So much for the stereotypical view of the “stoner” sitting on the couch, stuffing themselves with potato chips and chocolate ice cream.
A new study has yet again found that, believe it or not, those who use marijuana tend to have smaller waists and a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who don’t.
In a study conducted by the Oregon Health and Science University and published in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers looked for a correlation between marijuana use and bone density. They ultimately found no association between regular marijuana use and lowered bone density.
However, as part of the study, they also looked at the relationship between regular cannabis consumption and BMI. BMI is simply a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters.
They found an interesting correlation between marijuana users and BMI: Those who regularly used marijuana tended to be thinner.
Marijuana Users Thinner & Healthier
According to the study, those who used marijuana five times or more per month had an average BMI of 26.7. Those who never used marijuana had a BMI of 28.4.
It’s worth noting that both fall into the “overweight” category on the BMI tables. However, marijuana users were much closer to the normal weight category. A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered “normal weight.”
If you are curious, you can check out a BMI calculator from the NIH right here.
Further, the study suggested that those who regularly use marijuana tended to be more active than those who do not.
All of this is not completely new. A 2016 study from the University of Miami directly took on the relationship between marijuana use and BMI. The report, under the title “Got Munchies? The Relationship Between Marijuana Use and Body Mass Index,” was also published by NIH.
Researchers in that study found that women who daily used marijuana had s a BMI about 3.1 percent lower than those who did not use marijuana. For men who use marijuana, their BMI was about 2.7 percent lower than non-marijuana users.
The researchers determined that further study is needed into the association between marijuana use and BMI, partly because of the long-held stereotype that marijuana leads to weight gain because of the increase in appetite. More study in the area could prove “most helpful to policymakers and clinicians,” the researchers wrote.
And back in 2013, researchers from the University of Nebraska, Harvard University and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston published a study on marijuana users in the American Journal of Medicine. They found a “significant associations between marijuana use and smaller waist circumferences.”
While most of the studies call for further research, the early indications are that while marijuana can increase appetite, it also results in lower levels of obesity and smaller waist sizes. Once again, the stereotype of marijuana users is turned on its head by actual research.