According to statistics, 40% of adults in America are overweight. For the first time in history, obesity is reported to be the leading cause of the ever-decreasing life expectancy in the US. Hence the need for effective ways to lose weight.
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Meanwhile, studies on CBD’s medical benefits are ongoing – and as fate would have it, there is preliminary evidence supporting the use of CBD oils for weight loss.
For instance, a 2012 study documented the effects of cannabidiol and cannabinol (CBD) compounds on rats’ feeding patterns. The scientists observed that the rats ate less after they were dosed with CBD. These observations set the stage for further research on weight loss opportunities with CBD compounds. They also informed the use of CBD strains as appetite suppressants.
In other news, a 2016 report published in India Times noted that marijuana users show lower rates of diabetes and obesity. Besides, science has linked cannabis to efficient metabolism for a while now.
1. What is CBD? (CBD and weight loss)
CBD is an active chemical in the hemp and cannabis plant. Once administered, it interacts with your endocannabinoid system, which regulates body functions, including appetite, pain, and moods – to produce medicinal effects. When it comes to weight, CBD strains/compounds serve as chemical messengers that indirectly lead to weight loss.
CBD oil is reported to be an effective weight loss supplement. It’s prepared by diluting the CBD extracted from the marijuana plant with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil.
As with any buzz, people are curious about using CBD oils for weight loss. Unfortunately, along that come a torrent of misinformation and fake products – making it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
2. How does CBD Oil help with Weight Loss?
Notably, CBD does not directly lower weight. Instead, it indirectly works through body systems to balance and optimize their health state – triggering weight loss.
As stated earlier, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system present in the body to help it burn more calories, break fat, reduce lipid production, increase metabolism, and suppress appetite. Despite the limited information about CBD oils relating to weight loss, existing suggestions show promise.
To that end, let’s dive deeper into what’s proven, more precisely, how CBD oils treat certain conditions that, if left untreated, trigger weight gain. We’ll also elaborate on some indirect ways in which CBD oils help to lose weight faster.
Let’s get started.
3. How CBD Oil Supports Metabolic and Mitochondrial Health
If you didn’t sleep through your biology classes, you might remember the teacher mentioning that mitochondria are the cell’s brains. The cell’s powerhouse is responsible for converting proteins, fats, and sugar inside the cells into energy. The cells then use the newly found strength to carry out essential body processes, such as cell multiplication and division.
What mitochondria got to do with weight loss
Mitochondria, a.k.a., the cell’s powerhouse, must remain healthy for the body to function optimally. That means they must work to their full capacity for the body to obtain adequate energy to perform necessary activities like secretion, breathing, and food metabolism.
Unfortunately, advanced age and poor lifestyle often impair mitochondria’s capacity to function optimally. With that, it becomes hectic for your body to gain the energy needed to perform – and in this case, to properly metabolize – making it harder to shed weight.
Moreover, the lack of adequate energy in the body makes you weak, limiting your chances of being active – an essential process in losing weight.
In summary, unhealthy mitochondria have a low capacity to regulate cellular metabolism (a.k.a. convert food into cell energy), limiting the amount of energy available for the body to function. That, in turn, results in low body metabolism and limited muscle/body movements – which ultimately makes you obese.
How CBD oil help optimize mitochondria activities
CBD increases the number and the capacity of your mitochondria to manage cellular metabolism.
To understand how it achieves this, let’s first refresh on how the body works.
Your body strives to strike a balance in all it does. Its different systems and organs work together simultaneously to ensure you’ve enough energy to carry out your daily activities. If you don’t have adequate strength, you become weak. If the power is too much, you develop fatty liver disease or other energy-related problems.
With that in mind, and understanding that mitochondria are an essential part of your metabolic system, let’s get familiar with the exact system that links CBD to your mitochondria activities – the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) exerts its effects in the cell to regulate cellular metabolism performed by the mitochondria. When mitochondria are performing below their capacity, CBD oils instructs the ECS to “whip” them into shape, and when performing above their ability, CBD oils instruct the ECS to have them take a “day off.”
In summary, when you partake in CBD oils, you boost ECS’s ability to keep mitochondria in check. Once mitochondria are working optimally, food is broken down to yield the energy needed to perform. Here are the ways you lose weight through:
- Enhanced food metabolism
- Which prevents fat accumulation
- Having optimal energy to stay active
- It helps speed up fat breakdown
And that, my friend, is the breakdown of how CBD oil indirectly leads to weight loss.
