Lifestyle

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

—Hippocrates

Once we start using cannabis medicinally, we can incorporate it into our overall health, starting with diet. 

How Cannabis May Affect Your Waistline

We all know about the munchies. Curiously though, research has found the average cannabis consumer has a slimmer waistline compared to non-consumers. The conclusions left us all scratching our heads, but an unpublished Indiana University paper offers a theory. 

Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar can cause a series of chronic health conditions, such as obesity. They also have a higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the body. And this could cause overstimulation of a primary cannabinoid receptor, which “leads to metabolic syndrome, contributing to chronic diseases,” the study authors offer.

People who can reduce their level of this specific receptor can experience weight loss. There are different ways to achieve this effect, but one possibility identified in earlier research is the introduction of cannabis into the equation. Marijuana causes downregulation of CB1R, a receptor that “plays a major role in assimilation, storage and conservation of energy.”

Weed may give you the munchies, but it could—again, this is a theoretical explanation—help people properly manage that food after it’s entered the body. The study raises many questions for researchers, which they express in their conclusion.

 

Flipping The Switch On Hunger

Experts at Washington State University are looking at how cannabis use alters eating behaviour, which could lead to treatments for appetite loss in chronic illness. Dosing lab rats with cannabis vapour, the researchers found how the drug triggered hunger hormones and identified specific brain regions that shift to 'hungry' mode while under the influence. 

When the stomach is empty, it releases the hormone ghrelin, which sends a message to the brain that it's time to find food. If cannabis stimulates a ghrelin surge, something we know now to be fact, giving a second drug to prevent the ghrelin surge should block the urge to eat after consuming cannabis. The researchers even found that in a small region of the hypothalamus responsible for sensing ghrelin, marijuana changed the genetic activity of brain cells that respond to the hormone.

While this research might appeal to those looking for ways to turn down the volume of their munchies, the effect marijuana has on hunger has significant implications for cancer patients, who use medical marijuana to stimulate a much-needed appetite.

  Posted: Sunday, October 14th, 10:00am a month ago
Profile PictureWritten By: Parker Wallace

Parker is a cannabis enthusiast to the core who shares a keen interest in listening to what others have to say and understanding what’s important to them. Those who know Parker know that his passion for health and wellness runs deep, and his love of Canada even deeper!


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