You might be surprised to learn that researchers who looked at data from two different studies of over 50,000 participants found that those who used cannabis infused with healthy compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD) at least three times a week had a 7-8% lower obesity rate than those who hadn’t used it at all in the past 12 months.
This is why many believe cannabis dispensaries that focus on including CBD in their selection of cannabis products are on the cutting edge of weight management science.
Let’s take a look at how CBD works in your body, and what some of the most recent studies reveal about its potential pathways for promoting weight loss.
What is CBD?
CBD is a natural, non-intoxicating essential oil found in the cannabis plant. It is also a cannabinoid, which is a special type of signaling agent that works to positively regulate your body’s Endocannabinoid System.
There are over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis, and CBD is the second most abundant of them, just behind THC.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
Often called the ‘master manager’ because of its central role in keeping many of your body’s main systems and processes in a healthy state of balance, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) oversees a whole host of metabolic processes, including:
- Appetite control
- Immune functioning
- Pleasure/reward responses
- Energy levels
- Heating and cooling
- Inflammatory responses
Your ECS is made up of two main receptors, CB1 and CB2, and two main cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG.
When anandamide, 2-AG, and other naturally-occurring cannabinoids become depleted or dysfunctional, cannabinoids like CBD can step in to help boost your ECS.
How Does CBD Help Promote Weight Loss?
CBD, the ECS, and Obesity
The association between the Endocannabinoid System and obesity appears to manifest through how CB1 and CB2 receptors respond when activated and deactivated.
CB1 receptors are more widespread in people who are obese. Research has revealed that elevating certain substances which block CB1 activation may be a key to reducing obesity.
These substances are known as ‘antagonists’ (AKA receptor blockers), and food intake was decreased when antagonists blocked CB1 receptors.
On the other hand, when antagonists blocked CB2 receptors, this led to an increase in food intake (and activating them led to a decrease).
This is why CB1 and CB2 receptors are now considered prime targets for obesity treatments.
Although CBD doesn’t interact directly with CB1 and CB2 receptors, it does interact with and alter the responses of the endocannabinoids, hormones, antagonists, and other chemicals that interact with them.
Let’s take a look at what science has discovered so far about CBD’s many roles in promoting weight loss.
CBD and Your “Good Fat”
Some people are surprised to find out that when body fat goes through a process called “browning“, the fat actually becomes good for you. Brown fat has been shown to burn more calories because its purpose is to keep you warm. It also increases blood glucose (sugar) metabolism to keep your blood sugar regulated, and it “steals” calories from your white fat to reduce the amount of this less healthy fat in your body.
The result of all this “browning” is a reduced risk for both obesity and diabetes, and a better ability to regulate your body weight. CBD from cannabis is a natural plant-based medicine that research reveals can promote the browning process by boosting the ability of certain brown fat genes and protein markers to express themselves.
That’s why products like Papa & Barkley’s 30:1 CBD Rich ‘Releaf’ Tincture Lemongrass Ginger can be so beneficial for your weight management goals.
CBD, Inflammation, and Blood Sugar Regulation
If you’re already carrying excess weight, losing it can be tough for reasons that go much deeper than your food and exercise choices. The reality is that extra pounds can lead to a downward spiral of more weight gain because of how your body processes blood sugar.
Insulin is the chemical that moves sugar out of the blood and into your cells to be used for energy consumption. When inflammation occurs due to too much fat, especially around the waist and belly, it can negatively impact your cells’ responses to insulin. This condition is known as insulin resistance.
With insulin resistance, more insulin has to be made because your cells are less efficient at processing it, and this excess insulin triggers blood glucose (sugar) to be stored as fat.
Insulin resistance is why close to 80% of people with diabetes are overweight.
There is some good news, however. As we just saw, part of the path that CBD may take to regulate blood sugar is by helping increase fat browning. CBD has also been shown to help reduce the inflammation that can trigger a reduction in your cells’ ability to properly process insulin.
