How CBD Can Help You Lose Weight
“Losing weight is easy,” said no one, ever.
Let’s be real: getting rid of unwanted pounds requires a LOT of serious effort, commitment, and dedication. This is especially true if you are overweight – and we’re not just talking about 5 or 10 pounds beyond your ideal weight.
If you are obese, which is medically defined as being 20% more than your ideal weight, losing weight is no longer just an issue of vanity. Obesity can lead to a range of health problems down the line, including: diabetes, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, cancer, breathing problems, and much more.
Weight loss has evolved into a million dollar industry; there are easily hundreds, maybe thousands of products on the market that claim to help you lose weight. If they do work, they can’t work alone – you also have to put in the work by restricting your calories and increasing your exercise. Ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight: it’s tough especially for people who have a lot of other important things to take care such as raising a family or working a 9-5 job.
Then there are people to whom being overweight or obese didn’t come as a choice. If you’re pregnant, menopausing, have hypothyroidism, under a lot of stress, or suffer an injury that has caused you a disability, weight gain can be a side effect.
But did you know that cannabis can help with weight loss, too?
Cannabidiol (CBD), specifically.
You may want to consider supplementing with CBD products after reading this. But first you have to understand why CBD helps with weight loss, and not whole plant medicine. By now, you’re probably familiar with the phenomenon known as the munchies, which is probably one of the most common “side effects” of cannabis. Anyone who’s ever smoked pot can probably relate to that insatiable hunger (for pizza or tacos?) that follows soon after getting lit. There’s a science behind this. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis, affects the brain in such a way that it makes us think we’re hungry. A European study found that THC stimulates the brain’s olfactory bulb, which can then increase the ability to smell food. It basically explains that the reason why we want to eat more after getting stoned is because we can smell and taste it more with even more precision.
A recent study published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Chemistry examined how CBD affects immature fat cells, known as preadipocytes. The Korean researchers found that CBD was effective in preventing obesity in many ways: by stimulating the genes and proteins that promote the oxidation and breakdown of fat; by increasing the activity and quantity of mitochondria, which thus increases the ability to burn more calories; and by decreasing the expression of proteins which are involved in fat cell generation, a process known as lipogenesis.
Additionally, they found that CBD helps with a process called “fat browning”, which is essentially converting what is usually white-colored fat tissue, which stores energy; into beige-colored fat tissue, which burns energy. Older studies show that increasing the beige fat in animals has resulted in an improvement in glucose tolerance, which increases the resistance to diabetes as well as other abnormalities in blood lipids.
Another study, published in 2012, assessed how various phytocannabinoids including CBD and CBN, affected the feeding behaviors of animal models. They found that different cannabinoids have different effects in modulating the CB1 receptors and thus have varying effects on metabolism and appetite. They found that while CBN increased food intake and made it easier to gain weight, CBD had the opposite effect – a decrease in weight gain and food consumption was seen. This also has to do with the fat browning phenomenon, as mentioned earlier.
Those aren’t the only benefits of using CBD, though. Its ability to treat pain, inflammation, and other diseases that prevent you from getting the exercise you need to burn even more calories makes it a little easier for you to lose weight. However, keep in mind that CBD shouldn’t be seen as a band-aid for weight loss; nor should you rely on it alone. Using CBD in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and exercise is still the best and healthiest way to lose unwanted pounds.
Have you used CBD to help with weight loss? Share your experience with us in the comments below!