The possibility that using CBD Oil for weight loss is a very enticing prospect. Afterall, there might not be a more popular substance than CBD right now, not just for weight loss but for help with a lot of different diseases and hardships.
Combine that with weight loss, which was a $72 billion dollar market in the United states in 2019 and you’ve got the potential for a very popular, very helpful, and for businesses, very profitable niche.
The problem is that, like so many things with CBD, the research is falling behind the hype.
Unfortunately, marketers have been known to hype products for weight loss that don’t really do what they say they do, are completely fake, or in the worst cases ones that can be harmful to people. Praying on those desperate for help losing weight.
With that in mind we wanted to dive deep into what the research is showing, and how CBD could help with those struggling with excessive weight or obesity.
Now, along with the false news and wild claims about what CBD can do come a whole lot of brands selling low quality, or even fake, CBD. To avoid these companies and stick with ones we’ve vetted ourselves, check out our list of best CBD brands.
Can CBD promote weight loss?
If you’ve ever tried to lose 10lbs you know how tough it can be. Even when you accomplish losing your goal weight it is so easy to go back to your old habits and gain all that weight back.
If you want to take a big overview of how you gain weight it comes down to taking in more calories than you burn in a day. This is why people gain back weight, they cut calories, or burn more, lose the weight, and go back to doing what they were already doing.
So how could CBD possibly help with this??
First, we need to explore the endocannabinoid system. This system works with many of your other systems to maintain homeostasis and health bodily function. This is a very complicated function, but it happens in large part through the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
There are many bodily functions that are required to be functioning correctly to support weight loss efforts, and this is where CBD oil might be beneficial for weight loss.
So, lets look deeper into the research and finding for specific weight loss factors and issues that normally can prevent the extra pounds from coming off.
Does CBD help Suppress Appetite?
When people think of CBD they often associate it with smoking cannabis, which is then associated with the stoner movies where they sit around smoking, snacking and playing video games.
THC, one of the major cannabinoids in cannabis is responsible for many of these stereotypes, it is an appetite stimulator which is obviously not helpful. CBD products for the most part have extremely low THC and thus shouldn’t stimulate your appetite the way cannabis will. That doesn’t mean it is a suppressant though.
A series of studies involving rats in 2012 where rats were injected with different CBD dosages led to significant reduction in food intake and body weight.
Such results are very promising, but until we understand the mechanisms that cause these results, and we have more tests involving humans, it is far from sure thing.
Promotes the “Browning” of Fat
We all have two types of fat in our body. “Good” fat is classified as brown fat, this type is responsible for generating heat when burned. People who are at healthy weights tend to have more brown fat than overweight people.
White fat, in small amounts, is also healthy as it helps supply energy and insulates and cushions important organs. Excessive amounts of white fat leads to many of the chronic illnesses that plague our society today.
Early studies back these findings up and suggest that the ECS helps to regulate how the body regulates, breaks down, and stores fat. Adding CBD to your daily routine can boost your ECS and help it with these fat limiting functions.
Insulin Resistance and CBD Oil
Let’s look at two different people, we’ll call them Jim and Bryan.
Jim eats normally scheduled meals, tries not to eat in excess, goes to the gym regularly and follows a good sleep schedule.
Bryan, on the other hand, often eats out at fast food joints and tends to snack on junk food when he’s bored sitting around the house. He rarely works out even though he always tells his friends he’s “Going to lose some weight”.
Without knowing anything more about the two people we can tell you that Jim’s insulin response system is probably functioning normally, while Bryan is likely headed down a very bad path.
When you eat food your pancreas releases insulin to move glucose to your cells that need it for energy. Once the food is processed the insulin production is turned off and your blood sugar (glucose) levels return to normal.
If you are constantly eating or eating in excess of what your body needs regularly, your cells become unable to accept anymore glucose. This causes the pancreas to continue to produce insulin to control the glucose level. Over time this can lead to insulin resistance where your body starts converting all the extra glucose into fat to protect the body which leads to significant weight gain.
In a 2018 study phytocannabiniods such as those found in cannabis (CBD, THC, and CBN) improve the absorption rate of glucose in cells and performed better than popular pharmaceutical metformin in lowering elevated blood glucose levels.
CBD and Liver Damage
Another byproduct of constantly elevated glucose levels in the body and insulin resistance is an overburdening of the liver.
An overworked liver is an inflamed liver, which can lead to a buildup of fatty acids which lead to both dysfunction and even liver disease.
Results from a study done in 2015 on CBD and THCV showed that they helped to reduce the buildup of triglycerides in the liver along with the improved insulin resistance we mentioned in the previous section.
Help with Metabolic Disorders
Many metabolic disorders are linked with obesity, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Obese people end up having a lot more CB1 receptors stored in fat cells than is healthy, and an overactivation of these might contribute to further fat gain and metabolic risks.
Because CBD has shown to help regulate CB receptor function, it has shown promise in blocking, or ‘turning off’ these extra CB1 receptors helping to fight added weight gain and metabolic disorders.
Studies on rats have resulted in as much as a 25% reduction in bad cholesterol. Combine that with the known anti-inflammatory effects of CBD that we mentioned with the liver and CBD looks to help with healthier blood sugar levels overall.
Manage or Fix Mitochondrial Dysfunction
This ties into the insulin resistance we talked about earlier. Mitochondria produce much of the energy that cells use, converting the glucose that insulin brings to fuel that cells throughout your body rely on.
When insulin fails to do its job because you’ve built a resistance to it, mitochondria struggles to do its job, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. This is a common condition for those that have imbalanced glucose levels and might be a precursor to cancer.
Along with the study we already mentioned for insulin resistance, a 2016 study focused on metabolic function analyzed mitochondrial function of fat cell cultures.
Many of these results could be interlinked thanks to CBD’s boosting effects on the endocannabinoid system to help maintain a healthy homeostasis in the body.
CBD Oil Causing Weight Gain?
CBD is not an appetite stimulant, so there is no link between it and possible weight gain. THC on the other hand, is an appetite stimulant and could lead to an excessive consumption of calories.
Most CBD oils and products come from the hemp plant, which has less than 0.3% THC, far to little to make your stomach growl or your brain crave food.
So, if you’re taking a CBD product and not smoking cannabis or a high THC content product you should have no worries about gaining weight because of CBD. Now, this doesn’t mean you still don’t need to follow normal best practices for losing weight!
Our Thoughts on CBD Oil for Weight Loss
Just like so many things surrounding CBD Oil, the research just hasn’t caught up enough to prove the benefits of CBD Oil. We are, however, finding to anecdotal evidence that points to the fact that CBD can help with weight loss.
CBD is not a magic pill; you will not lose weight simply by taking it. But, combined with healthy choices in other facets of your life it does appear that CBD can help control insulin activity and glucose levels, help with mitochondrial function and prevent metabolic diseases.