Marijuana and Metabolism – Scientific Explanation
Something that is interesting seems to happen to pot heads as they overeat. Studies have shown that marijuana consumers actually consume 600 more calories every day compared to the average person who does not smoke weed. However, just for some peculiar reason, those extra consumed calories do not get converted into fats. This interesting phenomenon has further led to the inquiry regarding the connection between marijuana and metabolism.
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According to a recently published study, it has been reported that common marijuana users were about 54% less likely to be prone to metabolic syndrome as compared to their non-pot head counterparts. Metabolic syndrome is described as a series of health problems that are co-occurring. These health conditions include high blood sugar, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, as well as excess body fat situated in the belly and waist.
When all of these aspects happen altogether, there is an increased likelihood in the development of diabetes, stroke, as well as heart disease. Also, a study conducted by the University of Miami has looked into data out of 8,500 people. The participants of the said survey included 20 to 59 year olds. The study had discovered that marijuana users, by the average, had less risk of having type 2 diabetes, they were also reported to have lower blood sugar levels, less abdominal fat, lower bad cholesterol levels, as well as a reduced risks of heart diseases.
All of these study findings also support with another research on the subject of marijuana and metabolism connection. It showed that regular marijuana smokers were reported to have lower BMIs, as well as waistlines that are up to 1.5 inches smaller as compared to those who do not use cannabis. This is supposedly great news amidst a world facing an epidemic in obesity, and with the entire scientific community struggling to understand how marijuana can give such a positive impact on the metabolism of a person.
Metabolism and the Endocannabinoid System
So as to understand further how the use of cannabis can impact your overall metabolism, it is very important to understand the basic on how our Endocannabinoid System works. This system is composed of brain and body cell receptors. They are often known as cannabinoid receptors. They function in receiving directions coming from chemicals that are naturally produced by all mammals. Such chemicals are called endocannabinoids. They are not the same with CBD or THC because they are created within the body, instead by the cannabis plant.
The endocannabinoid system connects various parts of the brain which controls emotion, movement, pleasure centers and hormone production. It is also the main responsibility of the system to coordinate the messages in between these brain parts, as well as the corresponding body parts. This chemical network is often the primary reason why we feel an appetite, as well as feel pleasure during certain activities. It is also the reason why we feel a variety of moods.
As of the moment, researchers still struggle to understand the exact nuances of the endocannabinoid system. However, according to certain discoveries regarding the endocannabinoid system as well as our metabolism, the connection does a little bit more than what we know. For example, it turns out that when we feel hunger, a certain endocannabinoid that is called as ‘anandamide’, is being released by our body. This is the chemical that is replaced by THC the moment marijuana is consumed. This compound is also responsible for activating the CB1 receptor.
Belly Fat and THC
In 2008, it was targeted by a research in Italy that CB1 receptor is a potential reason for obesity. A few years later, research conducted also discovered that those who are dealing with metabolic syndrome were also shown to suffer from endocannabinoid system dysfunction. Those who are suffering from metabolic issues often have overstimulated CB1 receptors. By theory, this overactivation on the CB1 receptors caused by the THC should allow your body to store fat better. On the other hand, too much binding of anandamide on the very same receptors is the reason why you end up binge eating, or feel a craving on sugary and fatty foods. The resulting extra energy is converted to extra belly fat.
The endocannabinoid system is also the factor behind feeling pleasure while eating. At the same time, it allows your body to regulate the levels of blood sugar, while sending a signal to inform you that you need to stop eating. What do all of these factors suggest? When you consume marijuana, you are also taking in compounds that can power up your metabolism, thus making you feel hungry. At the same time, you are also consuming cannabinoids that help directly in mitigating some metabolism issues.