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CBD for Weight Management
The effects of CBD on weight loss or weight gain
We know that the human body has a built-in endocannabinoid system that responds to different compounds in the body through two cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2 receptors. Usually, the CB1 receptors exist mainly in the brain and the central nervous system, and are almost nonexistent in the rest of the body. In people with obesity, however, CB1 receptors become more widespread. This is true especially in fatty tissue. Because of this, researchers believe that there may be a link between the activation of the CB1 receptors and obesity.
CBD does not activate the CB receptors directly, instead influencing the body’s natural cannabinoids to either block off or activate the receptors. This may play a role in weight loss or other critical metabolic functions.
Food Intake and Metabolism
Preliminary research suggests that CBD may reduce food intake and boost metabolism, which could promote weight loss.
The endocannabinoid system stimulates other areas of the body involved in metabolism including the gastrointestinal tract, endocrine pancreas, and skeletal muscles, among others. CBD can assist metabolising compounds absorbed from food during digestion by prompting the two receptors.
Over stimulating the endocannabinoid system can lead to abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and increased energy storage in fat cells. CB1 receptor when over stimulated can increase odds of developing metabolic syndrome which is associated with adverse symptoms such as high blood pressure, excess body fat, and high blood sugar among others. It has been noted that CBD is a CB1 antagonist which may have the ability to treat such a condition and possibly others like it as well.
Surprisingly, cannabis use is associated with lower body weight
Using marijuana doesn’t cause sudden weight loss, but experts believe it may help with some of the underlying factors that can contribute to weight gain in some people. Some of these factors include:
It can increase mobility
Marijuana is believed to relieve symptoms of pain and stiffness. This means people with mobility issues may find that they are able to be more active when using marijuana, which would naturally contribute to weight loss or weight management.
It may cause people to drink less
Some experts have noted that those who use cannabis, tend to drink less. Alcohol, which has the highest calorie content next to fat, can be a significant factor to weight gain.
It can lower stress
Anyone who has ever dieted knows that stress eating is a very real thing. Studies have shown that people are more likely to overeat and choose high-calorie comfort foods when feeling stressed. If cannabis can ease anxiety and help a person remain calm, it enables them to make healthier food choices.
It may improve sleep
Evidence shows that poor sleep can be a major factor in weight gain. There’s also evidence that cannabis can improve symptoms of insomnia. Better sleep means better food choices.
CBD and Fat Cells
One study found that cannabidiol can promote the browning of 3T3-L1 adipocytes, in other words, the browning of fat cells.
White fat is much more plentiful than brown, and is responsible for the storage of energy and production of hormones. However, it is also the fat most associated with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, when accumulated in excess.
Brown fat on the other hand, burns calories when stimulated. Scientists are studying brown fat as a potential obesity treatment if they’re able to find a way to stimulate it. Interestingly, research has shown that CBD may aid this process.
A recent study suggests that CBD plays dual modulatory roles in the form of inducing the brown-like phenotype as well as promoting lipid metabolism. Thus, CBD may be explored as a potentially promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity.
Though it’s not conclusive that CBD can aid in weight loss, the current research strongly suggests that CBD can help with maintaining weight. If weight loss is the goal, it would not do any harm in adding CBD to your current regime. Just do so knowing that the science is still new, and it may not help at all.
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