Ever wondered if you could use CBD for weight loss?
CBD’s famous friend, THC, is known for stimulating appetite (also known as the “munchies”), so many wonders if CBD will have the same effect.
The simple answer: No!
CBD and THC have very different effects on appetite, with some even suggesting that CBD may induce weight loss rather than stimulate appetite.
So will CBD help you lose weight? And if so, how might that work?
This guide takes you through everything you need to know about CBD and weight loss, including:
- How CBD impacts hunger?
- What CBD is best for weight loss
- Tips for choosing the best CBD oil for weight loss UK
Let’s take a look.
In this guide:
Does CBD make you hungry?
Many people may assume CBD may be associated with weight gain – due to its close association with its psychoactive cousin, THC.
We know that THC binds with endocannabinoid receptors and interrupts messages between cells. This often leads to incorrect signals, including a spike in appetite, even if the individual has just eaten.
Most people know this as “the munchies”, but the science backing the need to snack after consuming cannabis is strong.
So much so that patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment often turn to medical cannabis as a way to stimulate their appetite. Nausea during treatment can make it difficult to eat, but cannabis can help patients by triggering food cravings.
However, CBD is not the same as THC. It doesn’t make you feel ‘high’, and it also does not trigger those famous munchies.
So might the cannabinoid actually work in the opposite sense?
Can CBD oil help with weight loss?
While research isn’t yet conclusive, some preliminary evidence indicates CBD may aid weight loss.
But why? As with almost every therapeutic use of CBD, it all ties in with the impact of the cannabinoid on our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
There’s certainly a connection between CB1 receptors and fatty tissue. People who are obese have more CB1 receptors, which are most clearly clustered in fatty tissue.
As such, scientists have theorised that obesity and the activation of CB1 receptors may be linked. As CBD and other cannabinoids activate multiple receptors throughout the body, this may mean they play a role in weight loss.
One study found that CB1 receptor antagonists reduce both acute and long-term food intake in rodents. Chronic treatment with CB1 antagonists resulted in a sustained reduction in body weight in rodents (5 weeks), as well as weight loss in humans (16 weeks).
How does CBD for weight loss work?
So, CBD oil might work for weight loss. But how? Let’s consider the impact of CBD on appetite, metabolism, and fat burning.
Is it a fad, fantasy – or fast-acting fat buster?
CBD and appetite
The endocannabinoid system has recently been revealed to be involved in appetite control. But unlike THC, which can stimulate appetite, it is thought that CBD might function as an appetite suppressant.
We’ve already noted that CB1 receptors are thought to be responsible for appetite stimulation.
In 2006, a selective CB1 receptor blocker was approved for use as an anti-obesity drug. By blocking the receptors entirely, patients found it easier to stick to their diet. Unfortunately, this drug led to some adverse side effects, including depression and mood alterations.
We now know that blocking the receptors impacts more than just appetite.
So CBD may be effective for controlling appetite, possibly due to its ability to impact ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating feelings of hunger. But this has not been confirmed, and we don’t yet know the ideal dosage, how often to take it, or how quickly it gets to work.
CBD and metabolism
What about metabolism? Does CBD speed up metabolism? If so, how?
Often when we’re considering the relative benefits of CBD, there’s little or no evidence to back up anecdotal claims (due to a general lack of cannabinoid-related research).
But with metabolism, it’s a refreshingly different story.
Many studies indicate that CBD affects both lipid and glucose metabolism through its action triggering and activating various receptors, as well as several metabolites.
One cannabinoid study review concluded:
“From the existing data, we can conclude that CBD has the promising potential as a therapeutic agent and may be effective in alleviating the symptoms of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.”
CBD and fat burning
So, CBD might help improve metabolism, as well as suppress or control appetite. Both of these abilities can make CBD a useful tool for weight loss or management.
But can CBD directly contribute to fat burning? Let’s take a look at the science.
One study published in 2016 found that CBD could speed up fat burning.
It’s all to do with something called brown fat cells. These help your body generate heat and burn calories, releasing fatty-free acids at a higher-than-usual metabolic rate. Waxy white fat cells, on the other hand, store food for future use – so they are less helpful for weight loss.
