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Obesity Specialist

Florida Compassionate Care Centers

Internal Medicine & Medical Marijuana Specialists located in Volusia County, Ormond Beach, FL

If you associate marijuana use with getting the “munchies,” you may be surprised to learn that medical marijuana helps women and men who are dealing with obesity shed pounds, control their blood sugar, and reduce the risk of complications like hypertension. That’s why Gail van Diepen, DO, and her team at Florida Compassionate Care Centers in Ormond Beach, Florida, offer medical marijuana as part of a weight loss and management program. If you need help reaching a healthy, stable weight, contact Florida Compassionate Care Centers by phone or using the online booking form.

Obesity Q & A

What is obesity?

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above. Obesity rates have tripled in the United States since the 1960s. If you’re not sure whether you’re obese, overweight, or at a healthy weight, your provider can calculate your BMI.        

Why is obesity a health risk?

While a positive body image may be good for self-esteem no matter how much you weigh, obesity is a serious medical condition that drastically raises your risk for:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Stroke
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Cancer

Being overweight or obese subjects your joints to extra pressure, which can cause or worsen osteoarthritis and back pain. Women, men, and kids who are obese are also more likely to become depressed or develop low self-esteem.

Why am I obese?

You may be prone to obesity based on your genetics. However, lifestyle and environmental factors also influence your weight and health. You’re more likely to be obese if you:

  • Eat processed foods
  • Eat a diet high in sugar
  • Eat a diet high in fats and trans fats
  • Don’t consume enough fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Don’t get enough exercise and physical activity
  • Don’t get enough sleep
  • Live a high-stress lifestyle

Many of these factors also cause inflammation in your body. Inflammation raises your risk of obesity and many other health conditions. 

How does medical marijuana help with obesity?

Even though smoking marijuana is associated with an overstimulated appetite, two of the chemicals in marijuana — THCV and cannabidiol — actually suppress your appetite. Studies have shown that medical marijuana:

  • Lowers BMI
  • Lowers insulin resistance
  • Lowers fasting insulin
  • Lowers body fat percentage

Medical marijuana also reduces the effects of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids in your body. Although you need some omega-6, an ideal ratio of omega-6 to healthier omega-3s is about 3:1.

However, the typical American processed diet has a ratio of closer to 20:1, which causes inflammation and raises your risk of obesity.

By taking medical marijuana and adding healthier omega-3s to your diet while eliminating processed food, you can create a healthier omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. That helps lower inflammation in your body so it can function better.

Medical marijuana also regulates blood sugar and lowers blood pressure. It helps to alleviate the anxiety that is associated with weight loss, so you can feel more relaxed and positive as you move toward a healthier weight. 

To find out if you’re a candidate for adding medical marijuana to a healthy weight loss program, contact Florida Compassionate Care Centers today by phone or using the online booking form.