If you are someone who keeps tabs on holistic health trends, chances are you’ve heard of the therapeutic properties of CBD oil. These CBD-infused products have been hitting the market at a rapid rate, with goods including tinctures, oils, salves, chocolates, pet treats, and even CBD-rich water. While it has been predicted for years that the cannabis industry would expand, a new study revealed that the American market for CBD is projected to reach $22 billion by the year 2022. These products are most well-known for evidence linked to helping anxiety, inflammation and chronic pain; however, they may also be an option for those looking to lose weight.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from the stalks and leaves of the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its psychoactive counterpart—THC—CBD doesn’t contain any mind-altering effects, so it won’t produce a feeling of being “high.” The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and brain. Bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids, which are linked to functions like pain, sleep and immune-system responses. The cannabinoids in CBD are thought to work within the system to increase the amount of endocannabinoids in the body.
Can CBD Promote Weight Loss?
Although research on the effects of how CBD influences weight is limited, a study published by American Journal of Medicine found the the use of cannabis was associated with a smaller waist circumference. According to Dr. Allan Frankel, an expert in internal medicine, cannabidiol may actually reduce appetite, leading to weight loss. Those familiar with the effects of THC are most likely aware of how it might have the opposite effect for one’s appetite. According to CNN, the active ingredient THC is responsible for the increase in food cravings, which can lead to weight gain over time. Since CBD oil contains no (or only trace amounts of) THC, this isn’t a side effect users have to worry about.
A recent study published by the journal of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry finds that CBD increases the activity and number of mitochondria in the body which can lead to fat burning. The compound was also linked to stimulating the genes and proteins responsible for the breakdown and oxidation of fat.
These findings have stemmed from CBD’s ability to induce “fat browning,” which is a process of converting white-colored fat tissue that stores energy to beige-colored tissue that burns it. In animals, increasing beige-colored tissue has shown to improve glucose tolerance and make them more resistant to diabetes.
Factors that lead to excessive eating may also be worth mentioning. Dr. Rachna Patel, MD, says symptoms from anxiety can lead to nervous eating, which may lead to weight gain over time. Patel has treated patients for anxiety, chronic pain and insomnia with CBD oil. She said this leads to weight management benefits. According to Patel, “Once these symptoms are better managed, people are better able to take care of themselves, make healthier food choices, exercise more, and live a better quality of life.”
How to Incorporate CBD Into Your Routine
If you’re looking to incorporate CBD oil into your regimen, it’s important to know which kind is right for you. If your goal is to use CBD to help your weight loss goals, an oral CBD product (tinctures, isolates and capsules) is a good option. Tinctures are administered through a dropper sublingually and generally take around 30 minutes to feel effects. Capsules offer a pre-measured dosage of CBD oil and are taken like any other supplement. If you are looking for convenience, isolates are a CBD crystalized powder that can be mixed in with a favorite food or beverage.
The Bottom Line
While cannabidiol may help with weight loss, it’s vital to ensure you are maintaining healthy habits in other aspects of life, including diet and exercise. CBD is currently not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to do your own research to find a reputable CBD vendor. Pay close attention to customer reviews, active ingredients on the labeling, and company transparency. The vendor should be willing to provide a lab analysis of the product to show potency and quality.
If you are considering taking CBD oil for weight loss or for its other known therapeutic properties, speak with your doctor before introducing a new supplement into your daily regimen.