How CBD Can Help You Lose Weight

Are you thinking about using CBD for weight loss? Cannabidiol, or CBD, is best known for its ability to boost mental health and relieve pain, but it may also help you slim down. In clinical trials, this hemp derivative has been shown effective in the treatment of moderate to severe anxiety and depression, reports a recent review published in the Journal of Cannabis Research. What's more, it seems to reduce pain perception and enhance well-being. Some studies also suggest that CBD may improve sleep and reduce cravings for opiates, alcohol, and other drugs, notes Harvard Medical School.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this compound may facilitate weight loss and prevent obesity. For example, a 2011 review of two surveys conducted on more than 50,000 people found that cannabis users had lower obesity rates than non-users, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers also believe that CBD and other cannabinoids in marijuana may improve insulin sensitivity and glycemic control while reducing waist circumference, reports a 2013 study featured in the American Journal of Medicine. Therefore, it has beneficial effects on body weight and metabolic health. These findings, however, contradict those of previous research, which showed that marijuana stimulates appetite and increases food intake.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at the relationship between CBD and weight loss so you can make an informed decision. 

CBD may influence metabolism and fat burning

Cannabidiol may indirectly help with weight loss through several mechanisms. First of all, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a cell-signaling network that influences appetite, sleep, muscle growth, metabolism, digestion, and other processes in the human body, explains Healthline. Moreover, it blocks the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), which in turn may help prevent obesity, according to 2020 research published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology. The same source reports that CBD regulates energy metabolism and may increase lipolysis, or fat breakdown.

In clinical studies, CBD has been found to boost energy expenditure and improve the body's ability to use glucose for fuel, according to the above review. Plus, it seems to decrease insulin and blood sugar levels, which may benefit people with diabetes, obesity, or other metabolic disorders. At the same time, it raises your body's core temperature, leading to more calories burned. Scientists also believe that CBD facilitates weight loss by bringing down inflammation, a risk factor for obesity and chronic disease.

Another theory states that cannabinoids, including CBD, increase brown fat in the body, according to a 2018 review featured in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Brown adipose tissue requires more energy to sustain itself compared to "white" fat and hence can stimulate thermogenesis, or heat production, resulting in weight loss. This type of body fat may protect against diabetes and other metabolic disorders, notes the University of Michigan

You may end up eating less if you take CBD

Marijuana stimulates appetite and makes you hungry, but that's not the case with CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant compound in the cannabis plant, boosts the production of ghrelin, the so-called "hunger hormone," dietician Janice Newell Bissex told The Washington Post. This compound also stimulates the brain areas that regulate appetite, making you eat more even when you're full.

CBD, on the other hand, doesn't directly increase appetite. Instead, it calms your mind and soothes the digestive tract, making it easier to keep food down when you're stressed or ill. "If you feel less nauseated, you may eat more. CBD also quells pain, and feeling less pain may also boost appetite," explains Bissex. What's more, this cannabis compound may counteract the appetite-stimulating effects of THC, suggests a 2010 study published in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Based on these findings, it's fair to say that CBD may benefit those who want to get leaner and keep their metabolism up. However, this compound cannot replace a balanced diet and regular exercise. Also, note that most studies in this area were small and require further investigation. From ditching the sugar and filling up on protein to limiting stress, there are more effective ways to lose weight and keep the pounds off.