The latest research shows that frequent cannabis use has a connection with staying lean and having a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Especially given the reputation marijuana has for giving one the munchies.

The problem is, it comes at a cost. And folks are all too willing to overlook this for the notion that they can get lean from using cannabis.

What the Research Says

You can thank some researchers at the University of California, Irvine, for making this discovery. Their research subjects, as you can probably guess, weren’t humans though. They were mice. Teenage mice, to be exact.

Trying to get to the bottom of what makes frequent cannabis users seemingly thinner and leaner than the average population, they started with the assumption that MANY frequent users started in their teenage years.

Given this postulation, they gave low doses of THC to adolescent male mice. When the mice reached adulthood, the researchers stopped giving them the doses. Then they compared them to drug-free adult mice that hadn’t had the THC.

The Mice DID Get Lean From Using Cannabis

Those who had consumed THC as “teens” had increased lean mass, reduced fat mass, and higher-than-average body temperatures. They were also partially resistant to hyperglycemia and obesity. This is known as a “pseudo-lean” state.

Sounds good, right?

The problem is, they were also less able to use fuel from fat stores. This inability affects important actions such as moving, thinking, and sustaining attention. So what this study implies is that the effects of a psychoactive drug like THC extends well beyond the brain. And once they stopped getting the THC, the damage was not reversed.

What Was Happening on the Biological Level

The study’s authors discovered that once the adolescent mice were given THC, their fat stores began making proteins normally found only in the heart and the muscle. At the same time, their muscle cells produced fewer proteins. The effort needed to make these “alien” proteins messed with the proper functioning of their fat cells.

So while cannabis consumption is linked to lower BMI and improved cardiometabolic risk, frequent use that started in the adolescent years could permanently disrupt organ function. Thus, a frequent cannabis user who appears to be lean and healthy may actually be looking at some potentially harsh consequences to their physical and mental health in the long run.

But what if you started using cannabis as an adult?

Interestingly enough, they don’t believe these changes occur in those who began consuming cannabis in adulthood. Furthermore, while their study shows that THC use in adolescents resulted in lower weight gain for both males and females, the study focused only on males for the metabolic and molecular effects.

Obviously, further studies are required.

Want More Information on All Things Cannabis?

It should be clear that it’s rather dicey to try to get lean from using cannabis. Especially for teenagers.

But mild to moderate use among adults has proven to be quite beneficial. As with everything, it’s a balance.

And speaking of balance, if your cannabis business is hanging in the balance due to lack of exposure or solid marketing, contact us today. As cannabis marketing and public relations experts, we can get you the attention you need to thrive in this industry.