A study out of Quebec, Canada, has shown that the Inuit people of Nunavik have a reduced rate of Type 2 Diabetes and lower body mass if they use marijuana.
Doctor Michael Lucas, an epidemiologist at CHU de Quebec Research Center, does not recommend marijuana use, but could not deny the positive benefits of his study.
“People who smoked marijuana had lower [body mass index], lower amounts of fat on their bodies, and two-times lower risk of being obese,” said Lucas.
His study, called “Cannabis use in relation to obesity and insulin resistance in the Inuit population,” focused on 786 adults from Nunavik. Three out of five (60%) of those studied reported using marijuana.
Lucas noted that hunger, and insecurity over a steady food supply could affect his findings.
“When you suffer from hunger, you could try to use these substances to stop thinking about food.”
He found that marijuana users had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI). Those with a lower BMI are less resistant to insulin, leading to a diminished risk for diabetes.
Kim MacNearney is an activist from Yellowknife, in central Canada. Unlike Lucas, MacNearney advocates for marijuana use. “On a cellular level, our bodies have a whole bunch of receptors that are designed to receive cannabinoids. So it didn’t surprise me at all that it would impact our metabolisms and insulin intake,” she said.
Many pro-cannabis advocates claim Marijuana should be available to Northern Inuits because it may help reduce alcohol abuse, and serve as medication to those in a region where medical care is scare, and often inaccessible.
MacNearney and others point to studies that have shown great potential for medicinal applications for marijuana. Several international studies have made tremendous strides in research.
Similar research in the USA has been stymied due to federal regulations prohibiting the possession of cannabis products.
With his findings at odds with his personal beliefs, Dr. Lucas stated, “If you look at the literature, it seems clear that the adverse effects of marijuana outweigh the benefits.”
Others, like MacNearney, are excited to see the results.
The possibility that BMI could be lowered by cannabinoids will need to be researched carefully, but it may not be too much of a stretch to say you could see marijuana weight-loss products in the future. Studies such as this one are produced everyday according to MacNearney.
What will scientists find next? It seems the practical applications of marijuana may far exceed any expectations previously held.