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Lifestyle, Research

The Top 8 Cannabis Strains For Weight Loss

Chane Leigh

by Chane Leigh

January 10, 2024 12:20 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 11 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho Medically reviewed by Dr. Abraham Benavides
The Top 8 Cannabis Strains For Weight Loss

I know what you’re thinking… how can a plant that is notorious for giving people the munchies also promote weight loss? Typical “stoner” stereotypes suggest that smoking marijuana will lead to binge eating and weight gain. Well, it’s a little complicated, but yes, it’s possible to lose weight while using marijuana. Medical marijuana is known to help ailments such as anorexia and help increase appetite in cancer patients, but now research shows it can be used to help lose weight. Below, we’ll review the best strains of cannabis for weight loss and introduce the cannabinoid responsible for appetite suppression—THCV.

  1. The 8 Best Cannabis Strains for Weight Loss
  2. THCV vs. THC: What is THCV?
  3. What Does Science Say About Marijuana and Obesity?
  4. Tips for Munchies and Weight Loss
  5. Can CBD Oil Reduce Food Cravings?


The 8 Best Cannabis Strains for Weight Loss

strains that promote weight loss

You can use cannabis for weight loss through the appetite suppressant cannabinoid THCV or through using the infamous munchies wisely to your advantage. Generally, Sativa strains have a higher concentration of THCV compared to indicas or hybrid blends. The following types of cannabis are either high in THCV or are powerful sativa strains, energizing you to get up and go. 

Tangie (Skunk lineage) 

Tangie is a cross between California Orange and Skunk-1. The resulting blend is a cheery sativa that induces bursts of energy – without causing intense munchies cravings. 

Girl Scout Cookies (Durban Poison lineage) 

Girl Scout Cookies (or GSC) is cross-bred from two iconic strains Durban Poison and OG Kush. GSC makes the list for its naturally high THCV and humulene content, cannabis compounds known for curbing appetite. 

Durban Poison

Durban Poison stands out as a rare pure Sativa strain, distinguished by elevated levels of THCV and terpenes. Known as the “espresso of cannabis,” users often note heightened creativity and intermittent bursts of energy after consuming this strain. 

Jack the Ripper 

This strain is named after a famous 19th-century murderer for a reason – the effects are killer. It’s relatively high in THC (up to 17%), which can motivate you to get up and get moving, even when other strains leave you sluggish. 

Dutch Treat

Dutch Treat, a fragrant strain with a sweet aroma, offers balanced effects that are both uplifting and relaxing. Users often report feelings of euphoria – as well as a powerful resistance to the munchies. 

Skunk #1

Skunk #1 is a well-known hybrid cannabis strain celebrated for its energizing, creativity-boosting, and stress-reducing effects. This strain is most often recognized for its iconic sour, skunky, and earthy aroma and flavor. While its energizing effects make it the perfect strain to use before your workout, some users note an increased appetite. To use Skunk #1 cannabis for weight loss, make sure to be mindful about the treats you’re reaching for when the munchies start. 

Doug’s Varin (bred for THCV content)

Doug’s Varin is sativa specifically cultivated for high THCV content, which can reach anywhere from 3-5%. However, this strain is extremely rare, so keep your eyes peeled at every dispensary to make sure you don’t miss out on its potent effects. 

Willie Nelson (bred for THCV content)

Named after American musician and one of the daddies of cannabis advocacy, Willie Nelson is another strain bred specifically for THCV content. While it has less than Doug’s Varin, its THCV percentage rests around 1%, making it one of the best strains to use for weight loss. Willie Nelson consumers report an energizing and euphoric head high without the pesky munchies. 

It is believed that consumers who use strains that share a lineage with the above strains will also benefit from THCV. If you have chosen to consume THCV strains simply for weight loss, try microdosing. For general information on cannabis strains for beginners, check out our article here

THCV vs. THC: What is THCV?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are two cannabinoids that play significant roles in our appetite and metabolism while under the influence of cannabis. THC stimulates your appetite and is responsible for the munchies, while THCV acts as an appetite suppressant. While THC is an intoxicating compound in marijuana, THCV can be consumed without the intoxicating effects commonly associated with psychoactive compounds (5). THCV antagonizes or decreases the activity of the CB1 receptor in relatively small doses while activating it at higher doses. Evidence suggests that cannabis users are less likely to be overweight or obese. Researchers hypothesize that decreasing CB1 receptor activation leads to healthier weight (2). 

