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Can CBD Help You Lose Weight?

Losing weight is hard. When you’re in the process of trying to shed some pounds, any help is welcome. Since it’s trending, you may have been wondering, can CBD help you lose weight? Researchers are studying the possibility that CBD may be a helpful treatment for weight loss, but unlike some of the research (on conditions like anxiety or inflammation), t he research on CBD products for weight loss is still pretty scant 1 Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Socie-ty for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1 Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. 2 Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010021 Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E .  It definitely won’t hurt to give it a try and now you have an excuse for your CBD obsession.

 

Here we’ll dig into what we do (and don’t) know about how CBD and the endocannabinoid system may play a role in weight regulation.

CBD For Weight Loss: How Might It Work?

There are a couple of possibilities as to how CBD may help with weight loss.

First of all, there is evidence that the endocannabinoid system is connected to appetite stimulation and suppression 3 Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G. R., Argenziano, M., & Miraglia Del Giudice, E. (2018). Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(9), 2690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092690 Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G. R., Argenziano, M., & Miraglia Del Giudice, E .

The endocannabinoid system is composed of a network of receptors and chemicals that help your body maintain balance in a huge number of areas. This includes areas like sleep, mood, pain, inflammation, and, yes, appetite.

You’ve probably heard (or experienced) that using THC-rich cannabis can cause “the munchies.” That’s because THC causes the release of a hormone called “ghrelin” which increases appetite 4 A pilot study of the effects of cannabis on appetite hormones in HIV-infected adult men Riggs, P. K., Vaida, F., Rossi, S. S., Sorkin, L. S., Gouaux, B., Grant, I., & Ellis, R. J. (2012). A pilot study of the effects of cannabis on appetite hormones in HIV-infected adult men. Brain re-search, 1431, 46–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2011.11.001 Riggs, P. K., Vaida, F., Rossi, S. S., Sorkin, L. S., Gouaux, B., Grant, I., & Ellis, R. J. . This can be helpful for people who need their appetite stimulated (like cancer patients), but it’s obviously not helpful for weight loss.

CBD, on the other hand, does not increase appetite. In fact, there is early evidence (see the 2012 lab study below) that it may help suppress appetite, though this hasn’t been clinically proven yet.

There is also evidence that CBD helps “brown fat.” This is a rather weird term that refers to your body’s ability to turn white (or “bad”) fat into beige or brown fat. Brown fat stores energy in a  smaller space than white fat. Also, it’s packed with mitochondria that burn calories to produce heat 5 What is Brown Fat? How is it different from other body fat? What is Brown Fat? How is it different from other body fat? (2020).Mayclinic. Org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/brown-fat/faq-20058388 .

What Does The Research Say About CBD For Weight Loss?

There really isn’t a ton of research on how CBD might be connected to weight loss. We have some lab studies that show promising results — and these may provide a foundation for large-scale clinical trials. But at present, these preliminary results are all we have to go on.

2012 Lab Study 6

This lab study treated adult male rats with a variety of cannabinoids. While cannabinol (CBN), like THC, was found to increase feeding, the rats that were treated with CBD actually reduced their food intake.

The study’s authors recommend further research “examining possible anti-obesity effects of cannabidiol.”

2016 Lab Study 7

This lab study was designed to investigate the effects of CBD on fat cells. This was not a clinical trial, but CBD was found to be successful at initiating the process of fat browning, which turns “white” fat (that’s the bad fat that causes heart disease and obesity) into “brown” or “beige” fat.

Brown fat actually burns energy as heat (thermogenesis), a process that is vital to weight loss. The study’s authors state that their data support possible roles for CBD in browning fat, inducing thermogenesis, and even slowing the process of fat cell formation.

2017 Research Review 8

This 2017 research review highlights some of CBD’s possible benefits on certain health conditions that are often associated with obesity.

For example, the article cites a mouse study that found that CBD was able to both increase HDL-C (“good cholesterol”) and decrease total cholesterol levels in mice by more than 25%. The study authors theorize that these health benefits were accomplished via CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Again, this is not a clinical trial, so more research needs to be done here.

How To Use CBD For Weight Loss

If you want to try CBD products for weight loss, there are a few points to keep in mind. First of all, you’ve probably heard this before, but not all CBD companies are selling quality CBD. Part of our mission is to help you have the best CBD experience possible, so here are a few things to keep in mind:

In terms of which products to choose, the main thing to keep in mind is that you want the CBD to actually enter your bloodstream. So while CBD bath bombs may be super relaxing and CBD topicals can help with localized discomfort 10 Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of ar-thritis. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behav-iours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818 Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. , they probably won’t have any impact on your appetite (not directly, anyway).

Tinctures, healthy edibles, or concentrates could all be good options, though. For a list of some of our favorite CBD oils, check out our own Top CBD Oils List.

Cautions About Using CBD For Weight Loss

First of all, please be aware that CBD shouldn’t be used as a treatment for obesity. If you are serious about losing weight, consulting a medical professional about the best way for you to lose weight is a good first step.

A medical professional can also help you assess if taking CBD for weight loss is a safe option for you. Generally speaking, CBD has a good safety profile, but there are certain medications that interact negatively with CBD. These drug interactions can result in the worsening of drug side effects and even making other medications less effective.

There’s also evidence that cannabinoids may not be safe for pregnant or nursing mothers. So if you’re hoping that CBD might help you to lose the baby weight but are still nursing, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

Summary: Will CBD Help With Weight Loss?

Here’s the low down. While early research has highlighted some interesting connections between weight regulation and cannabinoids like CBD, we don’t know if CBD will help you lose weight.

All research on CBD is in the early stages, but there is considerably more evidence of CBD’s efficacy for inflammation, anxiety, and pain (for example) than for weight loss. You certainly shouldn’t expect CBD to replace established ways to lose weight, like healthy eating and exercise.

That being said, CBD may be able to help mitigate some chronic health concerns related to obesity, and there’s some evidence that it may help your body break down fats more efficiently.

The information provided is for informational purposes only. We do not claim to treat or cure any health ailment or condition. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before trying any new product. We are not responsible for any adverse reaction(s) you may have to any of the products featured on this site. See our T & C for more information.

Sources
  1. Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Socie-ty for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
  2. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9010021
  3. Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G. R., Argenziano, M., & Miraglia Del Giudice, E. (2018). Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(9), 2690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092690
  4. Riggs, P. K., Vaida, F., Rossi, S. S., Sorkin, L. S., Gouaux, B., Grant, I., & Ellis, R. J. (2012). A pilot study of the effects of cannabis on appetite hormones in HIV-infected adult men. Brain re-search, 1431, 46–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2011.11.001
  5. What is Brown Fat? How is it different from other body fat? (2020).Mayclinic. Org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/brown-fat/faq-20058388
  6. Farrimond, J. A., Whalley, B. J., & Williams, C. M. (2012). Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert op-posing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology, 223(1), 117–129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2697-x
  7. Parray, H.A., Yun, J.W. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol Cell Biochem 416, 131–139 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5
  8. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139–154. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2016.0034
  9. St-Onge, M. P., & Bosarge, A. (2008). Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 87(3), 621–626. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.3.621
  10. Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behav-iours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejp.818

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