If you’ve ever read about CBD, you might feel like it all sounds a little too good to be true. There’s a good chance that you know people who are taking CBD for everything from pain and inflammation to insomnia and acne. You may even know someone who is taking CBD to help them shed extra pounds.
Can CBD help you lose weight? Or is that just a myth?
If it can, that’s huge news. After all, there are more than 1.9 billion adults that are overweight and more than 650 million that are obese throughout the world. Being overweight correlates with a long list of health conditions, so discovering that people could use CBD for losing weight could be a huge game-changer.
Let’s take a look at the research that scientists have done so far.
The Endocannabinoid System and Body Weight
At this point, there is a lot that researchers don’t know about CBD and the bodily system it interacts with, the endocannabinoid system. However, scientists do know that this system helps to regulate a number of different processes, including memory, immunity, mood, pain, and stress. On top of that, it’s known to be critically involved in the regulation of energy.
Researchers have found that an overactive CB1 receptor can promote the development of a number of disorders including obesity. CBD interacts indirectly with this receptor, and animal studies have found that through this interaction CBD might affect body weight.
Ultimately, there is consensus that more research is needed into the endocannabinoid system and its role and how CBD interacts with that system. However, it is clear that the ECS does play a role in metabolism and that CBD might impact the relevant receptors.
Can CBD Help You Lose Weight?
Being overweight is associated with a long list of health conditions. These include high blood sugar, diabetes, chronic inflammation, increased blood pressure, and more. Losing weight isn’t just about looking your best, it’s also about your overall health and well-being.
There are a number of health benefits that proponents of CBD claim, including that it can help with hangovers. One of these is weight loss. Let’s take a look at what is known (and what isn’t known yet) about the effects of CBD on your weight.
It Might Reduce Food Intake and Boost Metabolism
Some of the preliminary research into CBD suggests that using CBD could help reduce your food intake. On top of that, it is also thought to help boost metabolism.
As a quick refresher, metabolism is the chemical reaction that changes food into energy. This reaction occurs in the body’s cells. How effective and efficient this metabolic process is has a direct relationship to weight loss and weight gain.
A number of different animal studies have found that CBD interacts with what is known as CB1 and CB2 receptors in both the brain and lymphoid tissues. This is relevant to the issue at hand because it’s thought that these receptors play a role in both food intake and metabolism.
One particular study involved rats that were injected with CBD every day. There were two different doses used in the study. Both of the doses caused significant bodyweight reduction, with the more pronounced effect occurring from the higher dose.
Since the CBD was injected and not orally given, though, it’s worth noting this might not be applicable to human use of CBD.
Lastly, another study involving rats found that CBD led to a notable reduction in food intake when compared to other types of cannabinoids.
At this point, more research needs to be done about the relationship between CBD, food intake, and metabolism. However, the animal studies that have been done so far are definitely promising.
It Might Promote Fat Cell “Browning”
There are two different types of fat in the human body. These are called white and brown fat. The predominant form of fat is white fat. This type of fat is responsible for cushioning and insulating your organs as well as storing and supplying energy.
White fat is the kind of fat that is most associated with chronic diseases. When accumulated in excess, this type of fat is linked with heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.
Brown fat, on the other hand, burns calories in order to generate heat. People who maintain a healthy weight typically have a higher percentage of brown fat than individuals who are overweight or obese.
White fat can convert into brown fat through exercise, cold exposure, and getting adequate sleep. Some research has also suggested that CBD can help with this conversion.
One study using test tubes found that CBD enhanced the expression of certain proteins and genes that promote the existence of brown fat. In addition, this study found that CBD could help lead to “browning” in the cells of white fat.
While this is all very promising, it’s important to note that more human research is needed before researchers can have certainty on the matter.
Can CBD Cause Weight Gain?
While there is research that points to the potential efficacy of CBD for losing weight, there is also some evidence that it could lead to weight gain.
In some studies, CBD appeared to boost people’s appetite. One of the most common side effects of treatment with CBD, in fact, is changes in appetite.
One study took a look at epileptic children who were being treated with CBD. In this study, the parents of these children underwent interviews with researchers. Though CBD did reduce their epilepsy symptoms, 30% of respondents also said that their children’s appetite increased.
All in all, though, the studies showed mixed results. While some children did have appetite increases, others had decreases in their appetite.
In addition, a review that was recently done found that only 6.35% of respondents experienced increased hunger as a side effect of CBD use.
As with the other topics mentioned, the bottom line is that more research will help us gain a better understanding of the effects of CBD. There are a lot of different factors that impact people’s appetite while taking CBD, including the use of different CBD products and genetic factors.
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CBD Weight Loss: Should You Try It?
At this point, there is unclear evidence about whether or not CBD can help with weight loss. However, overall the research is quite promising. There are also many other potential benefits of CBD that have been studied by scientists.
On top of that, taking CBD is generally safe. However, it’s a good idea to talk to your physician before you start taking CBD for any reason. Despite being typically well-tolerated, there are some contraindications between CBD and other types of medications.
If you’re thinking about taking CBD for weight loss, your doctor can help you weigh out the pros and cons. They can also talk to you about other potential lifestyle changes that could help you reach your weight loss goals.
There is also evidence that CBD can help to reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often involved in metabolic dysfunction. In fact, one of the most at-risk organs in diabetic and obese people in the pancreas.
The pancreas will become hyperactive in order to secrete excess insulin. However, this can lead to the entire gland becoming inflamed. Beta cells can become damaged during this process. They are responsible for secreting insulin, which can lead a person one step closer to both obesity and diabetes.
There is also some evidence that CBD can help with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a common feature of both diabetes and obesity.
Lastly, CBD might also help to repair damage to the liver. One common marker for both diabetes and obesity is damage to liver cells, and helping to repair the liver cells might help prevent or reduce weight issues.
CBD for Losing Weight: Is It Right for You?
So, can CBD help you lose weight? According to the research, the answer at this point is: maybe. No matter why you’re thinking about taking CBD, though, you’ll want to talk to your doctor first.
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