CBD is popularly known for reducing stress and anxiety, but modern research indicates hat this oil may even be beneficial for weight loss. CBD, or cannabidiol, has become a popular ingredient with purported health-boosting properties, but is weight loss one of them? This article examines the evidence. Cannabis products are often associated with weight gain, but that is not entirely true. In fact, they may have the opposite effect.
A Guide to Choosing the Best CBD Oils for Weight Loss
With emerging research and development in the weight loss industry, researchers are constantly assessing the role of various components in weight loss. It is no surprise that foods play an essential role in weight management. However, more than the foods, their elements are crucial to maintaining a healthy body weight and health.
Modern-day science has been studying the role of various components in weight loss. One such component is CBD or cannabidiol. Although CBD is popularly known for reducing stress and anxiety, reducing chronic pain, and improving sleep, modern research indicates there may be a connection between CBD oil and weight loss. However, data is still insufficient to prove its effect on weight loss conclusively. But, current research shows its role in weight loss.
This article briefly describes CBD’s role in weight loss and tells about things you should remember while choosing the best CBD oils.
CBD: An Overview
CBD is an effective compound in the cannabis plant. However, it does not generate a high or euphoric feeling like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another solvent in the cannabis plant. Instead, CBD targets your endocannabinoid system, which regulates bodily functions like movement, coordination, appetite, pain, moods, etc.
Research explains that it may stimulate the browning of fat cells, which is the fat accountable for producing heat by burning calories. To make CBD oil, a manufacturer will take out CBD from the cannabis plant and then dilute it with a carrier oil like MCT oil or hemp seed oil.
CBD Oils and Weight Loss: Research Data
The most significant use of CBD oils is to ease stress, minimise anxiety symptoms, and decrease pain. However, lately, several experts have also started recommending it as an aid for weight loss. As per several studies, CBD oils offer the following benefits to enhance the weight loss process.
A study on 72 individuals shows that CBD oil consumption reduced anxiety scores in 59.2% of individuals. At the same time, it improved sleep scores in 66.7% of individuals. Research suggests that improved sleep quality and anxiety reduction help treat obesity. Furthermore, another study suggests that CBD oils have considerable potential to treat multiple anxiety disorders.
A meta-analysis explains the role of CBD in minimising stress. The analysis further states that the treatments for anxiety and stress with CBD are the most evident. In addition, several studies show that stress management positively impacts your weight loss process.
Studies suggest that cannabis/cannabinoids exhibit analgesic activity, especially in neuropathic pain. Furthermore, a 2015 study analysed the association between chronic pain and weight loss. It shows that the two conditions are significant comorbidities, adversely impacting each other. However, the nature of the relationship is not likely to be direct, but many interacting factors appear to contribute. Weight loss for obese pain patients seems to be an essential aspect of overall pain rehabilitation. Hence, obese individuals need to combat chronic pain. That explains the indirect role of CBD oils in weight loss.
Animal studies show that CBD also boosts metabolism and reduces food intake by interacting with two receptors in your body- CB1 and CB2, which play a role in metabolism. Finally, research also suggests that CBD promotes the browning of fat cells, which is a fat responsible for burning calories and generating heat.
Significant Health Benefits of CBD Oil
Fights Anxiety and Depression
The most significant reason for the widespread use of CBD oil is its ability to calm your nerves. In addition, studies suggest that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with the need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.
Treats Certain Epilepsy Syndromes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex (a cannabidiol solution) oral solution to treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients one year of age and older. After several studies and trials, it is evident that CBD plays a role in treating epileptic seizures.
Reduces Post Traumatic Stress Disorders
PTSD is a neuropsychiatric condition that affects many individuals worldwide. Studies prove that administration of oral CBD in addition to routine psychiatric care was associated with PTSD symptom reduction in adults with PTSD. CBD also appeared to offer relief in a subset of patients who reported frequent nightmares as a symptom of their PTSD.
Relieves Chronic Pain
Chronic pain represents an emerging public health issue of massive proportions, particularly in industrialised nations’ ageing populations. Studies demonstrate the influential role of Sativex, a cannabis-derived spray, in relieving chronic pain. It was approved in Canada in 2005 to treat central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis and in 2007 for intractable cancer pain.
Although the research studies on CBD’s benefits in the following health benefits are insufficient, several studies and research suggest that CBD oils may improve the following health issues:
- May Inhibit Arthritis Symptoms
- Can Ease Diabetes Complications
- Can Impart Neurologic Benefits
Other fascinating findings illustrated by the WHO include and derived from a 2011 study comprise:
- CBD influences tumour cells but has little impact on non-tumour cells in large amounts.