If you are looking to use cannabis for weight loss, avoid high-THC Indica strains and Indica-dominant hybrids. Instead, THCV is the cannabinoid you’re looking for. A study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research examined the effect of THCV on appetite in rodents and found that the cannabinoid decreased appetite, increased satiety, and up-regulated energy metabolism (5). THCV has gained fame for its rarity and suggested health benefits.

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Another study published in Diabetes Care found that “compared with placebo, THCV significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose” (4). Decreasing fasting plasma glucose is significant for controlling type 2 diabetes in patients. The same study found that the cannabinoid was well tolerated; in other words, there were no significant adverse effects of consuming THCV. 

Researchers tested over 157 plants around the world for their THCV content for a study in the American Journal of Botany. They found that the highest THCV content is found in cannabis plants that originate from South Africa, India, Nepal, and parts of eastern Asia (6). The highest-testing flower for THCV at the 2014 High Time Times Seattle U.S Cannabis Cup was Durban Poison. It is important to remember that not all strains of marijuana contain THCV, so choosing the right one is important, especially if you only start consuming cannabis for weight loss and appetite suppression. 

What Does Science Say About Marijuana and Obesity?  

A 2013 study with over 4,000 participants showed that marijuana use was associated with smaller waist circumferences, and current marijuana users showed lower levels of fasting insulin. Elizabeth Penner, Hannah Buettner, and the team conducted the study titled “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin and Insulin Resistance Among US Adults.” They explained that “epidemiologic studies have found lower prevalence rates of obesity and diabetes mellitus in marijuana users when compared with people who have never used marijuana” (1). The team found that marijuana use was associated with smaller waists and lower levels of fasting insulin. Studies have also shown that marijuana users can have a lower BMI than non-users. This suggests that there is a connection between cannabinoids (THC, THCV, CBD, etc) and the peripheral metabolic process. 

In a separate study, Thomas Clark, Jessica Jones, and team found that cannabis can “reverse the impact of the modern American diet,” which is done by “reducing effects of an elevated ratio of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids on endocannabinoid (eCB) tone.” The authors go on to explain that dysregulation of eCB leads to the development of obesity and metabolic disorders. Modern American diets often lead to an overstimulation of the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid receptor, causing an imbalance in the body. Fortunately, the CB1 receptor is one of two receptors that cannabinoids bind to, which then encourages homeostasis and weight loss through the appetite suppression effects of THCV. The same study concluded by stating that cannabis consumers were associated with reduced obesity rates (2). 

Authors of The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids (published by the National Academy of Sciences) reviewed past studies and reported that research has shown that cannabis use “was associated with a lower BMI or a lower prevalence of obesity, or both” or was shown “to have no association with BMI or obesity” (3). Obesity has almost tripled in the last decade, and it is a dominant risk factor for developing diabetes (3). Since the cannabinoid called THC stimulates appetite and promotes adipogenesis (the production of body fat), it could promote weight gain, thus increasing the risks of developing diabetes. However, it is important to note that there is not enough research to say so for certain. Fortunately, THCV negates some of the effects of any present THC in the cannabis product(s) you are consuming. In other words, while THC may increase risk, though not significantly, THCV decreases risks associated with weight gain, such as diabetes, by suppressing appetite. 

While there are multiple other studies on cannabis and obesity, such as Marijuana and Body Weight (7) and Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results from 2 Representative National Surveys (8), The results of these studies yield similar results, which can be generally summarized as:

  • Cannabis use is associated with lower BMI.
  • Cannabis users, as a population, generally have smaller waistlines. 
  • THC stimulates appetite, while THCV suppresses appetite. 
  • Those at risk of obesity would benefit most from appetite suppression, while patients who are in need of weight gain would benefit best from appetite stimulation, such as cancer patients. 
  • More research is necessary to better understand its interactions. 
  • Cannabis consumers have lower fasting insulin levels and are at significantly reduced risk of diabetes. 
  • Cannabis consumers, especially chronic users, are notorious for increasing their food intake while gaining little weight in comparison to what they eat. 

In other words, using cannabis for weight loss may be more fruitful than it may seem. 

