Cannabidiol, better known by the acronym CBD, is a broadly popular substance derived from the cannabis plant. Although it is commonly produced as an oil-based extract, CBD is also being incorporated in lozenges, sprays, topical creams, and other forms. CBD has been found to have a number of benefits, including reduced anxiety, natural pain relief, and improved heart and brain health. Unfortunately, there is little known about the effects of CBD on weight loss.
In this article we’re going to explore the current research on how CBD may affect your weight.
First, What is CBD?
CBD is one of over 100 compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in cannabis. It’s the second most abundant cannabinoid — after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and composes up to 40% of the plant’s extract. CBD, unlike THC, does not have any psychoactive effects(you won’t get high). CBD does however affect your body in other ways. It has been shown to stimulate certain receptors to reduce pain, anxiety, and inflammation. It helps to stop the breakdown of anandamide — a chemical often referred to as the “bliss molecule” — in your brain. This allows these bliss molecules to stay in your system longer, which helps to relieve pain & boost brain function.
CBD also regulates the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines, thereby reducing inflammation and pain. With that said, since human research is currently limited, the full effects of CBD on health are still unknown.
So Can CBD promote weight loss?
CBD has been purported to improve other aspects of health, including weight loss. Since I am sure you are wondering how CBD could possibly help you with your weight loss goals, we are going to go over 3 ways CBD can help you fight that stubborn fat.
1 – CBD May boost metabolism and reduce food intake
Preliminary research suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism, which could promote weight loss.
Animal studies indicate that CBD affects weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue and the brain. These receptors are thought to play important roles in metabolism and food intake.
In a two-week study, rats were injected with CBD daily at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 mg per pound of body weight. Both doses produced significant reductions in body weight, with the higher dose having the most pronounced effect.
It’s important to note that the CBD that was given to the rats was injected, not given orally.
In another study done on rats, CBD led to a significant reduction in food intake compared to other cannabinoids.
While such results are promising, it is important to note that not enough human studies have been done, and more research is needed.
CBD May promote ‘browning’ of fat cells
I know that sounds gross but bare with me, there are two types of fat in our bodies, white fat and brown fat.
White fat is the fat that is responsible for storing and supplying energy while insulating and cushioning your organs.
It is also the type of fat that is most associated with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, when accumulated in excess.
Brown fat however, is the fat responsible for generating heat by burning calories. Individuals with a healthy weight usually have more brown fat than overweight people.
There are ways to convert your white fat into brown fat, by exercising, getting adequate sleep, or exposing yourself to cold temperatures.
Now what is interesting is that according to research, CBD may help this process.
A test-tube study found that CBD led to “browning” in white fat cells and enhanced the expression of specific genes and proteins that promote brown fat.
Cannabis use is associated with lower body weight.
Although the use of marijuana(a subspecies of cannabis) is commonly associated with increased food intake, those who use marijuana products actually tend to weigh less than those who don’t.
A review of over 50,000 people noted an obesity rate of 14–17% among those who used cannabis at least 3 days per week, compared to 22–25% for those reporting no marijuana use in the past 12 months.
As CBD is prevalent in marijuana, it’s likely involved in this relationship — although it’s unclear how.
That said, researchers believe that cannabinoids as a whole — including CBD — affect appetite, metabolism, and other weight-related body functions.
CBD may promote weight loss by reducing appetite, boosting metabolism, and encouraging the “browning” of fat cells.
Could CBD promote weight gain?
Studies show mixed results on the effects of CBD on appetite.
One 3-month study gave 23 children with Dravet syndrome — a type of epilepsy, up to 11.4 mg of CBD per pound of body weight. Some children experienced increases in appetite, but others experienced decreases.
Additionally, a recent review of over 2,400 people who use CBD found that around 6% experienced increased hunger as a side effect.
More research is needed to understand the full effects of CBD on appetite, as it seems to vary. Many factors could influence hunger when taking CBD, including genetics as well as the type of product used.
So Should you try CBD oil to lose weight?
While it’s unclear whether or not CBD oil is effective for weight loss, it has been shown to improve health in many other ways. It is relatively safe, with little risk of any side effects.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of evidence, we cannot say whether or not CBD oil is effective for weight loss. However, with all the studies being done and the current studies, we can safely say CBD is a promising substance with many health benefits, one of which may just be a healthier weight.