Can CBD Help Me Lose Weight?
CBD already shows promise for helping with a variety of health issues, from epilepsy to depression and more. As the cannabinoid is further researched, new potential uses are being discovered, one of which is its potential for helping with weight loss and weight management.
While some substances in cannabis, such as THC, usually stimulate appetite, CBD appears to have the opposite effect. In a study that compared three cannabinoids, CBD reduced the total amount of food that rats ate over time. Along those lines, people report that CBD has proven useful for reducing their appetite, and some people attribute its potential to regulate mood as a reason to keep them from emotionally over-eating!
CBD also can potentially help with burning calories. A separate study showed that CBD played a role in a process called “fat browning,” which encourages calorie burning in the body.
What Is Fat Browning?
To understand what exactly fat browning is, you’ll need to know the difference between white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose tissue (BAT). WAT, also known as white fat, forms when the body needs to store excess calories. So, when we consume too many calories, our bodies convert those extra calories into white fat as an energy reserve.
BAT, or brown fat, is responsible for generating heat in the body, and to do this, it burns calories. Some experiments done on mice show that adding brown fat to their bodies increased the rate at which they burnt energy, reduced the total amount of fat on their bodies, and even protected them from diet-induced obesity. When exposed to cold, some white fat on these mice even temporarily went brown. This same effect has been observed in some humans. This process has been referred to as “fat browning,” which is a process being investigated as a way to combat obesity.
A 2016 study investigated CBD’s ability to induce fat browning—and the results were promising. CBD was found to enhance the expression of a core set of brown fat-specific marker genes and proteins, which in turn caused browning in some WATs. This study also showed that CBD helped increase the level of activity in cells and decreased the expression of proteins that help create more fat cells.
Using CBD to Help Lose Weight
While there certainly should be more research around CBD’s potential to help with losing or maintaining body weight, the current research seems promising, as do CBD users’ observations. The researchers whose study is described above even recommend that CBD be further “explored as a potentially promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity.”
However, as always, if you want to try CBD to see what results it will have for you, we recommend speaking with your physician before taking it. And, if you are hoping to lose weight while taking CBD, it is recommended to keep to a healthy diet and maintain an exercise schedule so that it can provide the maximum benefit.