Cannabis may one day help lose weight

IMG_1438In America more than 30 percent of adults are considered overweight; likewise, the prevalence of obesity in America also tops one third. Obesity is any adult with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Obesity is associated with multiple comorbidities significantly contributing to disease and early death.

Similar to the endocrine system; the endocannabinoid system is known to help regulate much of the body’s functions. The endocannabinoid system consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors spread throughout the body. Scientists discovered that using antagonist drugs on CB1 receptors would be a promising intervention for reducing the weight of obese people. However, early human trials of an antagonist drug under the name “Rimonabant” produced unfavorable mental side effects and was later discontinued.

In light of new hope, recent studies found CB2 antagonists also reduce weight but did not come with the same adverse side-effects as CB1 antagonist stimulation.  Delta9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), one of many cannabinoids in cannabis, is known to have an antagonist effect on CB2 receptors. THCV shows promise that one day it may help people control weight and save countless lives.


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