Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds exclusively found in cannabis.
CBD has gained notoriety in the industry because it is a non-psychoactive component and predominantly extracted from hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant.
CBD is federally legal in the U.S. if extracted from hemp with less than 0.3% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the only psychoactive cannabinoid, of which hemp carries low quantities.
Knowledge of CBD and the effects it has on the body continues to grow. There’s still a long way to go before we can confirm any benefits conclusively. Still, even at these early stages, numerous studies and anecdotal accounts have linked CBD to various positive effects.
Some of the most popular ones are pain relief, stress & anxiety reduction, and better sleep patterns. Lately, many people have turned to CBD, looking for its aid in weight loss.
But for the most part, CBD is considered a supplement. Meaning, there are no FDA-approved CBD-based prescription drugs that target weight loss. The only exception is Epidiolex, a drug that targets specific types of epilepsy.
So, the relationship between CBD and weight loss cannot be proven yet, and CBD should only be taken as a compliment to a balanced diet when it comes to losing weight without putting your health at risk.
However, there are multiple reasons to believe CBD and weight loss may be connected. Preliminary studies have shown a possible link between them, and anecdotal evidence supporting it has increased exponentially in the past decade .
Does CBD Help with Weight Loss?
As of right now, we can’t conclusively state whether or not CBD helps with weight loss.
A similar scenario happens with CBD and weight loss. There is tons of research, but none of it is considered conclusive. Many more human trials are needed before the FDA can confirm a claim like this one.
Given that anxiety, pain relief, and sleep have been directly linked to weight variations, there is a potential link between CBD and weight loss. In other words, if the thing that is causing the weight gain in an individual can be modified by consuming CBD, then perhaps by changing the cause, we may also trigger an adverse effect like weight loss.
According to a 2013 study on the relationship between pain and obesity, “Chronic pain may result in obesity because of physical inactivity and utilization of eating for analgesic effect.” However, the same study states that genetic, psychological, or metabolic factors may also lead to obesity and pain.
If CBD has analgesic effects on the human body, then weight gain caused by inactivity could be reduced. If you want to know more about the potential analgesic properties of CBD, click here.
Likewise, having a healthy sleep pattern is an essential modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism. Which would explain why sleep loss could result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, among which an increase in hunger and appetite stands out. This increase in hunger could also increase the chances of obesity in the individual. This is according to a 2011 study that assesses the relationship between sleep and obesity.
CBD has been shown to help with stress & anxiety reduction, a feature that could consequentially optimize sleep patterns . And if sleep quality is optimized, then obesity could potentially be combated more swiftly.
What Dose and Type of CBD Product Should You Take?
When consuming CBD for a specific purpose like weight management, many variables come into play; the time of day you take it, the dose, the type of product, how many times a day you take CBD, and the product's potency you're purchasing.
There is no recommended dose of CBD for weight loss. Because CBD is not a prescription drug, doses are not standardized. But CBD products made by reliable brands usually come with accurate serving suggestions.
Other than that, the best options you have to define a dose that works for you are visiting a licensed physician that can assess your case and experimenting with your tolerance to CBD. Bear in mind that you should always consult with a doctor first, especially if you have an underlying health condition or take other prescription medications before or in parallel to CBD consumption.
Is There a Relationship Between CBD and Weight Loss?
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is the biological entity responsible for all cannabinoid interactions within the body. In other words, it is the way the body communicates with and benefits from cannabinoids, including CBD.
It does so through the two primary receptors that comprise it; CB1 and CB2 receptors. These endocannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body and control a variety of its functions. Changing the way these receptors interact with the body could mean that the functions they control are also modified.
The CB1 receptors are mainly located in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are primarily located in the immune system.
In overweight people, CB1 receptors spread throughout the body, specifically in fatty tissue. Because CBD interacts with these receptors directly, and the receptors can modify functions within the part of the body where they’re located, it is suspected that the interaction with CB1 receptors in overweight individuals could result in weight loss.
The body contains mostly white adipose tissue (WAT), also known as white fat. It is one of the two types of adipose tissue found in mammals and is the most difficult to break down. The other type of adipose tissue is brown fat, which can be broken down more quickly than white fat.
It is believed that CBD can help convert white fat into brown fat, which would make fat easier to break down, hence, promoting weight loss. The conversion of white fat into brown fat is also said to help regulate thermogenesis, food intake, and inflammation.
On top of that, CBD has also been suspected of helping the body burn fat cells more quickly, but the evidence to back this up is scarce.
Some studies point to CBD acting as a serotonin release regulating agent, which could play a role in weight loss and other metabolic functions.
CBD cannot substitute for a healthy diet. It is considered a supplement, which means that it should be taken and a healthy diet as a compliment and not in replacement of one. There is only a single prescription CBD medication approved in the U.S., targeting specific types of epilepsy, not metabolic disorders like obesity. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying CBD and reporting weight loss. However, healthy weight loss is primarily induced by a balanced diet and frequent exercise. CBD is only and should only be taken as a compliment to both of those activities.