- Limited research indicates no effect on embryonic growth.
- CBD may result in hormonal changes, yet, these conclusions are unclear.
- CBD does not affect a vast range of biochemical and physiological parameters or substantially affect animal behaviour unless there is the administration of incredibly high doses. It includes more than one hundred and fifty mg/kg iv as an acute dose or over thirty mg/kg orally every day for ninety days.
- CBD may correlate with drug interactions, but this is not yet obvious.
Additionally, CBD is one of the only materials considered by the WHO to have no significant side effects or danger of dependency. However, with so many variables to contemplate about safety and dosage, it’s always wise to take advice from a doctor before planning weight loss aids or supplements, beginning a weight loss procedure, or including CBD oils.
Two Ways to Consume CBD Oils
Sublingually: Many brands approve that you use the included dropper to take the CBD oil under your tongue and hold it there for up to 1 minute before swallowing.
In Foods or Drinks: You can blend the oil into your beverage or food in food or drink. Some people choose this because you can not taste the oil as much. However, your body may not consume as much oil this way since it has to pass through your digestive tract.
Essential Tips to Choose CBD Oils for Weight Loss
Several manufacturers and brands manufacture and sell CBD oils. Almost all of them claim to have positive effects on your health. However, it is essential to remember that no one brand or type of CBD oil is best for weight loss. If you hope to use CBD oil to relieve stress, pain, or sleep issues that may allot to weight gain, emphasise selecting a quality oil overall.
Primarily, you should check the quality, safety, and transparency indicators. Then, choose featured products and brands for business and medical norms. In addition, you should also look for the following.
- The manufacturing company delivers proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab.
- The manufacturing company publicises the source of its hemp.
- According to the certificate of analysis, the oil should include no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- The COA ratifies tests for heavy metals, pesticides, and moulds.
You can also consider various certifications before choosing the oil.
- The manufacturing process and company’s certifications
- Product potency
- Overall ingredients
- Indicators of brand status and user confidence like:
- Customer reviews
- Whether the company associates with an FDA warning letter
- Whether the company makes any baseless health claims
Other essential tips to look for are:
The Product is Third-party Assessed
Examine if the product has a COA from a laboratory that does not affiliate with your purchase brand. That way, you will be eligible to see whether the oil includes the amount of THC and CBD that the label says. You can also use the COA to ascertain that the product does not have pesticides, moulds, heavy metals, or other substances.
The Brand has Apparent Business Practices.
The company you are purchasing from should tell you where they take their hemp and how they make their commodities.
The Brand has a Good Reputation.
Check the FDA’s notification letter database, do online research for pending law cases and read consumer reviews before buying the product.
Those are the must-haves, but there are still a few other things to consider:
You can select CBD isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum products. Choose broad-spectrum or separate if you wish to drive clear of THC. Select full-spectrum if you are looking for additional benefits from the entourage effect.
Take a rapid scan of the ingredients list and conclude if it will work for you. For example, you’ll usually get a carrier oil and sometimes sweeteners and flavourings on the list.
If you decide oil isn’t your best way of taking CBD, you can explore other alternatives like capsules topicals to use CBD oil.
Pros and Cons of CBD Oils
- These oils have very few side effects.
- Since several brands are manufacturing them, they are easy to find.
- It is easy to incorporate these oils into the daily routine.
- There is limited research on the effects of these oils.
- It won’t cause weight loss on its own. Some other factors like dose and exercise also play a crucial role.
- These oils can be costly.
CBD Oils: Recommended Dosage
Each product incorporated in the roundup appears with instructions for use. A helpful rule of thumb regarding dosage is to start less, trace how you feel, and reassess after one week. The quantity you take will depend on various factors, including:
- Your body weight
- Your goals
- The oil’s potency
- Your body chemistry
Experts and even the World Health Organization agree that CBD results in extreme lethargy, drowsiness, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhoea, and other unpleasant, disorienting side effects even in massive doses.
Safety and Side Effects
While the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that CBD usually is safe, there are still a few aspects to be familiar with before getting started.
CBD may result in mild side effects. These include fatigue, nausea, and changes in appetite and weight. In addition, taking CBD with a high-fat meal may enhance your absorption. However, some research indicates that taking CBD with diets high in fat can affect you to absorb more of it. Therefore, it can increase the risk of side effects.
