Information about Dieting & Weight Loss:
In the United States, more than 78 million adults and 12.5 million children and teens are obese. By the year 2030, it is expected to increase to 115 million adults.
Obesity and being overweight are risk factors for many diseases, and can even cause death. Doctors currently prescribe appetite suppressants or surgery to reduce the weight of the severely obese; however, these methods have serious side effects.
Despite being known to cause hunger, certain strains of marijuana can actually help reduce weight. This article explains the basics of obesity, how it is treated, and which types of marijuana can help fight it.
What does it mean to diet
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about 70 percent of the people in the US are overweight or obese. And, a little over six percent are considered to be morbidly obese (extreme). When most people decide it’s time to shed the fat, they turn to dieting. To diet means to restrict yourself to special kinds or small amounts of food in order to lose weight.
Why are we dieting
People diet for a variety of reasons, but many do so to lose weight. Your weight is determined by the balance (or imbalance) between calorie intake and energy you burn. If you burn fewer calories than you eat, the excess energy is stored in your body as fat.
Obesity occurs when your body stores too much fat. This is different than being overweight, which simply means having too much weight.
Most Americans are not obese. But, many are overweight, and the fear of becoming obese drives people to go on diets.
In that regards, the most common causes of obesity are physical inactivity combined with overeating. What are some other causes of obesity?
- Genetics – If one or both parents are obese, chances of offspring being obese are high. Hormones that help regulate fat are also affected by genetics.
- Overeating – This always leads to weight gain for those with metabolism issues. Diets high in sugar and/or fat will result in obesity in a matter of time.
- High Carb Diets – Simple carbohydrates, such as sodas, wine, beer, fructose, desserts, and sugars, are absorbed into the bloodstream rapidly, leading to weight gain.
- Eating Frequency – Some suggest that eating up to six smaller meals and snacks daily is a healthier way to eat than just three very large meals per day.
- Being Inactive – It’s vital to burn off the same amount (or more) of energy (or calories) as the number of calories you intake to stump obesity.
- Medications – Some meds have been linked to weight gain, including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, some diabetes meds and many more.
- Psychological Influences – Emotions are a driving factor when it comes to how you eat. Many people respond to anger, sadness, stress and boredom with overeating.
- Diseases – Some diseases cause obesity. Some include Cushing’s syndrome, insulin resistance, hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Social Problems – One social issue has been a great factor in the causes of obesity. It’s the lack of money needed to buy healthy foods, generally more expensive than “junk” foods.
- Ethnicity – Evidence has shown that some ethnic groups are more prone to obesity than others. Hispanic women, African American women are a great risk.
- Childhood Weight – Studies suggest that the development of adult obesity may be greatly influenced by the person’s weight as a child, teen and early adult.
- Hormones – Pregnancy, menopause and other hormonal times can lead to weight gain for women. The same goes for the use of oral contraceptives, which contain hormones.
Symptoms of Obesity
High BMI is one of the most common reasons for an obesity diagnosis, generally when BMI is 30 or more. BMI is calculated by taking your height in meters squared and dividing it by your weight in kilograms.
Unhealthy body fat distribution is another sign of obesity. Various parts of the body contact fatty tissue, which has numerous functions. An increased (or large) waist circumference is an indication that your abdomen may contain high amounts of fat. This sign of obesity increases your risks of becoming morbid obese as well as health complications.
Current Treatments for Weight Gain and Obesity: Dieting
One of the most common treatments for obesity and weight gain is dieting. Unfortunately, they don’t work as long-term treatments for weight gain and obesity.
Many jump into a diet by eating very little or completely starving themselves. This is counterproductive dieting. When you starve your body, it compensates by shutting down the metabolism. This prevents its ability to burn calories. Your body then begins to store fats on its own, to avoid starvation. Stored fat leads to weight gain.
To help the obese, doctors may prescribe appetite suppressants to force a diet. These medications are typically prescribed for patients with a medical need to lose weight. They work by reducing the urge to eat, thereby limiting the amount of food taken in. These drugs can cause uncomfortable side effects such as dizziness, headache, and abdominal cramping.
CBD, Dieting and Weight Loss
THCV is believed to possess around 25 percent of the psychoactivity of that found in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). So, users experience less of a “high” effect, while helping to suppress their appetites.
Combined, the two may provide serious help for weight management. Animal research on THCV showed that the compound improves intolerance to glucose and reduces body weight. With CBD, there were lower levels of fat and cholesterol. Some studies even suggest the two may increase metabolism.
