that even with an experience of the munchies, individuals won’t consume so much that it will have a drastic effect on their waistline. The second is that cannabis could actually play some role in regulating how your body metabolizes food. There is other medical evidence to support that second take away.
Earlier research has shown similar results, implying that cannabis consumers were less likely to gain weight than members of a control group that did not consume cannabis. While this research certainly doesn’t mean that cannabis is a weight-loss drug or an alternative for other treatments that will address health issues related to weight gain, it does make it clear that one of the many reasons people give for avoiding the plants isn’t actually grounded in reality. Neither cannabis nor the munchies are statistically likely to make you get fat.
For previous Ladybud articles about the munchies, click here.