Can Marijuana Make You Gain Weight?
A prevailing stereotype of marijuana users is that they always have the munchies. A body of evidence suggests that long-term cannabis use can lead to weight gain, particularly in men. With that being said, its effects on weight differ by plant strain, dose, route of administration, and frequency of use.
How Marijuana Influences Weight Gain
Different strains of marijuana will have varying concentrations of cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and terpenes. These psychoactive chemicals act on CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain that make up the endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in regulating appetite, stress, and pain sensations, among a host of other factors that impact weight gain.
Whether smoked or eaten, cannabis affects the neurobiological circuits that control appetite, causing a temporary increase in the “munchies”. According to a 2015 study from the Yale University School of Medicine, activation of the CB1 receptor acted on by THC increases feeding behaviors and leads to decreased activity of the neurons responsible for feelings of satiety.
The effect is known to be considerable and one that can be used in medical practice to stimulate appetite in people with cancer, advanced HIV infection, and other serious medical conditions.
Appetite stimulation doesn’t inherently translate into weight gain, however. Within the HIV population, marijuana may help stifle weight loss but does little to reverse the wasting that can accompany serious illness.
What this suggests is that appetite stimulation is only part of what triggers weight gain in certain cannabis users.
Effect on Athletic Performance
Cannabis users have been observed to show marked decreases in performance, steadiness, reaction time, and psychomotor performance for up to six hours following use. This can make exercises like rock climbing or heavy-weight lifting more dangerous, a deterrent which, along with the muscle-relaxing properties of particular strains, may promote weight gain simply by decreasing a person’s capacity for exercise.
According to research, THC significantly elevates the resting heart rate (RHR) and blood pressure during and after physical training, decreasing a person’s overall tolerance for exercise.
That said, cannabis has also been shown to decrease pain and to inhibit exercise-induced asthma , which could make it a helpful adjunct to simple exercises that chronically ill patients otherwise couldn’t do.
If many pain patients switch to medical cannabis for pain management in places where it is legal at the state level, it will become important to research these effects more thoroughly.
Even in cases where light exercise may not be negatively impacted by cannabis use, it is still not likely to lead to peak performance.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Peripheral cannabinoid receptors activated by THC are involved in regulating pancreatic function and lipid metabolism. According to research published in 2015 by the American Diabetes Association, compared to non-users, cannabis smokers tend to have a higher percentage of abdominal visceral fat and increased insulin resistance, in addition to lower plasma HDL cholesterol.
It has been suggested, that strains of cannabis that are high to moderately high in THC are more likely to trigger weight gain, particularly among regular users.
Among healthy people who regularly use cannabis, there is a significant difference in how the drug influences weight if you are male or female.
A study conducted in 2015 by researchers at the University of Montreal found that cannabis use triggered significant and consistent weight gain in men, but not in women.
Although the reason for this remains unclear, the scientists suggested that differences in neurobiological targets, as well as general psychology, played a part.
A Word From Verywell
Although the association between weight gain and marijuana use is anything but conclusive, there is enough evidence to suggest that it can influence weight in certain people, especially frequent users who are male, who use cannabis strains higher in THC, or who have other risk factors for obesity or metabolic syndrome.
If you believe you have a marijuana addiction problem, contact the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence at 800-622-2255 for a referral to a treatment center in your area.
Marijuana is known to cause the munchies by stimulating appetite. Research has shown that it can increase weight and body fat in certain people.
Is Your Stash Bone-Dry? Rehydrate Your Cannabis Buds!
Have you ever seen a bud crumble to a powder when rolling a joint? Learn how to rehydrate your weed stash in record time with our three simple methods.
One of the worst things that can happen to your weed stash is to let it go bone-dry. If that’s happened to you, don’t worry, your buds aren’t helpless! With a little know-how, it’s possible to rehydrate cannabis using a few simple techniques.
Some of them may even bring in new flavours, while others can quickly destroy your stash if done recklessly. Nevertheless, your pot will never be exactly as it was before, but you can help restore it to its (nearly) former glory.
THE BEST METHOD OF ALL – PREVENTION
The two most common reasons weed gets dry beyond its optimal point are overdrying after harvest and inadequate storage.
Cannabis dries from the outside in. The outer leaves may seem dry, but the inner bud and stems might still hold considerable amounts of water. Therefore, it is common for growers to judge dryness by using the stem-snapping trick.
