Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pot Smokers Have Smaller Waists Than Non-Smokers


Hunger is a well-known side effect smoking marijuana, and all those burritos, ice cream, and Bagel Bites have to take a toll on your waistline, right? Well, according to new research published in the The American Journal of Medicine, cannabis enthusiasts may very well be overweight, but weed isn't to blame.

Researchers found that people who regularly smoke marijuana actually have lower levels of fasting insulin and are less likely to be insulin resistant. What's more, the study found that current marijuana smokers are likely to have smaller waist circumferences than non-smokers. All of these are factors in diabetes risk, with pot smoking lowering that risk. 

Looking at data from over 4,600 patients—roughly 45 percent of which had never smoked or ingested pot, 43 percent had smoked pot in the past but didn't currently, and 12 percent were regular smokers—the study found that those people who had smoked in the past month had 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels than people who had never smoked pot. They also had lower levels of HOMA-IR (insulin resistance), along with higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ("good" cholesterol). 

As for the part about smaller waists, this research found similar results to previous research that has found that even though regular marijuana users have, on average, higher levels of caloric intake—yes, if you didn't already know, the stereotype is backed up with research—there is an association with smoking pot and lower body mass index. 

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