CBD for Weight Loss: Can it Really Help You Shed Pounds?
CBD. The three-letter acronym for a market that made between $600 million and $2 billion in sales back in 2018.
What’s more, experts say its sales could reach a whopping $20 billion come 2024!
For starters, because cannabidiol comes with scientifically-proven health benefits. PubMed alone has over 20,000 studies with references to cannabis and cannabinoids. CBD is a cannabinoid that, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), doesn’t make you high.
Then, there’s also CBD for weight loss. Recent studies have found that this cannabinoid may have the power to help users shed pounds.
That’s sure to make CBD consumption skyrocket even more!
The question is, how exactly can this natural substance aid in weight loss? Are there are any studies that prove these claims?
All these, you’ll uncover in this post, so keep reading to learn the truth about CBD and weight loss!
CBD for Weight Loss: How Can It Be Possible?
CBD may promote weight loss due to its effects on the body’s endocannabinoid (CB) receptors.
To understand these effects, let’s first talk about the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is an “internal messaging center” present in all mammals. It regulates various biological and physiological processes, such as sleep and pain. It also has roles in the immune system, and yes, the appetite.
So, how does it work?
Endocannabinoids, which you can think of as signals, bind to the CB receptors. This triggers the receptors to send the signal to the ECS, prompting it to take action. This action the ECS needs to take depends on which receptor the cannabinoid attached to.
At the moment, there are two known CB receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are most dominant in the brain and the central nervous system. Most CB2 receptors are in the peripheral nervous system, particularly the immune cells.
Obesity, however, can result in the CB1 receptors spreading out, such as into the fatty tissues. It’s because of this that the activation of CB1 receptors appears to have a link to obesity.
In fact, one study found a link between overeating and the ECS’ signaling activity in the gut. The study involved placing a rodent model on a chronic high-fat and high-sugar diet.
The diet caused a spike in the levels of endocannabinoids in both the blood and the gut. The scientists also noted how the diet promoted even more consumption of fatty foods.
The researchers then blocked the endocannabinoids from reaching the receptors. Doing this led to a decrease in the animal’s overeating activities.
Where CBD Comes Into Play
Granted, CBD doesn’t have a direct effect on the cannabinoid receptors. It does, however, influence the endocannabinoids to either activate or restrict the receptors. It’s in this way that CBD may help prevent overeating, obesity, and weight loss.
One way that CBD may help aid weight loss is through appetite reduction.
Now, you may have heard of cannabis (which is one of the main sources of CBD) causing increased appetite. Known as the “munchies”, this often occurs due to cannabis’ THC content. THC is the psychoactive compound that pot is so well-known for.
Don’t worry though, as CBD doesn’t ignite hunger. This is especially true in the case of hemp oil vs CBD oil sourced from cannabis. CBD hemp oil contains less than 0.3% of THC.
If THC directly stimulates the appetite, CBD may have an indirect “deterring” effect on it. It can do so by influencing CB1 receptor antagonists to block off CB1 receptors. CBD may “encourage” these antagonists to take action and deactivate the CB1 receptors.
Blocking these receptors may then result in curbing a person’s appetite. This may also help suppress overeating tendencies in some people.
Another rat study also found that exposing the animals to CBD curbed their appetite.
From White Fat Cells to “Healthier” Brown Fat Cells
Body fat can either be of the white or the brown kind. White fat is more abundant though, as it acts as a storage for and source of energy. Moreover, it insulates, cushions, and protects the organs.
This white fat, however, is also linked to various chronic illnesses. These include heart disease and diabetes. Too much white fat build-up in the body can raise a person’s risk for these health problems.
Whereas brown fat is the type that generates heat. It does so by burning the calories you get from your daily meals. That may explain why brown fat is more dominant in people within a healthy weight range.
As such, you’d want more brown fat than white fat in your body. The good news is, regular exercise can convert white fat into brown fat. Developing healthy sleeping habits can also aid in this conversion process.
And according to research, adding the use of CBD to these healthy habits can make it even more effective.
One study found that CBD caused white fat to “brown” up. This effect may then result in the burning of more calories in the body. You may burn even more calories than usual when you exercise.
The study also noted how CBD reduced protein expression in new fat cell creation. Protein expression is the process of synthesizing, modifying, and regulating proteins. Since CBD reduces this in new fat cells, then the cells may take a longer time to form in the first place.
It May Help Control Overeating in People with Psychological Conditions
Did you know that one of the advantages of CBD over antidepressants is that it can take effect on the same day? Whereas commercial antidepressants can take anywhere from two to four weeks.
A 2018 study found that one dose of CBD is all it took to eliminate depression symptoms in rats. The researchers also found that these effects of CBD lasted for seven days.
That alone already shows how promising CBD is. But what does that have to do with weight-related issues?
Keep in mind that anxiety and depression disorders often co-occur with eating disorders. It’s common for someone who has anxiety or depression to overeat. In fact, a study found that four in 10 people with an eating disorder developed an anxiety disorder first.
Since CBD may help ease symptoms of depression, then it may also help prevent overeating. The same goes true for people with anxiety, who’s coping mechanism may be to overeat.
A Friendly Reminder before Using CBD
If you’re going to try CBD for weight loss, be sure to check where it came from. There are differences between cannabis-derived CBD vs hemp oil. CBD that comes from cannabis may contain higher-than-trace levels of THC.
Whereas hemp seed oil comes from pressed hemp seeds. This oil doesn’t contain THC, but it also only contains little CBD. It does boast of high levels of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and antioxidants though.
You can also learn how to make CBD oil at home, so long as you live in one of the 10 states where recreational weed is legal. If your weight is a medical concern, then you may be able to get a medical marijuana card. Or, you can simply buy high-quality, lab-tested CBD oil or hemp oil.
CBD May Just Help You Achieve Your Weight Goals
There you have it, the ultimate guide on how CBD for weight loss works. And while it’s definitely not a miracle cure, it is too beneficial to pass up.
Not only may it help you shed pounds — it may also improve your sleep or even reduce anxiety or depression symptoms! Both of these, in turn, can be a key player to weight loss.
Ready for more life pro tips to get your health in check? Then be sure to keep following our site’s Health section!