Marijuana and Metabolism: Understanding Their Relationship

By now, most of us are aware that the effects of using marijuana vary, and it is not the same from one person to another person. Same is true that there are hundreds of different kinds of cannabis strain which has unique characteristics. Marijuana is used for recreational and medical reasons. 

The topic of recent researchers has been centered on the relationship between marijuana and metabolism. Marijuana and non-marijuana smokers are curious…can marijuana consumption make metabolism faster? Can it get you skinny? 

Marijuana has been subjected to a lot of researches and studies that lead to the discovery of the many medical benefits that we can obtain from this weed. Yes, this weed is indeed used in the medical community, and with that, it has been legalized to several states and countries. 

To understand the relationship between marijuana and metabolism, it is best to get a clear definition of what marijuana is as well as what metabolism is.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is one of the most illicit and abused drugs in the world. It is a very diverse plant that contains hundreds of compounds that bring about its effects on the body. These plant components are called cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids that are found in a marijuana plant are the Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC and Cannabidiol or the CBD. There is a big difference between the two major components. The THC is responsible for the high that a consumer experiences in smoking cannabis while the CBD is responsible for the “therapeutic” benefits from the plant.

The use of marijuana has been around for a long period. It has been used during the ancient days as part of religious rituals. It has been used for smoking as well as infused on food and drinks of royalties. It has become popular over time. Marijuana is known by many names; it is called cannabis, dope, joint, herb, weed, pot, grass, Mary Jane, tobacco, skunk, chronic, and more.

Marijuana is once again gaining attention and increasing popularity because of its many medical benefits. Because of medical studies conducted on its medical benefits, marijuana is now an effective natural alternative to prescribed or over the counter drugs that can deal with pain-management, nausea, anxiety, and many more.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the process in which the body converts the food that we eat and liquid intake into energy. In this process, the calories in the food that we ate and in the beverages that we drink combine with oxygen and are released as energy which the body needs to be able to function.

The body needs energy all the time. Even if you are resting, the bodily system continues to function; thus, it needs the energy to do so.

A fast metabolism allows the body to release energy faster. A fast metabolism is usually correlated to being thin or fit. This is because the body processes the food and drinks that you drink into energy faster.

Understand the relationship between Marijuana and Metabolism

If you have been smoking or consuming marijuana, you might already have discussions if marijuana can make you skinny or if it makes metabolism faster. Well, some may say yes, based on their experience, but some would also say no, again based on their experiences as well.

Marijuana has been subjected to several types of research that could prove its relationship and how it affects the body’s metabolism. Marijuana can indeed reduce the rate of obesity and diabetes. A study conducted a decrease in the rate of diabetes and obesity among marijuana consumers compared to non- marijuana consumers.

An important study conducted by Murray Mittleman showed findings that marijuana users have better carbohydrate metabolism compared to non-users. His study subjected 4,00 people who were participating in the National Health Survey. It showed 48% had used marijuana at least once, while 12% are active users. The findings showed that active marijuana users have lower fasting insulin levels compared to nonusers. 

A medical study surveyed 786 adults in an Inuit community. Half of the population is said to be using marijuana, and they have been subjected to the study. The result showed that marijuana users have faster metabolism compared to non-users.

Another study conducted in 2013 has findings showing the low prevalence of obesity in marijuana users. Medical researchers from Quebec, Canada, found out that smoking marijuana lowers the BMI or body mass index, lowers the percentage of fat and insulin levels. 

The use of marijuana was associated with adipose tissue insulin and visceral adiposity resistance, but it not insulin sensitivity, glucose intolerance, impaired pancreatic function, and glucose intolerance. When cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) interact with the endocannabinoids, they work together in regulating appetite, insulin, energy balance insulin sensitivity, and lipid metabolism.

Thus, consuming cannabis can increase the body’s metabolism. It is also important to take note that the individual basal metabolism can be determined by several factors:

  • The size and composition of the body. Larger people have more muscles to burn compared to thinner ones. The more fats you have, the more calories you need to burn.
  • Gender. It is noted that men have fewer body fats compared to women if they are of the same age and weight. This means that women have to burn more calories than men.
  • Age. It is common knowledge that as you grow older, the muscles in the body tend to decrease, and the fat accounts are more than the weight; thus, it slows down burning the calories.


Smoking or consuming marijuana can fasten the rate of metabolism of the body. It’s true. But it doesn’t mean that it can make you skinny. There’s a big difference between the two. As a responsible marijuana consumer, it is important to take care of your health as well. The effect on the body’s metabolism is not a tailored fit for all. As mentioned, some factors determine the effects of marijuana on the body’s metabolic system.

Understanding the relationship between marijuana and metabolism is important, especially if you are a consumer who is conscious of the effects of using marijuana in the body.

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