You know that an ongoing punchline that stoners always have the munchies? Well, it’s not totally untrue. Research shows that smoking marijuana actually does affect the mechanisms that trigger hunger in our brain: receptors in our brain trigger the release of hormones that make us feel famished, causing us to gobble up everything in sight.
But even though there's a grain of truth to the flabby, Cheetos-munching stoner stereotype, that doesn't mean it's 100 percent legit. Some studies have shown that smoking pot doesn't lead to weight gain — in fact, it might actually help you lose weight.
It's important to note that cannabis is not a be-all, end-all prescription for weight loss: If you don’t exercise and have unhealthy eating habits, then smoking weed probably won't help you have a lower BMI. But according to a 2011 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology, even if cannabis consumption increases appetite, "people using cannabis are less likely to be obese than people who do not use cannabis." Other studies have also shown that many cannabis users have trimmer waistlines than non-users, as well as lower cholesterol levels. What’s more, these results have proven to be true regardless of sample size or factors like age and gender.