Do not take CBD if you are nursing or pregnant. The FDA informs against consuming cannabis containing CBD while breastfeeding or pregnant. It may interact with some treatments. In addition, it comprises medications that carry a grapefruit indication. Be sure to consult with a doctor before taking CBD, mainly if you take any supplements or medications.
Modifying your diet and pushing your body is significant for losing weight. However, some over-the-counter commodities or treatments may boost the process. But they won’t work on their own or immediately. That said, CBD oil may help alleviate anxiety, pain, and sleep deprivation, which can impede weight loss.
According to research, some people reveal that CBD oil improves their appetite. But unfortunately, others find that it decreases their appetite. Since the research on CBD and weight loss is insufficient, consider taking advice from a doctor about how to take CBD oil on your weight loss journey.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How does CBD oil make you feel?
A. Unlike several natural remedies, CBD does impact what you will feel. When you consume CBD, it takes about 15-45 minutes to feel any impact. Remember that it is not like THC, where you feel high, but you think of an indirect effect of relaxation and calmness.
Q. Is CBD oil safe for seniors?
A. CBD is taken by many people, including older adults, to help alleviate pain and discomfort related to common illnesses. These include anxiety, depression, joint pain, and overall pain management. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking CBD.
Q. What happens if you swallow CBD oil?
A. If you swallow CBD, it transits through your digestive system, and your body automatically begins to break it down. You can slow down this procedure by blending the active ingredients with other elements such as fat or using an MCT oil carrier. However, the distinction is relatively tiny.
Q. What to expect when you start taking CBD?
A. CBD relieves pain, relaxes muscles, and even helps minimise anxiety. So you will likely feel extremely relaxed and even tired. You do not need to worry about that, as most users register that fatigue symptoms disperse once you pass the 2-3 week mark. But if they don’t, try reducing your dose or consult your doctor about this.
Q. Does CBD Make you poop?
A. Though it is frequently well-tolerated, CBD can result in side effects, such as diarrhoea, drowsiness, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and fatigue. It can also interact with other treatments you are taking, for example, blood thinners. Another reason for concern is the unreliability of the dosage and purity of CBD in products.
Q. Why do you hold CBD oil under your tongue?
A. CBD oil requires it to be put under the tongue and hold for at least 60 seconds to allow enough time for the molecules to dissolve across the epithelial cells. Some early research implies that utilising a cannabidiol spray under the tongue might improve muscle mobility and pain tightness. However, it does not work on muscle tiredness, bladder control, spasms, or well-being and quality of life in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
Q. Can I rub CBD oil on my skin for pain?
A. Although there are numerous ways to try CBD, a topical maybe your fair bet if you wish to treat skin problems or relieve pains and aches. A CBD topical is any CBD-infused cream, lotion, or salve that you can apply to the skin. In addition, you should take them orally, and you can also use them on the skin.
Q. Do you need to refrigerate CBD oil?
A. Contrary to conventional belief, CBD oil does not require refrigeration. CBD commodities have an extended shelf life on their own. It is between one and two years, so they should not go wrong or lose efficacy as long as you fulfil the adequate storage conditions.
Q. Can I drink water after taking CBD oil?
A. CBD oil also arrives in capsule form, which can be a good option for people who want to retain a consistent amount of the solution in the body. However, when you consume CBD, it passes through the digestive area. It means you might have to wait upwards for 30 minutes before encountering any effect. It is lovely to drink water generally without affecting the absorption process.
Q. How many drops of CBD oil should I take?
A. To find out how many drops of CBD oil to take, you should generally start with the essential dosage, which is around 2-3 drops, three times a day. It is reasonable to increase the regularity of the number of drops if you do not feel any side effects in the coming days. If you have any medical condition, you should consult your doctor first.
Can CBD Help You Lose Weight?
A few years ago, most people had never heard of CBD (aka cannabidiol), but today more than half of American adults say they’ve tried a product containing it, according to a 2022 survey of 2,000 Americans conducted for Forbes Health by OnePoll. The compound, one of many found in cannabis and hemp plants, has become a popular addition to gummies, drinks, sprays, and even pet products. What makes it so popular?
“Research indicates that CBD may be effective for decreasing inflammation, pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, autoimmune and neurological disorders, and other debilitating conditions,” says Janice Newell Bissex, RDN, a holistic cannabis practitioner at Jannabis Wellness and the program director of cannabinoid medical sciences at John Patrick University School of Integrative and Functional Medicine in South Bend, Indiana.
But those aren’t the only reasons people are reaching for CBD. The latest buzz says it may help you eat less and lose weight. Does it deliver? Here’s what health experts want you to know.
