r/Health – Marijuana users weigh less, defying the munchies, suggests new research based on a conceptual model for BMI determinants (n = 33,000), which found that those who smoke cannabis, or marijuana, weigh less compared to adults who don’t.

The title of the post is a copy and paste from the title and first paragraph of the linked academic press release here:

MARIJUANA USERS WEIGH LESS, DEFYING THE MUNCHIES

New evidence from Michigan State University suggests that those who smoke cannabis, or marijuana, weigh less compared to adults who don’t.

Journal Reference:

Omayma Alshaarawy, James C Anthony.

Are cannabis users less likely to gain weight? Results from a national 3-year prospective study.

International Journal of Epidemiology, 2019;

DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyz044

Link: https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/ije/dyz044/5382155

Abstract

Background

Pre-clinical studies indicate increased food intake and weight gain as cannabinoid effects. Cross-sectional epidemiological studies, however, indicate lower prevalence of obesity among cannabis users. Here, we aim to study the weight-gain research question in the prospectively conducted National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC).

Methods

NESARC was designed to produce nationally representative estimates for the US population. Participants (aged 18+) completed computer-assisted personal interviews on cannabis use, body weight and height at Waves 1 (W1, 2001–02) and 2 (W2, 2004–05). General linear modelling yields estimates for change in body mass index (BMI) regressed on cannabis-use status, with covariate adjustment based on a conceptual model for BMI determinants (n = 33 000).

Results

At W2, 77% of the participants never used cannabis, 18% had discontinued use (‘quit’), 3% were initiates and 2% were persistent users. Estimated W1-to-W2 BMI change shows an increase for all subgroups. Compared with never-users (reference), inverse slope estimates and attenuated change (%) in BMI between W1 and W2 are seen for cannabis-use subgroups: quitters [β = –0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) = –1.01, –0.60], initiates (β = –0.97; 95% CI = –1.36, –0.57) and persistent users (β = –1.26; 95% CI = –1.81, –0.72).

Conclusion

This new prospective study builds from anecdotes, pre-clinical studies and cross-sectional evidence on inverse associations linking cannabis use and obesity and shows an inverse cannabis–BMI increase association. Confirmatory studies with rigorous cannabis and BMI assays will be needed.

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