CBD, as is well known, teeters back and forth between scientific insight and mass attention and popularity. Research is limited and regulations are loose, so distinguishing between fact and fiction, especially when so much contradiction exists, is like wading through a swimming pool full of grains of salt. CBD is pretty great, that much is fairly well established. It has shown promise treating anxiety, depression, pain, restlessness.
But what about weight loss? The connection between the most popular wellness trend was bound to catch up with our collective concern for small waistlines eventually, wasn’t it? Can CBD help boost your metabolism and reduce your weight? If so, the consequences are far from vain – CBD could help with health concerns associated with obesity, like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Let’s take a closer look at the facts, the fictions, and what we know about CBD to help figure out if CBD can help us lose weight. If so, what are the best methods to maximise its weight loss potential? We’ll give you a useful guide.
How Does CBD Interact With Our Bodies?
Of course by now we all know what CBD is (and what it isn’t – THC), so the first step to unpacking whether or not it can help with weight loss is to take a closer look at how it interacts with our bodies. Although this is probably pretty common knowledge as well, we can put a weight-loss specificity on our explanation.
CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for, as much as we have determined so far, overall homeostasis. It’s a regulator, and if something is irregular, the ECS will help to get things back to normal. It has a role in promoting balance throughout our bodies and brains, and has proven to help regulate mood, pain, memory, sleep… and appetite. The ECS responds to compounds in the body through receptors: CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain and central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are present throughout our bodies.
As a cannabinoid, CBD can stimulate these receptors to promote homeostasis as well, and does so indirectly, promoting the ECS to function more effectively on its own. The very interesting thing to note here is that, in people with obesity, CB1 receptors become more far reaching and take up residence in fatty tissues throughout the body. So, the train of thought goes: if CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors and CB1 receptors are more prominent in fatty cells, CBD should be able to interact with these fatty cells somehow.
What’s CBD’s Weight Loss Potential?
Based on this information, then, what is CBD’s potential when it comes to weight loss? Well, lucky for everyone involved, there’s at least a few ways that CBD could potentially help us slim down, both directly and more indirectly, because as we know, there are both direct and indirect causes for weight gain in the first place. I humbly present these to you now:
Maybe a less considered option, but CBD’s propensity to help relieve anxiety, boost mood, regulate sleep, and decrease pain could have another subsequent effect: motivation. If we are well rested, less anxious, and in less pain, it only follows that we may be in a much better mood, both mentally and physically. Better moods lead to more motivation to do the things that are important to you, and if one of those things is losing weight, well, there you go. And, of course, anxiety and stress lead to stress eating, something we all know too well.
CBD Affects Mitochondria
More targeted and direct, then, CBD can affect the body’s mitochondria, which convert molecules like sugars into energy. CBD has been shown to increase the number and activity of mitochondria (which increases our ability to burn calories) within our bodies. We can’t really get any more direct than that!
CBD Promotes Brown Fat
Leading on from mitochondria, but indeed linked to it, CBD has been shown to promote the production of brown fat. Brown fat is good fat, so don’t get scared away by the ‘f’ word. Brown fat converts food, or energy, into heat, helping to use up calories. CBD, it has been shown, promotes white fat to turn into brown fat. Mitochondria take brown fat and allow it to burn, literally burning your fat away.
CBD Can Suppress Appetite
It’s easy to think otherwise, I know. With CBD’s association with THC and the notorious munchies, it’s easy to be skeptical. However, studies have found that rather than promoting appetite, CBD might actually help to curb our hunger. The hunger associated with cannabis comes solely from THC, and research has even suggested that CBD may help decrease the hunger pangs so typical of ingesting this substance.
But even more than this, CBD might be able to help combat the fringe deficits that obesity can cause to our health, namely by regulating blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. These maladies are caused in part from obesity, stress, and of course poor diet and lack of exercise. CBD can lower blood pressure by decreasing stress and anxiety levels and by acting as a vasodilator, which widens the arteries, allowing for better circulation.
In terms of blood sugar levels, the major cause of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, CBD may have a helping hand to offer. Both types of diabetes, although caused from different sources, both boil down to having too much glucose circulating around our blood. The body needs insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance as it is demonstrated in type 2 diabetes basically indicates that the body no longer responds to insulin, primarily caused by obesity and lack of exercise.
Not only has CBD shown promise regulating blood sugar levels, but also shows promise with quelling inflammation, which is known to impact the development of insulin resistance and, therefore, type 2 diabetes. And, indeed, this is already one of the most popular reasons people use CBD to date.
How To Use CBD to Help You Lose Weight
So what kind of CBD should you be taking to help with weight loss, and how should you be taking it?
Try A Sublingual (under the tongue) Application
This hits the bloodstream faster, and begins to work more quickly. It also doesn’t get absorbed through the stomach and liver, like edibles, and therefore will prove more potent and potentially more effective.
Look for Quality Products
We would recommend a good quality, lab tested full-spectrum CBD oil or supplement. Edibles may be full of extra calories you are most likely trying to avoid, and topicals don’t actually hit your bloodstream, so the effects are quite different to those of oils and capsules.
Don’t Jump The Gun
Don’t assume that downing a bottle of CBD oil will result in instant results, the dosage requirements are there to help. CBD works subtly, and it needs time, sometimes up to 6 weeks to notice a difference. If it doesn’t show life-changing results right away, persevere. It’s not really meant to be a miracle cure but more of a helping hand.
Incorporate CBD Into a Healthy Lifestyle
Taking CBD should, of course, not be your only means of losing weight, but should rather be incorporated into a routine of exercise and healthy eating.
CBD and Weight Loss: What’s the Verdict?
So, although much research needs to be conducted to fully substantiate these early findings, it seems that CBD may just be able to help not only with fighting weight gain, but fighting the less seen, auxiliary effects of such. Not only does CBD offer a natural alternative to prescription medications, it does not at present have any known adverse side effects. Of course we would also suggest conversing with a medical professional before attempting this. It might not turn us into supermodels overnight, but might be able to help us get a better grip on a healthier lifestyle, and all the benefits that go with it.