I’m sure you’re familiar with marijuana causing snacking behavior.  It’s more commonly known as getting the munchies.  Based on what the research says and what I’ve seen clinically, certain types of marijuana without a doubt stimulate appetite.  In other words, it makes you feel hungry.


But does marijuana actually cause weight gain?



First, I’m going to address specific patient populations where their medical condition impacts their weight.

Let’s start with patients with HIV.  In general, several studies showed that marijuana causes HIV patients to eat more and also gain weight.

In Cancer patients, research done between 1975 and 1996 overall showed that marijuana is effective in stimulating appetite.  Although, there’s nothing definitive showing that Cancer patients gain weight with marijuana use



Now, does marijuana cause weight gain in the general population?

I think you’re in for a shocker.  Check out the results of these 3 medical studies.


Marijuana use, diet, body mass index, and cardiovascular risk factors (from the CARDIA study).

One study followed 3,617 participants ages 18 to 30 for 15 years.  They compared the participants who had no history of marijuana use to those with a prior history of marijuana use.  Specifically they used marijuana for more than 1800 days over the 15 year period. The study found that the marijuana users consumed about 600 more calories per day than the non-users.  But, there was no increase in their Body Mass Index (BMI).



Obesity and cannabis use: results from 2 representative national surveys.

Another study looked at the obesity rate among 50,736 marijuana users and non-users.

A user was anyone who used marijuana at least 3 times per week over the previous 12 months.  A non-user was anyone who reported no cannabis use in the previous 12 months.

In one group, the obesity rate was 22.0% in the non-users and 14.3% in the users.  In another group, the obesity rate was 25.3% in the non-users and but only 17.2% in the users.

So, basically, the prevalence of obesity was lower in the marijuana users than the non-users.



Dietary intake and nutritional status of US adult marijuana users: results from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

And, finally, another study interviewed and examined 10,623 adults aged 20 to 59 marijuana users and non-users.  Again, the results were similar to the previous 2 studies I just mentioned.  The marijuana users had a greater caloric intake than the non-users.  But, their Body Mass Index (BMI) was lower than the non-users.

There’s a perception out there that marijuana causes weight gain.  But the results of these studies certain challenge that notion.

And, you’re probably wondering, why doesn’t marijuana cause a weight gain in the general population.  It’s quite possible that marijuana plays a more a regulatory role.  In other words, it increases weight in those that are of low-weight.  But, not in those of normal weight or overweight.


Now that you know you won’t gain weight from medical marijuana when used appropriately, would you like my help? Head on over to the GET HELP page.  I’ll step-by-step walk you through how to safely use medical marijuana for your condition or symptom…without gaining weight!





Research Referenced: