As the effects and benefits of cannabis progressively being unveiled, it’s not surprising for it to be touted as a weight loss aid. Particularly, cannabidiol (CBD), which is a non-intoxicating derivative, is increasingly lauded as a cure-all for nearly everything. But, despite copious claims and anecdotal evidence, scientists and health experts agree that more research is needed.
And as more states legalize both the medical and recreational use of weed, it’s no longer hard to get your supply from a marijuana dispensary. Plus with CBD products abound such as oils, tinctures, vapes, gummies, lozenges, and other forms,—all promising glorious health benefits—it’s easy to get swayed.
Marijuana and especially CBD contribute to weight loss is a widely known fact at this point and if often used in marijuana marketing campaigns.
CBD and Weight Loss
CBD is one of over a hundred compounds found in cannabis. It’s one of the most abundant cannabinoids next to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But unlike THC, CBD is known to be a non-psychoactive compound that does not make you high.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with our endocannabinoid system and produce different effects. THC usually is associated with the “munchies”, but CBD is believed to help in weight loss. CBD is widely popular due to its perceived beneficial effects on health including treatment of seizures in epilepsy, reducing inflammation, and chronic pain relief.
Now, generally accepted facts substantiate that the chemicals found in cannabis affect our endocannabinoid system (ECS). These compounds react to our natural cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. Our ECS controls everything from neurological, to the immune system, and the metabolic system. The CB1 receptors, specifically, have been linked to obesity. It is believed that in obese people, these receptors become densely activated and widespread in fatty tissue.
Some research suggests that the compound in question, CBD, when ingested can switch off or block off CB1 receptors. While in a British study, it’s concluded that CBD may be an appetite suppressor. Although it does not prevent you from eating, it can make you feel fuller quickly.
Can You Lose Weight with CBD?
CBD can or can’t help you lose weight. CBD alone will not help you to shed some pounds overnight. But when combined with a good diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle—it can aid in weight loss in the long run.
As mentioned earlier, CBD may indirectly deactivate CB1 receptors which can lead to reduced appetite. This suggests that it can indirectly affect your weight. Other research suggests that CBD can also reduce the probability of metabolic disorders, can convert and break down fat.
There are several ways CBD impacts weight loss. Let’s go over each one:
It supports mitochondria and metabolic health
Mitochondria is part of our cell responsible for converting fats, sugars, and proteins into energy. When it isn’t functioning optimally, it’s easy for us to gain weight and hard to lose some. Our mitochondria is a key part of our metabolic system, which is regulated by our ECS.
CBD, as per research, can increase the number of our mitochondria as well as their activity. It also directly affects our endocannabinoid system thereby boosting our metabolic balance, also known as homeostasis.
It normalizes our insulin levels to promote fat-browning and -burning
When our bloodstream insulin level is high, it’s hard for our body to burn fat. In one study, CBD was shown to significantly lower or stabilize insulin levels. The compound is thought to encourage the conversion of white (bad) fat into brown (good) fat. CBD may also enhance the breakdown and oxidation of fat. The browning of our fat cells helps us to burn calories needed for weight loss.
It reduces appetite which leads to decreased calorie intake.
CBD is considered an appetite suppressant as it was observed to directly interact with our CB1 receptors.
As cannabis remained to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug and illegal on a federal level, it’s hard to conclude its efficacy. This is due to limited research and a lack of definitive reports. Moreover, no CBD products specifically for weight loss have been FDA-approved.
It’s also good to note that marijuana use is not without risks. The substance is also prone to long-term misuse and dependence. It is especially risky for younger people too.
Things to Consider
Indeed, CBD has been initially found to indirectly aid in weight loss. However, there are risks involved so it’s always best to consult a doctor first. And if you opt to use it, dose properly and don’t rely heavily on it. Use it only as a complement to good eating habits, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.