CBD has become increasingly popular in recent years and research is ongoing as to its benefits. A common selling point is its use to relieve symptoms of anxiety and to improve the quality of sleep but there is also increasing consensus of its potential benefits in achieving weight loss. A lot more research is needed before these claims can be fully substantiated and CBD is an illegal product in many countries or needs medical approval for individual use.
Cannabis is more often associated with increasing appetite due to the hunger people often feel after using it. This is primarily down to the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in cannabis but it seems this isn’t the case with CBD. It’s all to do with how CBD affects the body and brain.
The natural endocannabinoid system in our bodies responds to different chemicals through two cannabinoid (CB) receptors, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are most dense in the brain and central nervous system whereas CB2 receptors are mainly in the immune system.
CBD works with other cannabinoids to potentially activate many receptors, such as endocannabinoid and serotonin. This interaction could be a factor in potential weight loss. It is known that the CB1 receptors are found in fatty tissue. This has led researchers to explore the relationship between the CB1 receptors and obesity.
In a 2016 article published in “Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry” it was noted that CBD can convert the white or bad fat into brown fat which can support the body in burning off calories. This action would suggest that CBD could help in the fight against heart conditions, diabetes, and obesity, but as the authors stated, it was still early days and a lot more research was needed.
In later research published online in 2018 by the US National Institutes for Health, it is noted how CBD could break down fats in the body. The process of turning white fat cells to brown fat cells actually changes how these cells act in the body. The brown fat cells may be a more active form of fat, burning off energy as heat, meaning that calories are lost which is important for weight loss.
Reducing the risk of other metabolic problems
Additional research in 2018 noted that there is a close link between obesity and several metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The over activation of the CB receptors in the body may be partly responsible for this, particularly the CB1 receptors in the fat tissue which could be contributing to obesity and metabolic risks.
As we have stated earlier, research is at an early stage, and while it looks promising a lot more is needed before anyone can be sure of the true benefits of CBD for certain health related problems. CBS is not a solution or a treatment in itself – it is a supplement just like taking a vitamin supplement. For CBD to prove any benefit in a weight loss regime, anyone using it needs to be doing regular exercise and following a responsible diet. Before taking CBD – and assuming it is legal to use where you live, you should consult your family doctor first.
Bottom line: CBD may offer some weight loss benefits, but they won't work for everyone. What does? Eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of physical activity, practicing good sleep habits, and reducing stress as much as possible.