At some point in your life it’s probable that you’ve wanted to shift a bit of weight. It may have been for health reasons or just because you can’t fit into your favourite jeans any more. Often people try the odd fad diet or supplement to help them lose weight, but have you ever considered CBD to lose weight?
While many of us feel bombarded on a daily basis with media images of super slim and toned bodies, obesity is also a major 21st century health concern. It’s not surprising then that the weight loss and weight management industry is projected to reach a value of $278.95 billion by the end of 2023.
As the old saying goes: ‘you are what you eat’. But just how do we keep that stubborn weight off? With the explosion of the wellness market and extensive media coverage of it.
Can CBD Cause Weight loss?
You won’t have missed the health experts advising you to eat a mainly plant-based diet, exercise regularly and practice meditation or yoga if you want to stay in tip-top condition.
There is also evidence to suggest that a compound found in cannabis could actually help to regulate your appetite, so using CBD to lose weight might be the helping hand you need.
Cannabidiol (CBD), often derived from the hemp plant (a strain of cannabis that has high levels of CBD, and very low levels of THC), has seen massive growth in the last few years. So contrary to what many people think, because of an association with other cannabis strains that contain higher levels of THC (the stuff that makes you ‘high’ and gives you the so-called munchies), CBD may actually help you shift some of your physical baggage!
If CBD has the potential to help aid our endocannabinoid system in creating balance and better mood. Then it may also help address the emotional issues that lead to binge or comfort eating. Could CBD and weight loss be a potential match made in heaven? Let’s look at the facts.
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The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was only discovered in the 1980s. But current research is starting to show that it plays a key role in helping our bodies maintain a stable internal environment. The ECS communicates by producing your body’s own endocannabinoids.
These messengers help regulate your immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.
Cannabinoids are also found in the cannabis plant. And they can help stimulate the production of more of your body’s own cannabinoids. CBD is known to interact with our cannabinoid receptors (CB2) with a stimulating effect.
CBD and Weight loss
There is a misconception that cannabis compounds don’t help with weight loss. This is due to THC’s ability to increase appetite and a lack of understanding of the CBD compound.
Firstly, appetite is managed by two main hormones: Ghrelin, that stimulates the hunger hormone and Leptin, the satiety hormone that helps us know when we are full. Both hormones are found in the hypothalamus section of your brain.
The part of our hypothalamus that regulates Ghrelin is stimulated by CB1 receptors. THC is known to activate these receptors by binding to CB1.
On the other hand, the CBD compound blocks CB1 receptors. This indicates that it may well stop the hunger hormone from being set free. In one study, rats who were given a dose of cannabidiol ate much less food than the ones who didn’t receive any CBD, suggesting that CBD actually increased their levels of leptin, making them feel more full.
Is Stress Making You Gain Weight?
Overeating is often the result of underlying emotional conditions such as anxiety or poor self-esteem that may cause imbalances in our systems. When you are stressed out you tend to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause unwanted weight gain, especially around the waist area.
The production of cortisol is triggered by an evolutionary response to danger and moves us into the ‘fight or flight’ mode. This state is caused by an increase in blood flow to the muscles and the brain and puts us into a state of alert, one we would need if there was a real threat of danger around the corner.
The problem is that everyday stressors trigger this response in us and we slip into survival mode without even realizing it. This reaction makes us hoard fat and burn fewer calories than usual.
If stress is the cause of your weight gain, CBD for weight loss might be the answer. Gaining control of your unruly cortisol levels by using CBD to lose weight could make shedding those extra pounds a bit easier.
CBD and Metabolism
CBD may also help to regulate our metabolism and even encourage our body to burn more calories. The term metabolism actually refers to all the processes in the body that use energy but is more commonly used in reference to weight gain and loss. Part of its function is to control how many calories your body burns at different times of the day.
Things like extreme dieting or sitting for lengthy amounts of time have been shown to slow down your metabolism, while exercise, healthy eating, and a good night’s sleep are considered metabolism boosters. So how does taking CBD to lose weight work?
Our endocannabinoid system is made up of metabolic enzymes. There is evidence to show that it is directly connected to several metabolic functions and may even be involved in controlling our insulin levels, a key player in weight control.
The Good Fat
To expand further, CBD may affect a process called ‘fat browning’. Brown fat burns calories to generate heat, which is why it is typically known as the “good” fat since it metabolizes rather than stores calories. A 2016 study found that CBD can stimulate fat browning which inevitably breaks down fat while increasing the number and the activity of mitochondria in the cells of the body, helping to burn even more calories.
CBD was also shown to reduce the activity of proteins associated with the growth of fat cells. Further research needs to be carried out before we can be certain that taking CBD to lose weight is a sure thing. But if it does help us to metabolize better, or burn more calories, as evidence suggests, then it’s looking good.
A New Slimmer You
Why not make a long-term plan to manage your weight and gut health for a new, slimmer you this year? The key to success lies in your ability to remain consistent with your goals. Adding a CBD supplement to your health regime is an easy way to start and could help improve your overall wellness due to its balancing effects. CBD for weight loss might just give you the kick start you and your system needs to reach your new weight goals!