Author: Luke Sholl

Does CBD Support Weight Loss?

CBD for weight loss

In the modern world, a healthy lifestyle is paramount. Whether it's for aesthetic or health reasons, most people have had some experience with a weight loss journey. While there are many supplements, diets, and tips on how to lose weight, could CBD be joining the ranks as a viable way to support losing a few pounds?

How does weight loss work?

To put it simply, weight loss occurs when calories are burned. Consuming more calories than those burned will result in weight gain. This is why it is important to maintain a consistent regimen of healthy eating and exercising.

Many believe that practices such as skipping meals or using smaller plates for smaller portions will help them lose weight. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and it may actually be a detriment to workouts and exercising. Not giving the body enough fuel for these activities will impede performance. Some even develop bad habits by skipping or reducing meals and snacking on unhealthy products between meals.

It may be surprising to some, but sleep also plays a massive role in weight loss. Not only does it allow the body to recharge after exercising, but getting a decent amount of sleep stimulates fat breakdown. This fat-reducing mechanism is known as lipolysis. Studies[1] have also shown that a distinct lack of sleep can negatively impact weight loss, with appetite being potentially increased and bad snacking habits potentially formed to compensate.

Maintaining a healthy weight is something that many strive for. It should be noted that there are no magic potions or shortcuts when it comes to losing weight. However, there are numerous supplements and vitamins that may potentially contribute to weight loss alongside a healthy lifestyle. With so many individuals using CBD oil, softgels, or tablets on a daily basis, could cannabidiol also help when it comes to losing weight?

How can CBD oil help with weight loss?

While everyone's experience may differ, CBD has been noted to display some potential benefits, such as having a soothing effect on the body and promoting sleep readiness—two areas already discussed as having an impact on weight loss.

CBD oil has fast become a hugely popular product, with many users consuming it daily with food or placing a few droplets into a morning smoothie. CBD works with the body through a series of receptors known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Could this system perhaps play a bigger role in weight loss than originally thought?

The role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in weight loss

Located throughout the body, the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate numerous biological processes, including immune response and metabolic function. Its influence is exerted through a network of cell receptors, with the two main receptor types being CB1 and CB2. Neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids bind to these receptors, triggering various biological responses in the body.

CB1 receptors are concentrated in the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are found primarily in immune cells. However, studies[2] suggest that obese people may have a proliferation of CB1 receptors in fatty tissue. This, in turn, suggests a connection between CB1 receptor activation and obesity.

Alongside endocannabinoids, certain external compounds can also affect the ECS. These include CBD and other phytocannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD doesn't bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors directly; however, it's been shown to affect the ECS in complex and indirect ways.

Burning fat and “browning” fat

The term “fat” often has negative connotations when it comes to weight loss. But, not all body fat is created equal. Just like different foods contain healthy and unhealthy fats, body fat can also be healthy or harmful. Did you know that fat cells even come in different colours?

White adipose tissue, or “white fat”, is the result of storing excess calories. This is a type of fat that is typically found in the abdominal region and has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other ailments.

Brown adipose tissue, or “brown fat”, is known as the healthy type of fat. Brown fat contains a high concentration of iron-rich mitochondria, which is what gives it its brown colour. These fat cells burn calories to generate heat, and may directly help to combat obesity.

Interestingly, CBD has been noted to interact with fat cells. One study[3] investigated whether it could promote the conversion of white fat into brown fat through a process known as “fat browning”. It appears CBD displays a potential ability to boost expression of genes and proteins associated with browning.

Metabolic health and appetite control

Another important aspect of weight loss is metabolic health. This is a factor that varies from person to person. Metabolic health essentially entails maintaining healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, and even a healthy waist circumference. While some of these areas will be predetermined by genetics, there are many things a person can do to aid and promote their metabolic health.

Research[4] has been conducted to determine a potential link between the endocannabinoid system and metabolic regulation. Cannabinoid receptors found in the brain, endocrine pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract are an integrated part of the networks that regulate food and appetite. It also appears that over-activation of CB1 receptors plays a role in visceral obesity (abdominal obesity).

Studies[5] have shown that CBD may work as a negative allosteric modulator of CB1 receptors, lessening the binding affinity of agonists to these targets.

Inflammation and oxidative stress have also been found to play a pivotal role in the development of metabolic syndrome. CBD has been probed for its anti-inflammatory[6] and antioxidant[7] value, with preliminary studies laying the groundwork for future clinical trials.

CBD for weight loss — The bottom line

Much like other vitamins and supplements, CBD's effectiveness will vary from person to person, and experiences will differ. It by no means should be viewed as a “quick fix” for weight loss.

As we've seen throughout this article, many factors contribute to weight loss, and CBD does not have a direct link to all of them. Losing weight should be seen as more of a marathon than a sprint. Taking supplements, eating the right foods, and exercising will get you on the track to weight loss, but it is important to be realistic with your goals to get the most out of your experience.

Research into the effectiveness of CBD as a weight loss aid is still in its infancy, but, as more studies are conducted, we are sure to receive updates regarding this topic. Consider registering for our newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest developments in the world of CBD.

If you're interested in trying CBD oil for yourself, why not head over to the Cibdol store for an incredible range of cannabinoid-infused products? Or, if you want to learn more about the power of CBD, search through our extensive CBD Encyclopedia.

Luke Sholl

Cibdol lead writer

Luke Sholl
With over a decade of experience writing about CBD and cannabinoids, Luke is an established journalist working as the lead writer for Cibdol and other cannabinoid publications. Committed to presenting factual, evidence-based content, his fascination with CBD also extends to fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention.
Luke Sholl

Cibdol lead writer

Luke Sholl
With over a decade of experience writing about CBD and cannabinoids, Luke is an established journalist working as the lead writer for Cibdol and other cannabinoid publications. Committed to presenting factual, evidence-based content, his fascination with CBD also extends to fitness, nutrition, and disease prevention.

[1] Newsome, R. (2020). Weight Loss and Sleep. Sleep Foundation. [Source]

[2] Blüher, M., Engeli, S., Klöting, N., Berndt, J., Fasshauer, M., Bátkai, S., Pacher, P., Schön, M. R., Jordan, J., & Stumvoll, M. (2006). Dysregulation of the Peripheral and Adipose Tissue Endocannabinoid System in Human Abdominal Obesity. Diabetes, 55(11), 3053–3060. [Source]

[3] Parray, H. A., & Yun, J. W. (2016). Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 416(1–2), 131–139. [Source]

[4] Bellocchio, L., Cervino, C., Pasquali, R., & Pagotto, U. (2008). The Endocannabinoid System and Energy Metabolism. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 20(6), 850–857. [Source]

[5] Laprairie, R. B., Bagher, A. M., Kelly, M. E. M., & Denovan-Wright, E. M. (2015). Cannabidiol is a negative allosteric modulator of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(20), 4790–4805. [Source]

[6] Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., & Rieder, S. A. (2010). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. NCBI. [Source]

[7] Hampson, A. J., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J., & Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-) 9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(14), 8268–8273. [Source]

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