In recent years, the laws surrounding medical marijuana in the United States have relaxed considerably. As a result, a number of cannabis products have entered the marketplace, whether for medical, health, and recreational use.
CBD is one such product that has become increasingly popular as a health supplement. It offers benefits ranging from anti-anxiety properties, pain management, and even the prevention of some neurodegenerative diseases.
And one of CBD’s many purported qualities is weight loss and weight management. But what exactly is CBD? And can it really help you lose weight?
Let’s separate the facts from the fiction to discover whether CBD can help you lose weight.
What is CBD?
Cannabis contains a number of chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids. These compounds are 100% natural, occurring naturally in marijuana.
Cannabinoids are reported to have a range of effects when consumed.
There are two primary cannabinoids in marijuana: cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the most well-known of these cannabinoids. Also known as THC, it is a psychoactive chemical compound for producing the ‘high’ sensation most commonly associated with marijuana.
When ingested, THC can make the user feel paranoid, relaxed, confused, giggly, nauseous, or hungry, amongst other effects. It is often smoked recreationally, and until recently was heavily restricted.
Cannabidiol (or CBD), on the other hand, is non-psychoactive. The effects of ingesting CBD are not as strong as THC.
CBD can be taken in a variety of ways. From tinctures and capsules to CBD gummies and balms — CBD oil can even be smoked. There are lots of ways to take CBD to suit your needs, so it’s an easy supplement to introduce into your lifestyle.
Users of CBD products often report feelings of calm and relaxation. Many people use CBD as a method of de-stressing. Indeed, CBD oil is a popular supplement for anxiety disorders that many sufferers rely on instead of prescription medication.
Beyond these calming effects, research has shown CBD to have a range of health benefits — including potential weight loss effects too.
Can I use CBD to help me lose weight?
While research on the subject is small, many studies point to a number of positive benefits of cannabidiol on weight loss. Here are just a few potential benefits of CBD for losing weight.
It reduces your appetite
Although smoking cannabis is commonly associated with ‘the munchies’, it is THC that is responsible for this.
This is because THC stimulates the CB1 receptors in your brain responsible for appetite, causing you to feel hungrier than usual.
However, as CBD products generally (although not exclusively) contain cannabidiol, you won’t get the same increased appetite that you would if you ingested THC products.
Instead, CBD can actually reduce your appetite. While CBD doesn’t affect your CB1 receptors, it can cause other chemicals to impact them instead. As a result, CBD can be used to help suppress your appetite as part of a healthy lifestyle.
It mitigates the risk of metabolic disorders
Metabolic disorders refer to a number of conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. Together, they are known as metabolic syndrome, a serious condition that affects around a third of Americans.
Obesity is one of the key causes of these metabolic disorders. Research suggests that this is partly due to the overstimulation of the aforementioned CB1 receptors. When the CB1 receptors in the body’s fat tissue are stimulated, the risk of metabolic disorders is increased.
However, as CBD indirectly impacts these receptors, it may also reduce the risk of developing obesity. While current research on this is thin, existing studies suggest that CBD could be used to help prevent obesity and other metabolic disorders as a result.
It converts ‘bad’ white fat into ‘good’ brown fat
There are two types of fat in the body: white and brown.
White fat is regarded as the ‘bad’ type. As expected, it is generated through excessive calorie intake and is responsible for increasing the risk of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Brown fat, on the other hand, is viewed as ‘good’ fat. Its purpose is to burn calories in order to keep us warm, and it is primarily produced through exercise, which converts it from white fat.
A 2016 study found that cannabidiol may help convert white fat into brown fat. This increases the amount of ‘good’ fat in the body, which can then be burned off through regular exercise.
It speeds up the fat-burning process
As well as increasing the conversion of white fat into brown fat, a 2018 study also found that CBD can help the body break down fats with greater efficiency.
While CBD converts white fat into brown fat, it may also speed up the next process of burning the fat off as calories. Any brown fat in the body may be shed with quicker results when cannabidiol is introduced into the system.
Consequently, CBD could potentially aid in weight loss by speeding up the results of any weight loss plan. It’s important to note here that this effect works primarily as part of a healthy lifestyle, not instead of it.
Should I use CBD to lose weight?
While research on the effects of CBD on weight loss is small, the studies that have been conducted point to a positive relationship between the two.
However, as with all weight loss supplements, CBD is no miracle cure. Simply taking CBD on its own is not enough — it should be taken as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and restrictions on the consumption of alcohol or tobacco are all part of a healthy weight loss plan. As such, taking CBD as a supplement to complement a healthy lifestyle is the best way to lose weight with cannabidiol.
The best way to lose weight will always be through healthy eating, exercising regularly, and making sensible life choices. But there are plenty of good supplements that you can take to make your weight loss process more efficient.
Despite the relatively low amount of research on CBD and weight loss, current evidence suggests that it can help weight loss overall. Introduce CBD into your lifestyle today to fuel your weight loss journey.