CBD and Its Effects on Weight
CBD may aid weight loss due to how it works in the body.
The body has a built-in endocannabinoid system. This system responds to different compounds in the body through two cannabinoid (CB) receptors, called the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Usually, CB1 receptors exist mainly in the brain and central nervous system and are almost nonexistent in the rest of the body. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, exist throughout the body.
In people with obesity, however, CB1 receptors become more widespread, especially in fatty tissue. Because of this, researchers believe that there may be a link between the activation of the CB1 receptors and obesity.
CBD does not activate the CB receptors directly, instead influencing the body’s natural cannabinoids to either block off or activate the receptors. This may play a role in weight loss or other critical metabolic functions.
There is some evidence to suggest that CBD can help a person lose weight or help prevent metabolic disorders.
How CBD can help with Weight Loss
May boost metabolism and reduce food intake
Preliminary research suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism, which could promote weight loss.
For example, animal studies indicate that CBD affects weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue and the brain. These receptors are thought to play important roles in metabolism and food intake
In a two-week study, rats were injected with CBD daily at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (2.5 and 5 mg per kg). Both doses produced significant reductions in body weight, with the higher dose having the most pronounced effect It’s important to note that CBD was injected, not given orally.
In another rat study, CBD led to a significant reduction in food intake compared to other cannabinoids, including cannabigerol and cannabinol
While such results are promising, not enough human studies support these findings, and more research is needed.
May promote ‘browning’ of fat cells
Two types of fat — white and brown — exist in your body.
White fat is the predominant form, responsible for storing and supplying energy while insulating and cushioning your organs
It’s also the type of fat most associated with chronic illnesses — such as diabetes and heart disease — when accumulated in excess
On the other hand, brown fat is responsible for generating heat by burning calories. Individuals with a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat than overweight people
You can convert white fat to brown by exercising, getting adequate sleep, and exposing yourself to cold temperaturesInterestingly, research shows that CBD may aid this process.
A test-tube study found that CBD led to “browning” in white fat cells and enhanced the expression of specific genes and proteins that promote brown fat
However, human research is needed to confirm these effects.
Marijuana use is associated with lower body weight
Although marijuana use is commonly associated with increased food intake, those who use marijuana products tend to weigh less than those who don’t.
For example, a review in over 50,000 people noted an obesity rate of 14–17% among those who used cannabis at least 3 days per week, compared to 22–25% for those reporting no marijuana use in the past 12 months
As CBD is prevalent in marijuana, it’s likely involved in this relationship — although it’s unclear how.
That said, researchers believe that cannabinoids as a whole — including CBD — affect appetite, metabolism, and other weight-related body functions
More research needs to be done, but the findings are promising. There are even studies that say CBD can even promote weight gain.
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