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4. How CBD Oil Stabilizes Insulin Levels to Promote Fat Breakdown
According to Biology, the food we eat is metabolized in the digestive tract, and the resulting nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
When you consume sugary and fatty foods, your body experiences an energy surge in the bloodstream. If the body lacks mechanisms to utilize the extra energy, it resolves to store the excess sugar and fats in the bloodstream, which can be fatal.
For that reason, you’re encouraged to exercise regularly – especially if you love consuming lots of fats and sugary food. Because with exercise, energy in equals energy out, eliminating the need for fat and sugar storage in the bloodstream.
While clean eating and regular workouts are sufficient for most people looking to lose weight, they may prove ineffective in some cases, especially in the long haul. According to science, such scenarios are mostly caused by unbalanced insulin levels – a hormone responsible for regulating glucose levels in the body.
How high insulin levels prevent weight loss
Insulin is synthesized in the pancreas to help shuttle sugar compounds into the cell, where they’re, as need be, converted into energy.
Insulin levels rise gradually, with continued sugar consumption over the years – a condition referred to as hyperglycinemia.
In some instances, insulin levels may remain high even with the change in lifestyle and diet – making it near impossible to shed weight. That’s where the CBD oils come in.
How CBD oils normalize insulin levels
There’s mounting evidence that CBD oil can normalize insulin levels.
First, several studies show that CB1 (the endocannabinoid receptor 1) is expressed in peripheral tissues involved in insulin action, such as the liver, adipose tissues, and pancreas. Yet CBD is known to inhibit these receptors – always blocking places where THC (another active compound in the cannabis plant) want to abide.
Another study concluded that CBD oils could easily communicate with the CB1 to delay the destruction of insulin-producing cells – present in the pancreas – which, in turn, affects insulin levels in the body.
An Indian study showed 16% lower fasting insulin levels in diabetic patients who use marijuana. Also, emerging data suggest that CBD oils can indirectly influence insulin response sensitivity in adipocytes tissues. That, in turn, enhances the body’s ability to regulate glucose levels.
Besides prevention, a recent animal study involving overweight rats showed that CBD could reduce or reverse the damages done to insulin-secreting beta cells.
With balanced insulin levels, the liver will convert more glucose into glycogen and force over two-thirds of fat tissues and muscle cells to take up glucose from the bloodstream. That will, in turn, lower blood sugar and prevent a possible accumulation, which will ultimately ease your weight loss process.
The effects of CBD oils for weight loss is particularly significant in obese individuals. Once their insulin levels are stabilized, they start shedding weight –down to healthy levels.
- CBD can serve as a neuroprotectant by lowering insulin levels that’d otherwise injure your nerves
- CBD can serve as an antioxidant to curb inflammation caused by high insulin levels
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5. How CBD Oil Suppresses Appetite to Lower Calories Intake
Food is addictive as it can be, which makes the inability to control one’s appetite the leading cause of obesity.
See, we had evolved from being hunters and gatherers – an era when food was not readily available. Back then, the body had trained itself to store food for later use.
Conversely, food is readily available in the modern era – and that availability is proving to be against us.
For one, the appetite is as high as it has been. But with the food readily available, the high appetite sees us eat our way to obesity, far too quickly.
Thus, there’s a need to suppress our appetite if we are to lose weight.
How the high appetite come about
It all starts in the brain in a region called the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is responsible for managing homeostasis, including hunger-levels, by regulating leptin and ghrelin hormones. The latter hormone stimulates appetite and hunger, whereas Leptin creates the sensation of being full.
According to science, the CB1 receptors (naturally occurring in the body and present in THC compounds) stimulate the neural circuit that regulates Ghrelin. Therefore, losing weight calls for a CB1 blocker – and that’s where our dear CBD oil comes in.
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CBD oil as an appetite suppressant
CBD is an effective CB1 blocker. It is also shown to increase leptin levels – as it stimulates the neural circuit that regulates leptin hormone.
Note, CBD and CB1 are so close yet so antagonistic. Thus, inspect whether your CBD oil for weight loss contains mainly CBD, as even the slightest amount of CB1/THC can hike your appetite.