Tips for Munchies and Weight Loss

Does everyone get the munchies? The answer depends on the cannabinoids consumed, so technically, everyone can get munchies, but not all the time. For example, should you consume a strain such as Willie Nelson, which is specifically bred for its THCV content, you will not get the munchies; however, the same cannot be said for consuming a strain such as Pineapple Kush, which is notorious for inducing the munchies. 

Tamas Horvath, lead author of a study conducted by a team of researchers at Yale School of Medicine, explained that they “were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It [cannabis] fools the brain’s central feeding system” (9). 

For those who are unable to find and consume strains high in THCV for appetite suppression, here are some tips for how to use appetite-stimulating strains to your advantage for weight loss:

  • Trade sugary treats such as chocolate for healthier, more fibrous alternatives such as fruit and celery. 
  • Instead of bread, opt for whole-grain cereal or whole-grain snacks.
  • Exchange chips/crisps for popcorn, nuts, or seeds (without the salt and butter). 
  • Drink lots of water, but not more than one gallon daily.
  • Trade sodas/cold drinks for homemade unsweetened iced teas. 
  • Don’t buy junk food, so you won’t have any junk to eat when you have the munchies. 
  • Do not rush your snacking. Take your time and really enjoy what you’re tasting. This will help avoid over-eating. 
  • Educate yourself on healthier and yummy recipes. Eating healthy does not have to be boring or bland. 
  • Most importantly: PREPARE. Make healthy snacks and food before you consume cannabis. This gives you control over what you put in your body. 

If you are a frequent cannabis consumer and are looking to lose weight, then try to make a few changes to your choice of snacks and meals. Conventional advice suggests that one should eat less to lose weight, while many believe that the key to losing fat is to eat more of the right types of food and burn more. 

If you do not exercise and eat well for your body, smoking weed or consuming edibles that do not contain THCV will likely not lead to weight loss. Manipulating the munchies for your benefit may be more work, but it is worth it. When you eat more nutritious, fibrous, and quality foods, you’re more physically and emotionally satisfied than when you spend your energy on restricting yourself.

Can CBD Oil Reduce Food Cravings? 

We all know that cannabidiol (CBD) is widely used and researched for its medicinal properties. It makes sense to assume that this cannabinoid would also be involved in the process of weight loss. While there is a need for more research in this area, a systematic review of 11 clinical trials found repeated evidence that CBD reduces appetite. Other research suggests CBD has no effect on appetite or metabolism at all, and there is little to no evidence that CBD enhances appetite like THC.

The Final Verdict 

Like all weight loss strategies, frequent exercise is key to weight loss, although your eating habits will determine whether you succeed or fail in your quest. To benefit from THCV’s appetite suppressant or THC’s munchies, you can consume them as usual (inhalation, edibles, or whatever your personal preference is).  Besides weight loss, cannabinoids may have many benefits to your health, which come as a package when consuming them. Take charge of your health and weight, stay lifted, and happy strain hunting.

Note: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe treatment based on the information provided. Always consult a physician before making any decision on the treatment of a medical condition.

1. Penner, E. A., Buettner, H., & Mittleman, M. A. (2013). The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. The American Journal of Medicine, 126(7), 583-589.

2. Clark, T. M., Jones, J. M., Hall, A. G., Tabne, S. A., & Kmiet, R. L. (2018, December 27). Reduced Body Mass Index and Obesity Rates in Cannabis Users. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

3. (2017, January 12). The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. The National Academies of Sciences.

4. Jadoon, K. A., Ratcliffe, S. H., Barrett, D. A., Thomas, E., Stott, C., Bell, J. D., Tan, G. D. (2016). Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Cares, 39(10), 1777-1786.

5. Abioye, A., Ayodele, O., Marinkovic, A., Patidar, R., Akinwekomi, A., & Sanyaolu, A. (2020). Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV): A commentary on potential therapeutic benefit for the management of obesity and diabetes. Journal of Cannabis Research.

6. Hillig, K. W., & Mahlberg, P. G. (2004). A chemotaxonomic analysis of cannabinoid variation in Cannabis (Cannabaceae). American Journal of Botany, 966-975.

7. Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2014). Marijuana and Body Weight. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 11(7-8), 50-54.

8. Strat, Y. L., & Foll, B. L. (2011). Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results From 2 Representative National Surveys. American Journal of Epidemiology, 174(8), 929-933.

