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Friday, September 18, 2015

Why Pot Smokers Really Get Fat & Out of Shape

"...just a hit or two to relax me..."
A new study found young adult pot smokers had a 40 percent increased risk for pre-diabetes (but not Type 2 diabetes) as middle-age adults compared to those who didn’t use the drug. 

Researchers weren’t entirely sure why, but they surmised pot could have a bigger impact on blood sugar in the pre-diabetes rather than diabetes range. Just speculating, but munchie-induced, sugar-fueled midnight fridge raids might also contribute here.

Whatever the culprits, chalk up another reason why even recreational pot – marijuana, cannabis, whatever you want to call it – smoking becomes a bad idea, and not just in that OMG-afterschool-special-you’ll-eventually-become-a-heroin-addict way.

Ever wondered why pot got classified as a gateway drug?
One study provided several reasons why: Genetics and other pre-existing traits could encourage pot smokers to dabble in other drugs, plus pot-loving peer groups might have a favorable attitude towards harder drugs.

Lest I sound like a 1950s scare-documentary that warns about smoking an occasional joint (cue horror sound effects), science is on my side here.

The occasional toke probably isn’t going to turn you into a meth addict, but it could make you fat. One study found pot smokers consume 40 percent more calories, mostly from sugary crap. An earlier study also found pot smoking triggered between-meal sugar gorging.

Regular smokers also carry a gigantic toxic overload. Pot contains more toxins and 20 times more cancer-causing ammonia than cigarettes.

In fact, one study found pesticide residues in pot as high as 69.5 percent. Researchers concluded “the potential of pesticide and chemical residue exposures to cannabis users is substantial and may pose a significant toxicological threat.”

Legalized though it may be in certain states, we’re not entirely certain what other long-term effects pot can create, but they aren’t likely good.

Brain health certainly takes a hit (pun intended). One study found that among its many detrimental affects, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) attaches to cannabinoid receptors in your brain’s nerve cells, affecting how those cells function.

Most brain-related studies focus on pot’s mental and psychological effects. One detected some cognitive deficits at least seven days after heavy cannabis use, although they appeared reversible.

Your lungs also feel those consequences, and one study found young adult pot smokers increase their risk for lung cancer.

Plus, “functional tokers” aren’t exactly likely to hit the gym or do much exercise since smoking pot could hinder performance and recovery.

One study found an “increase in heart rate and blood pressure [as well as] decline of cardiac output and reduced psychomotor activity [in pot smokers that creates] a decrease in athletic performance.” Ever met a fit, lean toker? I didn’t think so.

Considering these and other drawbacks, you’re better off finding pleasure in non-drug recreational activities even if pot is now legal in your state.

Some favorites to unwind, lower your stress hormone cortisol, and boost your feel-good hormone serotonin that don’t wreak havoc on your health or waistline include:

1.  Walk your dog in the park
2. Have an amazing workout
3. Get a massage
5. Rent a stupid comedy with a friend and guilt-free munchies like kale chips and guac.
6. Have great sex (even with yourself!)
7. Eat some chocolate
8. Take yourself (and maybe a friend) to an amazing new restaurant
9. Spend an afternoon getting lost in a great (or trashy) novel

Am I being too hard on pot smokers? Do you think the occasional smoke might have therapeutic benefits? Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook page.

You have permission to do so, free of charge, as long as the byline and
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Fitness expert and strength coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!
© 2015 Jinifit, Inc.

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