Have you heard the rumors? Is it true? Can cannabis help with weight loss? In this article, we will explore what science says and what you need to know if you want to use cannabis to help you lose weight.
- A quick look at what the science says about weight loss
- A list of strains high in THCV
- Additional healthy lifestyle tips
Why You Will Love This Guide
For years, the myth that cannabis consumers are lazy, unmotivated stoners has continued to plauge the minds of non-consumers.
But for many people, myself included, cannabis can be an extreme motivator to achieve many different things in life, including weight loss.
In fact, I have had SO many members inside my Well With Cannabis Community who have proven this to be true, with one person losing over 100 pounds with cannabis and healthy eating.
So, can cannabis help with weight loss? In this article, we will explore what the science says and what you need to know if you want to use cannabis to help you lose weight.
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Looking Past The Stereotypes
Cannabis use has been surrounded by years of myths, misinformation, and assumptions about how the herb can affect your weight.
For example, the media and legal authorities have long put forth the myth that all cannabis users are lazy stoners.
If the tales are believed, the majority of cannabis users spend their time in the basement getting stoned.
And when they aren't, they are raiding the refrigerator, munching on snacks, or making midnight burger runs.
Whether for medical or recreational use, historically, cannabis users have been stigmatized for being lazy, unmotivated, and physically unfit.
There is also plenty of anecdotal evidence and research showing that cannabis can stimulate the appetite in medical patients and cause "the munchies" in some users.
Despite these facts, a 2019 study performed at Michigan State University found that, in general, people that use cannabis tend to weigh less than those who abstain.
While this may seem at odds with the idea that cannabis is an appetite stimulant, this study corroborated earlier research that also found that cannabis users tended to be less overweight than non-users.
Look For Strains with THCV
While many consumers don't like that cannabis stimulates their appetite, one of the compounds found in the plant is an appetite suppressant.
The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabivarin, or THCV, has a molecular structure that is similar to THC but produces very different effects.
THCV, unlike traditional Δ9THC, is non-intoxicating and does not cause a 'high' feeling, but it does have a reputation for being an appetite suppressant.
THCV works with THC, causing the effects to come on faster. Many people suspect that THCV is the cannabinoid behind some of the potent "one hit" strains.
THCV not only causes the effects of cannabis to come on faster and more intensely but also causes them to taper off quickly.
Additionally, in a pure form, THCV acts as an appetite suppressant, offering a unique array of benefits that differentiate it from other cannabinoids like THC or CBD.
Finding a strain that is high in THCV levels can be challenging because most strains only contain trace, undetectable amounts of the cannabinoid.
However, lab testing has found that THCV is most common in sativas and particularly abundant in landrace strains originating from Africa.
There are also several hybrid strains with African genetics that make them predisposed to higher THCV levels.
While genetics can be an indicator, the best way to ensure the strain you choose is high in THCV is to request the lab results from the budtender at your dispensary.
Strains that have tested high in THCV include:
- Durban Poison
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Pineapple Express
- Willie Nelson
- Blue Dream
- Doug's Varin
- Pineapple Purps
- Power Plant
- Red Congolese
- Jack the Ripper
- Durban Cheese
- Skunk #1
It's Not a Magic Cure
As unlikely as it may seem, despite its reputation for stimulating the appetite and causing the munchies, research suggests that some cannabis strains can help with weight loss.
Research published in the Journal of Cannabis Research found that THCV works similar to many pharmaceutical diet drugs but with far fewer and less severe side effects.
Another study published in the Journal of Neuropsychoparmacology show that THCV can alter connections in the brain and reduce addictive behaviors, including helping to control food intake.
So, while THCV may be a helpful aid for weight loss and to control food intake, it's not a magic cure, and healthy habits are still important.
Cannabinoid extracts and oils are some of the most effective ways to add THCV to your diet. Tinctures and oils give you the greatest control over the dosage, enabling you to determine what flower to oil ratio is right for you.
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