CBD has grown in popularity in recent years, and with good reason: it has been shown to help with a variety of conditions, including chronic pain and anxiety. As CBD continues to gain popularity for its numerous health and wellness benefits, there is greater interest than ever in the potential benefits of this natural compound that have yet to be discovered. The impact of CBD on weight loss is one area where research has begun. There is some evidence that CBD can help the body lose weight; however, this has yet to be proven conclusively, so CBD cannot currently be labelled as a weight loss tool. Indeed, much of the research on this topic is still in its infancy.
What factors influence weight gain?
The most frequently cited and well-known cause of weight gain is when the body consumes more calories than it burns. This is usually due to a lack of exercise, which burns calories, combined with unhealthy or excessive eating habits. Excessive food consumption and a lack of physical activity, however, are not the only factors that contribute to weight gain. Each person’s ability to burn fat is unique and can be influenced by a variety of factors. Some of these factors, such as a compromised metabolism caused by hormonal imbalances, a thyroid disorder, the status of inflammation, and the health and effectiveness of the endocannabinoid system, can all have a negative impact on the body’s fat burning capacity (ECS).
How can CBD help to alleviate them?
Your body must achieve homeostasis in order to return to a healthy and balanced weight. This is only possible if your other bodily functions, such as your immune system, nervous system, and digestive system, are all functioning properly and in unison. The ECS works to maintain this balance by regulating these various processes and ensuring they work in harmony with one another. CBD can help to improve ECS functionality because it is a phytocannabinoid that can supplement endocannabinoids produced by the body naturally.
The more endocannabinoids the body has, the more receptors the endocannabinoids can bind to, causing necessary bodily functions to be triggered. As previously stated, this can include digestive and immune-related processes that are related to weight gain and loss.
CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS respond to chemicals in the body. The brain has the most CB1 receptors, while the immune system has the most CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors, on the other hand, become more prevalent in obese people, particularly in fatty tissues. As a result, researchers believe there may be a link between CB1 receptors and obesity. Furthermore, CBD may help with appetite suppression. CB1 receptor antagonists, according to a 2018 study, can help reduce appetite and control obesity. This is because CB1 receptor antagonists reactivate the receptor. Furthermore, a 2012 study discovered that when rats are exposed to CBD, their food intake decreases. There have been no published trials that show CBD to be an appetite suppressant in humans as of yet.
Aside from its effect on CB1 receptors, some claim that CBD use can cause “fat browning.” This is the process by which white fat tissue is converted into usable brown fat cells. Brown fat cells aid in weight loss by burning excess calories in your body via a process known as thermogenesis. A 2016 study backs up this claim, as researchers discovered that CBD helped convert fat cells. It actually stimulated the body to break down fat more efficiently. Finally, a study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research discovered that a CBD treatment reduced cholesterol by 25% in obese rats. In fact, the study discovered that CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects helped lower blood sugar levels and improve overall liver health.
What should one look for when experimenting with CBD for weight loss?
Because the Cannabis plant is best known for increasing appetite, consuming a compound derived from it may seem counterintuitive. It is important to note, however, that CBD derived specifically from hemp has a negligible THC content—less than 0.3%. This means it will not give you the “munchies,” nor will it expose you to the psychoactive component found in THC.
It is recommended that you take CBD oil sublingually for maximum potency.
The CBD oil is absorbed through the glands under your tongue in this manner, increasing the speed with which you feel the effects of the CBD oil. It also enters your bloodstream without passing through your GI tract, preventing enzymes from breaking it down before it can take effect.
When purchasing any CBD product, whether intended for weight loss or not, there are certain qualities to look for. A third party should test the CBD oil and label it as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate. It is also a good idea to scan the label for additional ingredients. Hemp oil, MCT oil, or coconut oil, as well as other flavouring ingredients, are common.
Is CBD effective for weight loss?
Despite the fact that marijuana is known to increase appetite and induce hunger, studies show that those who use marijuana products tend to weigh less than those who do not. For example, one study of 50,000 people found that the obesity rate among those who used cannabis at least three times a week for the previous 12 months was between 14 and 17%. Those who reported no cannabis use during the same time period, on the other hand, had an obesity rate of 22-25%.
When it comes to CBD for weight loss, however, there is conflicting research. For example, a 2019 study discovered that any type of cannabis user (including consistent users, new users, and those who previously used but quit) is more likely to have an increase in BMI over a 3-year period than people who have never used cannabis. The study was significant because it followed study participants for an extended period of time, whereas most studies look at cannabis users for shorter periods of time.
CBD was found to increase appetite in another study. Researchers interviewed 117 parents of children who had received CBD as a treatment for epilepsy symptoms. Though the parents reported a reduction in epileptic symptoms, 30% reported that the CBD oil increased their children’s appetite. In contrast, a 2017 study followed 23 children with Dravet syndrome who consumed up to 11.4 mg of CBD per pound of body weight. Some children reported increased appetites, while others reported decreased appetites.
Another aspect of CBD’s potential weight loss benefits is its effect on stress and anxiety.
Emotional eating (stress eating) is a common eating pattern in which people use food to help them cope with stressful situations. Stress and anxiety are afflictions that can be successfully reduced by using CBD due to certain properties of CBD that we have previously discussed – as such, there may be an indirect weight loss benefit that CBD can offer by reducing anxiety and stress eating.
Risks and side effects of using CBD for weight loss
CBD is a natural compound found in the body, so there is little risk associated with consuming it. However, it is important to note that CBD is not a cure-all for obesity; like other supplements, it is intended to supplement rather than replace a healthy diet and regular exercise. Including CBD in a weight loss plan that does not include exercise and a well-balanced diet may have no health benefits. It is best to consult with your doctor and/or a nutritionist about how to incorporate CBD into a healthy lifestyle.
Is there another compound or cannabinoid that would work better for weight loss?
There are specific strains, cannabinoids, and terpene profiles that can help with appetite suppression. THC-V (tetrahydrocannabivarin) strains, for example, provide an energetic and euphoric high while also suppressing appetite. Humulene, a terpene, is found in high concentrations in strains that reduce appetite. Humulene-rich strains have similar appetite-suppressing properties to THC-V. Humulene or THC-V (or both) are the most effective at suppressing appetite and the desire to reach for the refrigerator. However, the THC content may be an issue for some people because, unlike CBD, cannabinoids found in THC-V strains contain a psychoactive component.
If you’re hesitant to experiment with THC, you might want to try CBG. CBG is also derived from hemp and thus contains very little THC. CBG, also known as “the mother of all cannabinoids” because it is the precursor to all other cannabinoids, has been shown to have appetite suppressing properties in preliminary trials.