Study: Marijuana smokers are less likely to be obese than non-smokers

File / FOX 13 News

It's been said that smoking marijuana gives people 'the munchies' so naturally you would think that most pot smokers could be susceptible to putting on a little weight. Well, not according to a new study that says those who smoke marijuana are less likely to be obese than non-smokers. 

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, 33,000 people participated and all of them gained weight during the three-year study. Those who smoked weed, however, added the fewest pounds.

"We found that users, even those who just started, were more likely to be at a normal, healthier weight and stay at that weight," study co-author Dr. Omayma Alshaarawy, assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University, said in a statement. "Only 15 percent of persistent users were considered obese compared to 20 percent of non-users."

Researchers compared body mass index for all of the participants who took part in the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions study to come to their conclusion.

The team behind the study couldn't come up with a reason why smoking pot led to a lower BMI. A couple of theories are: 

  • Cannabis creates changes physically in your cells that impact weight gain
  • People who smoke may watch their weight more knowing they are prone to overeating while high

Now if you're thinking that smoking weed could be a great way to maintain your weight, think again.

"There's too many health concerns around cannabis that far outweigh the potential positive, yet modest, effects it has on weight gain," Alshaarawy said. "People shouldn't consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight."