The weight loss industry is a $66 billion market with all sorts of weight-loss supplements, programs and tools available for those looking to lose weight.
But there's one product that is gaining popularity in the weight loss and maintenance circle: CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) continues to expand its list of health benefits for the human body that includes weight management. But what exactly does CBD hemp oil do to help support weight loss?
How Does CBD Work in The Body?
To understand how CBD can help with weight loss management, it's helpful to understand how this cannabinoid affects the body. More specifically, it's important to understand how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
This system is made up of many receptors that are located all over the body, predominantly in the brain and immune system. In particular, it's the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system that CBD interacts with. When CBD is consumed, the receptors of the ECS react.
While there are already cannabinoids that are naturally present in the body, CBD can give the system a boost. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by cannabinoids including CBD. But rather than binding directly to these receptors (unlike THC), CBD stimulates the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the body to activate them. In this way, CBD helps to enhance the performance of these receptors to maintain proper balance in the body.
The ECS sends cannabinoids to parts of the body that require them the most, which helps to maintain homeostasis in the body, regulate various functions and improve overall health. This system is responsible for regulating essential functions like pain, mood, memory, sleep, appetite and many others.
When the ECS is stimulated with CBD, these important functions can be better regulated. And because CBD is a natural product that does not have any psychoactive properties like THC, it can improve these functions without any unwanted side effects.
Related: The Ultimate Beginners Guide To CBD
How Can CBD Help With Weight Loss?
There are several mechanisms at work when it comes to CBD helping with weight loss.
For starters, CBD may act as an appetite suppressant. People who use marijuana for the purpose of getting "high" will often experience other side effects including the "munchies." THC is known to stimulate the appetite, which can actually be useful in some situations when weight gain or maintenance is necessary. For example, some cancer patients use THC for these specific purposes as certain cancer treatments are known to cause weight loss.
For those looking to lose weight, THC is not the compound in the cannabis plant that users should be seeking. Instead, CBD has been shown to have the opposite effect on appetite and can actually suppress it naturally.
This all comes down to the hypothalamus, the region of the brain that controls appetite. It regulates the secretion of ghrelin and leptin, two different hormones that influence appetite in different ways. While ghrelin stimulates hunger, leptin creates the sensation of being full. CB1 receptors stimulate the neural circuit in the hypothalamus that regulates ghrelin. This is why THC can generate the feeling of being hungry.
On the other hand, CBD is an effective CB1 blocker, which means it has the power to suppress the appetite. Studies have shown that CBD can control cravings and keep hunger at bay by increasing levels of leptin.
In addition, CBD plays a key role in what is known as "fat browning" — another way that the cannabinoid can help with weight loss. Brown fat burns calories to generate heat, which is why it is typically known as the “good” fat since it metabolizes rather than stores calories.
A 2016 study found that CBD can stimulate fat browning which inevitably breaks down fat while increasing the number and the activity of mitochondria in the cells of the body, helping to burn more calories. CBD was also shown to reduce the activity of proteins associated with the growth of fat cells.
How to Take CBD For Weight Loss
CBD can be taken in all different formats including tinctures, vapes, topicals, capsules and sprays to name a few. Which product type you choose will depend on your specific preferences.
Further, the exact dose you take will depend on how your body metabolizes CBD. The only way you're going to know this is by experimenting with the cannabinoid.
In order to find the proper dosage for your body and effects you desire, it's important to start with very small amounts and concentrations. Take the smallest dosage recommended on the label of the product you are using. Stay at that dosage for a few days, then increase the dosage in small increments even if you do not feel the effects right away.
It can take a few days or even a few weeks before CBD’s entire effects are experienced, so try to be patient as you fine-tune the best dosage for your body.
There is evidence to suggest that CBD can be an effective supplement to include in your daily regimen if losing body weight is your goal. And while you're shedding unwanted body fat with the help of CBD, you can also benefit from its many other advantages that include keeping you calm, protecting your heart and brain and providing your body with plenty of nutrients.
CBD is a phenomenon that continues to show us different ways that it can help promote optimal health.