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Recently an article was published touting the fact that a new study had shown that regular marijuana users had lower BMI (Body Mass Index) than people who did not use marijuana.  If that’s true, marijuana sounds like a great and effective diet, right?  Turns out that the article only told part of the story — the study in question was actually looking at correlations between cannabis use and bone mineral density (BMD), and BMI just happened to be one of the things that they measured when speaking with study participants.

While yes, heavy marijuana users did indeed have lower mean BMI than people who had never used the drug, the whole story wasn’t told in the article.  Heavy cannabis users were also heavier drinkers than people who had never consumed cannabis, in addition to being three times more likely to have smoked tobacco.  Heavy marijuana users were also significantly more likely to have used illegal drugs, about 53% compared to the 2% of non-marijuana users who had used illegal drugs.

Heavy cannabis users are also more likely to be younger, which, combined with the higher percentages of illegal drug and alcohol use, explains the fact that heavy cannabis users are more likely to have a lower BMI.

So, whats the take-away?  Studies, as well meaning as they might be, can be twisted to support a variety of different view points.  More research needs to be done with a larger population base in order to definitively pinpoint not only the benefits of regular marijuana use, but also the consequences.

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