It's a known fact that marijuana gives you the munchies, which is why it's a great medication for AIDS patients and people experiencing loss of appetite because of chemotherapy. In the eyes of critics, like Joel Hay, who penned an anti-marijuana editorial in yesterday's OC Register, “Pipe Dreams and quack pot medicine,” however, marijuana's munchies-inducing quality is just more evidence that it's not good for you.
Hay even went so far in his editorial–which we'd link to but it's behind a paywall, so why bother?–to suggest that pot has some role in America's obesity epidemic, pointing out that Acomplia, a drug that has not been FDA-approved, fights weight-gain by blocking cannabinoid receptors.
But are pot smokers really fatter than non-tokers?
Not according to the Atlantic, which reported yesterday that a University of Nebraska study has found that pot smokers are actually skinnier than non-tokers.
Researchers are basing this claim on results from testing more than 4600 people, 12 percent of whom were currently smoking pot and more than 40 percent of whom reported being past pot smokers. Amazingly, blood tests revealed that people current smoking marijuana had insulin levels 16 percent lower than their non-smoking counterparts, while their insulin resistance was 17 percent lower.
The University of Nebraska researchers are still working to understand the medical implications of the data, but for now, they're convinced that marijuana could play an important role in helping the human body regulate insulin, a key factor in preventing obesity.
Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is Editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).