Researchers found that when participants were given CBD, they had higher levels of these brown fat cells. In fact, CBD indirectly activates CB2 receptors, which live in fat white cells. The CBD converts fat white cells into brown fat cells by increasing lipolysis (otherwise known as fat breakdown).
The study concluded that:
“CBD may be explored as a potentially promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity.”
How to use CBD for weight loss
What’s the best way to use CBD for weight loss? Is there a certain type of CBD that works best?
In truth, using CBD is not going to make you shed pounds magically.
But there are good principles for taking CBD correctly – and it’s less about the method by which you ingest CBD and more about how consistent you are with dosages and daily use.
Like many supplements, CBD works best when taken regularly. If one form of CBD is easier to integrate into your daily routine than another – it’s this type will likely be the best CBD for weight loss – for you.
However, here’s a quick round-up of the different forms of CBD and how useful they may be in supporting weight loss.
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CBD oil is most commonly ingested sublingually. To do so, you must squeeze a few drops (this is personal to you, depending on the required dosage) under the tongue and then hold the liquid there to be absorbed for between 45-60 seconds before swallowing the remainder.
CBD oil is a great way to ingest the maximum amount of CBD per dosage into your body, as the method offers high bioavailability.
If taken regularly, CBD oil may therefore be a great way to support weight loss or weight management.
CBD capsules are another good option when it comes to supporting weight loss or management.
While they have a lower bioavailability than oil, meaning less of the active ingredient will be absorbed, taking capsules is a convenient way to incorporate CBD into your lifestyle.
CBD gummies and edibles
If you are taking CBD for weight loss, we’d advise avoiding consuming CBD in gummies, as these often contain high sugar levels.
While a single gummy isn’t going to inhibit weight loss, factoring sugary sweets into a weight loss plan may not be the most productive, as sugar can make you crave, well… More sugar!
However, consider whether this is the best way to ensure you take CBD consistently, which you must do to feel the cannabinoid’s full benefits.
While topicals can be an effective way to use CBD, CBD creams and other forms of topicals won’t be the best way to use CBD to support weight loss.
While CBD travels through the skin when applied topically, topicals work better by supporting localised areas – for example, rubbing CBD onto arthritic joints.
However, if your weight loss plan includes regular exercise, using CBD for weightlifting might be beneficial for soothing sore muscles.
Tips for choosing the best CBD oil for weight loss UK
So how do you know which brand to choose? Which type of CBD oil will be best? Here are some guidelines for choosing the best CBD for weight loss:
There are three main variations of CBD that are legal on the UK market. Let’s take a look:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil: this CBD contains a small, legal level of THC, as well as other active cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. It won’t make you feel high but will trigger the entourage effect.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil: the best of both worlds! Like full-spectrum oil, broad-spectrum CBD contains other supporting cannabinoids. It, too, can trigger the entourage effect but has had all the THC removed from the product. At Evopure, all of our products are broad spectrum.
- CBD isolate: this is the most chemically complex process of making CBD. Isolate leaves behind the purest form of the cannabinoid and excludes traces of other cannabinoids, terpenes or flavonoids.
We’d always recommend choosing broad-spectrum or full-spectrum in order to benefit from the entourage effect.
It’s also always the best idea, where possible, to choose organic products.
And with CBD, always make sure the product you are buying is lab tested and contains a certificate of analysis.
This provides a breakdown of the compounds found in the product and ensures that what’s inside the bottle matches the label and that important measures such as THC and cannabinoid percentages are correct (and not over or under-inflated).
Final thoughts on CBD and weight loss
Much of the research discussed in this article is positive and indicates CBD may help with weight loss, increasing metabolism, supporting fat burning, and regulating and even inhibiting appetite.
However, there’s still a lot to learn about CBD and weight loss, and CBD isn’t a magic bullet. It may be a great tool to support weight loss but should be supplemented alongside nutritious, healthy food and exercise where possible.
If you’re considering taking CBD to support weight loss, it’s best to speak with a medical professional first. They will be best placed to advise you – particularly if you take other medications or have health problems.