For a long time stereotypes of the kinds of people who use cannabis have persisted. However, as cannabis use becomes increasingly common and legal, these stereotypes are being questioned.
As a result of this cultural change, there has been a call for an increase in research to evaluate the health consequences of cannabis use and other behaviors associated with consumption of cannabis, including diet.
It is important that we learn more about the changes in dietary habits that accompany cannabis use and their beneficial or detrimental effect in the development of chronic diseases later in life.
Use of psychoactive drugs, including cannabis, has been reported in the past to affect food and beverage consumption, and body weight. So, scientists today want to understand how cannabis use is impacting on these behaviors and the consequences they lead to, if any.
This information can inform legislation and production of cannabis and cannabis-based products to ensure that legal cannabis use has only beneficial effects on both individuals and society in general.
Mendelson studied chronic cannabis users in a laboratory setting and found that the participants increased caloric intake and gained weight during periods of active cannabis use.
After administering cannabis to 12 healthy volunteers, Hollister found total food intake, and reports of hunger and appetite, to increase.
In this survey, cannabis users had higher intakes of energy and nutrients than non-cannabis users. They also did not appear to have a poor nutritional status using indicators of body mass index, serum nutrients, serum albumin, haematocrit and haemoglobin.
While the results of this survey appear to be very conclusive, they do contradict other studies which have produced different results. This is why further research of a much larger scale is needed in order to paint a clearer picture of the dietary impacts of cannabis use.
Here is the full scientific article if you wish to download it.