CBD and Keto: the Low-Carb CBD Guide
Is CBD keto friendly? If you’re on keto or another low-carb diet, it’s an essential question. The last thing you want is for your CBD products to contain a few hidden carbs that send you straight out of ketosis! The keto diet, she is a strict mistress, and she demands vigilance.
So, CBD and keto. Is it a match made in heaven? Or a recipe for diet disaster? (Spoilers: They go together splendidly, though there are a few things to look out for).
In this article, we cover all the basics of what makes the keto diet work, what to be wary of when choosing keto-friendly CBD products, and all the ways that CBD interacts with (and can even benefit) your keto diet goals!
What is the Keto Diet?
In recent years, the keto diet has sprung into the spotlight and won legions of die-hard followers. But what makes it special?
Most non-dieters’ primary fuel source is carbohydrates, which the body can burn very quickly and easily. But carbs aren’t the only thing the body can run on. By limiting their carb intake, keto dieters can enter a metabolic state known as ketosis, in which the body starts burning fat and fatty acids for fuel instead!
The typical keto diet involved dramatically reducing one’s intake of carbohydrates, significantly increasing intake of healthy fats, and moderately increasing intake of protein.
The keto diet, unsurprisingly, is all about entering and maintaining that state of ketosis. Although most keto dieters join for the promise of weight loss, there are also a number of less obvious benefits that make the keto diet more appealing.
As with any diet, the effects of the keto diet will vary from person to person. However, common keto benefits include:
- Increased weight loss
- Higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol
- Reduced blood sugar and insulin levels
- Increased energy and focus
- Reduced frequency/severity of epileptic seizures
- Reduced inflammation and inflammatory pain
CBD and Keto: BFF’s or Sworn Enemies?
So: is CBD keto friendly? What do we even mean by that? At the most basic level, it’s all about carb counting, but we should also consider whether CBD benefits or hinders any of the goals you may have for your keto diet.
Let’s get rid of that suspenseful feeling: CBD is absolutely keto friendly, though you may want to double-check the ingredients in the particular CBD products you choose to use.
Both in terms of carb content and secondary benefits of the keto diet, CBD products may be an ideal complement to your keto goals.
CBD and Carb Counting
When we ask, “is CBD keto friendly”, the most pressing issue is a matter of carb content.
The keto diet is the archetypal low-carb diet. It requires that users strictly limit their carbohydrate intake, typically to between 20g (strict keto) and 50g (more lenient keto) daily. And take it from your humble author, a recent convert to the keto lifestyle: that’s no easy feat.
Well, good news: CBD is carb-free, baby!
But let’s clarify that a little bit. Yes, CBD isolate powder is a zero carb way of getting all those sweet (not literally) CBD benefits you know and love. But! Most people don’t take CBD isolate powder; they take CBD oil tinctures, capsules, or some other CBD product with a host of other ingredients.
Unsurprisingly, the ingredients in some CBD products (especially sweeteners) may add hidden carbs to your CBD dose.
In most cases, this shouldn’t be a problem, as typical doses of CBD tinctures and the like are so small that they’ll likely only introduce 1 or 2 carbs, even if the product uses a carb-rich ingredient.
Still, if you’re trying to limit your carb intake as much as possible, a bit of research will make all the difference. Be sure to inspect the ingredients of each CBD product you’re considering (which we always list under the “Description” tab on our product pages). And, when in doubt about a specific ingredient, a quick Google search will get you what you need.
As with so many things on the keto diet: eternal vigilance is the burden we bear.
CBD Products Are Often Rich Sources of Healthy Fat
When you adopt the keto diet, you cut carbs and dramatically increase daily intake of healthy fats. For keto dieters, reaching these “macronutrient” targets can be difficult.
Many keto dieters (including your humble author) turn to fat-rich supplements such as MCT oil or coconut oil, which quickly add a moderate-to-high dose of healthy fats to virtually any meal.
And here’s another way that common CBD products can benefit your keto diet: CBD oils are often made with an MCT oil base, rich in the healthy, natural fats the body so desperately needs on keto!
CBD May Aid in Weight Loss
Although there’s still some debate about the science behind it, available studies and user reports suggest that CBD can be an effective weight loss tool. That answers the question “is CBD keto friendly” with a resounding yes!
From curbing appetite to converting “bad” white fat into “good” brown fat, CBD may help kick your weight loss into overdrive, making it the perfect complement to your keto weight goals.
For a research-based discussion of CBD’s potential benefits, read our in-depth guide to CBD for Weight Loss.
CBD for Coping with “Keto Flu”
If you’re contemplating making the switch to keto, be prepared: the first week can be… rocky. But bear with it! After your body adjusts, the keto flu symptoms subside, and boy oh boy, are the benefits of keto worthwhile!
As the body adjusts to burning fat instead of carbohydrates, most users will experience some unpleasant side effects. These may include nausea, headaches, irritability, muscle weakness, intense sugar cravings, and more.
Collectively, these symptoms are known as the “keto flu”. And take it from me, the keto flu is real.
While CBD won’t miraculously cure your keto flu, it can help you ride-out many of the underlying symptoms.
For more on how CBD can (and how it can’t) help you cope with the keto flu, check out our article on CBD and the traditional flu. After all, it’s no coincidence that we call it the keto flu, as many of the symptoms are so unpleasantly similar to that common malady.
CBD and Keto’s Secondary Benefits: Mood, Focus, Inflammation, and Seizures
Looking at the list of keto’s benefits above, you may have been struck by just how many commonalities exist with CBD.
If you’re considering the keto diet for its potential to benefit your mood and energy or for more severe ailments such as chronic inflammation or epileptic seizures, CBD could potentially be a wonderful complement to your diet and other treatment. However, you should always talk to your doctor about CBD before using it for any legitimate medical condition.
For more on CBD’s effect on focus, energy, and anxiety, see our guide to CBD and Mental Health.
For more on CBD’s effect on inflammation and chronic pain, see our guide to CBD and Pain Management.
To learn about using CBD to treat epileptic seizures, see our in-depth, research-based examination of CBD and epilepsy.