Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an endocannabinoid extracted from, you guessed it: cannabis.
CBD is widely available as an extract in the form of oil but is also readily available in a variety of other preparations, such as lozenges, candies, topical applications like creams and lotions, soaps, cosmetics, and much more.
CBD, based on the fast-growing body of research supporting it, may have the potential to alleviate anxiety, pain, and boost cardiovascular and cognitive health.
However, there isn’t enough information to determine the effects of CBD in playing a role in weight loss based on the research thus far.
Let’s explore CBD and how it may impact your weight loss goals.
CBD 101: A primer
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over hundreds of cannabinoids, or active components found in cannabis. CBD ranks second only to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most prevalent cannabinoid in cannabis known for its psychoactive effects. THC is responsible for the “high” marijuana is associated with, whereas CBD does not cause psychoactive effects. This means taking CBD won’t make you high.
On the other hand, CBD plays a different role in the body — mainly, it appears to reduce pain, stress, and inflammation by stimulating certain receptors in the body.
CBD stops anandamide from breaking down in the brain. Anandamide is a cannabinoid that binds to cannabinoid receptors which mimic the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Therefore, CBD helps anandamide stay longer in the body, which may relieve pain and increase cognitive function.
Moreover, cannabidiol also regulates cytokines responsible for inflammation, which provides analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
CBD also shows promise in treating depression symptoms.
But, as research still is limited and ongoing, the jury is still out as to understanding the full effect of CBD on health; much remains undetermined as of this writing.
Can you lose weight with CBD?
CBD has been reported to help weight loss, among many other aspects of health. Let’s take a look at how CBD might be able to achieve this.
- May increase metabolism. Preliminary results on animal studies indicate that CBD may fire up metabolism and in doing so reduce food consumption, leading to weight loss. Studies on rats injected with daily doses of CBD produced drastic reductions in body weight, with those being given higher doses of CBD having more significant effects. The way CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain is thought to be responsible for this effect, which play central roles in metabolism and food intake. No oral doses were given to the rats in these studies on metabolism and CBD. The results are promising, but not enough studies have been conducted on humans in order to make a determination as of this writing.
- May convert white fat to brown fat. The body has two types of fat: white and brown. White fat is the most prevalent form, which supplies the body with energy and stores it, while supporting your organs by providing a protective layer over them. However, white fat is also linked most commonly with cardiovascular disease and diabetes when there are excessive amounts of it. Meanwhile, brown fat is the kind that creates the friction and heat required to burn calories. Individuals with healthy weights generally have higher concentrations of brown fat as opposed to obese or overweight individuals. White fat may be converted into brown fat by getting enough sleep, regularly exercising, and staying in cold temperatures. In vitro studies showed that CBD may lead to browning of white fat cells, but extensive studies on humans is needed to make a determination.
- Marijuana consumption is linked to lower weight. While marijuana and one of its effects — the “munchies”, or an increased appetite — is associated and often depicted in media with increased appetite, a study showed that individuals who consumed products derived from marijuana weighed less than their teetotaling counterparts. CBD may be responsible for this hitherto unresearched effect, but the relationship is yet undetermined. Nevertheless, the researchers in this study believe cannabinoids impact metabolism, appetite, and other body functions regulated to weight.
Therefore, based on the available research, CBD may play a role in regulating weight by increasing metabolism, convert white fat to brown, and reducing appetite. But the results are preliminary and require more human studies to conclusively determine this.
Could CBD promote weight gain?
While CBD may benefit weight loss, it has also shown the opposite in some studies by increasing appetite. One of the most common side effects of CBD use is changes in appetite. This may lead to weight gain. As with CBD and weight loss, more studies are required to see the full spectrum of effects that CBD has on weight regulation, since there are a bevy of factors that may determine appetite, such as the individual’s genetic makeup, the type of CBD product he or she uses, and if they have any underlying health conditions.
Is it worth taking CBD oil for weight loss?
Go right ahead and try — while the evidence is shaky at best, CBD is relatively safe, with very minimal risk of adverse effects. But it must be mentioned that more research is needed to see how it affects weight. Neither is CBD oil a recommended nor effective way to lose weight. Nothing beats good old exercise and healthy eating.
Rather than trying to lose weight with CBD, apart from the fact that CBD products can cost a pretty penny, it’s much more effective, efficient, and affordable to try somewhere else other than CBD to lose weight. FACTS.
The final word
CBD oil has often been marketed to treat a wide array of conditions, including weight loss. But the research shows very little concrete evidence thus far that shows CBD clearly affecting weight. Apart from that, other studies contradict the claims for CBD and weight loss by causing the opposite and increasing weight and appetite.
Until conclusive research is conducted and completed, it’s best to try a proven, science-backed method to lose weight.