When you cut down your weed to dry, soon after, the stems lose a lot of their rigidity and stiffness. If you handle a stem, it will bend without snapping. As such, the general rule of thumb is, when you can snap a bud’s stem clean in half, it is sufficiently dry. If the stem still bends, it needs more time. While this trick works great for the more experienced, it is by no means the most scientific method.
In moderate climates with average humidity, expect a slow and even drying period. In arid climates, however, it’s essential to keep a humidifier close by.
Humidity Control Pack
USE HUMIDITY CONTROL PACKS TO MAINTAIN PERFECT MOISTURE LEVELS
After a final trim, buds should be placed in an airtight container to cure. Unfortunately, weed will continue to exchange water with the surrounding air, so, unless you look after them, your prized buds will end up bone-dry. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to maintain the perfect environment for weed is with a moisture pack.
Not only do these nifty little packs work with harvests big and small, but the silicone gel inside takes over the job of exchanging moisture with the air around your buds. The result is a perfectly maintained relative humidity of 58–65%—the sweet spot for curing.
TOO LATE, MY WEED IS BONE DRY – WHAT TO DO NOW?
Fortunately, in the same way cannabis can release water into the air, it can also suck water molecules back into the bud.
The solution is relatively simple. All you need is an airtight container (again!), or something very close. In this remedial situation, being airtight is not essential to success. But after rehydration and for long-term storage, airtight containers are indeed necessary.
The general idea is to increase the relative humidity inside the container to create a microclimate. Water molecules will disperse from high concentration zones to lower concentration zones until it has evened out.
There are several ways to achieve this—some you can even do regardless of excessive dryness. All these methods are slight variations on one another (except for the super express methods described below), but they do have their nuances.
3 WAYS TO REHYDRATE YOUR WEED
BREAD SLICE, LETTUCE, OR DAMP PAPER TOWEL METHOD
This is a non-flavour-adding technique. Grab a slice of bread and moisten it (don’t soak it). Alternatively, lettuce leaves work great too. A damp paper towel can also be used, though beware of excessive water content.
Place it on top of the weed in a thick plastic or Ziploc bag, close it tight, and let it sit for an hour or two. When the time has elapsed, check your weed and move it around a little. Check the lettuce, bread, or towel for how much drier it is. This is a clear indication of the amount of water retained by the buds.
Depending on the size of your stash, you may need to repeat this a couple of times. The trick is to not rush it. For instance, do not excessively moisten the bread or leave the same lettuce leaf in there for too long. This could lead to the formation of mould, which could transfer onto the buds.
Inspect thoroughly, and when satisfied, move the weed to a proper airtight container for prolonged storage.
FRUIT PEEL METHOD
This trick adds a little fun factor and is great for experimentation. You can use several types of fruit peels and herbs to rehydrate your weed, in precisely the same way as described above. The difference is that there will also be a transference of taste and smell.
The most commonly used fruits are oranges and limes, as they are very useful in rehydrating your buds, but also lend their citrusy flavour to the weed. They should not be used for long-term storage and curing, as they could cause mould or bud rot. Daily close inspection is needed to avoid any sort of fungal outbreak. Simply substituting the peel every couple of days will ensure the added taste lingers.
Banana peels are also quite popular. Quicker in action too, but they also rot much quicker. Some people swear it makes the weed more potent, though there is no concrete evidence to support this. Apple peels do not transfer their taste quite as effectively, but they do release moisture slowly and consistently, which is great for even rehydration.
Regardless of your chosen fruit, the trick is to leave the peels with your buds for several hours. It can take anywhere from a few hours to a day until the buds are in good, smokable shape.
You can also add in things like mint, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, or any other fragrance-rich cooking herb. Not only will they work for rehydration, but they’ll also add a zing to your smoke.
HOT VAPOR METHOD
If you are in a hurry and cannot afford to wait that long, there is a way to speed up the procedure. But a big warning; you run the risk of cooking your weed or rendering it too soggy to smoke.
Grab a large pot, fill it with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water’s boiled, take the pot off the heat and place it on a safe surface. Next, cover the pot with a study cloth or piece of fabric, and secure it around the rim of the pot, making sure not to burn yourself (use oven mitts!).
Now, place your weed on top of the cloth, and let evaporation do the rest. The hot vapor will pass through the cloth and the buds, providing maximum hydration in record time.
Be sure to turn the buds regularly to distribute the vapor evenly. After 30 minutes to an hour, your buds should be ready to use!
Smoking overly dry weed is very harsh and unpleasant. Here are some simple tricks to rehydrate your buds in no time.