In summary, CBD oils suppress appetite in three mechanisms:
- Blocking or regulating Ghrelin – the hormone responsible for increased appetite
- Stimulating Leptin – the hormone that provides the sensation of being full
- Slowing down digestion, which promotes food retention – making you feel full for longer
6. How CBD Oil Convert (Bad) White Fat into (Good) Brown Fat
First, let’s get familiar with these fats.
Bad or white fat refers to saturated and artificial fats, which are guilty of clogged arteries, weight gain, and all the unhealthy things attributed to fats.
It’s the predominant form of fat and is responsible for supplying and storing energy; while cushioning and protecting your organs.
Good or brown fat refers to unsaturated fats – similar to those found in fish and nuts. As the name suggests, it’s good for your cholesterol levels, heart, and overall health.
It’s responsible for burning calories to generate heat – an essential process in the weight loss journey. Brown fat is the most active form, with a high prevalence in heavyweight than overweight individuals.
Converting bad fat into good fat
You can convert bad fat into good fat by getting adequate sleep, exercising, and exposing yourself to cold temperatures.
However, there comes a time when the body refuses to cooperate – rendering the afore-mentioned activities useless – in browning white fat. Luckily, CBD comes in handy in such situations.
CBD oil and the browning of white fat
While human research in this matter is still in progress, mounting suggests that CBD oil enhances the expression of specific proteins and genes that promote white fat’s browning.
7. How CBD Oil Limit Excessive Lipogenesis
By definition, Lipogenesis is the process by which metabolic intermediate (scientifically known as acetyl-CoA) is converted to triglycerides – a form in which fat is stored in the body. In simpler terms, it’s the process through which carbohydrates are converted to fatty acids.
Links between Lipogenesis and obesity
As stated above, Lipogenesis results in triglycerides, fatty compounds that are easily stored in the bloodstream. Thus, the more aggressive the process is, the more fatty acids are produced, which, upon storage into the bloodstream, can cause obesity.
For that reason, Lipogenesis should be kept in check while maintaining the right amount of fatty acids needed to stimulate insulin secretion, among other body functions.
How CBD oil limit lipogenesis
Emerging data suggest that cannabinoids like CBD can regulate the rate at which Lipogenesis takes place – thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. Also, CBD is shown to increase cell metabolism, which speeds up the breakdown of excessive triglycerides.
Nonetheless, regulating the rate of Lipogenesis to prevent the formation of excess fatty acids is quite a green but active area of study – which means we only have preliminary suggestions without adequate evidence.
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8. How CBD Oil Manages Stress Levels
Cortisol is described as a steroid hormone responsible for regulating a range of body processes, including immune response and metabolism.
Its amounts in the body are affected by several factors, among them heightened stress levels. High-stress levels affect the balance of cortisol hormone, which consequently affects metabolism. Low metabolism, in turn, leads to weight gain.
When stress subsides, the hormonal balance should stabilize. Still, some stress levels may take weeks to disappear, and in the case of chronic stress, it can take years.
Unfortunately, when sustained daily stress becomes a part of you and your life, it can take a toll on your health and, in some instances, prove fatal. The reason: Chronic or sustained high cortisol levels can impair the immune system and nearly burn out other body systems.
Cortisol hormone and weight fluctuations
Both excess and deficient cortisol levels can affect thyroid functions and sugar levels, triggering weight fluctuations.
Since hormones are wired to work together, imbalanced cortisol levels also impact other hormones in the body.
For instance, high cortisol levels lower testosterone levels – a fat burning and muscle building hormone. A reduction in testosterone hormone automatically increases estrogen levels. That, in turn, encourages fat storage, and in their stead, muscles are burnt for energy. Given that muscles break down fats faster than fatty tissues when the body at rest, high estrogen levels will encourage weight gain in individuals leading sedentary lives. Besides, the more fats are stored, the more weight is gained. So, how are you to overcome the situation?
CBD oil and the stress hormone
CBD is suggested to decrease cortisol and stress levels through the endocannabinoid system, which helps stabilize the metabolism rhythm. That, in turn, stabilizes the muscle-building and fat storage processes.
