Will Taking CBD Oil Help You Lose Weight?
CBD oil is garnering a lot of attention—and media headlines—these days. It’s not surprising: the list of potential benefits is long. People are mostly using CBD to help with chronic pain, arthritis or joint pain and anxiety, according to recent research.
While we don’t know how commonly CBD oil is used for weight loss, we do know it’s a topic people are talking about—there are millions of results on Google —and also one that researchers are studying.
So, what does the science say about CBD for weight loss? We dug in.
There’s promising, positive research about CBD and weight loss.
Until recently, it’s more likely that you associate CBD with cannabis and, thus, with an increased appetite (aka “the munchies”). Your hunch isn’t wrong—and, no, we’re not talking about your first-person college “experiments.” Cannabis and cannabis-based medicines have long been prescribed to patients with HIV and cancer to boost their appetite and encourage weight gain. But here’s the thing: according to clinical trials, those products don’t seem to actually help those patients gain weight.
Turns out, large studies that have looked at the body weights of cannabis users have found them to be leaner than non-cannabis users. And this, interestingly, is despite the fact that cannabis users typically take in more calories than nonusers.
While CBD comes from the cannabis plant, it lacks THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis that can get you high). And one study in the Netherlands that gave people different strains of cannabis found that the folks who got the strain highest in CBD had their appetite increase the least, compared to their counterparts who had the THC-only strain.
CBD Might Help With Weight Loss—Here’s Exactly How to Use It to Help Shed those Unwanted Pounds
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Whether it’s in bath bombs, beverages, lotions or gummies, cannabidiol (CBD) has become a popular ingredient in many mainstream products. It often seems like CBD can do just about everything, from relieving pain to helping us sleep and reducing anxiety. And most recently, there’s been some buzz around the idea that CBD can help with weight loss.
But can CBD actually help us drop the pounds? Here’s what experts say.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol is the second most predominant active ingredient in marijuana. Although CBD is part of medical marijuana, it is derived from the hemp plant. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t elicit a “high” effect.
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO) . CBD comes in various forms, from capsules, oils, and tinctures to edibles.
CBD and weight loss: Is there a connection?
There are two types of fats found in the human body: White fat and brown fat. White fat cells are responsible for storing and providing energy whereas brown fat cells are responsible for burning calories and generating heat, Dr. Clara Lawson, MD explains. Those with healthy body weight have more brown fat cells in their bodies as compared to people who are overweight.
“When you exercise, white fat cells are converted into brown fat cells that mean you are burning calories and losing weight. CBD promotes weight loss by aiding the conversion of white fat cells into brown fats cells,” Dr. Lawson states. “Besides, CBD has the ability to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system that are associated with metabolism and hunger. After positively influencing these receptors, CBD boosts metabolism and reduces cravings to eat more, therefore promoting weight loss.”
CBD also supports weight loss in a different way by motivating you to exercise, Dr. Lawson adds. Since CBD has promising effects on mood, it can certainly encourage you to perform better in your life including but not limited to your weight loss routine.
While there haven’t been extensive human studies on CBD , there are many indirect ways that CBD can support your weight loss goals.
“Since CBD can help with sleep and sleep quality – that will have an effect on the hormones that help to regulate hunger, both ghrelin and leptin,” Brooke Alpert , co-founder and chief business developer of Daily Habit, explains. “When our sleep is disrupted, we produce more ghrelin and less leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells your body it’s hungry, while leptin is a fullness hormone. So simply by having a better quality of sleep, your hunger will be better controlled to help you make healthy choices.”
CBD can also help reduce inflammation and lower stress, two factors that are closely tied to weight.
“Since CBD is helpful for inflammation, it’s also great to help with pain and post-workout recovery, making exercising all that more doable to help you burn fat and maintain lean muscle,” says Alpert. “CBD is also so great for helping people manage their stress levels, unnecessary emotional eating, snacking or evening drinking is all less likely to happen.”
CBD products for weight loss
Dr. Lawson recommends the CBD oil products below. “They are third-party lab tested, organically made in the U.S., contain less than 0.3% THC and are full-spectrum.”
Aspen Green Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil
This product, while a bit pricey at $145, provides all the phytonutrients of hemp without the high sensation of THC. It’s toxin-free, non-GMO and certified USDA organic hemp. Buy it here.
Related: 7 Best CBD Oils
Unflavored Sunsoil CBD Oil
This oil contains a simple, yet powerful formula with only two ingredients: hemp and MCT oil—both organic. Buy it for $30 here.
USA Hemp Unflavored CBD Oil
This product is great if you’re looking to relax and relieve pain. It contains full-spectrum CBD and MCT oil. Prices range from $20-$246 based on size. Buy it here.
Other ways you can use CBD
While experts can all agree that CBD needs to be studied more extensively, there is some evidence to support that CBD can help in other areas of life besides weight loss. These include:
For sleep support
CBD may help you sleep better. And as a nice bonus, that can help you manage your weight. “Sleep support is essential when trying to maintain a healthy weight,” Dr. Stacia Woodcock, PharmD and dispensary manager at Curaleaf, explains. “Consider a CBD capsule containing 25-50mg of CBD.”
For mood support
“I would recommend a sublingual oil with 5-10mg of CBD and 0.25-0.5mg THC,” says Dr. Woodcock.
For pain relief
“A CBD muscle cream may help reduce soreness post-workout,” says Dr. Woodcock.
Is CBD legal?
Yes, hemp-derived CBD is legal, according to the 2018 Farm Bill . But it’s important to understand that this bill doesn’t legalize all CBD products.
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CBD is legal if the CBD is derived from hemp, and follows the regulations in the Farm Bill. This includes:
- Contains less than 0.3% THC
- Must be grown by a licensed grower
- Must meet shared state-federal regulations
However, even if CBD is legal from a federal standpoint, it doesn’t mean it’s legal in all states. Some states have laws with additional regulations where all CBD products are banned. That’s why it’s essential to do your research before purchasing any CBD products.