What Is CBD?
It’s easy to confuse CBD with cannabis (the plant that marijuana comes from), but they aren’t the same thing. CBD is one of more than 100 compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in cannabis and hemp plants, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. THC (aka tetrahydrocannabinol) is another cannabinoid in cannabis (but not hemp, research shows) — but unlike THC, CBD isn’t a psychoactive substance, so it won’t get you high.
That doesn’t mean it’s entirely legal. Because cannabis is still a controlled substance, CBD derived from the cannabis plant is illegal at the federal level, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On the other hand, hemp-derived CBD is legal in most states. But there are a few exceptions, and CBD laws are continually changing. The best way to know for sure is to check with your state’s health department.
Can CBD Help You Lose or Maintain Weight?
It has long been known that cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating appetite and metabolism, among other functions. Because of that relationship, researchers have been interested in exploring CBD’s therapeutic use in weight loss and obesity.
So far, however, most of the available research on CBD and weight has been conducted using animals or in vitro studies, not actual humans. Consider claims that CBD helps burn fat, for example. Those are based on a test-tube study that found that CBD may help convert unfavorable white fat into a calorie-burning type of fat called brown fat — in animal cells.
“Animal studies can tell us what to study in humans, but you can’t make a strong conclusion that CBD helps with weight loss based on animal studies,” says Peter Grinspoon, MD, a primary care physician and cannabis specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “Sometimes animal studies translate to humans and sometimes they don’t, which is why you really have to do the studies in humans to make sure they work.” In general, he says, there are not a lot of great studies that show that CBD promotes weight loss in human beings: “It might make some people gain weight and it might make others lose weight.”
There’s a little more research on CBD’s parent, cannabis. But cannabis contains hundreds of compounds beyond CBD, so they’re hardly equivalent. For example, a study published in 2020 in Diabetes found that cannabis users metabolized glucose more efficiently than nonusers, but it is a huge leap to assume the same holds true for CBD. Right now, the official word from the American Diabetes Association is that CBD is unlikely to improve blood sugar or insulin levels in people with diabetes.
The results of a national three-year prospective study revealed that cannabis users are less prone to obesity than people who don’t use cannabis (in spite of marijuana’s reputation for making people pig out). And a study published in 2019 in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that cannabis users were less likely to gain weight than people who never touched the stuff.
But don’t get too excited, say the study’s authors: “We do not yet have sufficient definitive evidence to answer the ‘why?’ question,” says James C. Anthony, PhD, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Michigan State University and coauthor of the study. “We would like to see more replications of this inverse association before anyone makes large investments in research on the mechanisms.”
Dr. Anthony isn’t the only expert urging caution. “Right now, marketing claims are soaring high above the actual scientific evidence,” says Dr. Grinspoon. “That’s not to say CBD doesn’t work [for weight loss], but it hasn’t been proven to work as well as people are claiming.”
While there is little evidence that CBD use directly affects metabolism or appetite, it may help with weight control in other ways. “Many people eat more when they’re stressed or in pain or exhausted,” says Bissex. “So, if CBD can help to manage those issues, it makes sense that it may help decrease overeating.”
There is evidence that CDB may help in those situations. A retrospective study of 103 psychiatric clinic patients who were given CBD found that anxiety decreased and sleep improved in the majority of patients within the first month.
“Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase the release of ghrelin, which increases hunger and appetite,” Bissex adds. “By allowing for a better night’s sleep, it’s possible that CBD may thwart this ghrelin release, thereby decreasing appetite.” And if aches and pains are keeping you away from the gym, CBD’s anti-inflammatory action may ease muscle pain and fatigue, so that you can get moving again, per a review published in Frontiers in Physiology in 2021.
Risks or Side Effects of CBD
CBD is safe for most people, but not everyone. For example, if you have low blood pressure, large amounts could make you light-headed or dizzy, says Bissex. And while many people swear by CBD for sleep, some find that it leads to vivid dreams, which may be due to deeper REM sleep, she adds. Other than that, side effects like fatigue, nausea, upset stomach, and loss of appetite are usually mild and short-lived, according to Mayo Clinic — which could make you uncomfortable enough to eat less, but that is not a healthy or recommended strategy. High doses may cause liver injury, according to the FDA. CBD can also interact with certain drugs, especially blood thinners and thyroid medication, reports Harvard Health Publishing. So, if you’re considering trying CBD, talk to your doctor first.
