It is estimated that around 40% of Americans are now classified as obese or overweight, and that number keeps climbing. Obesity leads to several ominous and sometimes fatal healthcare complications such as heart disease and type II diabetes.
Should CBD be used to help with weight-loss efforts? Doctors are still on the fence as scientists carefully conduct studies that try to provide the science-based evidence we need to answer that question.
CBD oil has become hugely popular in the natural health world over the last decade, and its popularity has hugely increased as state-by-state the cannabis laws are relaxing. CBD oil use is now legal in almost all 50 states, as long as the THC level is less than 0.3%.
What Is CBD?
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a compound derived from the cannabis plant. It does not contain therapeutic levels of THC and therefore is able to give you helpful health benefits without getting you high. It often comes in the form of oil, but it can be delivered as a spray, vape, or edible as well.
A lot of the health benefits associated with CBD oil come from the notion of micro-dosing. According to the CBD Mag, micro-dosing comes from the idea that the body has an easier time absorbing and using the chemical compound if it is delivered in small, consistent doses daily.
It has been linked with helping curb the symptoms of many mental and physical disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, weight loss, and much more.
Due to laws surrounding the use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, scientists have been largely unable to study its effects on the body until now.
You can expect to find a growing mountain of evidence-based studies surfacing over the next couple of years. For now, we have to go with a smaller number of studies and anecdotal evidence from CBD users.
How Can CBD Help People Lose Weight?
Scientists have discovered that CBD can have an impact on the way our bodies deal with fat in two different ways. First, CBD aid in the conversion of white (unhealthy) fat into brown (easier to burn) fat. Second, CBD can increase your metabolism,, which means your body will start to naturally burn more fat.
Fat gets a bad rap, but not all fat is bad for you. Our bodies need fat because it stores energy, but if you eat more calories than you can burn, it starts to accumulate and causes you to gain weight. Brown fat is considered to be better because it stores energy in a smaller space, and it also creates heat while it burns, and that increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories.
Another way CBD could be helpful in preventing obesity is that it might help curb the appetite. Studies done on animals suggest that CBD affects the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. These receptors are thought to play a big role in metabolism and appetite. The study, which was done with rats, showed a decrease in weight and food consumption with the use of CBD. Once the appetite is under control, people are able to make healthier decisions and also get more exercise, according to Kyro, thus leading to a healthier lifestyle.
But Wait, Can You Get High from CBD Oil?
The idea that CBD could lead to weight loss may sound counterintuitive at first since pop culture has created the idea that the use of cannabis leads to a lot of mindless snacking. This is often true when you use products that contain high levels of THC for the purpose of obtaining a high. That high stimulates the appetite, but CBD oil doesn’t contain THC.
Indirect Ways CBD Can Help With Weight Loss
The possible weight-loss benefits of CBD doesn’t stop with fat burning and appetite control. Here are some additional ways that CBD might play a role in preventing obesity.
- CBD helps with Anxiety and Depression
People who suffer from depression and severe anxiety are more prone to becoming obese. Depression, in particular, can make you tired, weak, and uninterested in physical activity or self-care. CBD’s ability to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain can help reduce depression and anxiety. When these crippling mental health conditions are treated, weight loss can be a natural side-effect. Additionally, pharmaceutical treatments for anxiety and depression often have weight gain as an unwanted side-effect that could be eliminated with the use of CBD oil.
- CBD helps with Insomnia
Sleepless nights have been linked to obesity in numerous studies. CBD use stimulates the brain to produce more serotonin and melatonin, both of which help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- CBD helps with Managing Chronic Pain
Every human body has a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), meant to regulate a variety of functions including sleep, pain and immune system response. CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system in a way that reduces pain and inflammation. When you can relieve a person’s pain, they are clear to exercise, which will aid in healthy weight loss.
CBD Use Side-Effects And Other Considerations
Before you try micro-dosing or using CBD oil, take the following thoughts into consideration, and always consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.
Only a few very limited studies have been done on the use of CBD as a weight loss aid. While the budding research is promising, it is important to note that CBD use does not replace the value of a healthy diet, exercise program, and good old fashioned motivation.
The right dosage of CBD oil is not a one-size-fits-all situation. The ideal dosage for a person will depend on body weight and their own sensitivity to CBD. Use a doctor’s help to find the right dose.
There are no known ill effects on a person’s health that relate to CBD use thus far. However, carrier oils and other elements that could enter the compound during extraction can cause temporary symptoms such as tiredness, irritability, diarrhea, and nausea.