Using CBD for Weight Loss: Fact or Fiction?
At CBD Choice we’re dedicated to providing you with the best, fact-based news and information on CBD and its many applications. So in this article, we’ll be going in-depth into one of CBD’s applications that’s been getting the most attention of late: CBD for weight loss.
Cannabidiol (CBD), our favorite cannabinoid from the hemp plant, is remarkably versatile. New research frequently details exciting new applications for CBD, and users’ anecdotal reports suggest even more. But what about CBD for weight loss?
Certainly, some users are reporting great success with CBD for weight loss and appetite suppression — but does the research back up these claims, or are they baseless hucksterism? Read on to find out whether CBD products deserve a spot in your weight loss toolkit.
Obesity and the Endocannabinoid System
Once ingested, CBD works by interacting with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS), a vital part of every animal’s biology. More specifically, CBD interacts with two types of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Of these, CB1 receptors are more important for the issue of obesity and CBD for weight loss. CB1 receptors are most prevalent in the brain and nervous system; however, in people with obesity, they also become far more prevalent in the body’s fatty tissues.
Because CBD stimulates CB1 receptors, some scientists speculate that CBD may have an effect on obesity and the proliferation or elimination of fatty tissues in the body.
However, conclusive research has not yet been completed, so this connection is not enough to justify claims about CBD for weight loss! Nonetheless, it does suggest that there is a strong connection between the ECS, weight gain, and substances like CBD that interact with fatty tissues.
So What DOES the Research Say About CBD for Weight Loss?
Although the precise link between CBD and obesity may not be understood yet, existing research does show some promise re: CBD for weight loss! If you’re thinking of incorporating CBD into your weight loss toolkit, here’s what the science says about potential applications:
CBD for Appetite Suppression
Get fit in the gym, but lose weight in the kitchen. It’s a common mantra in fitness communities, and the logic of it is undeniable. Weight loss and weight gain are the result of a calorie deficit or surplus, respectively.
Simply put: eat fewer calories than you burn in a day, you’ll lose weight; eat more and you’ll gain. Pretty simple, right?
The trouble is… well, hunger! Especially when you’re starting out on a new weight loss diet, reducing your daily calorie intake can be downright uncomfortable! So, many dieters look to reduce their appetite (and hunger pains) through alternative means.
And as it turns out, CBD might just be the perfect tool for appetite suppression.
A 2012 animal study found that CBD significantly reduced appetite in rats.
While no targeted human studies have been done to follow-up on this finding, research into the human ECS suggests there should be a similar effect.
Indeed, CB1 receptors (which, again, are more prevalent in obese persons), have been linked to increases in hunger and, as a result, increased calorie consumption and weight-gain. By interacting with CB1 receptors and effectively sending a “pause signal”, CBD might be able to curb appetite, reduce hunger pains, and help new dieters adjust to their target calorie deficit more comfortably!
CBD and White Fat vs. Brown Fat
If you’re contemplating CBD for weight loss, we’re sure you know something about fat. It’s that stuff around your midsection that you’re trying to shed, right? Well, that’s not the entire story. Turns out there’s also “good fat”, that actually helps fight obesity!
What’s more? CBD might help turn that “bad” belly fat into the type of good fat you want to keep around.
The “bad” fat that we’re all familiar with is generally known as “white fat”, and it’s the culprit for those love handles of yours and for increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. The “good” fat is known as “brown fat”, and it’s been linked to decreased risk of all of the above!
And here’s where the research on CBD for weight loss gets exciting.
According to a 2016 study, CBD interacted with white fat in a number of interesting ways. First, it promoted the body converting white fat into brown fat; second, it moderately increased the rate at which remaining white fat was broken down!
Note that this study’s findings were isolated, and far more research is required before we can draw final conclusions about CBD for weight loss and breaking down white fat. Nonetheless, the initial findings are very promising, and more and more users’ anecdotal reports support the study’s conclusions.
CBD for Weight Loss: in Closing
So, is CBD for weight loss all that it’s cracked up to be? It’s hard to say for sure, but available evidence looks promising!
The handful of available studies show that CBD may help to reduce appetite and hunger pains that could prevent you from sticking to your diet. Additionally, CBD may aid in converting “bad” fat into “good” fat and help the body to naturally break-down those love handles and get that lean gym bod of your dreams!
But even if CBD doesn’t directly affect your weight loss, exercise, and dieting efforts, it can certainly bring meaningful indirect benefits! For instance, CBD’s proven anti-inflammation and pain-relief properties can be a huge benefit for taking the edge-off after a grueling workout!
For more on incorporating CBD into your active lifestyle, your workout, and your exercise recovery, be sure to check out our CBD pre-workout guide!