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2022 Study: Delta-9 THC & Obesity

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

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Delta-9 THC & Obesity

A March 2022 study entitled "Effects of Δ9-Tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) on Obesity at Different Stages of Life: A Literature Review" that was published in the journal Environmental Research and Public Health examined "the negative effects of obesity and how the use of THC or CBD can impact rates of this global pandemic at different timepoints of life."

A shot from a movie in which a stuffed teddy bear smokes a bong.
Does THC help obesity?

Delta-9 THC & Obesity Study Conclusion

Delta-9 THC & Obesity. This conclusion section is provided verbatim, with the exception of the addition of paragraph breaks to improve readability.

"Since the times in which the plant Cannabis sativa was consumed among the people of ancient China, major advancements have been made in the understanding of phytocannabinoids and how each can result in different physiological responses when ingested.

"However, there are still many important questions that must be answered, specifically those regarding THC and how this compound affects the chances of obtaining obesity-related issues. Among adults and adolescents, there seemed to be a large portion of studies that observed THC as an agent that promoted factors such as increased food intake, body weight, and adipose tissue.

A cannabis leaf.
Cannabis has a long history.

"However, there were some data that suggested the opposite, which signified a need to study characteristics such as dose, regimen, and the route of administration.

"The most important information in this review can be broken down further into the risks that cannabis smoking may have on obesity outcomes at different timepoints in life. Among adults and adolescents, administration of THC differentially affects obesity risks and should therefore be further researched. However, with further data reporting an increased perception in society that regular cannabis smoking causes little to no harm, thus playing a large role in the increased use of this drug among pregnant women, there is increased cause for concern.

"Among adults and adolescents, there seemed to be a large portion of studies that observed THC as an agent that promoted factors such as increased food intake, body weight, and adipose tissue."

"This is mainly due to the strong relationship that prenatal smoking has on the birth weight outcomes of children. Cannabis administration throughout pregnancy was seen to have a direct effect by decreasing the birth weight, head circumference, and even different growth factors. Proposed mechanisms consisted largely of fetal hypoxia from smoke inhalation and inhibition of the endothelial growth factor from CB1R activation.

"This lack of fetal growth can have great implications for many negative outcomes that may arise later in a child's adolescence, such as an increased risk of obesity-related issues. Further research is still needed in order to fully understand the ramifications that cannabis may have on our society in general. With the increasing rate of legalization of recreational use of this plant, there is a greater need to fully understand both the therapeutic and adverse aspects that these phytocannabinoids may provide."

View the original study.

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