Wanting to keep healthy, as well as societal pressures to look good, are some of the reasons some people pursue weight loss and weight management. As a result, a gigantic industry has emerged to support people in their weight loss and weight management pursuits.
In 2018 the weight loss industry was estimated at $72 billion and is continuing to grow, yet the industry is plagued with fad diets and get slim quick plans, often leaving those who want to maintain a healthy weight unsure of the exact route to take.
With the passing of The Farm Bill of 2018 many companies have claimed that CBD can be effective for weight loss and while preliminary evidence does support these claims, it’s important to stay up to date on the research. Also, CBD should not be used alone for weight loss; CBD should be one part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy and balanced diet coupled with regular exercise.
Weight Loss and the Endocannabinoid System
Much of the research that we have right now focuses on the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and its miraculous way of regulating many parts of the body, including weight and metabolism.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is present in both humans and animals. This system is critical in maintaining homeostasis (balance) in the body by regulating important functions like mood, sleep, metabolism, appetite and other critical functions. The ECS is connected to all bodily systems, and it has the ability to deliver cannabinoids all over our bodies, particularly to where it’s needed.
Studies suggest that endocannabinoid receptors are present in the digestive system, including in the stomach. According to a 2008 study, the ECS is responsible for stimulating other areas of the body that are involved in metabolism, including skeletal muscles, the gastrointestinal tract, and the endocrine pancreas.
CBD for Weight Loss
CBD and Appetite Cannabis needs to experience a disassociation from the image of the stoner eating Pringles on the couch while playing video games. A 2011 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that, “people using cannabis are less likely to be obese than people who do not use cannabis.” This is supported by studies showing that cannabis users have trimmer waistlines and lower-cholesterol.
We all know that cannabis and cannabinoids are known to stimulate hunger, also fondly known as the munchies within the cannabinoid community. Independent of the fact that hemp-derived CBD and medical cannabis (that contains THC) interact with the body in vastly different ways, a 2018 study found that those who use cannabinoids had a lower body mass index regardless of their calorie intake.
A 2012 study demonstrated the CBD decreases appetite in rats. Though more research is necessary to understand how CBD impacts appetite in humans.
It’s important to recognize that appetite isn’t what makes people gain and lose weight as weight management isn’t about how much you eat, or how much you deprive yourself of the foods you love. Weight management also takes into account metabolism, insulin levels, fatigue, and overall energy levels.
Our metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert food into energy while converting glucose into fat to be stored in the body.
A 2016 study showed that CBD played a major role in the ‘fat browning’ process, which is the body’s process of turning white fat into brown fat. Brown fat is a specialized deposit of fat that can produce heat and increase energy expenditure and is being investigated as a treatment for obesity, recognizing that the brown fat is the “good kind” of fat.
This study found that not only can CBD contribute to the fat browning process, but it can also boost the number and activity of mitochondria. These mitochondria increase the body’s ability to burn calories as well as reduce the expression of proteins involved in creating new fat cells.
What does this all mean? The preliminary research is showing that CBD has the ability to convert fat into a “healthier” fat which is a significant contributor in weight loss.
Insulin is a hormone that’s released from the pancreas that works to decrease blood sugar levels by moving glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into neighboring cells. These sugars can be used directly as fuel or stored as body fat. A higher level of insulin prevents fat from being broken down for energy. Preliminary studies suggest that CBD helps to decrease fasting insulin.
Terpenes and Weight Loss
The cannabinoid world can often get so caught up and fascinated with the possibilities of cannabinoids that they often overlook the potential of terpenes. Terpenes are the compounds in cannabis that give its aroma and taste. Terpenes are present in most plants, and are believed to hold therapeutic values, especially when combined with CBD through something called The Entourage Effect.
The Entourage Effect is the process through which cannabinoids and terpenes work together in harmony to increase one another’s effects.
Terpenes that are being celebrated within the cannabinoid discourse in terms of weight loss are limonene, which can act as an appetite suppressant, and humulene, which also suppresses that feeling of the munchies. Many CBD flower and products will have terpenes present in them, especially if they’ve extracted the whole plant, rather than just CBD isolate on its own.
Therefore, pay attention to how terpenes are integrated into a product, as it could provide more support on your weight loss and weight management journey.
CBD and Exercise
Exercise is tough. Not only is it difficult to get into the mindset for exercise, but it is also a grueling and tiring activity. Many people get anxiety about going to the gym or working out. It’s not a comfortable activity, you sweat, and you’re vulnerable in the exercise setting. Thus, CBD, when coupled with intentions to work out and exercise, has been showed to be critical in managing anxiety. A 2010 study on rats found that CBD injected into the prefrontal cortex reduced a previously established fear response.
Energy is important when working out and exercising. It can often be difficult to pull oneself out of bed, especially after a spotty sleep that leaves one tired, and feeling as though exercise is the last thing they want to do.
CBD is being increasingly looked at for its ability to promote sleep and restfulness, and then in turn, more energy. Initial studies provide evidence that the endocannabinoid system is involved in the sleep-wake cycle as well as sleep homeostasis. Further research shows that the cannabinoid receptor, CB1, is an integral part of sleep regulation and that activation of the CB1 receptor can induce sleep in animal models.
Though research on the mechanisms involved in CBD and sleep is still in its preliminary stages, research has shown that CBD can help participants fall asleep faster.
The aches and pains that come with exercise are often a common complaint. When you stretch your muscles and push your body beyond its comfort level, it can just plain hurt. As an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, CBD also helps with post-workout recovery. Managing muscle pain and stiffness following fitness activities can not only make individuals feel better about the workouts but increase the likelihood that they will continue to engage in a fitness routine.
Sourcing CBD for Weight Loss
Again, its important that consumers of CBD recognize that CBD is just one component of maintaining a healthy weight. CBD can provide support to appetite, metabolism, and affect the fats within your body quite significantly, yet it’s just one component.
If you see a CBD company trying to sell their products as a miraculous weight loss tool, buyer beware. CBD, while it is emerging in the research and discourse on weight loss and weight management hasn’t yet reached the status that we can definitely say that it manages weight. The research is supporting its early evidence, which is why we need to push for increased research on CBD and how it affects the body so we can fully determine and celebrate its efficacy.
At Adventure CBD, we have various CBD products for consumers who are looking to explore CBD for weight loss and weight management available in our shop. Available in different concentrations, with different terpene profiles, and available in a variety of methods of consumption, we are dedicated to ensuring you find the best CBD products in Colorado to support your weight loss and weight management.