Everyone knows that smoking weed gives you the munchies, right?
Medical marijuana is widely used to help cancer patients reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy, and to stimulate their appetites and reduce weight loss associated with cachexia.
Because of this, it may sound strange to suggest that cannabis could help some consumers lose weight. This is because not every strain of cannabis causes the munchies. Some cannabinoids and terpenes have been linked to reduced appetite and increased energy levels in the proper quantities. And while research around cannabis and weight loss remains in the early stages, the right strains could play a role in helping consumers eat less and exercise more, two factors essential to weight loss for many individuals.
Considering that a recent Gallup poll reported that more than half of Americans are looking to lose weight for either personal or medical reasons, this comes as welcome news.
Whether it’s through reports of appetite suppression or increased energy and motivation, we explore 9 of the highest rated cannabis strains that may encourage weight loss.
Can Cannabis Really Help You Lose Weight?
Before going any further, let’s make one thing clear: there aren’t any definitive research results that prove using marijuana can assist with weight loss. Cannabis isn’t a magic weight loss pill that will replace diet and exercise. Nevertheless, some studies show that cannabis could contribute to an individual’s attempts to lose weight.
For instance, a 2013 study in the American Journal of Medicine found that cannabis use was associated with lower fasting insulin levels and smaller waistlines. These results were bolstered by a study published in 2017 by the Archives of Osteoporosis that demonstrated that heavy marijuana users (defined as using cannabis more than five times a month) typically displayed lower BMI percentages than those who didn’t use cannabis.
Additionally, marijuana use may facilitate exercise in a roundabout way, with regular consumers spending more time in physical activities than those who do not use cannabis. This may be because cannabis can help relieve pain and soreness during exercise recovery, reducing recovery times and allowing cannabis users to return to the gym faster.
What Cannabis Compounds Encourage Weight Loss?
Researchers have presented several different theories on how various cannabinoids can encourage weight loss.
- CBD: Researchers at the South Korean Daegu University found in 2016 that CBD could potentially influence weight loss and obesity prevention.
- THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) has demonstrated a potential role in suppressing the appetite while simultaneously improving energy and motivation.
- Low Myrcene, High alpha-Pinene: Strains low in myrcene have been shown to produce greater energy levels in marijuana users. Not only that, if the strain is also high in alpha-pinene, its use is associated with greater alertness and improved airflow in the lungs.
We focus on these cannabinoids and terpenes in our list of strains below, with many users reporting reduced appetite and/or increased mood and energy levels. Naturally, these qualities paired together could be instrumental in promoting weight loss.
Cannabis is NOT a Weight Loss Treatment
We’ve said it before but want to reiterate here: using cannabis is NOT a proven weight loss treatment. It’s true that certain cannabinoids may help encourage weight loss by promoting better exercise and eating habits, but these studies are in the early stages. Additionally, a majority of available research uses higher quantities of CBD, THCV, and pinene than are found in commercial cannabis strains.
That doesn’t mean that cannabis can’t play a role in weight loss efforts. So if you’re a cannabis consumer and would like to lose weight, we recommend you keep a look out for the following strains.
4 Cannabis Strains for Appetite Suppression
While it’s true that THC itself can help stimulate appetite, other cannabinoids in marijuana (primarily THCV) can actually serve as appetite suppressants.
THCV isn’t found in most commercially available strains, but there are a few popular options most consumers can find without too much difficulty.
Cultivated for its high THCV content (3-5%)
Doug’s Varin is a rare Sativa strain, so it may be the most challenging to find in this list. However, it earns a place on our list for its notoriously high THCV content. It has an earthy, pine, and citrus profile.
Cultivated for its high THCV content (up to 4%)
Another Sativa strain that is bred for high THCV concentrations is Pineapple Purps. Like Doug’s Varin, Pineapple Purps is a Sativa strain bred for high THCV. In addition to its role as an appetite suppressant, THCV is also associated with greater bursts of energy so you can put away the Doritos and pick up the dumbbells.
THCV up to 1%
Durban Poison is likely the most famous (and easiest to find) strain on our list. Well-known for its sweet aroma and lively, energizing effect, Durban Poison also boasts THCV concentrations up to 1% (much higher than the average cannabis strain).
THCV up to 1%
Named after the famous country singer and cannabis legalization activist, Willie Nelson is a Sativa dominant strain celebrated for its delightful and imaginative effects. Like Durban Poison, its a high THCV Sativa perfect for creativity and socializing. Many people who smoke Willie Nelson find that the strain gets them high but leaves them with a clear head (and without the munchies).
5 Cannabis Strains for Higher Energy & Motivation
The five strains below are notable for their ability to boost energy, mood, and motivation, so you can exercise longer and more often (and actually enjoy it!). However, because everyone experiences the effects of a strain differently, these results aren’t guaranteed, especially if you consume very high quantities.
Lemon Pepper is a hybrid cannabis strain. Many Lemon Pepper users report uplifting and energetic effects thanks to its high levels of pinene. Some users have reported increased appetite after smoking Lemon Pepper, so it’s best to put away the snacks before pulling out your bowl. It is also typically high in THC concentrations, with 18% THC and 1% CBG.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is another hybrid cannabis strain known for its high THC levels and intense high. Users report uplifting, energetic effects and a reduction in feelings of anxiety and depression, making it easier to get off the couch and get moving.
Lavender Haze is another pinene dominant Sativa strain known for its energizing, euphoric effects. Created by crossing G-13 Haze and Lavender, the strain is beloved for its flower density, lovely purple colors, and floral smell and taste.
Skunk #1 (born from Acapulco Gold)
Skunk #1 is another hybrid cannabis strain praised by consumers for its ability to boost energy, enhance creativity, and reduce stress, making it a popular choice for those who want a fun and active cannabis experience. With an iconic sour, skunky, and earth aroma and flavor, Skunk #1 is the first parent of all the later Skunk crossed strains. Some consumers have reported increased appetite with Skunk #1, so be sure to pack only healthy snacks before you head out for your next hike or ride.
Tropicana Banana was first cultivated by crossing Tropicanna and Banana Kush, resulting in a Sativa-dominant hybrid with a sweet, fruity flavor. Another pinene-dominant strain, many Tropicana Banana users report feeling energized with an elevated mood. It also reportedly helps with focus and concentration, making it easier to stay in the zone during your next workout
Be sure to drink plenty of water if you plan on exercising after a bowl or pre-roll ofTropicana Banana, as the strain is known for causing dry mouth.
Tips If You Get the Munchies
While many of these strains are known for reducing hunger and increasing energy levels, your experience may differ. So what can you do if you get the munchies when you’re trying to eat less?
First, remember to drink plenty of water. This, in itself, can help suppress your appetite. If your cravings won’t go away with water and activity, it’s better to eat something like fruits instead of candies. The natural sugars are much healthier than the processed variety, helping satisfy your sweet tooth while leaving you fuller, faster.
And if you keep your kitchen stocked with plenty of healthy snacks, like carrots, celery sticks, and dried mango slices (which can reportedly help enhance the effects of THC), you can enjoy the occasional bout of the munchies without derailing your diet.
The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.