Updated: Sep 25, 2019
Ok, let's be clear and up front on this one. Anecdotally, no one that I know of year to date, including myself has experienced any kind of weight loss by using CBD. I am confident in saying that if CBD was some kind of miracle weight loss supplement, the world would be all over it. However, we are here to educate you on what we are seeing from a scientific perspective, and also helps you make informed decisions on how to interpret the findings so they are not used as gimmicks to sell you something that has no clear indication of working.
CBD has been reported to improve weight loss. A few of its potential effects are outlined below.
CBD may boost metabolism and reduce food intake
Remember, this preliminary research has been done on animals, however, these studies indicated that CBD affects weight by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in lymphoid tissue (the part of the body's immune system that is important for the immune response and helps protect it from infection and foreign bodies) and the brain and suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism, which could promote weight loss or appetite suppression. These receptors are thought to play important roles in metabolism and food intake. (Study 1, Study 2).
In another study, for two-weeks rats were injected with CBD daily at doses of 1.1 and 2.3 mg per pound of body weight (2.5 and 5 mg per kg). Both doses produced significant reductions in body weight, with the higher dose having the most pronounced effect.
It is also important to note that CBD was injected! Now, currently there is no known safe injectable form of CBD for human consumption.
Lastly, in another rat study, CBD led to a significant reduction in food intake compared to other cannabinoids, including cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).
While some of these results are promising, not enough human studies support these findings and more research is needed.
CBD may promote ‘browning’ of fat cells
Did you know there are various types of fat that exists in our body? Two main types of fat are white and brown, each with totally different uses. If you knew the answer to this, then you are smarter than most! I always thought fat was fat! At least when I look in the mirror, it all seems to look the same, but I digress…
White fat is the most common form of fat in your body and is responsible for storing and supplying energy and some nutrients, while insulating and cushioning your organs.
White fat is most commonly associated with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, when you carry it in excess. Large amounts of white fat around the abdominal area are associated with a higher risk of metabolic disease, while fat in the hips and thighs do not care the same risks.
On the other hand, brown adipose tissue (BAT) or brown fat generates heat to help us burn calories. When it is cold, brown fat's reserves are depleted, and its color gets darker. Brown fat tissue in the body can burn enormous amounts of energy to generate heat, and studies in humans and animals have suggested that increasing the amount of healthy brown fat might help weight management and reduce symptoms of diabetes.
You CAN convert white fat to brown by exercising, getting adequate sleep, and exposing yourself to cold temperatures. This is why people who exercise lose weight, why SOTA CBD carries a sleep aide, and Cryotherapy can be beneficial to people.
Why am I mentioning this? Well…interestingly enough, research shows that CBD may aid in the process of converting white fat to brown fat. IMPORTANT…this was a test-tube study and was not done on actual humans. It found that CBD led to (in simple terms) converting white fat to brown fat.
Having said that, don’t get your hopes up and start consuming copious amounts of CBD to start converting your white fat to brown fat. Human…I repeat…Human research is needed to confirm these effects.
What about adding TCH into the mix?
I find this rather fascinating, in the that marijuana use is commonly associated with increased food intake. You know...the Munchies! However, those who use marijuana products tend to weigh less than those who don’t!
In this review, a much larger sampling of over 50,000 people, showed an obesity rate of 14–17% among those who used cannabis at least 3 days per week, compared to 22–25% for those who did not use marijuana within the past 12 months.
As CBD is abundant in marijuana, there is a good chance it is involved in appetite suppression, it is just unclear how. Researchers do believe that cannabinoids, as a whole, (including CBD) affect appetite, metabolism, and other weight-related body functions as indicated by the number of studies done on this subject.
CBD could also promote weight gain?
Wait…you just shared with me studies that showed potential weight loss?
Ironically, CBD has also been shown to increase appetite in some studies. In fact, one of the most common side effects of CBD treatment is appetite change. Researchers interviewed 117 parents of children with epilepsy who were being treated with CBD to control symptoms. Although there was a large reduction in epilepsy symptoms, 30% of parents claimed that CBD oil greatly increased their child’s appetite. Having said that, the amount of CBD needed to treat epilepsy is much greater than the average person’s consumption.
Lastly, in a recent review 2,409 people who use CBD found that only 6.35% experienced increased hunger as a side effect. Weight gain? You be the judge.
Weight loss...Gimmick or no Gimmick?
CBD oil is growing in popularity because of the many health benefits people are experiencing that are unfortunately often marketed for weight loss. I'm sorry to say, but current research simply does not show a clear effect on weight.
The results are mixed, as some studies show that CBD may boost metabolism while lowering body fat and decreasing appetite, others show an increase in appetite.
I am not prepared to call CBD for weight loss a gimmick just yet until more research is done. I think it is safe to say that you are better off using proven dietary methods of eating the right foods, at the right amounts, with adequate exercise to lose weight. Then supplement your exercise recovery with CBD, which is known to help with issues such as inflammation and pain management.