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Study: Medical Marijuana Laws Associated With Decreased Obesity


obesity marijuanaBy Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

The enactment of statewide laws permitting the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes is associated with an annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Health Economics.

Investigators at Cornell University in New York and San Diego State University in California reviewed twelve years of data from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the effects of medical marijuana laws on body weight, physical wellness, and exercise.

Researchers reported, “[T]he enforcement of MMLs (medical marijuana laws) is associated with a 2% to 6% decline in the probability of obesity. … Our estimates suggest that MMLs induce a $58 to $115 per-person annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs.”

For those age 35 or older, authors determined that the passage of medical cannabis laws is “associated with an increase in physical wellness and frequent exercise consistent with the hypothesis of some medicinal use of marijuana.” For younger adults, researchers theorized that obesity declines were the result of less alcohol use.

They concluded, “These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that MMLs may be more likely to induce marijuana use for health-related reasons among older individuals, and cause substitution toward lower-calorie recreational ‘highs’ among younger individuals.”

The findings are similar to those of other recent observational studies, such as those here and here, concluding that cannabis use is associated with reduced body mass index and obesity.

The abstract of the study, “The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Body Weight,” appears online here.

Source: NORML - make a donation


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Johnny Green


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  2. The strain has nothing to do with the affect on one’s lungs, and throat; it’s more a matter of smoking (burning it) versus vaping it, and both can have detrimental affects depending upon the amount and frequency used. Edibles are the safest way to ingest it since this method doesn’t involve the lungs or throat.

  3. Hardly a day goes by without us finding out more benefits of Marijuana.
    The Israeli’s, the world’s leaders in Medical Marijuana Research (since about 3000 BC :-) say it best —
    Marijuana is a “Gift From God” — “Tikkun Olam” — “To Heal The World”
    Tikkun Olam is a beautiful concept.
    It says that it is everyone’s responsibility to help “Heal The World”
    The closest translation in English is “Social Justice”
    The Spanish are another group that have done excellent work in Medical Marijuana
    Goggle Manuel Guzman Nature Cancer Reviews
    Then there are the Brits — They now own a lot of Medical Marijuana Drug Patents — Google GWPH
    Go to the USPTO web site and you’ll find out where your co-pays are going to be going for Marijuana derived
    drugs — most of them are going to go to GWPH – thank the idiot’s in Washington for that fact. :-)
    The Italians are using their Army to help grow Medical Marijuana for their Cancer Patients.
    It may be their best idea since they imported the idea of Pasta from the Chinese. :-)
    Countries around the world are embracing Medical Marijuana at their national level.
    Its long past time we did too.

  4. Just confirmation of what I’ve always believed. Instead of the Prohibitionist stereotype of the lazy couch smoking stoner. EVER HEARD OF SATIVA STRAINS, Prohibitionists? (Smoking) Strains of the Sativa variety can open your mind, cause you to feel peppy, bolster your willingness to perform undesirable tasks, and not give you an overbearing case of the ”munchies”. Plus health benefits. (relieves depression) And won’t effect your lungs detrimentally. But you can say it’s all hogwash as is your Prohibitionist beliefs. I’m speaking from personal past experience. And when use is legal here, I will imbibe. I consider MJ a herb like Ginseng. Which normalizes the body. ;-)

  5. jasen joseph hylbert on

    Hempseed is a superfood and in fact can benefit everyone. Any bans on hemp run contrary to sincere concerns about the health of others.

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