• Home  / 
  • Featured
  •  /  Researchers Say That Legalizing Medical Marijuana Can Drop Obesity Rates In The US

Researchers Say That Legalizing Medical Marijuana Can Drop Obesity Rates In The US

Here is a discovery which might help the push for a faster legalization of marijuana across all of the United States. As a matter of fact, those states in the US which have introduced medical marijuana have noticed a significant drop in obesity rates – ranging from 2% to 6%, compared to the states which are yet to legalize cannabis. This is supposed to be a short-term result, and it is believed that over longer period of time the drop in obesity rates could be even more significant, which in turn would mean a drastic annual reduction in medical costs for obesity-related issues, ranging anywhere from 58 USD to 115 USD per person per year. According to the San Diego State University-led research, such considerable drops in obesity rates in states where medical marijuana is being used might indicate that cannabis has probably got weight loss properties.

To help with the study, economist Joseph Sabia carefully studied all the public health surveys taken nationwide between the years of 1990 and 2012 and discovered that indeed a drop in obesity rates was noticed in those states where medical marijuana was being used, this, despite the fact that marijuana is known to make people feel more hungry (in fact, there have been a number of uses of this drug for the purpose of stimulating the appetite of those who are suffering either from cancer or HIV). Even the researchers themselves acknowledged that randomized intake of marijuana, even if the intake is controlled, can lead to increase appetite which in turn would lead to a higher calorie intake.

To reach their conclusion, the team of researchers behind this study carefully scrutinized the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System which interviews around four million citizens of United States every year in order to find out whether there has been any kind of difference in the states which have far more lenient marijuana laws than others. The researchers then made up mock profiles of those people who live in states where marijuana is still banned and considered illegal.

In states where marijuana has been legalized, it is an often prescribed drug for older people suffering from chronic pain. Due to chronic pain, these people cannot take part in an active lifestyle, such as exercising. When these people are relieved of the chronic pain, thanks to the application of marijuana, they can take part in exercises again and this in turn can help them burn the extra calories.

The reason for drop in obesity is not however so cut and dry when it comes to younger people who lead a far more active and dynamic lifestyle in general compared to their older counterparts. A lot of people take to binge drinking in their youth which often leads to obesity problems later on. Chances are, with the introduction of medical marijuana, some people might prefer using cannabis over drinking alcohol. Quite interestingly, one of the arguments put forward for the purpose of legalizing marijuana is that it can lead to significant drops in alcohol consumption which in turn would make for a better society as marijuana is far less harmful compared to alcohol.

About the author