Hive Health Media

Smoking Marijuana May Cure Obesity

Many people who smoke marijuana experience what increased appetite (which they commonly call the “munchies”). It would stand to reason that people who smoke would gain weight. A new study from France says otherwise.

Findings on the relationship between obesity and marijuana use

Dr. Yann Le Strat is a psychiatrist at Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes. He says the study his team conducted showed that people who smoked marijuana were less likely to be obese than the general population. Strat and his team looked at results from data collected in the early 2000s.

His findings completely surprised him. Everyone else in the field was shocked to see what they found.

Strat and his team decided to take a closer look at their study. They theorized the subjects in their sample were not representative of the overall population or the study was tainted in some other way. Turning to another study conducted by the NESARC, they found the same thing.

Both studies compared the prevalence of obesity among people who smoked cannabis with those that did not. Strat’s study found the obesity rates among people who didn’t smoke marijuana was 22 percent, compared with a rate of 14.3 percent among those that did smoke. The other study found the obesity rate of  pot smokers was 17.2 percent, compared with a rate of 25.3 percent among non-smokers.

Andrea Giancoli is a dietitian in Los Angeles. She states there are number of possible reasons why people who smoke marijuana are less likely to become obese. They may work out more, spend more time outside or eat more fruits or vegetables. However, most people don’t associate these activities with people who smoke cannabis. Is it possible that the stereotypes we’ve had for so many years have been wrong?

Another possibility is associated with the  possibility that marijuana smokers drink more water. This may curb their appetite throughout the rest of the day.

Strat acknowledges the possibility that marijuana smokers are more active. He doesn’t think the likelihood is very high, but says it can’t be ruled out. It would be helpful if an additional study was conducted which observed the exercise habits of people smoking marijuana. Such a study could dispel the stereotypes of marijuana smokers and explain the findings in these two studies.

Giancoli and Strat are both clearly interested in understanding the phenomenon. Everybody in their field wants an explanation for these findings. For the moment, the explanation remains a mystery. Both of these studies have clearly created an interesting new insight into marijuana and obesity.

It is important to note that none of these researchers suggest people should smoke marijuana to fight obesity. They simply want to better understand the relationship between the two.

Kalen Smith is a professional Internet marketer, consumer researcher and writer. He has been a writer for Weight Loss Triumph and is the cofounder of the blog Great Paleo Diet Cookbooks, where he writes about the paleo diet and lifestyle.


  1. Carrie

    January 14, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I have a marijuana license for PTSD and I have lost weight in the past month since getting my license. I don’t binge eat or anything when I use MJ, but I think I’ve lost weight because my stress has been lowered.

  2. giannibearnni

    January 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    i am fat i weight about 230 pounds and im 6 foot and ive been smoking marijuana for 2 years now and i lost like 50 pounds cuz im out all day with my friends having fun, also marijuana improves quality of life because you actually go out of the house and live real life, and when you come back home at night you go to bed like at 10pm and you wake up at 7am full of energy because marijuana helps you sleep better.. when i didnt smoke marijuana my life sucked, i was on the computer all the day playing… now i go out in the real world with my friends and im enjoying life thanks to mary jane

  3. SiO2 NanoTech LLC (@SiO2NanoTechLLC)

    September 30, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The approach of this study is absurd – Studying obesity without at least correlating to diet = what do they eat? => boggles logic. What if marijuana smokers are in majority vegetarians/vegans and shop at health food stores/markets and home-cooked meals rather than junk food? (As suggested by Sandi here above) What if they are just too sleepy to eat, and rather have a nap than a meal?? Correlating marijuana use to obesity without keeping track of what people eat is like measuring a car performance without keeping track of the type of fuel. Not very useful.

  4. sandi

    September 30, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Beer, wine & other alcohols have lots of calories. Marijuana has zero. Thank you for realizing pot smokers are NOT lazy or crazy like “Reefed Madness ” propaganda wanted everyone to think. Marijuana smokers are, for the most part, active, health conscious, sometimes vegetarians or vegans, and without sounding too clish

  5. Jim

    September 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Hard to imagine pot as cure for obesity. I remember my college days and the many trips I made to 7/11 to cure the munchies. I had the advantage of a youthful metabolism. Wouldn’t try it now that I’m older.

  6. ab shaper

    September 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I think the reason is because ppl who smoke a lot of marijuana usually dont have enough money to buy food. I’ve had about 10 years of my own personal experience in this field and I can assure you that there is a strong correlation between smoking large amounts of weed and being too broke to eat.

  7. dan

    September 15, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Many weed smokers are not obese…therefore weed causes people to lose weight? More bs “corrolation=causation” logic.

  8. Mike

    September 14, 2011 at 6:23 am

    “only fools will smoke marijuana to cure obesity” – true
    “it will do more harm than good” not so true.
    If you don’t know what you’re talking about, dont comment.

  9. Anonymous

    September 14, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Weird, I always thought it was just me.

    Two and a half years ago, I began to smoke as a stress reliever. I had given up tobacco and alcohol use altogether about 4 years earlier. Long term family man and professionally employed. Also tipping the scales at 300 lbs at my largest however and looking down the barrel of a heart failure. (Kirsty Alley was on TV last night saying she couldn’t see herself and it was just like that for me.)

    I decided to try an exercise routine about a month after becoming a light but daily user of the healing herb. I found that a good buzz and some black eyed peas helped me stay on that elliptical machine much much longer than I ever would have bothered to straight, and within 2 months I had lost 30 pounds. Within 6 mos I has lost 80 lbs and was healthy as a horse. 2 and a half yrs later the weight is still off.

    I suspect my doctor would have been quite happy to get me hooked on antidepressants back at the time and with the best of intentions to heal. It had been offered a few times over the years which I declined due to my lack of faith in the current approach. I imagine that were I to display similar results after clinical medication my “state of recovery “would be classified as a resounding success.

    My new doctor gave me a physical last month and I have not been healthier since I was in my youth. I smoke about 1/8 th to 1/4 ounce a week depending on the quality.

    The Chinese and the Indians have been using it medicinally for THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

    ADULT CONTENT WARNING: I went from -ahem – doing ‘ it ‘ about once maybe twice a week to about 7-10 times, endurance, imagination and pleasure are about ten times increased as well and I know nobody is going to believe me but my wife and I both know I m about, oh, 10-15 % larger where it counts.

    One last thing, I over indulged on my last night on vacation recently cause I hate to be wistful so I killed the last quarter of high grade. I was on the plane home about 6 or 7 hours later and I GUARANTEE I felt a whole lot better than all the good folks who over did it on the free drinks were. I felt as healthy as a 44 year old man could on 2 hours of sleep. NOBODY IN RECORDED HISTORY HAS EVER OD’D ON POT.IT IS NOT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE TO DO SO. Check it out if you don’t believe me.

    You can consume water in enough quantity to kill you and it sure wouldn’t take much booze, or Tylenol or aspirin for that matter but you would have to eat about 50 lbs of grass to kill you and I’m thinking it might be easier to eat a bicycle. Either way it would take some serious discipline and determination to get to that state and I’m thinking any pothead aint going to THAT much trouble.


  10. D

    September 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I guess it lowers stress as well. Interesting.

  11. Mr Space

    September 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Smoking pot gives you a very restful sleep. They always say a good nights sleep is important to prevent obesity and hypertension.

  12. Jupitor Chakma @ Health Blog

    September 13, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Nice info. But I think only fools will smoke marijuana to cure obesity, as it will do more harm than good.
    All of the reader of this article should read the waring at the bottom (In my opinion this should be at the beginning of the article).

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