Marijuana is usually comically associated with “the munchies” and junk food binging, but a new study from France indicates something researchers weren’t expecting to find: Potheads tend to be skinnier than non-stoners. Via The Week:
What did the study find?
Dr. Yann Le Strat, a psychiatrist at France’s Louis-Mourier Hospital, looked at data from two studies of U.S. adults from the early 2000s and noted the weight differences between those who used cannabis and those who didn’t. In both studies, cannabis users had relatively low rates of obesity: 14.3 and 17.2 percent. American adults who didn’t use cannabis had obesity rates of 22 and 25.3 percent.
Is this what researchers expected?
Nope. “Cannabis is supposed to increase appetite,” says Le Strat. “So we hypothesized that cannabis users would be more likely to have higher weight than non-users and be more likely to be obese.” Marijuana activist Michelle Aldrich isn’t all that surprised. “It’s true,” she says. “I don’t know too many fat marijuana smokers.”
What’s causing this phenomenon?
“There could be many other reasons why pot smokers have less obesity,” says dietitian Andrea Giancoli. “Maybe they’re inclined to exercise more, be outdoors more, eat more fruits and vegetables.” Aldrich thinks it could be related to the body’s endocannabinoid system — a group of receptors, primarily in the brain, that respond to compounds in marijuana. But the bottom line is that the exact mechanism responsible for this correlation remains a mystery — for now.
One obvious thing I’m not seeing here is that many potheads don’t drink alcohol or don’t drink that much of it.
But if this isn’t reason enough to toke up, one of the oldest people who ever lived credited the chronic for her longevity.