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Study: Marijuana Consumers Less Likely To Suffer From Metabolic Syndrome

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director November 13, 2015

    cbd_trichomesCurrent consumers of cannabis are 50 percent less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome as compared to those who have never used the substance, according to findings published online ahead of print in The American Journal of Medicine. Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, which are linked to increased risk of heart disease and/or type 2 diabetes, among other serious health consequences.

    Investigators from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine analyzed the association between cannabis use and metabolic syndrome in a cohort of nearly 8,500 subjects aged 20 to 59 who participated in the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Researchers classified subjects as suffering from metabolic syndrome if they possessed more than three of the following symptoms: elevated fasting glucose levels, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, elevated systolic/diastolic blood pressure, and increased waist circumference.

    Among subjects with no history of cannabis use, 19.5 percent met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. By contrast, 17.5 percent of former users and only 13.8 percent of current users met the criteria.

    “Among emerging adults, current marijuana users were 54 percent less likely than never users to present with metabolic syndrome,” investigators reported. Specifically, mean fasting glucose levels were significantly lower among current marijuana users when compared to never users, while waist circumference was significantly lower among males who reported current marijuana use when compared to those with no cannabis use history.

    “These findings have important implications for the nation as marijuana use becomes more accepted and we simultaneously face multiple epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” authors concluded.

    The findings are consistent with those of previous observational studies showing an inverse relationship between cannabis use and diabetic markers, and support previous population data showing that those who use cannabis typically possess smaller waist circumference and lower body mass index than those who do not.

    An abstract of the study, “Metabolic Syndrome among Marijuana Users in the United States: An Analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data,” is online here.

    17 Responses to “Study: Marijuana Consumers Less Likely To Suffer From Metabolic Syndrome”

    1. lockedoutofmyshed says:

      yea, I can vouch for that . of the last six, almost seven years my employer has been hair testing, the last three years I have been fighting the numbers of all these subjects. many changes in my demeanor as well. I have used cannabis as a medicine for emotional balance and well being. im a wreck six years later…..

    2. Matthew says:

      We have to make sure that the bad guys, our adversaries, get this information…! Please, help this cause!

    3. Linda Keller says:

      So – marijuana is good as preventive medicine also.

      I also developed high blood pressure shortly after curtailing marijuana use due to the desire to avoid the drug dealers who often fail to keep a business-like relationship with their clients and want more, as if they’re running their own personal dating service.

      I also note that one of NORML’s articles states that marijuana use also helps prevent lung damage from tobacco use.

    4. Miles says:

      According to my Doctor I am in excellent health at age 60. This, in spite of having used cannabis since age 15! I am not exaggerating to say that I am in as good (or better) shape than the average 30 year old American.

      Wouldn’t it be great if American leaders would stop this idiotic war against cannabis users so that we could start focusing on real problems; like perhaps ISIS – you know, I’m talking about real threats and real problems!

      But no, at this point in time there are very very few Republican leaders who want to give up their cherished contributions from rich people who are getting richer still from continuing to persecute cannabis users… as of 20151114. How much longer must we endure this extreme stupidity and get on with making the world a better place?

    5. Galileo Galilei says:

      “These findings have important implications for the nation as marijuana use becomes more accepted and we simultaneously face multiple epidemics of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” authors concluded.

      The findings are consistent with those of previous observational studies showing an inverse relationship between cannabis use and diabetic markers, and support previous population data showing that those who use cannabis typically possess smaller waist circumference and lower body mass index than those who do not.”

      This beautiful poetry to behold.

    6. Lisa vanwormer says:

      I’m at risk for Obesity and diabetes this seems to help physically and Mentally I also have depression and anxiety I hope in change progress

    7. Raven says:

      Hey, Rosenburg. Here’s another joke for you.
      LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

    8. Ohio I am says:

      HA HA you White House
      Charade you are
      Corporate Greed must be stamped out
      Educate all those around you of the Nazi crimes still going on yet today.

    9. Julian says:

      Anyone who has consumed marijuana had to at least suspect this research, but to see it in a peer-based review is absolutely stunning.

      Im sitting here at a nice restaurant with my wife while she’s on the phone with her mother trying to figure out which foods are safe to eat with her ongoing gastritis and thyroid problems. She refuses to have anything to do with marijuana, and being that she was raised in Mexico I dont blame her.

      But meanwhile Im dipping chips in the queso, guacamole and ordering chicken wings or whatever I want wondering, how in the hell have I stayed healthy all these years? Then I read this and I wonder what kind of medical problems will I never know about because I consume cannabis?

      @Raven: LOL!

    10. YearofAction says:

      What if, as Ancient Cannabis Theorists suggest, cannabis has always had medical value? And, if so, wouldn’t it be reasonable to have a definition which distinguishes marijuana from cannabis? Perhaps an answer can be found in an obscure location within the existing definition of “marihuana”.

      What if that distinction could be made with minimal effort to have a simple format which is understandable to children, as well as legislators? What if that that distinction could reside in a definition which conforms to the Necessary and Proper clause? Wouldn’t such a definition have a better likelihood of success in terms of popular and lawful compliance? What would such a definition look like?

      16. The term “marijuana” means all parts of the smoke produced by the combustion of the plant Cannabis sativa L.

      Once cannabis is descheduled, then the arguments for rescheduling marijuana will have more legitimacy. This year is a good time to call for this simple definition.

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