CBD has many positive effects on the human body, can it also help with weight loss? Preliminary research suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and increase metabolism, which could promote weight loss;
The studies conducted
For example, in an animal study (link to study) CBD has been shown to affect weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue and the brain. These receptors are thought to play an important role in metabolism and food intake;
In another study (reference to study), which lasted 2 weeks, rats were injected with CBD at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 mg per kilogram of body weight. Both doses caused a significant reduction in body weight, with the higher dose having the most pronounced effect. It is important to consider that the CBD was injected, not taken orally;
In another rat study (link to study), CBD led to a significant reduction in food intake compared to other cannabinoids, including cannabigerol and cannabinol. While such results are promising, human studies are unfortunately lacking;
The effect of CBD on fat cells
There are two types of fat in your body – white and brown. White fat is the predominant form that is responsible for storing and supplying energy. It is also the type of fat that is most associated with chronic diseases – such as diabetes and heart disease when there is an excess of it in the body.
Brown fat, in turn, is responsible for generating heat by burning calories. Individuals with a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat than overweight people. You can convert white fat to brown by exercising, getting adequate sleep and exposing yourself to cold temperatures. Interestingly, research shows that CBD can help this process.
Study in a test tube (link to study) found that CBD led to the “browning” of white fat cells and increased the expression of specific genes and proteins that promote brown fat. However, further research is needed to confirm these effects in the human body;
Marijuana use is associated with lower body weight
Although marijuana use is usually associated with increased food intake, those who use marijuana products tend to weigh less than those who do not;
For example, a survey of over 50,000 people (survey link) reported obesity rates of 14-17% among those who used marijuana at least 3 days per week, compared with 22-25% among those who had not used marijuana in the past 12 months.
Given the prevalence of CBD in marijuana, it is likely part of this relationship, although it is not yet clear how. Researchers believe that cannabinoids as a whole (including CBD) affect appetite, metabolism, and other weight-related bodily functions.
Can CBD promote weight gain?
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Although CBD can have a beneficial effect on appetite and weight loss, it can also cause weight gain. In some studies, CBD has been shown to increase appetite. In fact, one of the most common side effects of CBD treatment is a change in appetite.
In one study (link to study) researchers interviewed 117 parents of children treated with CBD to control epilepsy symptoms. Although parents reported a reduction in epilepsy symptoms, 30% of them claimed that CBD oil significantly increased their children’s appetite. However, studies show mixed results regarding the effects of CBD on appetite;
One 3-month study (link to study) provided 23 children with Dravet syndrome (a type of epilepsy) with up to 25 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight. In some children, there was an increase in appetite, in others a decrease.
A recent survey of 2,409 people using CBD (link to survey) additionally found that 6.35% of people experienced increased hunger as a side effect of CBD.
More research is needed to understand all the effects of CBD on appetite, as they often vary widely. Many factors can affect hunger when taking CBD, including genetics and the type of product used;
Should you try CBD oil for weight loss?
While it is not entirely clear whether CBD oil is effective for weight loss, it has been shown to improve health in other ways. Its use is relatively safe and with little risk of side effects.
More research is needed – especially in humans – to find out how this marijuana product affects our weight. The findings that do exist are relatively weak, which is why CBD oil is not recommended as an effective weight loss method. CBD oil, however, is an increasingly popular product on the market, often sold specifically for weight loss purposes. Although some studies suggest that CBD can increase metabolism while reducing body fat and appetite, others show an increase in appetite. Until more research is completed, it’s best to rely on other evidence-based methods for weight loss – such as dietary and lifestyle changes.