Most people assume cannabis extracts increase hunger — instead of killing it. But this effect is linked to a different cannabinoid called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is also the reason behind the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
CBD is different, it’s non-psychoactive, and has an entirely different set of effects on things like appetite and metabolism — both of which are heavily linked to weight gain and loss.
Numerous case-studies, as well as peer-reviewed research results, have indicated that CBD use is associated with reduced body mass index (BMI), lower body weight, and smaller waist circumferences.
This doesn’t mean you should ditch your diet and rely solely on CBD. You can, however, add CBD oil to your regime for improved results.
How Can CBD Oil Help You Lose Weight?
The reason why people gain weight is straightforward.
You’re taking in more calories than you’re letting out.
However, our ability to burn fat is affected by a variety of factors, and compromised metabolism often derives from hormonal imbalances and changes in metabolic patterns, inflammation status, and the function of the endocannabinoid system.
Steady weight loss requires you to return your body to a healthy balance between the digestive, immune, and nervous system — and the ECS is a bridge between them all.
So, how can you modulate the endocannabinoid system with CBD? What does the research say about using CBD oil for weight loss?
1. Suppresses Appetite
Many CBD proponents say that the compound can help you lose weight by reducing appetite.
Most people link cannabis to appetite stimulation, as people who smoke weed tend to feel more hungry than usual. While it’s true that THC may induce hunger, CBD does not.
THC activates the CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the body, causing a range of effects, including increased appetite. However, according to a 2018 study, CB1 receptor antagonists may help reduce appetite and control obesity because they block off or “deactivate” the receptor.
While CBD doesn’t deactivate CB1 receptors directly, it may act on other molecules prompting to block them off. Shutting off these receptors may help curb the appetite and prevent overeating in some people.
An older animal study published in 2012 revealed that CBD administration to rats reduced their appetite. While plenty of anecdotal evidence supports the concept of CBD and appetite suppression, there have been no human trials in this subject yet.
2. Turns On Fat Browning in the Body
CBD advocates also claim that CBD can convert white (or bad) fat into brown fat, which may improve the body’s ability to burn calories.
White fat is responsible for increasing the risk of many chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, so the fat-browning process may also benefit you in other areas of health.
A 2016 study supports the claim about fat conversion. The scientists involved in that study found that CBD can influence how the body interacts with fat on many different levels.
Not only did CBD help turn white fat cells into brown fat cells, but it also caused a more efficient breakdown of fats within the body.
Brown fat cells are more active than their white counterparts. They burn off energy as heat, stimulating thermogenesis, and thus helping the body burn more calories.
3. Reduces the Risk of Metabolic Disorders
According to a 2018 study, obesity may trigger several metabolic disorders, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
This happens through the overactivation of the CB receptors in the body. When CB1 receptors are overstimulated in the fat tissue throughout the body, this may contribute to obesity and the aforementioned metabolic symptoms.
Because CBD can block off the CB1 receptors, it might also reduce the risk of obesity. A review in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research mentions some past studies involving CBD and metabolic factors, mainly in rodents.
For instance, rats treated with CBD showed reduced total cholesterol by 25 percent over time. Besides, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of CBD also decreased their blood sugar levels and improved markers for liver health.
4. Helps With Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is an almost inseparable feature of obesity and diabetes.
A healthy metabolic process follows a simple pattern:
You eat food
Blood sugar levels rise
The pancreas releases insulin to move the glucose to the body cells
The cells use glucose as an energy source
When your eating patterns constantly provide excess glucose, the system will go out of whack. As body cells are unable to withstand more glucose, they become resistant to insulin’s signaling to pump the simple sugar into the cell.
With dangerously high blood glucose levels, the pancreas begins to secrete even more insulin. In the end, the unusually intense production of insulin will cause glucose levels to plummet.
That’s why people suffering from insulin resistance tend to experience “blood glucose roller coaster,” feeling hungry and sluggish.
Unhealthy metabolism follows this process instead:
You eat food
Blood sugar levels rise
The pancreas releases insulin to move glucose into the cells
Insulin doesn’t work
Blood sugar levels continue to rise
The liver steps in to convert sugar to fat to protect the body from high sugar
Your cells still want sugar for energy and trigger the appetite
The process continues
A 2018 study showed that cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN enhance cells’ potential to absorb glucose, performing even better than metformin, a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical for high sugar levels.
If we can absorb the sugar from the blood when we need it, we convert less to fat and feel hungry less often.
5. May Fix Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Mitochondria act as the energy factories for cells. When insulin brings glucose to the cells, the mitochondria use it to produce the “fuel” for the body and brain. But when the insulin resistance occurs, the mitochondria’s capabilities are impaired as well.
Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs in most conditions that include imbalanced glucose levels and maybe a serious contributor to cancer. Healthy mitochondria, in turn, are guaranteed to provide long-lasting vitality.
A 2016 lab study investigated the impact of CBD on the metabolic function of fat cell cultures. The study recorded a significant improvement in mitochondrial function with the administration of CBD.
6. Reduces Inflammation
CBD has a well-documented list of anti-inflammatory effects. Metabolic dysfunction often involves chronic inflammation. The pancreas is one of the most at-risk organs in obese and diabetic people.
The hyperactivity of the pancreas in an attempt to secrete extra insulin can cause inflammation in the entire gland. That chronic inflammation can damage the beta cells, which are the ones responsible for insulin secretion.
As the body becomes unable to produce sufficient levels of insulin — it brings you one step closer to diabetes and obesity.
As shown by a 2016 study, there’s a vivid link between inflammation and an overstimulated endocannabinoid system. The application of CBD can help fix this dysfunction. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD curb inflammation and potentially save the pancreas against damage — reducing the risk of diabetes.
7. Repairs Liver Damage
Another common marker for obesity and diabetes is damage to liver cells. The liver plays a significant role in the conversion of stored and usable energy resources in the body.
Overburdening the liver with high sugar intake can prove disastrous for this system. Inflammation within the liver is an indicator of the onset of dysfunction and may lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
In 2015, researchers conducted a study on the impact of CBD and THCV on metabolic dysfunction.
The results suggested that these non-psychoactive cannabinoids reduce the buildup of triglycerides in the liver. Moreover, they lowered blood pressure and improved insulin resistance in human participants with type 2 diabetes. The scientists gave partial credit for these improvements to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
By: Nina Julia