Can Weed Help Lose Weight?

by | Jun 8, 2023 | Health | 0 comments

Although weed is notorious for inducing the munchies, recent research suggests that it could actually aid in weight loss. Studies show that cannabis users have a lower likelihood of obesity compared to non-users, and states that have legalized adult-use cannabis have observed reduced obesity rates. Additionally, cannabis may assist in regulating metabolism, managing stress, and enhancing workout performance.

In this article, we delve into the potential contributions of weed to weight loss and examine the key cannabinoids that influence appetite. However, it’s crucial to consult with your primary care physician or dietitian before making any lifestyle changes for weight loss, as we do not provide medical advice.

How Does Weed Help Lose Weight?

Contrary to the common perception of stoners being lazy and prone to overeating, cannabis and cannabinoids have emerged as potential allies in the quest for weight loss. Even scientists were taken aback by the accidental discovery that cannabis use is associated with shedding pounds. Initially investigating the impact of weed on glucose levels, cardiovascular risk, epilepsy, and chronic illnesses, researchers stumbled upon the intriguing possibility that weed could regulate metabolism and facilitate weight loss.

Cannabis Use and Lower BMI

Groundbreaking insights from a 2018 research review highlight a remarkable trend: cannabis users tend to exhibit lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to non-users. In fact, a comprehensive analysis of 17 studies revealed that the mean BMI of cannabis users was approximately 3 lbs lower than their non-using counterparts. Furthermore, one study revealed an inverse correlation between BMI and the frequency of cannabis use, suggesting that more frequent cannabis consumption may be associated with a lower BMI.

It is important to note that while BMI is a widely used measure of body fat based on height and weight for adults, it does not provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s activity level, body composition (fat vs. muscle), or physical build. Consequently, some medical professionals consider it an outdated health metric.

Despite consuming more calories on average, cannabis users, including frequent and casual consumers, display lower rates of obesity. This intriguing phenomenon challenges conventional assumptions, possibly influenced by the notorious “munchies” effect of cannabis. As per the aforementioned review, cannabis users consume an additional 834 calories daily compared to non-users. Yet, their lower obesity rates persist, suggesting potential metabolic and physiological factors at play.

Cannabis and Metabolism Regulation

Exciting scientific theories propose that cannabis could be a key player in regulating metabolism, offering support to individuals striving for weight balance, whether underweight or overweight. The endocannabinoid system, a vital component of our physiology, plays a pivotal role in controlling appetite, metabolism, and energy storage. Interestingly, the typical Western diet, abundant in omega-6 fatty acids but lacking in omega-3s, can excessively stimulate CB1 receptors situated in our brains. These receptors govern various bodily functions, including inflammation and weight gain.

By harnessing the potential of cannabis, we may unlock the ability to rebalance our metabolism and optimize our calorie intake. This holds promise for those seeking equilibrium on their weight journey, regardless of their current weight status. Cannabis’s impact on the endocannabinoid system could offer a holistic approach to tackle metabolic irregularities and promote healthier weight management practices.

Appetite Control

While THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, is notorious for stimulating appetite and enhancing food cravings, other cannabinoids like CBD and THCV (commonly known as the “diet weed” cannabinoid) seem to have the opposite effect.

According to a recent 2022 review, CBD shows potential in reducing appetite and increasing feelings of fullness. In one study included in the review, participants who received CBD experienced a decrease in their body mass index (BMI) after the treatment.

Interestingly, the review suggests that lower doses of CBD tend to result in modest appetite reductions, while higher doses can lead to more substantial appetite suppression. Moreover, in animal studies, THCV has demonstrated its ability to decrease appetite, promote a sense of fullness, and boost metabolism. Human studies have also indicated that THCV can improve glucose control, which further supports weight loss efforts.

By leveraging the power of these cannabinoids, individuals can potentially harness appetite suppression properties to aid their weight loss journey. CBD and THCV offer promising avenues for controlling cravings and achieving a more balanced relationship with food.


Stress plays a significant role in our weight loss journey. When we experience stress, our bodies release cortisol, a hormone that triggers the release of glucose and suppresses non-essential bodily functions. This response was beneficial in ancient times when our survival depended on fighting or fleeing from threats.

However, in the modern world, the primary stressors have evolved, and most of us aren’t facing life-threatening situations like encountering predators. Yet, chronic stress takes a toll on our bodies. It hampers our ability to concentrate, perform well, and even digest food efficiently. When digestion is impaired, our bodies struggle to metabolize nutrients and support our exercise routines. While some research suggests that cannabis use, particularly high-THC strains, may impact how our bodies respond to cortisol, it is insufficient to draw definitive conclusions about its direct influence on weight loss.

Effectively managing stress is crucial for optimizing our weight loss efforts. By reducing stress levels, we can enhance focus, performance, digestion, and overall well-being. While the specific impact of cannabis on weight loss requires further investigation, incorporating stress management techniques into your routine can positively contribute to achieving your desired weight loss goals.

Enrico Bratta

Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.


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Enrico Bratta

Medical cannabis professional based in Phuket, Thailand.