9. How CBD Oil Treats Insomnia
Insomnia can deter your plans to shed a couple of pounds by affecting detoxification, digestion, and hunger mechanism.
See, when asleep, the organs tend to detoxify to optimize their performance in waking hours. That means a better digestion system in the waking hours, which translates to healthy body weight.
On average, adults should sleep for 7.5 hours every night. Your sleeping patterns should be consistent for better results. Thus, wake up and go to sleep at the same time each night for at least seven days.
At the same time, you cannot expect to lose 10 pounds immediately after increasing your 3-hour per night to 7.5 hours. But you’ll surely see results in the long haul. Conversely, sleeping for more than 7.5 hours a night won’t help you shed extra pounds – thus, don’t crawl up in bed all day in the name of losing weight.
Insomnia and increased weight
Insomnia not only affects your hunger signals but also increases the number of hours available for you to eat – literally any hour out of bed is a potential eating time.
Thus, preventing obesity and overeating tendencies should start with adequate sleep and a healthy bedtime routine.
Insomnia leads to uncontrollable weight gain mainly because the hormones responsible for regulating appetite (namely Ghrelin and Leptin) are also responsible for managing your sleep.
As mentioned in an earlier section, Ghrelin stimulates appetite levels. When it comes to sleep, Ghrelin tells the body to go and rest. When you’re sleep-deprived, the levels of this hormone increase in a bid to get you to sleep more, which, in turn, hike your appetite levels.
On its end, Leptin provides a sensation of feeling full. In sleep matters, Leptin instructs you to stop sleeping. When you’re sleep-deprived, the levels of Leptin falls in a bid to minimize waking duration. That, in turn, hike your appetite.
In summary, more ghrelin = less leptin = weight gain. How can CBD oil help?
CBD oil and Insomnia treatment
CBD oil treats insomnia from its root cause. It addresses causal effects like stress, pain, dementia, and sleep disorder.
The existing data shows that CBD strains interact with receptors located anywhere in the body. With that, it’s logical to assume that one of the receptors is responsible for managing the circadian cycle, a.k.a. the 24-hour wake/sleep cycle.
CBD oil is also suggested to be sedative, which helps decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep. As a result, CBD oil helps improves insomnia.
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10. How CBD Oil Treats Anxiety and Depression
With a 24/7 economy, people are working long hours. The continued industrialization and urbanization lead to air pollution, keeping the mind active for longer – consequently creating a sleeping disorder.
As if things couldn’t get any worse, technology leads to better food processing mechanisms, which translates to more processed/canned, not to mention unhealthy foods for us to consume. Mind you, these foods are already riddled with chemicals.
As a result, you may find your most days characterized by feeling helpless, exhausted, and sleep-deprived. Many are the times when you’re trying just to power through and survive another day.
In such a state, you’ll likely feel unmotivated to cook healthy meals, do regular exercises, freshen up, etc. Consequently, you’ll likely consume canned food full of calories. Given that some of the pre-packaged food is shown to spike endorphin levels, you can become addicted. Then you’re stuck in an endless cycle of eating unhealthy meals while living a sedentary lifestyle – all of which promotes weight gain.
Anxiety and depression also lead to hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance then alters the body’s metabolism and consequently disrupt the storage of fats. That, in turn, disrupts your hunger levels. More precisely, depression leads to overeating, which leads to obesity.
How CBD oil treats depression
According to research, CBD oils’ potential benefits in treating depression lies in their positive impact on serotonin receptors. These brain receptors manage biological processes, such as appetite, learning, cognition, and anxiety.
While CBD may not always boost the serotonin hormone’s secretion, it may influence your brain’s chemical receptors’ sensitivity to serotonin levels already in the system.
In addition, CBD interacts with brain receptors related to stress and anxiety.
More studies suggest that once CBD oils interact with brain receptors, they pose anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. Thus, you feel happy, motivated, with low sensitivity to pain.
Nonetheless, depression is severe mental health, and getting out of its black hole is not easy. You’ll have to alter your lifestyle as CBD oils alone can’t and aren’t much useful. Thus, make a strong habit of eating healthy meals, staying positive, and remaining active.
Under no circumstances should CBD oils replace your antidepressant prescriptions. Yes, CBD oils offer some medical benefits over antidepressants, but you shouldn’t stop taking your medications without consulting your physician first.
