Ever noticed that your stoner friends go on hogging when you're constantly counting calories and grappling with weight issues? From anything high calorie, to almost anything available in the fridge - stoners can eat it all. And what's more? They never seem to put on any extra pounds despite their many extra meals. So what does this magic herb do? Is weed a wonder for metabolism?
Recent studies suggest that the relationship between marijuana and metabolism are more complex than it seems. Though the effects of smoking up can be wide ranging - from feeling relaxed to lazy - the universal effect it has on people is making them hungry.
This phenomenon known as 'the munchies' is commonly associated with late night high calorie diets. In fact, researchers have found that the rate of obesity among weed smokers is dramatically less as compared to non-smokers. They also found that the waistline of our stoner friends happen to be on an average 1.5 inches less than those of non-smokers.
"The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than non users," said Murray Mittleman, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study. "Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood-sugar level."
Published in the journal Obesity earlier this year, the study analysed 4,600 people participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 48% among whom had tried marijuana at least once and 12% had been reported to regularly use cannabis. The results were simply fascinating!
Current marijuana users had 16% lower fasting insulin levels than former and non-users; they also showed, on average, 17% reduction in insulin resistance. Moreover, marijuana users are about 30% less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes.
So even though smoking pot might give you 'the munchies,' and make the Lays pack look remarkably irresistible, you won't have to worry about diabetes or obesity.