Studies show that when people consume marijuana then they are likely to consume more snacks that could consist of junk food. In recent years marijuana laws have changed in the US and this is having both positive and negative effect on the general population so scientists are trying to identify the changes that are occurring due to this. Authors of a recent study tried to investigate a theory that cannabis induces people to try out high fat and salty/sugary snacks and junk food. Though a few theories based on neurosciences were developed around this phenomenon they were too casual to be considered seriously.
However one study that produced evidence about effects of marijuana stated that medical marijuana enforcement has led to reduction in body weight. In recent years two economists decided to study the theory that consumption of medical marijuana led people to consume more harmful snacks or “munchies”. Findings of the study that were published in Social Science Research Network detail the direct impact of cannabis use and spillover effect of its consumption. The study was carried out by Asst. Prof Michele Baggio of Connecticut University and Prof Alberto Chong of Georgia University.
The researchers studied effect of recreational marijuana laws (RML) on consumption of certain food items and examined retail data of 2000 odd counties across US located across 48 states between 2006 and 2016. The data was collected from retail outlets like groceries, convenience, mass distribution outlets and drug stores. As laws related to marijuana came into effect at varied periods it gave the researchers opportunity to access impact of that on food sales both in legalized states and in neighboring regions. They focused on purchase of products like cookies, chips and ice-creams in RML regions and non-RML states both before the law came into effect and afterwards. As per their expectations there was a spike in sales of high calorie foods after RML came into effect.