Many patients choose to use medical marijuana to treat their conditions because they believe it is a healthier alternative to pharmaceutical medications that can have dozens of unwanted side effects. Marijuana, however, is not without its side effects, and the plant is often associated with getting high or the "munchies" (a desire to eat a large amount of food). Part of achieving good health requires maintaining a healthy body, so how can someone be healthy if they overeat, which can lead to weight gain and obesity? Now, research suggests people may not have to worry about this. Studies show people who use cannabis are less likely to be obese and are at lower risk for diabetes.
Investigators from the Conference of Quebec University Health Centers looked at a group of 786 Inuit adults between the ages of 18 and 74, and found that those who consumed cannabis in the past year had a lower body mass index (BMI), lower fasting insulin, and lower HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) than those who did not use it. Authors of the study concluded, "...The inverse association observed in our work supports evidence from a larger proportion of previous cross-sectional and follow-up investigations... As a result, cannabinoids from cannabis may be viewed as an interesting avenue for research on obesity and associated conditions."
Observational data published in the American Journal of Medicine suggested those who consumed cannabis had favorable indices related to diabetic control, and observational data published in the British Medical Journal reported marijuana users were less likely to have or contract type 2 diabetes.
For more information on marijuana, obesity, and diabetes, read this analysis in the Daily Chronic.