Can CBD Help Support Weight Loss
In today’s fast-paced society where fast-food and escalators can be found in every building and every corner of the world, obesity is on the rise. The abundance of unhealthy foods, fast eating, overeating, not getting enough exercise, genetic predisposition and so on are all factors that influence weight gain and can lead to obesity. So,
In today’s fast-paced society where fast-food and escalators can be found in every building and every corner of the world, obesity is on the rise. The abundance of unhealthy foods, fast eating, overeating, not getting enough exercise, genetic predisposition and so on are all factors that influence weight gain and can lead to obesity. So, how come regular cannabis users have lower body mass index (BMI) and are usually thinner than non-users, especially when considering the fact that the most dominant substance in the cannabis plant, THC, increases appetite?
According to anecdotal evidence and recent research, there’s a link between Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most dominant substance in the cannabis plant, and weight loss. This means that cannabis oil high in CBD has fat-burning properties apart from its benefits regarding, anxiety, pain, inflammation and so on.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is basically a formation of the cannabinoids and the naturally occurring receptor cells scattered throughout the body, mainly found in the brain and the immune system. The two main receptor cells, CB1 and CB2, are in charge of keeping us healthy, the former one affecting appetite and energy intake. The CB1 receptors are concentrated in the brain and the central nervous system, but can also be found in different organs like the liver, gut, pancreas, skeletal muscle and the loose connective tissue called adipose, or simply known as body fat. CBD works by binding to the receptors indirectly thus boosting their activity while making them function at full capacity.
The human body is prone to homeostasis (internal balance) and a great example for this is our body temperature. When we’re healthy, our body maintains a certain temperature of around 37 °C. When we become too hot, the hypothalamus alerts our sweat glands to produce more sweat thus cooling us off and lowering our body temperature. Well, apart from other biological systems in our body, this internal balance is also a responsibility to our endocannabinoid system (ECS). How is this connected to weight loss?
Well, let’s say that somebody is overweight because they eat too much. Since their body knows how many meals they have daily and how much food they eat, by binding to the endocannabinoid receptors, CBD’s effect would balance their food intake. So, if you usually overeat, CBD’s effect would cut down your appetite, thus helping you lose weight.
CBD and Fat Cells
According to a new study published in 2016, CBD is found to be connected to our bodies’ fat cells, thus playing a major role in weight loss.
There are two main kinds of fat cells in the human body: white and brown. The former, being the biggest energy reserve we have, store the energy and produce hormones. The latter, on the other hand, burn that energy, meaning they burn calories. White fat (also known as the ‘bad’ fat), increases when we don’t burn all the calories we take as opposed to brown fat (also known as the ‘good’ fat), which is more present in individuals who are lean and healthy.
Interestingly, we can increase the amount of the brown fat cells by converting the white ones into beiges ones. This can be done through several natural ways like improving sleep quality, keeping the body temperature cool, eating healthy foods, exercising, and CBD consumption.
This conversion of the fat cells is called “fat browning”, a process of transforming white fat cells into beige fat cells so that more calories get burned and more heat generated.
Through this process of “fat browning”, CBD impacts our weight by increasing an activity known as mitochondria. Mitochondria is actually our metabolic system’s fat and sugar burning power, so increasing its activity would be proportional to losing weight.
Also, CBD is responsible for stimulating the genes and proteins which boost the oxidation of the fat cells, or in other words, the fat is used to create energy so it’s easily burned.
CBD as an Antioxidant
Antioxidants, such as vitamins C or E, are paramount for good health. These naturally occurring substances take care of our cells by protecting them from oxidant-induced damage, otherwise known as free radicals. However, these antioxidants are not quite enough when it comes to preventing this free radical activity since we’re constantly exposed to different toxins like pollution, cigarette smoke, unhealthy foods etc. The level of toxins in the body is directly proportional to the amount of fat the body produces. This is due to our body’s amazing ‘self-healing’ properties, where it creates a fat barrier to protect itself from harm.
This means that the more exposed somebody is to toxins, the more fat his/her body produces, thus more weight is gained. As a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, CBD helps the body clean itself of toxins. The fewer toxins present in the body, the less fat is being produced by it, so being toxins-free means being lean and healthy.
CBD as an Appetite Suppressant
We’re all aware of marijuana’s well-known after effect on appetite, when the ‘munchies’ come and suddenly the food we have tastes delicious. So, how come regular cannabis-users are usually thinner than non-users?
Well, this is mostly due to the THC’s effect, which acts as an appetite stimulant by increasing one’s appetite moments after consumption. CBD, on the other hand, acts as an appetite suppressant, according to Dr. Frankel. This happens because CBD blocks the activity of THC, meaning that it has its opposite effect. While this may not sound pleasant to many medical-marijuana users, cannabis oil high in CBD can be used as a supplement for weight loss.
Further studies on the connection of CBD and weight loss will only confirm its fat-burning properties apart from its anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties. Since it’s cheap to produce hemp in big quantities, CBD can become the main supplement of the future for battling obesity and keeping one’s weight healthy and in check.
However, we still need more scientific literature when it comes to CBD’s effect on weight-loss and more case studies which will reveal the long-term effects this marvel of a cannabinoid has to offer.