How Marijuana Smoking Leads To The Risks Of Weight Gain


The effect of marijuana smoking on weight gain has been an issue for a very long time. It is not very clear how marijuana adds to the risk of weight gain. However, research has shown for sure that marijuana smoking leads to weight gain. Nevertheless, it also shows that this is also affected by a list of factors. This article will look at the various factors that lead to weight gain differently on people that use marijuana.

Controlling Appetite

Marijuana is believed to have an effect on the appetite. It increases appetite and that leads to increased food intake. Evidently, this will result to increased calorie intake. The more calories present in the body will mean a gain in weight. However, the level by which marijuana influences appetite differs for individuals. This is controlled by the level of use of marijuana and sex. It is also affected by other factors like cigarette smoking. All these factors will influence differently the way the body gains weight because of marijuana.  

Metabolic Regulators

Another factor that raises that question ‘does marijuana really cause weight gain?’ is the issue of metabolic regulators. Research shows that marijuana and cigarette smoking increase the level of some metabolic regulators. This leads to increased metabolism. Evidently, it means that a lot of stored fats will be broken down for use in the body. This will lead to the creation of lean muscles. Consequently, this leads to weight loss metabolism or reduced weight gain because of the low accumulation of fats. However, this is believed to affect people in different ways and depending on the factors like sex and the level of use that we have listed here above. Lifestyle fitness points to these as the major factors that dictate how much marijuana may have an effect on the weight gain.  

Gender level

Marijuana use has varied effects on both men and women and has different weight risks. When it comes to appetite control, it will affect men and women differently. Marijuana use will boost food appetite in men more than in women. Most men will, therefore, feel pangs of hunger more than women when they use marijuana. This means that weight gain in men is more influenced by marijuana use more than in women. Note here that it does not mean that women will be free of the risks of weight gain because of marijuana. They will be affected, only that the effects are slightly reduced as compared to that of men. In addition, men are masculine and will need more food so as to build the muscles. Therefore, the increased appetite may not necessarily result in weight gain. Weight gain results from the excess foods that are stored in the body as fats. Unfortunately, ladies may gain weight faster because they tend to store more fats. Metabolism level is lower in women than in men.  

Level of Use

  • Medicinal Use

Marijuana can also be used for medicinal purposes. In this case, it is controlled. For instance, marijuana is used for cancer patients to reduce the pain associated with chemotherapy. It is also advised for patients with reduced appetite. Physicians will make sure that the use of marijuana is controlled. This way, marijuana use may not have adverse effects on weight. These patients will be withdrawn from marijuana once their conditions get better. However, patients in this stage should be advised on the best diet plans to avoid the risks of weight gain. Here are some pros and cons of using medical marijuana.

  • Prolonged use and Abuse of Marijuana

Prolonged use and abuse of marijuana leads to increased food appetite. This will increase food intake and in return lead to weight gain. This is because increased food intake results in more calories in the body. Psychological issues that are associated with marijuana use may also lead to stress eating. This poses a great problem of calorie intake that may lead to weight gain rapidly.

Concomitant Cigarette Smoking

Use of marijuana with other drugs may also affect the body differently. Many marijuana users are also believed to be cigarette smokers. As a result, this will lead to a more rapid weight gain in both cigarette and marijuana smokers. This is because cigarettes cause an increased appetite. However, this will differ depending on sex. For men, smoking both marijuana and cigarettes increase appetite and leads to increased weight gain. However, in women, it will not have any effect. Women that do not smoke will not have better chances than those that smoke cigarettes.



Apart from weight gain, marijuana has many other risks. These risks may lead to other health issues that may, in turn, increase weight gain. Regular exercising and proper diet control are a perfect way to prevent risks of weight gain. Importantly, marijuana should be used in a controlled manner to avoid these health risks.



Churchill Otieno
Churchill Otieno, holds a degree in Communications and Public Relations. He is an accomplished independent researcher, experienced, professional writer based in Chicago, IL past Mombasa, Kenya. He is an author and publisher for Consumer Health Digest - Joint Pain Center category since 2013. He has an additional credentials in health and lifestyle fitness. He has been writing articles on health for more than two years with interest on bone, joint health, arthritis, osteoarthritis etc. He is also a contributor to and many other popular websites. His mission is to educate, empower and advocate people whose lives have changed due to arthritis joint pain. He also strive to support the families and caregivers as they learn how to advocate and care for the afflicted person.