Medical Research on Medical Marijuana, Dieting and Weight Loss
An American Journal of Medicine study charted 4,657 adults. Reportedly, 579 were regular marijuana users. The study showed that of the survey’s cannabis users who used it at least 3-5 times weekly, about 16 percent had lower levels of fasting insulin.
Your pancreas is the primary producer of insulin. It’s the vessel where sugar (glucose) passes through walls of cells. There, the insulin is converted into energy. The higher the production of insulin, the more glucose that will build up. Stored glucose leads to weight gain.
Cannabis promotes weight loss by:
- Absorbing glucose
- Improving “good cholesterol” levels
- Increasing metabolic functioning as a whole
It’s believed that chronic overeaters indulge in the behavior because it triggers the brain’s reward center, known as the nucleus accumbens. When the foods of choice contain high concentrations of refined starches and sugars, this is especially true.
Basically, when obese people eat, they get a special kind of high, much like the effects of stimulating drugs. It’s believed that cannabis users experience their own type of high. So, the need to overindulge in eating just isn’t necessary.
Medical Research on CBD, Dieting and Weight Loss
A 2013 study on obesity and cannabis showed that for all groups of cannabis users, rates of obesity were significantly lower in comparison to those who hasn’t used cannabis in the past year. Researchers believe they know the reasons for this.
Cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) are bound by THC, which affects the brain. Cannabinoid receptors 2 (CB2) are bound by Cannabinol, which affects the immune cells. CBN affects many different metabolic processes. This includes hormonal secretions, immune function, stress reactivity, fat and muscle tissue signaling and appetite.
Generally, weed smokers are known to have lower Body Mass Index (BMI). Some experts suggest this is due to an “adaptive down-regulation of brain endocannabinoid signaling.” Although THC is known to increase appetite, long-term stimulation may lead to users becoming immune to this effect. Overall, this could decrease hunger signals.
Furthermore, when combined together, CBD and THCV work together to help you lose weight. Animal research on obesity shows that THCV increases fat cell metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the better the chances of shedding calories. The problem is, not many of the marijuana strains currently on the market contain a high enough level of THCV for significant weight loss. So, research your cannabis strains thoroughly.
CBD vs. THC
Cannabinoids are a very important part of the marijuana plant. These chemicals are absorbed by the user’s endocannabinoid system which has a great number of receptors found in our immune systems and brains.
There are two main compounds found in marijuana buds or flowers. They are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). THC has many medical benefits, but it is known as the compound responsible for getting people high.
On the other hand, CBD has properties that have been known to help with weight loss and obesity. And, because its properties are different than those of THC, it doesn’t get you high. Therefore, it does not create the same side effects, such as the munchies.
In fact, when combined with high levels of THCV, CBD actually helps to suppress your appetite. And, since overeating (or obsessively eating unhealthy foods), is the leading cause of obesity, this is positive news for those dieting and trying to lose weight.
How to Take Medical Marijuana for Dieting and Weight Loss
There are various ways to take medical marijuana. The most common manner of using cannabis is to smoke it. Also called smoking weed, the product is rolled up in cigarette rolling papers, cigars or smoked in a weed pipe, bong or vapor device.
However, when it comes to using medical marijuana to lose weight, other methods, such as CBD oil, or Cannabis Balms with high amounts of CBD, provide an alternative to absorption through the lungs. Marijuana edibles would probably not be the best idea for weight loss, but they also are an option.
How you consume your marijuana is less as important as what you choose. For the most effective weight loss product, select strains that contain high levels of THCV.
CBD Oil for Dieting and Weight Loss
CBD oils are quickly becoming a popular way to take marijuana, especially when it comes to weight loss and dieting. Studies show that CBD influences a countless amount of immune and metabolic processes.
Your body contains the Endocannabinoid system, which takes care of endless tasks to keep your body functioning at top levels. CBD oil literally “feeds” that system, so it’s able to function at its best. The more toxins, the more your body creates in order to filter out toxins from our organs. Using CBD oil also helps promote the release of toxins in the body.
Growing Your Own Dieting and Weight Loss Cannabis
Growing your own medical marijuana for weight loss and dieting purposes is a great idea because you can save money, control the quality and always have it on hand. For the severely obese, traveling to the dispensary can be difficult, or maybe even impossible. It’s much more convenient to grow your own pot.
Growing your own is also often cheaper than other methods, with more money saved over time. Once you find a strain you enjoy, you can simply clone more of them. Remember to choose a strain that’s high in CBD and THCV!
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The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]