It’s important to note that studies on CBD’s ties to reducing inflammation and insulin resistance are preliminary, and many believe that more research is needed to show a direct connection.
CBD and Cholesterol
There are actually two types of cholesterol carriers (called lipoproteins).
- HDL is the “good” type that carries cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver to be flushed out of your system.
- “LDL” at higher levels is considered “bad” because it leads to plaque buildup in the arteries, high blood pressure, and an elevated risk for strokes and heart disease.
In a groundbreaking 2020 study, CBD was shown to increase the “good” HDL levels. In addition, the brown fat that CBD helps promote assists in reducing blood cholesterol levels and the main type of body fat, called triglycerides.
Just like with inflammation and insulin resistance, the role of CBD in cholesterol health is still being explored. However, many consider it a gentler option than the main group of LDL cholesterol medications, called statins. This is because it tends to have fewer side effects. Still, it’s always recommended to check with your healthcare provider before starting a CBD routine, especially if you take other medications.
Wana Sour Strawberry Gummies make the perfect dietary snack because they’re sweetened with all-natural organic ingredients, and contain 10mg of CBD in each tasty gummy to help you better manage your cholesterol naturally. Plus, they’re specially formulated to help you relax and rest, which is also connected to weight loss success.
CBD and Blood Pressure
Recent research reveals that the reverse may also be true: metabolism was shown to decrease (making it harder to lose weight) when a blood pressure-increasing hormone called angiotensin was present in the body.
CBD has actually been found to help positively regulate angiotensin in a number of studies.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is considered the major risk factor for strokes and heart attacks. It can cause damage to your endothelium, which may lead to calcification and plaque buildup near the arteries. This condition is known as coronary artery disease (CAD), and it is the leading cause of heart attacks in the United States, affecting over 18 million adults over the age of twenty.
A 2017 crossover study found that CBD lowered BP among a small group of male volunteers, even after experiencing stress. A July 2019 paper backed up these findings, highlighting CBD’s success in relaxing blood vessels (vasorelaxation) so that more blood can flow through them.
However, an earlier 2017 review of CBD’s effects on blood flow showed mixed results: resting BP was not lowered after participants took CBD, but stress-induced high BP was lowered after participants consumed CBD.
CBD and Appetite Control
The role CBD plays on appetite is complex because it helps to keep your body in an optimal state of balance. This means it has been shown to both increase and decrease appetite in study participants.
For people who are overweight or obese, there’s indications that CBD can indirectly block CB1 receptors to unlock “anti-obesity effects“, including better appetite control. Limited research also provides information on its possible use for addictive behaviors, in part through its regulation of the reward centers of the brain.
Since many of the CBD appetite control studies were conducted on animals, scientists agree that more human research can help us better understand its role in controlling cravings and hunger.
CBD and Metabolic Disorders: Tying It All Together
Metabolic syndrome occurs when several conditions appear at the same time. These conditions include:
- High blood sugar levels
- Added weight around the waist
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
There is a strong link between metabolic syndrome and obesity. By positively regulating metabolic processes in order to help ward off these conditions, CBD shows promise as a treatment for those seeking a natural alternative therapy for weight loss.
Finding a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Near Me
At Planet 13, Orange County dispensary delivery is just one of the many standout services we provide our clientele who are looking for different strains and products infused with high levels of CBD to help manage their weight loss and overall health.
You can choose from a wide variety of products, whether you’re new to cannabis or an experienced user. Our delicious cannabis edibles, for example, are a popular choice, including CBD-infused favorites like our refreshing Lemon Fruit Chews from Chalice Edibles and inspiring Positivi-Tea 10-Pack from Kikoko.
The best news is that there are three convenient ways to shop cannabis for your weight-loss journey. Planet 13 Dispensaries offers in-store shopping, curbside pick-up and delivery.
Get in touch with us or stop by our Santa Ana dispensary to get started!