The Effects of Smoking Marijuana on Dietary Health
In this study, information from 1,000 participants between the ages of 18-30 was taken in order to determine whether the amount of marijuana smoked was directly correlated to an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI) and caloric intake. These 1,000 participants were then divided into six categories based upon the average amount of the drug they used each week. Their average weekly caloric intake as well as BMI was also determined. From the following results, this study demonstrates how increased use of marijuana smoked each week does in fact have an impact on an individual’s weekly caloric intake as well as BMI.
Marijuana, also referred to as pot, weed, or Mary Jane, is the most commonly used drug in America. Many people smoke the drug through hand rolled cigarettes or “joints” as well as through water pipes also known as “bongs”. In Colorado, medical marijuana became legal in 2000 at which time 25% of college students ages 18 to 30 claimed to have used the drug. By 2013, after Amendment 64 was passed year prior legalizing marijuana in Colorado, the number of college students using almost doubled to 46%. While many believe there is no harm in smoking marijuana, it has been observed that using this drug often increases hunger, or “the munchies.” Because marijuana causes a hunger increase, one could assume that these users consume more calories than an individual who does not smoke marijuana. This effect could therefore cause an individual’s BMI, to raise leading to increased weight and ultimately serious issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
In order to measure the effect that marijuana has on eating habits, 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 30 were studied. All participants in the study were surveyed using a closed-format questionnaire, in a semi-anonymous fashion to encourage honesty. In this questionnaire, participants in the study were asked to answer two questions: First, participants were asked how much marijuana they smoked on a weekly basis. The six options for which a study participant could respond were (a) 0-5 grams/week, (b) 6-10 grams/week, (c) 11-15 grams/week, (d) 16-20 grams/week, (e) 21-25 grams/week, (f) 26-30 grams/week. Participants then recorded their weekly caloric intake. After gathering all of this data, we took the mean caloric intake of each smoking sub group. After the survey had been taken, all participants were weighed and had their height measured. From these measurements the participants’ Body Mass Index (BMI) was calculated. Each survey had a reference number for which the calculated BMI could be matched, ensuring semi-anonymity while still guaranteeing that each participants’ BMI could be compared to their survey to properly collect data.
The following results were observed after comparing the amount of Marijuana smoked on average per week to weekly caloric intake as well as average BMI. Table 1 represents the data that were collected during the experiment, and figure 2 shows a graphical side-by-side comparison of both variables.
|Amount smoked (g) /Week||Caloric Intake/Week||Amount smoked (g) /Week||BMI|
The people that smoked 0-5g per week averaged 14,000 calories consumed per week, which is right on target with the daily recommended amount of 2,000 calories consumed per day. These same people had a very healthy average BMI of 19, which again falls into the healthy range. It should be noted that as the amount of marijuana smoked per week increases, so do calories consumed and BMI. People that smoked 26-30g per week consumed a staggering 30,000 calories per week which is 2.1x the daily amount of calories per day, and fell into the overweight category with an average BMI of 28.
Figure 2 shows a graphical representation of the data that were collected. Both calories consumed and BMI had a direct positive correlation with amount of marijuana smoked. As people smoke more marijuana, the average calories consumed increases and so does the average BMI.
Analysis and Conclusions
After gathering the data and completing the experiment, it can safely be assumed that smoking marijuana has a positive correlation with an average person’s Caloric Intake and Body Mass Index. It has been said that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to overdose on marijuana, but this rumor does not take the indirect effects into account. The more marijuana someone smokes is directly proportional to the amount of unhealthy food they eat. If people proceed to continue eating a large amount of unhealthy food, high cholesterol and other consequences put their lives at risk. Our test subjects’ Body Mass Index shows just how dangerous it is to smoke an increasing amount of marijuana on a typical week.Unfortunately, our test subject who smoked the most marijuana on average ended up passing away due to a rare health defect called “Explosion of the Heart.” Although his loss is tragic, his sacrifice for our experiment won’t be forgotten. This “Explosion of the Heart” defect was a direct result of our rigorous testing, and is proof of how dangerous the process of smoking marijuana and over-eating really is. From our experiment, it can be proven that, although, the act of smoking marijuana may not kill someone, the effects of over-eating can. This study has shed light on the dangers of over-eating while under the influence of marijuana and will hopefully save the lives of millions of people in this world.
(The data in this Blog post is fictitious, but it is still bad to over-eat. Don’t let Explosion of the Heart get you too.)