Studies show that cannabis users seem to have lower BMI than control groups. There is more research to be done but there are several reasons for weight loss with cannabis use.
The Endocannabinoid System plays a vital role in homeostasis by signaling receptors found in the central nervous system and vital organs. The CB1 Receptor is a primary mediator of energy storage, conservation, uptake and general homeostasis. CB1 antagonists are effective not only in reducing body weight, but also in improving the associated Insulin Resistance Conditions.
Some Cannabinoids are high-affinity CB1 receptor ligands and potent antagonists. It is important to remember that the cannabinoid affinity is directly affected by Terpenes. Terpenes, cannabinoids and other Cannabis Compounds alter the function of cannabinoid receptors which finetune metabolic functions.
The ratio of competing substrates, Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acid within the blood affect the endocannabinoid system and determines N-arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA/anandamide) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) production. When there is too much omega-6 fatty acid, it gets converted to increased AEA and 2-AG, stimulating CB1 and promoting weight gain.
Omega-3 fatty acids are common as dietary supplements due to their apparent ability to reduce obesity, inflammation by leading to reduced AEA and 2-AG levels and CB1 activity.
Generally, THC results in downregulation of CB1, leading to reduced sensitivity to AEA and 2-AG. It is apparent that long-lasting downregulation of CB1 following cannabis consumption reduces energy storage and increases metabolic rates, thus causing weight reduction of elevated dietary omega-6/omega-3 ratios.
While adequate research is still required, some hypothesis that CBD is a contributor to weight-loss. CBD does not directly deactivate CB1 receptors, but may influence the production of antagonists to dampen its biological response. Altering affinity of cannabinoid receptors may help reduce appetite, make healthier food more appealing, and regulate metabolic rate.
Cannabis strain related weight-loss may occur from behavioral changes associated with cannabis consumption rather than cannabinoid stimulation.
Pain relieving properties of cannabis allow for more physical activity. These properties are also thought to shorten recovery time between workouts allowing for a more strenuous workout regiment.
Cannabis stimulates the dopamine receptors in the brain responsible for mood. Cannabis users often substitute cannabinoids for food in the brain reward pathways. Individuals can fall into a habit of eating when feeling worried, anxious, nervous, or stressed. Lowering anxiety levels can reduce calorie intake and prevent overeating as a coping mechanism.
Decreased alcohol consumption leads to weight loss, not only because of calorie reduction but also from an increased metabolic rate and decreased fat degradation.
Research has begun to fully understand the mechanisms associated with weight-loss caused by cannabis consumption. The initial results are promising, but there is more research to be done to fully utilize the clinical potential.