Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 8;19(6):3174. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063174.
The Cannabis sativa plant has historically been used for both recreational and medical purposes. With the recent surge in recreational use of cannabis among adolescents and adults in particular, there is an increased obligation to determine the short- and long-term effects that consuming this plant may have on several aspects of the human psyche and body. The goal of this article was to examine the negative effects of obesity, and how the use of Δ9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD) can impact rates of this global pandemic at different timepoints of life. Conflicting studies have been reported between adult and adolescents, as there are reports of THC use leading to increased weight due to elevated appetite and consumption of food, while others observed a decrease in overall body weight due to the regulation of omega-6/omega-3 endocannabinoid precursors and a decrease in energy expenditure. Studies supported a positive correlation between prenatal cannabis use and obesity rates in the children as they matured. The data did not indicate a direct connection between prenatal THC levels in cannabis and obesity rates, but that this development may occur due to prenatal THC consumption leading to low birthweight, and subsequent obesity. There are few studies using animal models that directly measure the effects that prenatal THC administration on obesity risks among offspring. Thus, this is a critical area for future studies using a developmental framework to examine potential changes in risk across development.