11. How CBD Oil Reduces Inflammation
By definition, inflammation is the process of fighting injuries, illnesses, and other things that causes harm to your body.
Inflamed cells are less responsive.
Suppose you’re struggling to shed weight even after exercising regularly and keeping an eye on your calorie intake. In that case, your body could be inflamed – and, as such, fail to respond to positive enhancements.
CBD helps reduce inflammation, which then removes the impediment towards weight loss.
Types of inflammation
Inflammation can be said to be acute or chronic.
Acute inflammation usually occurs after an illness, injury, or infection. In such conditions, the immune system unleashes the immune cells to protect the affected area – resulting in redness and swelling.
Chronic inflammation, on its end, is a prolonged inflammatory response in your body. When this happens, the healthy cells, tissues, and organs in your body get affected alongside their infected counterparts. Over time, chronic inflammation leads to internal scarring and DNA damage. Thus, it’s vital to treat any inflammation as early as possible.
CBD oil and inflammation
CBD oil, being anti-inflammatory, indicate potential benefits in lowering inflammation with little to no side effects.
The oil instructs the endocannabinoid system to engage with the immune system and have it lower its activities. The result is a reduction in inflammation alongside the pain associated therewith.
Emerging data suggest that CBD lowers inflammation following different mechanisms in the body. As such, it shows promise in providing relief for infections characterized by inflammation.
With the mechanisms in mind, let’s look at using CBD oil for weight loss effectively.
See, knowing how CBD oil helps shed weight is good, but knowing how to use it for the best results is non-negotiable.
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12. How to Effectively Use CBD Oil for Weight Loss
You can use CBD oil to lose weight by vaping or as a tincture.
The CBD tincture is administered under your tongue or sublingually. Here, add a few drops of the tincture and permit it to absorb a little before swallowing.
The amount of CBD required is dependent on the concentration of the CBD tincture, your body weight, and other factors. It’s advisable to follow the laid out directions by the tincture manufacturer for maximum results.
The good news?
If you don’t like the droplets, you can opt for the CBD tincture turned capsule. And if you hate its taste, you can add it to food and beverages – all without altering its potency.
Emerging data suggest that the use of CBD oil by vaping is a faster and more accurate way of acquiring the right CBD dose needed to lose weight. However, these studies are relatively green, calling for more time to observe and make reliable inferences.
Key considerations when using CBD oil for weight loss
First, no medication or product will ever replace a clean diet and regular exercise. Thus, while CBD oil may speed up your weight loss journey, it may prove ineffective if you fail to change your lifestyle.
Second, CBD oils are still considered supplements and not medicine, which means they’re not FDA tested and certified. That creates room for unscrupulous manufacturers to lie about their oil constituents. The risk is even higher, given the increasing popularity of CBD as an alternative weight loss therapy.
Thus, do your due diligence to purchase CBD oils from a reputable vendor and manufacturer. Note, a manufacturer interested in making quality CBD oils will frequently perform lab analysis on their products – to showcase CBD concentration in the oil and other additives and contaminants.
Third, there are no scientifically proven safe CBD doses. Thus, you’re on your own in determining the right dosage for you. While at it, consider factors that can affect your CBD tolerance, including genetics, sex, weight, and previous history of CBD use/abuse.
To that end, start with small doses and gradually increase the amount until you realize your desired results. Generally, CBD compounds are tolerated well by the body as people are reported to use up to 1500mg/day without any side effects.
Finally, note that CBD is proven to impact the cytochrome P450 enzyme responsible for metabolizing most drugs. Thus, if you’re under any medication (especially those that require the enzyme for metabolisms purposes), consult your physician before getting started with CBD oils for weight loss. Besides, your physician can direct you on what doses to begin with.
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There’s limited evidence to back up CBD medical benefits, mainly because the federal government still has marijuana in substance I classification – prohibiting its use in research.
Nonetheless, the existing and emerging data shows promise of weight loss opportunities with CBD. Based on data, CBD oils indirectly lead to weight loss following different mechanisms, as discussed above.
However, if you decide to use CBD oils for weight loss, it’s essential to combine it with healthy and clean eating, regular exercises, adequate sleep, and an overall healthy lifestyle. In so doing, you’ll reap more health benefits, in addition to shedding weight.
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