Young men smoke from a vapor pipe and water pipe at the The Wonders of Cannabis Festival in San Francisco
Young men smoke from a vapor pipe (L) and a water pipe at the The Wonders of Cannabis Festival in San Francisco, California, October 27, 2007. The Wonders of Cannabis Festival is a fundraiser in support of Green Aid, a medical marijuana legal defense and education fund based in Oakland, California. Reuters

A new study suggests that smoking marijuana is not linked to being obese.

Researchers in France found that approximately 14 to 17 percent of people who said they smoked pot at least three days per week were obese, while people who said they had not used pot in the past year had a 22 to 25 percent obesity rate, Reuters reported.

Initially, we thought we made a mistake, lead researcher and psychiatrist at the Louis-Mourier Hospital in Colombes, France Yann Le Strat said, Reuters reported.

He said he and co-author Bernard Le Foll checked the results several times, Reuters reported.

This is only a preliminary result, Le Strat said, Reuters reported. It doesn't mean that marijuana does actually help you lose weight, but perhaps there is a component that does.

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The research data included two surveys conducted by the National Institutes of Health between 2001 and 2009, Reuters reported.

One of the surveys was the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions and the other was the National Comorbidity Survey- Replication, according to the journal abstract.

A blogger whose name comes up as plantgirl wrote about the study on the Web site

People that smoke marijuana really do tend to enjoy nature more, and really enjoy going out for walks and enjoying the outdoors, she wrote. I know I do.

Le Strat said that people should not start using marijuana with the objective of losing weight.

I see people living with marijuana dependence, Le Strat said, Reuters reported. I hope people don't interpret the results to mean that if they use marijuana, they'll lose weight.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, daily marijuana use increased among eighth, tenth and twelfth graders from 2009 to 2010.

The NIDA also noted on its Web site that in 2008, approximately 2.2 million Americans used marijuana for the first time. More than half of these users were under the age of 18.