The cannabis plant contains hundreds of chemicals and compounds. Some, like THC and CBD, are well-known and used for both recreation and medicine. But the plant also contains highly nutritional seeds — and some just might be a new way to combat obesity. In a recent study published in the Asian Journal of Clinical and Pharmaceutical Research, researchers tested mice to find out whether cannabis sativa seed flour could be used as an anti-obesity agent.
Cannabis sativa generally contains higher levels of THC when compared to other strains like cannabis indica. The flour used in the study comes from the Khlalfa region in northern Morocco. Moroccans are eating more foods with simple sugars and lipids, taking in less dietary fiber, and doing less physical activity, according to the researchers.
For eight weeks, the researchers — who come from numerous organizations, such as Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University and the Institute for Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials — looked at how cannabis sativa seed flour affected the mice. They were divided into four groups: one group on a normal diet, another on a hypercaloric diet, and the other two on a high-caloric diet for the first three weeks before being treated with seed flour for the rest of the study. Each day, researchers observed the external appearance, shape, color, hair distribution and physical activity of the mice.
The researchers advocate for using natural alternatives to treat obesity — like cannabis sativa seed flourGabrielle Lewis
The results showed food intake for mice treated with the cannabis sativa seed flour significantly dropped compared to food intake for the mice on the hypercaloric diet. The mice in the seed flour groups lost weight.
“Our preliminary finding suggests that CSSF have a potential to reduce obesity through different biochemical and body parameters as compared to obese group,” the researchers wrote, noting that more studies are essential. “This result may be attributed to the appetite suppression practiced by our ingredient. Hence, to know exactly its mode of action in reducing obesity, more research could be carried in the future.”
Obesity is a major public health problem in many countries, including Arabic-speaking ones. Not only is it associated with higher all-cause mortality, but current anti-obesity chemical drugs can have side effects, such as insomnia, constipation, and dizziness. The researchers also wrote these drugs can have even more serious consequences such as heart attacks, strokes, and severe liver injury.
The researchers advocate for using natural alternatives to treat obesity — like cannabis sativa seed flour — because those alternatives don’t have the negative side effects some chemical drugs have and can also provide other benefits, such as anti-diabetic treatment.
“Faced with this problem [obesity], the natural alternatives are still the best because of their few or non-existent side effects. In this regard, we decided to work on the…effect of the Cannabis sativa seed flour after the extraction of the oily part,” according to the researchers. “The study on the Cannabis sativa seed flour in the treatment of this disease is the first.”