Anyone unfamiliar with cannabidiol, or CBD, may be surprised to learn its association with weight loss. After all, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis has long been known to do the exact opposite; stimulate appetite. However, now that medicinal cannabis is legal in more parts of the world, new research (linked below) has found that industrial hemp-derived CBD may have an effect on weight. How you ask? Read on and find out.
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis, and CBD is one of over 100 known today! After THC, CBD is the second most plentiful cannabinoid, composing up to 40 percent of some cannabis extracts. While THC is known for its intoxicating effects, CBD doesn’t get you high.
Studies have shown that CBD may offer its benefits by stimulating certain receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system and prolonging the effects of the “bliss molecule” anandamide. By allowing anandamide to remain in the body longer, it doesn’t just help soothe soreness but also helps in other areas as well. CBD may also support the body by helping to decrease the number of cytokines, which are inflammatory molecules.
What does this all have to do with weight loss? Keep on reading…
Four Ways CBD May Help with Weight Loss
1. CBD’s Effects on Food Intake
Unlike THC, CBD does not make you hungry. Though there haven’t been many studies on the effects of CBD on weight loss, one study found CBD could actually reduce food intake. Researchers compared three cannabinoids and found that CBD minimized total food consumption in rats. It works by helping to block the overflow of neurotransmitters, which leads to binge-eating behaviors, thus regulating appetite and weight. However, as these tests were done on rats, more research on the effects of CBD on human appetite is still needed.
2. CBD to Combat Stress-Eating
Many people turn to food to help them deal with stress. The endorphins that stress eaters get from eating unhealthy comfort foods may effectively battle stress hormones, but it does so at the cost of weight gain, as well as other health problems. Because CBD has been found to help ease stress and anxiety, it may curb this behavior and prevent you from putting on unwanted pounds due to stress-eating.
3. CBD and Breaking Down Fat
One study published in the Journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found that CBD stimulates the genes and proteins that help break down fat. CBD speeds up “fat browning”, which is the process that turns the white fat cells linked with obesity into healthier brown fat cells that generate energy. The researchers also found that CBD may increase the activity of mitochondria, boosting the body’s ability to burn calories while decreasing the number of proteins involved in fat cell generation.
4. CBD to Manage Blood Sugar
Sugar is a highly addictive substance that can wreak havoc on your health and weight. Once diabetes develops, the body becomes more resistant to insulin, causing more fat absorption. CBD has been found to minimize insulin resistance, decreasing fat build-up.
How to Use CBD Oil for Weight Loss
Though more studies need to be done on CBD’s effects on human weight management, CBD is quite safe and has very few side effects. While the findings of recent research are promising, it’s important to note that these studies are still in their early stages. However, when coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, CBD oil could very well lead to faster, healthier weight loss.