9. Peart, K. N. (2015, February 18). Mulling the marijuana munchies: How the brain flips the hunger switch. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from

10. Gannon, M., Nuttall, F., Lane, J., Fang, S., Gupta, V., & Sandhofer, C. (1996). Effect of 24 hours of starvation on plasma glucose and insulin concentrations in subjects with untreated non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Metabolism, 45(4), 492-497.

Post Your Comments

Jenn says:

October 22, 2019 at 3:08 pm

GREAT article!! Very interesting.

Christine says:

February 6, 2021 at 3:23 pm

Are there any edibles that contain THCV ? I have COPD and thought maybe an edible or oil would be better ?

Chane Leigh says:

March 15, 2021 at 4:55 am

Good day Christine,

Strans with THCV include: Durban Poison, Doug’s Varin, Girl Scout Cookies. You can find out more by reading this article.

I think that edibles and oils wil both be beneficial for you COPD. Just remember to start small with the edibles to avoid comsuming a potency which is too high, which will result in undesired effects.

Brad says:

October 22, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Is the cannabis that promotes weight loss available in edibles?

Lauren says:

October 23, 2019 at 3:55 pm

Great question! There are THCV enriched edible products available in regulated markets. But they usually come in the form of sublingual tablets.

Casey says:

January 2, 2020 at 10:06 pm

Does the type that helps with weight loss also help with PTSD/anxiety?

Chane Leigh says:

November 3, 2020 at 2:45 am

Hi Casey 🙂

People with PTSD sometimes experience a lack of appetite, so a strain suppressing appetite may not be the best. Please feel free to check out our article on cannabis for PTSD.

Heather says:

February 7, 2021 at 6:41 am

Yeasss unless it’s making you want to eat your feelings….

Tera says:

February 28, 2020 at 6:04 pm

Is there a weight loss strain THCV available in a vape?

Lauren says:

March 3, 2020 at 4:28 pm

You would need to consult with a dispensary as far as vape product availability. But ‘Durban Poison’ and ‘Jack the Ripper’ are popular strains that have high THCV content.

James says:

August 15, 2021 at 1:33 pm

Definitely i saw the edibles here that can help you with that

Joe says:

April 27, 2020 at 11:09 am

I never knew of this study for weight loss. 2011 I was fit at 6’6″ 285lbs. I had a surgical procedure that put me in a bed for 5 months even learned to walk again but also the got me very heavy at about 400+lbs. After healed up I wanted to loose my gained weight. I tried all the gizmos and gadgets to loose weight and seriously nothing was working. I then got a MMC Oregon for treating my addiction to prescribed painkillers (opioids). A great thing about most of the weed I consumed was Girl Scout Cookies GSC. I got the best munchies every and thought if I’m getting hungry from just smoking then how about just not eating anything or at least something small for the time I have (The Munchies). I wasn’t starving myself I just didn’t eat while that affect munchies taking over. 2020 6’6″ 280lbs did the weed help loose weight I think so. PS… I’ve been about 275-300lbs. since 2014

Monique says:

April 30, 2020 at 12:08 am

I really liked this, thank you . ✌🏼💕

Jessica James says:

May 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm

I never studied the strains in detail. I think my weight is not reducing even with cannabis. And now, reading this article, I came to know I had been using irrelevant strains. I think my weight is stubborn and constant. Moreover, I have fear. Many articles are saying THC is causing lung injury. That THC contains vitamin E acetate, which is injurious to health. What do you suggest? And one more question, are these weightloss cannabis available in edible form? I have never used anything in combination with cannabis except chocolates. I feel like edible cannabis is not that soothing as smoking cannabis. I really need some good edible cannabis recipes to lose weight or some blends or shakes, which could help in weight reduction. Though it’s very tough to leave my sugary treats and jump to a diet plan, all of a sudden, I’m going to try these tips seriously. Thanks.

Chane Leigh says:

November 3, 2020 at 2:50 am

Hi Jessica,

Thank you for reaching out. The debate on whether cannabis is causing damage to lungs has been ongoing for some time now. Some suggest that it is harmful, while other suggest that cannabis actually improves air up-take in the lungs. Again, we can’t give a definite response because of the lack of research. But I may suggest that some of the studies suggesting cannabis is harmful have been conducted using synthetic cannabinoids, which do not accurately represent the botanical ones. Most strains can be either found or put into edibls. We have some recipes for you to make your own cannabis coconut oil, which is easy to add to food. I hope this helps.

Corina says:

May 20, 2020 at 3:33 am

Can you fine the cannabis that promotes weight loss in capsule form for purchase at local dispensary shop.

