Questioning the use of Cannabis for Weight Loss

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Written By: J. Laura

 

On July 23rd, GlobeNewswire reported that Cannabis Global Inc. — a cannabinoid and hemp company — released a statement that they will perform a study to determine if the administration of a rare cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-V), will promote weight loss or suppress appetite.

Retrieved from: Times of CBD

The company will perform the study with mice on selected protocols, Accesswire reported.  

Accesswire indicated further that the study will take up to six weeks beginning August 2020. The study aims to determine whether obese — Diet-induced Obese (DIO) — mice might experience weight loss after using THC-V, and if so, to what extend the weight is lost. 

The study will consist of 35 DIO mice which will be randomly divided into five groups. Each group will be receiving different dosage of THC-V prior to feeding, Accesswire explained. After which, the body weights of the mice will be taken weekly during the six-week study. 

Arman Tabatabaei, CEO of Cannabis Global,  described that the study’s first step was to investigate whether THC-V is a weight loss or appetite suppressant. 

“While the popular and industry press widely outlines THC-V as such, scientific research is severely lacking,” Tabatabaei cited in the press release to Accesswire.

Melissa Matthews of Men’s Health described how previous research by other institutions have shown some evidence that THC could reduce weight. 

For example,  similar research on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and mince conducted by the University of Calgary showed that although “THC did not have any effect on the size of the mice who were already at a regular weight, it did cause the obese mice to lose weight,” Matthews cited. 

Furthermore the International Journal of Epidemiology conducted a study consisting of more than 30,000 participants showed that in the three-year study, all of them gained weight, however those who smoked cannabis gained the least weight, Matthew reported. 

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The journal concluded that there is a decrease of body mass index (BMI) in correlation with cannabis consumption.

However, the journal still indicated that “additional studies will help to increase our un- derstanding of the functions of a complex cannabinoid system […] and its effects on risk obesity.” 

Matthews also reported that a study done by the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that people who use cannabis are less likely to be obese than the ones who don’t. 

Adrienne Santos-Longhurst of Healthline described that although cannabis users have lower BMIs and obesity rates compared to nonusers, cannabis users tend to have an increased calories intake.

Longhurst expressed further that even though at first glance, the research may suggest that cannabis consumption is an ideal way to lose weight, “there is no evidence that using marijuana directly causes weight loss.”

Longhurst explained that the use of cannabis might indirectly help weight loss specifically for those suffering with certain issues, such as chronic pain or poor sleep, which could contribute to higher body weight.

She also indicated that whilst there is some evidence that the use of cannabis may affect weight,  “a lot more research is needed.”

Matthews agrees, and says that it is important to note that, “cannabis is not a prescription for weight loss,” she told Men’s Health

Matthews also stressed that people must take note that the lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits may still increase their weight and will not reduce their BMI, whether they consume cannabis or not.

For now, the results of the research currently conducted by Cannabis Global Inc. will hopefully answer the puzzling question in the near future. 

 

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Emerald contributor since July 2020
Journalist and contributor for Emerald; covering the social, cultural, political and medical side of cannabis and other (mostly sensitive) issues. For any collaborations or tips, email me at [laura@emeraldmg.com].

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