What to Know if You Want to Try CBD for Weight Loss
Despite the buzz online and on social media, CBD experts don’t get the hype. “People ask about CBD for all kinds of things, but weight loss isn’t a common indication,” says Grinspoon.
If you’re still curious, look for the highest quality product available. “Avoid the cheaper CBD isolate products that may be sold at your local gas station or convenience store,” says Bissex. “These lack the synergy of the various components of the plant.” Instead, she recommends organically grown broad- or full-spectrum CBD. “Full-spectrum products contain all the components of the plant, including a small amount (less than 0.3 percent) of THC, while broad-spectrum contains all the components with zero THC,” she explains.
Should you try CBD for weight loss? Not based on the current research, but stay tuned. In the meantime, there are far more powerful, proven weight management strategies — namely a healthy diet and exercise.
Can CBD Oil Make You Gain Weight?
CBD doesn’t increase appetite; in general, cannabis products seem to be associated with weight loss rather than weight gain.
The argument that they cause weight gain or weight loss is especially contentious. Many people assume that it would cause weight gain because of the infamous “munchies” that some experience after smoking weed. However, that’s not quite the whole truth of the situation.
THC stimulates appetite but does not necessarily increase it, making it potentially useful for conditions like cachexia (wasting syndrome).
CBD and Weight Gain
People often assume that CBD will cause weight gain, primarily because of the infamous “munchies” associated with smoking marijuana.
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The Munchies: CBD and THC Products
While smoked marijuana does seem to cause an increase in appetite, that doesn’t seem to be related to either CBD or THC. Studies have shown that CBD decreases appetite, and THC causes no change. That means that a CBD oil containing THC would not have the same effect as smoking the whole cannabis plant, and CBD is more likely to decrease a person’s appetite than cause food cravings.
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Cannabis and Weight Gain
Even though smoking weed can increase appetite, studies have found that cannabis use can decrease the incidence of obesity and prevent increases in body mass index (BMI). This means that even though marijuana might increase your appetite and food intake in the short term, it could still assist in weight loss over the long term. CBD has many beneficial effects, so it can be unhelpful to look only at a single factor and draw conclusions from that alone.
CBD and Weight Loss
As difficult as it may be to believe, CBD may be quite helpful to someone trying to lose weight. The effect of cannabis products on metabolism, as well as their less direct effects in reducing obesity risk, all contribute to their usefulness in this circumstance.
Smoked marijuana seems to cause a temporary increase in metabolic rate. Speeding up metabolism causes the body to burn more calories. Since weight loss happens when the amount of calories burned is greater than the amount consumed and CBD decreases appetite, CBD oils may help the user lose weight. CBD can also increase metabolism by browning white fat cells, which makes the cells burn energy more readily, contributing to increased calories burned. This can be especially helpful to someone who is trying to lose fat mass.
Decreasing Obesity Risk
Other ways that CBD may assist weight loss are less direct, such as lowering a person’s risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. For example, CBD has been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep. These are major risk factors in the development of obesity but also incredibly important for maintaining general health. CBD has also been shown to speed up carbohydrate metabolism, helping regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance. That’s good for weight loss and reduces a person’s risk of developing diabetes.
The Bottom Line
All in all, using CBD oil is unlikely to cause weight gain, as CBD causes a decrease in appetite, and cannabis use is associated with weight loss over the long term. CB1 agonists like THC are associated with appetite stimulation and hunger pangs. CBD, a CB1 receptor antagonist (but has a low affinity for them), may decrease appetite. This appetite-diminishing effect may increase when CBD is used with cannabigerol (CBG) and low doses of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV).
Cannabis products are unfairly associated with weight gain because of the “munchies,” but their effect on weight seems to be the opposite. CBD oil use might assist a person with losing weight because of its impact on metabolism and its ability to reduce the risk of developing obesity along with associated health concerns like diabetes.
To learn more about this subject, please read our articles Benefits of CBD Oil for General Health and Does Weed Make You Lose Weight?
Frequently Asked Questions
Does CBD make you retain water?
There’s no evidence that CBD can make you retain water; in fact, the chemical properties of CBD make it more likely to repel water. CBD has been tested in skin moisturizers as compounds that repel water and can prevent skin dehydration. You may have noticed several cosmetics containing CBD since this property would make it a good moisturizer.
Can CBD affect metabolism?
It seems likely that CBD would cause increased metabolism, both directly by increasing a person’s basal metabolic rate and indirectly by causing white fat cells to “brown” and burn energy more readily. Since CBD can also decrease appetite, CBD oil would probably be quite helpful for someone trying to lose weight.