DOLORES Forbes says:

October 8, 2020 at 9:22 am

Me too… I have asthma so I also need edibles… unfortunately…. everyone I have tried give me incredible munchies… and I had weight loss surgery… lost over 100 pounds… and now with the pain I have everywhere… I have gained 20 back…

Chane Leigh says:

November 3, 2020 at 2:51 am

Hi Corina and Dolores,

Most cannabis strains can be either be found or made into a form better for ingestion. Have a look at our recipe for coconut cannabis oil, which can easily be added to food and drink.

Ashley says:

July 4, 2020 at 2:28 am

I was discussing this very subject with a friend the other day. Thanks for the information!
I will say one thing about alternative snack choices you posted.
Popcorn is what is considered a slider food. It slides through your stomach fast and doesn’t sustain energy, or surpress hunger. It will not fill the need. You’ll keep eating.

DOLORES Forbes says:

October 8, 2020 at 9:17 am

Thank you so much I have been looking for something that can help me lose weight and also help with my extreme pain. This post gives me a lot of wonderful information that I have had so much trouble finding.
Also is there a place I can buy these plants to grow myself in Canada.
Thank you Again

Lauren says:

October 8, 2020 at 9:19 am

Hi Dolores, we are so happy you found this to be so helpful! A local dispensary should be able to point you in the right direction for locating seeds and plants.

DOLORES Forbes says:

October 8, 2020 at 9:23 am

Thank you so much

Jeffery Chandler says:

October 9, 2020 at 10:10 am

Where can I get deals

Linda Babashoff says:

December 30, 2020 at 11:42 am

Look in weed maps for daily deals in your area. Once u visit a dispensary they usually get ur info along with ph# and u will also get texts from any & all visited dispensaries

Jane says:

January 12, 2021 at 7:34 am

What cbd seeds should I buy to plant for private use for weight lost and anxiety?

Laura says:

February 10, 2021 at 12:29 am

Hello. What strain would help me with muscle weakness. I have MS, Fibromyalgia, anxiety & depression. Thank you, I appreciate your help.

Chane Leigh says:

September 9, 2021 at 5:28 pm

Hi Laura,

We have an article coming out soon which will be most helpful for you. In the meantime check out this article on fibromyalgia.

Laurie Walski says:

May 13, 2021 at 9:57 am

How can you purchase THCV if you do not have a medical card. I live in ND.

Angela jackson says:

July 8, 2021 at 10:17 am

What are some sativa brands that are appetite suppressants

James Ed says:

August 20, 2021 at 7:07 am

The experience is good i have recover from mine too, i lost alot of weight.

Tori says:

August 30, 2021 at 5:31 pm

This article was great and got me looking into how to microdose for weight loss. I’m in Los Angeles so the definitely not a shortage. The problem I’ve found is that the only strain available is Durban Poison. However, I was told that you can’t get tinctures, only can smoke or vape bc the tinctures are generic like Setiva and not actual strains. They said they are unaware of any strains that do this (Idk if they’re brands or how it works but the brand names only come in smokeable forms). So, you’d have to microdose by smoking. I do not do drugs and am only looking at doing this for the appetite suppressant, so not sure how to use this article to microdose and regulate it perfectly to not get high. Appreciate more explanation on how this can be accomplished. Thank you.

Chane Leigh says:

September 9, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Hi Tori,
The strains include Tangie, Jack The Ripper, Skunk #1, Willie Nelson, etc. You can puchase the flower and consider making a coconut oil to aid to edibles. It can be hard to locate these strains but there are some applications you can use to search your area for specific strains or products, especially if its legal in your area.

Megan Davies says:

September 9, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Yes! People like this exist. I smoke and I’ve been a smoker for years. Most of the time I am surrounded by people who do not smoke at all. Doesn’t amaze me. I have some close friends, we hangout together internationally and vacation parties but they both have never smoked weed and I am a regular smoker and this thing doesn’t affect our friendship at all. It’s not about something being legal or illegal. If a thing is facilitating you either way it is totally okay for the other person to use it. I started using it for my chronic pain and eventually ended up like this. Being a marijuana enthusiast I keep on researching for good material and here I came. Have a nice day

Sherry Wilkinson says:

December 3, 2022 at 10:05 am

Do you have any references where I can find these strains? None of the dispensaries in my area (PA) carry them.


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