Toking up may help marijuana users to stay slim and lower their risk of developing diabetes, according to the latest study, which suggests that cannabis compounds may help in controlling blood sugar.
Although marijuana has a well-deserved reputation for increasing appetite via what stoners call “the munchies,” the new research [PDF], which was published in the American Journal of Medicine, is not the first to find that the drug has a two-faced relationship to weight. Three prior studies have shown that marijuana users are less likely to be obese, have a lower risk for diabetes and have lower body mass index (BMI) measurements. And these trends occurred despite the fact that they seemed to take in more calories.
Why? “The most important finding is that current users of marijuana appeared to have better carbohydrate metabolism than non-users,” says Murray Mittleman, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study. “Their fasting insulin levels were lower, and they appeared to be less resistant to the insulin produced by their body to maintain a normal blood sugar level.”