Edibles, also known as cannabis-infused food or drink, can provide a different experience compared to smoking or vaping marijuana. While the legalization of marijuana has led to an increase in its consumption, some people wonder whether edibles cause weight gain. In this article, we will explore the science behind edibles and how they affect our bodies, ultimately answering the question: do edibles make you gain weight?
The Science of Edibles and Weight Gain
Before we can answer the question, it’s essential to understand how edibles work in the body. Edibles contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient that produces the “high.” When we eat edibles, THC enters the bloodstream and is metabolized by the liver, releasing a different form of THC that impacts the body and brain differently than inhalation methods like smoking or vaporizing.
THC affects the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate many functions, including appetite, mood, sleep, and pain. When THC activates the endocannabinoid system, it can increase appetite and slow down metabolism, leading to weight gain. However, the effect of THC on metabolism and appetite is short-lived, with studies showing that it may only increase appetite for a short time.
While THC can impact appetite and metabolism, it’s not the sole factor for weight gain. Other factors like genetics, lifestyle, and diet can affect our weight.
Debunking the Myth: Do Edibles Really Make You Gain Weight?
Despite popular belief, consuming edibles itself does not cause weight gain. Several studies have researched the relationship between marijuana and body weight, and the results show that there’s no significant difference in body weight between people who consume marijuana and people who don’t.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology followed over 33,000 individuals for more than six years and found that cannabis users had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than non-users. Another study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology showed a similar pattern, concluding that marijuana consumption was not associated with higher BMIs.
While edibles can cause an increase in appetite, they don’t directly cause weight gain. Consuming edibles in moderation and healthy doses can provide a pleasant experience without having to worry about gaining weight.
How to Indulge in Edibles Without Packing on the Pounds
If you’re concerned about weight gain but still want to enjoy edibles, there are ways to indulge in moderation without having to worry about the consequences. Here are some tips:
- Choose low-calorie options: When buying edibles, choose options that are low in calories and sugar, like gummies or candies with no added sugar. Avoid high-calorie options like brownies and cookies.
- Accurately dose your edibles: Overconsumption is the leading cause of adverse effects from edibles, including weight gain. Make sure to accurately dose your edibles and wait for the effects to take place before consuming more.
- Stick to a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help maintain your weight.
Understanding Portion Control When It Comes to Edibles and How It Affects Your Weight
Portion control plays a significant role in weight management, and the same principle applies to edibles. Eating too much can lead to weight gain, while eating too little can prevent you from experiencing the desired effects. Here are some tips for portion control:
- Start with a small dose: Start with a low dose and wait for the effect to take place, then slowly increase the dose as necessary.
- Avoid overeating: Don’t consume edibles to the point where you’re uncomfortably full. Instead, eat until you’re satisfied.
- Read the labels: Always read the labels to ensure you’re consuming the recommended dose and know exactly what you’re eating.
The Role of Metabolism in Edibles and Weight Gain: What You Need to Know
Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food and drink into energy. It plays a crucial role in weight gain, as a slower metabolism can lead to an increase in body weight. THC can impact metabolism by slowing it down temporarily, leading many to believe that it’s a leading cause of weight gain. However, THC’s effect on metabolism is short-lived, and it’s not enough to cause significant weight gain.
Mindful Eating Practices for Edibles: Reducing Calorie Intake and Avoiding Overeating
Mindful eating is an effective way to reduce calorie intake, promote weight loss, and avoid overeating when consuming edibles. Here are some tips for practicing mindful eating when consuming edibles:
- Eat slowly: Take the time to savor your food and enjoy the taste. This can help prevent overeating.
- Eliminate distractions: Eating while distracted can lead to overeating. Try to eat in a quiet, peaceful environment to avoid distractions.
- Don’t eat directly from the package: Portion out your edibles onto a plate or bowl to avoid unintentionally overeating.
Balancing Your Edibles Consumption with Exercise and Physical Activity for Weight Management
While edibles alone do not cause weight gain, it’s still critical to balance our consumption with exercise and physical activity. Exercise can help boost our metabolism, burn calories, and promote weight loss. Try to incorporate regular exercise or physical activity into your routine to maintain a healthy weight.
While consuming edibles can increase appetite and temporarily slow down metabolism, it does not directly cause weight gain. By following healthy consumption tips, practicing mindful eating, and balancing our consumption with exercise, we can still enjoy the benefits of edibles without having to worry about our weight.
Remember, the best way to manage your weight is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with healthy eating habits and regular exercise.