The weight loss industry is worth 66 billion in the US alone. This is no shocker considering that our culture glorifies fit and skinny bodies in more recent years. Nevertheless, the food industry continuously bombarded us with overwhelming fast-food ads. In the quest for “the perfect body,” many options will appear online. Among them, we have CBD oil. However, many wonder if CBD oil for weight loss works.
Undoubtedly, the weight loss industry is full of scams. The lack of regulation, a large amount of money at stake, and many people’s desperation lure con artists in. As a result, not only can people be tricked into buying something ineffective but something dangerous. Because of this, it is necessary to do your research and take what sellers say with a pinch of salt. Today, we’re looking at whether CBD oil should have its place in the weight loss industry or not. Moreover, we’ll go down into it and find out what it is, its benefits, and the risks of consuming it. So, join in if you’re thinking of taking CBD oil to help you lose those extra pounds or simply want to know more about it.
What is CBD Oil?
Before we learn if you can take away those belly fat rolls with the aid of CBD oil, you might be wondering: what exactly is it? However, before answering this very legitimate and valid question, firstly, we should start by explaining what CBD is. This is essential, especially in a time where misinformation is everywhere. Cannabis is made up of hundreds of chemical components. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Among them, we have CBD or cannabidiol, to be exact. CBD acts on your endocannabinoid system in different ways. Hemp seeds (and not those from marijuana) are used to make CBD oil and take advantage of the benefits of cannabidiol.
Even though marijuana or cannabis are blasted for the psychoactive effects they have, it isn’t due to CBD. Cannabidiol, and in turn CBD oil, has non-psychoactive effects on its users. THC causes the effects we usually attribute to marijuana. THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is another component that is present in minimal levels in hemp. As a result, hemp oil is free of psychoactive effects.
In recent years, the health benefits of CBD oil have been under the public and media’s attention. For instance, the demonstrations sparked by Charlotte Figi’s case have resulted in effectively reducing seizures. Moreover, CBD is also helpful for aiding veterans and sexual abuse survivors with PTSD. Finally, psychiatrists are keeping an eye on it because studies have shown it’s great at reducing anxiety. Side-effects, however, are minimal.
Does CBD Oil Help With Weight Loss?
Despite reducing anxiety and seizures and having some other positive effects on people’s bodies, can CBD oil help you lose weight? Well, it does appear to be counterintuitive. Especially if we consider that marijuana is known for causing extreme appetite after smoking it. However, researchers have found that “while some forms of marijuana increase appetite, some strains appear capable of suppressing appetite and boosting your metabolism.”¹
The studies researchers refer to when speaking about appetite reduction accounted for and observed thousands of individuals over the years. The results showed that marijuana users’ fasting insulin levels were lower than that of non-users. As a consequence, they’d be less resistant to the insulin their bodies produced. It’s essential to notice, though, that subjects observed didn’t take CBD oil but smoked marijuana. In other words, they also took THC.
Taking everything into account, is CBD hemp oil alone worth considering for weight loss plans? Well, recent research suggests that perhaps it may. However, we should first take a look at how our appetite works and what makes us hungry. Lastly, we must also understand how our endocannabinoid system might control it.
How Does Our Appetite Work, in General?
Appetite and hunger are some of the human’s most essential instincts, which the brain controls. Not only can they tell us when to recharge calories to give us energy but, depending on what we want to eat, they might warn us about the lack of a vital nutrient. Moreover, although most people use the terms interchangeably, they aren’t so. Hunger means you need to eat, whereas appetite means you want to. Both feelings are generated by the brain, though.
The brain achieves these two sensations by reacting to certain chemicals the body produces. Apart from making you feel hungry and crave some food, these chemicals might also boost the production of others in your body, called endocannabinoids, such as ghrelin. Finally, other factors affect your appetite. For example, our mood and emotions or how we feel might influence what we crave.
Nevertheless, as attractive as it may sound, what does this have to do with using CBD hemp oil for weight loss? Cannabis chemicals, among which we have cannabidiol, interact with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors (ECS). The ECS is responsible for balancing some of the body’s psychological functions like mood, sleep, and appetite. When an endocannabinoid interacts with some of its receptors, they activate these functions.
The ECS is responsible for telling people to eat and manage their food intake. Therefore, scientists started theorizing that if a cannabinoid receptor interacted with a particular cannabinoid, the ECS could reduce appetite. This was effectively demonstrated (though minimally) in a 2012 study. In this study, researchers found that CBD did reduce the appetite in rats. However, CBD may have other beneficial effects related to losing weight too.
CBD Could Boost Your Metabolism
Not only can CBD help your stomach feel full, but some research has suggested that cannabidiol could boost your metabolism. As a result, losing weight is more accessible. To get why this happens, we need to know that our body has two types of fat cells: white and brown. White fat cells store and supply energy to your organs. Brown cells, on the other hand, produce heat by burning calories. As you might have guessed,” individuals with a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat than overweight people.”² There are some things you can do to “browned” white cells. The most common ones are exercising, sleeping adequately, and, as weird as it sounds, exposing yourself to cold temperatures.
However, some studies in rats have shown that CBD can also help make white fat into brown fat. Unfortunately, the lack of nationwide legalization of hemp leads to little funding to conduct studies in humans. Therefore, scientists still need much more data to confirm that CBD oil intake helps humans lose weight too.
CBD Weight Loss Results
Unfortunately, CBD has become one of those “miraculous” remedies you can find online for any ailment you have. In the search to lose weight, many don’t care about the fact that the FDA hasn’t approved CBD consumption for weight loss. Or, for that matter, the lack of evidence to support it all together. However, it might not all be for nothing. There are many legitimate users out there who have experienced actual weight loss after consuming CBD oil. According to them, CBD reduces their appetite and their craving for unhealthy food. As many overweight people overeat because they’re anxious, the decrease in anxiety CBD causes might also be related.
However, as effective as CBD might seem, there are still some things to keep in mind to get the most out of it. Undoubtedly, people looking to lose weight should combine CBD oil with periodic exercise and a dietary plan. In addition, the usage of CBD needs to be consistent for better results.
Risks and Consideration
As we’ve seen above, CBD isn’t really a cure for obesity. Potential users shouldn’t consider it a replacement for dietary plans and exercise but a supplement. In fact, thinking of it in that way and leaving behind your diet could have the opposite effect. Moreover,” the FDA does not regulate CBD products in the same way they regulate drugs, so companies sometimes mislabel or misrepresent their products.”³ Because of that, always ask your doctor for any side effects or a brand recommendation.
The Bottom Line
CBD oil has shown some promising results in users looking to lose weight. However, many states continue banning the use and study of hemp, and there isn’t much evidence to support them. Moreover, users who take what retailers say without any scrutiny might be disappointed. The bottom line is that no drug or cannabinoid should ever replace a healthy diet and a well-designed exercise plan. Users should always take them for what they are: supplements, not cures or treatments. Finally, it would be best to always ask your doctor for any possible side effects before consuming any non-FDA-approved drug.
Carlos B. graduated from Oxford in 2014 after pursuing biological sciences, and his passion has been so much about health and lifestyle. He later quits his career as a health consultant to focus on writing. His love for hemp and endless possibilities, including the practical medicinal functions in making CBD is among the reasons he now writes about it. Carlos is an informative writer that delivers timely content about hemp, its uses, and its potentials of hemp. He enjoys his leisure time visiting the people suffering neurological conditions and advises them on the best practices that can change their lives.