Does Cannabis Speed Up Your Metabolism?

May 17, 2023
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Dr. David Pompei, PharmD, MS

Does weed speed up your metabolism?

A recent study suggested that marijuana may speed up your metabolism, which could lead to weight loss in the long run. Does that mean that weed makes you lose weight? Or is this just another baseless claim? 

In this article, we'll take a look at the research on marijuana and metabolism to find out if there is any truth to this claim. Spoiler alert: there is! Read on to learn more. 

Does marijuana affect metabolism?

Much of the discussion surrounding weed use for weight loss was prompted by a 2011 review of two national surveys conducted from 2001 - 2003. 

According to the review, obesity rates are higher among people who have not used cannabis compared to those who use cannabis three or more times per week.

 Similarly, a 2010 study published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse examined the association between marijuana use and obesity in young people and came to similar conclusions.

There is some anecdotal evidence that cannabis may help lower obesity rates and improve body mass index (BMI) by:

●    Lowering alcohol consumption

●    Increasing levels of physical activity in some people

●    Helping resolve sleep issues

●    Influencing the cortisol/stress response

●    Relieving aches and pain that may impede activity

In addition, these findings were further supported according to a 2018 review in the peer-reviewed journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, which examined the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI). It found that cannabis aficionados generally have lower BMIs and obesity rates despite consuming more calories - which suggests some effects on metabolism.

Does smoking weed make you lose weight?

In short, yes, cannabis does speed up your metabolism. In theory, smoking weed could make you lose weight, although there are many factors involved in weight loss or gain. So, just how does THC boost your metabolism? 

In a 1978 study, pioneering research explored the link between THC and metabolism. Researchers found that marijuana users increased their metabolic rate as soon as they smoked cannabis, with metabolic rate peaking 15 minutes after ingestion. The researchers found that THC induced immediate "stimulatory effects'' in metabolism, ventilation, and respiratory response to carbon dioxide. At least some of these effects were mediated by the beta sympathetic nervous system.

THC influences the gut biome, which can also affect weight gain or loss. For example, a bacteria group called Firmicutes is associated with obesity, but another called Bacteroidetes is not. 

In an animal study conducted by the University of Calgary in Canada, overweight mice with high-calorie intake were administered THC. This led to a normalization of their gut bacteria, which contributed to their weight loss.

What are the best strains for boosting metabolism?

Jessica Gerlock, a certified personal trainer, shed over 100 pounds by smoking marijuana and found that Sativa-type strains gave her the most energy and focus. According to Jessica, cannabis helped her moderate her eating, her post-workout recovery, and boosted her performance in strenuous sports. And more research seems to support that Jessica may have indeed been on to something when she added cannabis to her weight loss routine. 

In 2013, researchers in the American Journal of Medicine found that marijuana consumers were better able to metabolize carbohydrates than non-consumers, leading to more successful weight loss outcomes. 

If you are already familiar with cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, it may be worth getting to know THCV - it has shown promise for controlling appetite. THCV can be found in Girl Scout Cookies, Durban Poison, and THCV capsules or sublingual tabs.

Does marijuana slow metabolism in some people?

While some strains of marijuana may make you feel more relaxed, mellow, and chill, there is currently no evidence to support the claim that it slows metabolism in certain people. So, if you're looking to slow down your active metabolism, you might want to steer clear of high-THC marijuana. But if you're looking to speed it up, it might be just what you need.

Final thoughts on cannabis and metabolism

So, if you're looking to potentially speed up your metabolism and drop a few pounds in the process, marijuana may be a good option for you. Of course, we always recommend talking to your doctor before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine. But with legalization on the rise, it's worth considering how marijuana could fit into your wellness plan. And don't forget – Jointly is here to help you every step of the way! Download our app today and start tracking your progress towards better health and fitness.

Find top-rated products for your goals 

Jointly is the cannabis discovery app that makes it easy to find and shop the best cannabis and CBD products for your goals. Your matches are calculated from the real product ratings and experiences from hundreds of thousands of people using the Jointly app.

If you're ready to discover new products and reach your goals, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website.   

Are you curious about Jointly?

Whether you want to improve sleep, relieve daily stress, or just relax and refresh, Jointly can help you reach your goals with cannabis.  

With Jointly, you can shop your top-rated products, and save lists of your favorites to share and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.  

The Jointly app also helps you improve your cannabis experiences by uncovering what’s working and what’s not with reflections and personalized insights. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your cannabis experience.  

So if you're ready to find your best products and enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.

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