CBD may play a role in promoting weight loss due to how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. The Endocannabinoid system is a vast network that stretches throughout the body. It has two main receptors: CB1 and CB2, which make it receptive to various compounds.
The central nervous system homes CB1 receptors, whereas CB2 receptors are prevalent in every body part. However, obese people develop CB1 receptors due to the accumulation of fat tissue around their organs. Because of this, some studies have shown that CB1 receptors and obesity may be interconnected.
CBD doesn’t directly interact with CB1 receptors. Instead, it influences the activity of chemicals that bind to these receptors, thus indirectly affecting their responses.
The chemicals that bind to CB1 receptors are called cannabinoids. The human body produces its army of cannabinoids called endogenous cannabinoids. However, you can also intake cannabinoids from external sources and stimulate the endocannabinoid system. One prime source of external or exogenous cannabinoids is CBD.
1. Reduces appetite
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may indirectly help with weight loss by reducing appetite. While smoking weed is associated with “hunger pangs,” CBD is not the same as Marijuana. Marijuana plants contain psychoactive compounds known as THC, which causes euphoric effects and may increase appetite instead of increasing it.
THC influences CB1 receptor activity, stimulating effects that may contribute to increased appetite.
A 2018 study showed that in the presence of CB1 receptor antagonists, the endocannabinoid system functions to control weight loss. This is because, in the presence of these compounds, the endocannabinoid system blocks the CB1 receptors.
CBD doesn’t directly inhibit CB1 receptor activity, but it may trigger other molecules in its stead to accomplish the same. When these receptors are deactivated, food cravings may settle down in some people, resulting in better eating habits and eventually weight loss.
In 2012 an animal study showed that consistent CBD doses reduced appetite in rats. While many people claim that CBD helped suppress their appetites, no large scale human clinical trials exist to substantiate these claims.
2. Turns bad Brown Fat into Good White Fat
CBD may convert white or bad fat into brown fat. This may ultimately expedite calorie burning. White fat is linked to many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
In a 2016 study, CBD was found to play a pivotal role in fat metabolism. Not only did CBD promote the conversion of white fat into brown fat, but it also increased the overall efficiency of fat burning processes.
One more claim that is made in the CBD-weight loss debate is regarding the burning of fat. Proponents of CBD for weight loss suggest that CBD increases the breakdown of fat and helps the body get rid of it as waste.
A 2018 research describes this process. When fat white cells are converted into brown fat cells, the way the body approaches fat metabolism changes.
Brown fat cells may be more actively involved in fat breakdown. They release energy from fat breakdown as heat, meaning they directly contribute to calorie loss.
As calorie loss is critical for weight loss, CBD’s role in turning white fat into brown fat may aid weight loss.
3. Lowers the risk of metabolic disorders
Obesity is associated with a host of serious metabolic illnesses. These include
- Type 2 Diabetes
- High Blood pressure
- High Cholesterol
The hyperactivity of CB receptors may lead to obesity and, consequently, develop metabolic disorders like those mentioned above. As CBD may act as a CB1 receptor antagonist, it may lower the risk of obesity.
In a review of Cannabis studies, a CBD-based medication lowered 25% cholesterol in obese rats. CBD’s ability to fight inflammation and promote antioxidant action also helped alleviate blood sugar and improve liver health.
Risks and Concerns
Nothing substitutes for physical exercise and good nutrition. While science paints a promising picture of CBD’s potential as a weight loss aid, you should consider some things before jumping on the CBD bandwagon:
The FDA has not approved any drug for treating obesity, including CBD. So, it would help if you didn’t think of CBD as a substitute for other recommended treatments, such as regular exercise and a balanced diet. Someone who doesn’t supplement CBD intake with physical activity and good food may not see any improvements.
Dosing is another consideration. Overly obese people may require CBD in high doses. Also, sometimes CBD’s therapeutic effects may take more than three months to show. So, you have to keep at it. Be patient. Consistency is key.
It is best to consult with a holistic doctor to make sure you’re using CBD the right way. A professional can better help you decide the type of product that will work best for your intended use.
CBD use will vary from one person to another. CBD isn’t a one size fits all kind of treatment. Depending upon metabolic weight, tolerance to cannabis, height, age, and other factors, different people respond differently to cannabidiol.
Preliminary studies indicate that CBD may work to help people lose weight. However, the evidence isn’t conclusive enough to suggest anything concrete. While CBD may not directly burn fat, it can help convert bad fat into good fat and fast-track the loss of calories. CBD may also help suppress appetite.
If you have difficulty sticking to restrictive diets like the ketogenic diet, you can supplement with CBD to help you stay on track. However, we’d like to mention here again that scientists haven’t conducted extensive human clinical trials to infer that CBD’s therapeutic potential for weight loss is set in stone. You should always consult a doctor before taking CBD in any form. There are risks and concerns associated with cannabis-based products. This is because the cannabis industry is unregulated, and many products have been known to have harmful additives that may cause more harm than good.