Obesity has serious consequences ranging from heart disease and stroke to certain types of cancers. Over 93 million people in the United States were considered obese in 2016, and according to a CDC report, half of Americans want to lose weight, including those who do not fall into the overweight category.
The weight loss industry is flourishing because so many people want to lose weight and become healthier.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been suggested to work as an effective tool for losing weight. Some are skeptical of CBD oil weight loss regimens because CBD is seemingly everywhere, touting a multitude of uses from pain relief to mental health improvements to clearing up skin conditions. How can CBD help with weight loss, too?
Is CBD a viable tool for weight loss? Let’s look at the facts.
First things first – don’t get scammed
Most weight loss supplements are ineffective and overpriced, taking advantage of the genuine desire to get healthy without providing results. Sadly, they’re often scams targeted at people who have been struggling to lose weight and are eager to try anything that will help.
Between the caffeine-infused underwear promising to destroy fat cells and the lotion that claims to trim an inch off your thighs in one month without any other lifestyle changes, there are a lot of scams to watch out for. But there is promising research pointing to effectiveness in using CBD for weight loss.
As with all products with emerging popularity, CBD scams do exist and you should know how to avoid them.
Avoid products that don’t use high-quality CBD extracted properly. Some manufacturers use cheap solvents that produce low-CBD oils laden with other chemicals. They’ll have too little cannabidiol to affect the user, other than taking money from their pockets. CBD that has been independently tested from a third-party lab is the safest way to go.
Any company making their supplement out to be a “miracle” or failing to disclose that CBD is not FDA-approved is a huge red flag. Reputable companies know to disclose these facts, recognizing that just because it’s not FDA approved does not mean it is not effective.
Reputable producers also know that CBD does not work for everyone in the same way, so they avoid using blanket statements guaranteeing specific results. If you see a “Miracle Hemp Weightloss” supplement, you can probably write it off as far from miraculous.
How CBD and the endocannabinoid system Works
CBD is not marketed as a weight loss tool, but promising research shows that it can help. To understand how to lose weight with CBD oil, we have to understand its effects on the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a vital function in the human body, a system of processes that regulates mood, appetite, cognition, sleep, and more.
Simply put, the body produces its own cannabinoids that work in the ECS, but external cannabinoids, such as CBD, can also influence the system.
The ECS helps the body find homeostasis, a state where everything is in balance and working well. The system can become unbalanced which can throw processes out of order, including appetite.
Two prominent receptors in the endocannabinoid system are CB1 and CB2. When cannabinoids interact with them, they can produce a range of effects. When the body is out of balance, CBD’s influence on the receptors can help restore balance in any direction.
People who need an appetite stimulation may find that with CBD, such as cancer patients who are malnourished while undergoing chemotherapy. On the other hand, those with bodies not in dire need of nutrition may find CBD acts oppositely, effectively reducing their appetite.
CBD helps keep everything in balance, which explains why it can go both ways.
CBD and appetite
Leptin is a hormone responsible for feelings of fullness, while ghrelin causes feelings of hunger. The circuit that regulates ghrelin is stimulated by CB1 receptors, and blocking it can suppress those feelings of hunger.
It does so effectively enough that a CB1 receptor-blocking diet pill was created and subsequently banned for risks of suicide and depression. Much like the banned diet pill that worked on a cannabinoid receptor, CBD is a naturally effective CB1 blocker without the side effects.
A 2012 study looked at the impacts of three different cannabinoids (CBD, CBN, CBG) on the appetites of rats. They were given a specific cannabinoid dose and then left to feed while their behaviors were recorded. CBN caused the rats to eat a significantly larger amount than usual, while CBG and CBD both caused the rats to feed less.
CBD and metabolism
CBD and weight loss go together beyond the suppression of appetite. In fact, CBD can actually help boost your metabolism.
In a groundbreaking 2016 study, researchers evaluated the effects of CBD on preadipocytes (immature fat cells) to answer the question: can CBD oil help you lose weight? Their findings were extremely promising for the future of CBD’s potential for combating obesity.
The study found CBD to be effective in stimulating genes and proteins responsible for breaking down and oxidizing fat cells. CBD also increased mitochondria activity, which helps the body burn calories more efficiently.
Finally, CBD reduced activity in proteins used in lipogenesis, a type of fat cell generation. All of CBD’s effects on metabolism are from its ability to boost “fat browning.”
Fat browning occurs when normal white-colored fat tissue used to store energy is converted over to a beige-colored fat tissue that burns it off instead.
Research from 2018 also backs up CBD’s ability to convert white cells to beige colored ones that burn fat. Converting the cells changes the way they function in the body, and the more fat-burning cells you have, the more efficiently your body is going to burn fat.
Reducing the risk of metabolic disorders
Further research points out a link between obesity and several metabolic disorders, including diabetes and high cholesterol.
We can attribute some of this to overactivity in the CB receptors. Since CBD blocks CB1 receptor activity, it may reduce the risk of obesity and metabolic disorders.
In an analysis of data and clinical studies surrounding CBD, its role in metabolism and mitochondrial function was highlighted.
The research, based on animal studies, found “there are various mechanisms underlying neuroprotection, for example, energy metabolism (whose alteration has been implied in several psychiatric disorders) and proper mitochondrial functioning.”
The analysis also highlighted another animal-based study where obese mice were given a 4-week CBD treatment. The rats ended up with 25% lower cholesterol levels at the end of the study.
Using CBD weight loss
With all the promising information, you’re probably wondering how to use CBD oil for weight loss. It will work differently for each person, considering we all have our own unique endocannabinoid system and set of genetics.
If you’re new to CBD, it’s best to start small. Some people work great on 15 mg, while others require double or triple that to notice effects. The best way to dose cannabis oil for weight loss is to do so slowly.
Start with 5 mg per day, and increase every few days until you feel you have reached a comfortable amount and notice effects. Again, everyone is different and you will have to find the right number.
Remember, CBD is not a miracle cure for weight loss. The best way to get achieve your weight loss goals is to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle filled with healthy foods and a good amount of exercise.
CBD is in no way a replacement for healthy lifestyle changes. It can, however, help you make those changes by boosting metabolism and suppressing appetite.
The bottom line
More research needs to be done, but studies have already shown promise for CBD and weight loss. CBD can help with regulating appetite and boosting metabolism in a natural way, without unnatural ingredients or harmful side effects like you’ll find with most diet pills.
CBD’s role in blocking the CB1 receptor allows it to decrease the ghrelin, the hormone responsible for feelings of hunger.
Cannabidiol is effective at converting white, energy-storing cells over to beige, fat-burning cells. When trying to lose weight, converting your cells over to ones that burn rather than store energy is crucial.
With an overall healthy lifestyle, According to research CBD can help give the boost you need to get your weight under control. Like any weight loss plan, it will take time and a combination of healthy habits and consistency to achieve the right results.
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