Using weed to control weight gain seems ironic. Marijuana has long been associated with the "munchies," or the desire to eat any junk food in sight. This stereotype is not without substance. Studies have shown marijuana to stimulate appetite in animals and humans alike, and many states have approved the use of marijuana in those suffering from uncontrollable weight loss, the anorexia associated with chemo and debilitating diseases, as well as cachexia or wasting syndrome.
Now, however, some studies are showing marijuana can be effective in reducing obesity. Researchers found that among several different groups of human populations, obesity was less prevalent among cannabis consumers. The authors concluded, "even if cannabis consumption increases appetite, people using cannabis are less likely to be obese than people who do not use cannabis." The credit for combating obesity goes to the cannabinoid THCV, which was found to reduce weight and appetite and modulate feeding behaviors. Reducing obesity is important because there are many health problems associated with it, such as heart disease and stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancers. The rate of obesity is increasing in populations worldwide, so it is now more important than ever to discover and research new ways for combating the problem.