Smoking Cannabis has always been linked to getting the “munchies” a.k.a. binge-eating. While some people believe that smoking pot makes you fat, a new study has found that legalizing marijuana could drop obesity rates.
The Independent reports a new study conducted by Californian researchers has found Cannabis as an alternative to alcohol. As most people get drunk on beer (and calories) to relax, others who live in states where marijuana is legal prefer smoking calorie-free joints instead.
For the study, scientists at San Diego University and Cornell University analyzed a 22-year health data from various states. According to their findings, obesity levels have dropped between 2-6 percent in states that have decriminalized medicinal and/or recreational pot-use.
The researchers used the data from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a telephone survey system collecting data regarding the participants’ health conditions as well as their health-related behaviours such as overeating, medication intake and other medical services use.
According to the survey, younger Cannabis users have reduced weight from substituting large amounts of alcohol to weed. This remains true among older Cannabis users who had reduced joint and chronic pains which prompted them to be more physically active and burn fat.
“These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that medical marijuana laws may be more likely to induce marijuana use for health-related reasons amongst older individuals, and cause substitution towards lower-calorie recreational ‘highs’ among younger individuals,” the researchers stated.
The use of Cannabis could curb medical costs, too. Based on the 22-year health analysis, the population has shown an increase in savings from their obesity-related costs from $58 to $115.
Aside from reduced alcohol-intake, another study published in the journal Obesityhas shown that “cannabis use in the past year was associated with lower BMI and lower percentage fat mass.”