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Can cannabis help you lose weight?

Trimming more than your Cannabis! Cannaslim!

When it comes to people trying to lose weight, many experts recommend focusing on your diet before trying to beef up your exercise regimen. The reasoning here is that it takes more effort to work off calories than it does to avoid them by changing how and what you eat. But we ask you, can Cannabis help you lose weight?

drawing of a slim women with a cannabis t-shirt and bikini underwear

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels

Kate Moss

Many people are trying new ingredients and recipes to help with their weight loss. One ingredient that doesn’t get talked about a lot, but may be surprisingly useful here, is our favourite leafy green Cannabis.

Cannabis infused meals have grown in popularity for recreational use through the manufacturing of legalized oils. Some people want to try and impart beneficial properties like relaxation and pain relief into their meals. Does weight loss fall into this category as well? Let’s take a closer look.

Cannabis and the connection to Weight Loss

If we listen to pop-culture wisdom, one would think that Cannabis would do the exact opposite of weight loss, due to the concept of “the munchies.” This isn’t just a fable, either, as it’s been shown scientifically that smoking Cannabis helps trigger receptors in our brain that make us feel hungry.

women eating a large sandwich

However, one large-scale study with 30,000 participants showed that people who smoke cannabis, overall, are less likely to be overweight or obese. Maybe cannabis can help you lose weight? All participants gained weight, but the cannabis smokers gained the least.

This marks an interesting question, indeed, seeing as these effects have also appeared in other studies, even accounting for differences like age and gender.

What exactly is it about cannabis that is impacting how people gain weight?

While we don’t have a concrete answer yet, some believe that it boils down to the nature of THC. One animal study tested obese mice and mice at a regular weight with THC. The normal-weight mice showed no effect, but the obese mice lost weight. In that particular study, the researchers theorized that THC caused changes in the gut microbiome that impacted BMI. 

(don’t know your BMI? – try this calculator)

Since then, several studies around the world have found a similar conclusion: that there’s some kind of correlation between cannabis usage and weight loss in people with obesity. However, it bears mentioning that cannabis hasn’t been labeled as a weight-loss silver bullet and smoking Cannabis alone may not mitigate the other bad lifestyle choices one makes. However, Cannabis and weight loss have connections and cannabis used mindfully may help you lose weight.

How To Cook With Cannabis Effectively to lose weight

Studies like the one conducted with mice imply that you don’t necessarily have to smoke Cannabis in order to reap any potential weight loss benefits. Seeing as diet is central to weight loss, some people may want to combine these two in order to double down on benefits.

You will want to be careful when it comes to pre-packaged edibles though, as they may have preservatives and other items that aren’t the healthiest like sugar. Just like any other aspect of dieting, it’s easier to lose weight with food you cook yourself. Here are a few pieces of wisdom you want to keep in mind when it comes to cooking with cannabis!

Make sure you decarboxylate: Ground cannabis needs to go through this process before cooking. If you miss this, not only does it taste bad, but you don’t get a lot of the effects. Many different cannabis chefs have their own methods, but the basic premise is heating the cannabis up to a point that it can’t reach within the human body.

Not straining the oil: Cannabis oil is a central part of many recipes like cannabutter and the like, but you don’t want to accidentally get too much plant matter on them. The best way to handle this is through a combination of cheesecloth and gravity. Trying to strain it out by hand will result in a lot more plant matter getting through with your oil. Not Yummy…

Adding too much cannabis: Finally, you want to take a measured approach when it comes to how much cannabis you add in your recipes. Often, consumed cannabis can lead to a stronger and more intense high than when smoked. It’s best to start at a level below your normal tolerance, and then you can work up until you find the ideal dosage. 

Edible dosing guide provided by
Edible Dosing Guide

Note that these are only a few basic tips, and practice makes perfect. It is likely to get easier to do a lot of this at home with more recipes arriving every day, like our awesome organic green smoothie. In addition, we’re seeing cannabis cooking being taken to new heights, with chefs beginning to create fine foods with cannabis infusions.

What About CBD?

We should also take some time to talk about CBD. While cannabis isn’t available for recreational use everywhere yet, it’s a lot easier for people to get their hands on CBD. Can it help with weight loss as well? Maybe? From what we do know, CBD activates the cannabinoid system, which may be altered in people with obesity. As a result, CBD may provide some metabolic help for those trying to lose weight.

However, the clearer benefits are better seen with tangential weight loss help. For example, some people overeat due to stress and mental health issues, which CBD has been shown to help with. Along with this, obese people trying to exercise may suffer from a lot of pain during recovery. CBD can help here as well.

Cannabis oil dropper and jar
Source CBD Oil – Preferably Organic

In general, the best way to cook with CBD is by infusing it into a fat or oil-based ingredient to try and help counteract the naturally bitter taste. In addition, much like cannabis itself, you want to make sure that the dosage of CBD you use is appropriate for your needs. This means you want to start your recipes with a smaller dose, then work your way up until you hit that ideal balance.

Ultimately, adding Cannabis or CBD to your favorite fatty or salty dishes isn’t going to negate those negative properties. However, it is a way to add a new dimension of flavor and enjoyment to some healthier dishes that may not have appealed to you before.

In addition, some properties of cannabis, like stress relief or pain management, can make it easier for you to curb bad eating habits or get more out of intense exercise. So ultimately, cannabis makes for a strong weight loss companion—if not a “magic bullet” solution.

Written by Laura Reid who is a Toronto-based writer & journalist with a focus on Cannabis and CBD-related content.

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