Should you give up your diet and switch toCBD oil for weight loss? For years, a stereotypical image of the cannabis user has often involved a guy living on the couch with a bag of crunchy snacks. Instead, several studies and research have revealed a surprise: cannabinoid use is associated with reduced body weight and lower BMI than nonuse. So, should you abandon your diet and switch to CBD? What do we know so far about CBD oil for weight loss? Although it may seem unexpected that cannabis users have better average body weight, the explanation may lie in theECS, the endocannabinoid system.
The ECS is a complex structure composed of neurotransmitters and receptors. It is found throughout the body, but is mainly found in the nervous and immune systems. Neurotransmitters include substances called "endocannabinoids." Plant cannabinoids-or phytocannabinoids-such as CBD, act similarly to endocannabinoids.
The initial stimulus that drives individuals to gain weight is often simple. It is just a matter of an imbalance between calories taken in and calories consumed. The long-term effects of this hyper-caloric imbalance are nowhere near as simple to reverse.
Correcting an excess of calories with a calorie deficit sometimes works for weight loss, but it can be difficult and even harmful to the body. First, the drastic reduction of calories, in practice a form of fasting, leaves one immediately feeling hungry, sometimes uncontrollably, and second, weight gain can generate changes in hormone and metabolic levels, inflammation status, and balance within the endocannabinoid system itself. Sustainable weight loss requires a return to a healthy balance within these body systems, and even recent studies have shown that cannabinoids are not only effective in regulating the ECS, but can also have a positive impact on dysfunction occurring in other systems. So what is the evidence that demonstrates the validity of CBD oil for weight loss?
A major feature of obesity and diabetes is insulin resistance. The normal metabolic process follows a repeatable pattern:
- Foods are consumed
- Blood glucose levels rise
- Pancreas releases insulin to transfer glucose to body cells
- Cells convert glucose into energy
Under conditions where dietary patterns continually supply excess glucose, the system breaks down and preys on its natural equilibrium. Body cells are unable to take in more glucose, so they begin to ignore the insulin signal, leaving simple sugars in the cell. Because it is so dangerous for blood glucose levels to remain high, the pancreas secretes even more insulin. Eventually, glucose levels plummet precisely because of the unusually high levels of insulin. This domino effect leaves the individual feeling very tired, hungry, and vulnerable which leads him or her to repeat the cycle, due in part to the resulting psychological weakness induced by the unwell state.
Dietary changes are the most important action individuals can choose, and CBD could lend a hand in this regard. A 2018 study showed that the cannabinoids THC, CBD, and CBN improve the ability of cells to take up glucose and work even better than metformin, a drug commonly prescribed to lower blood glucose. Major risk factors for obesity and diabetes include increased body fat, and although it seems obvious, the mechanisms that control this process are not necessarily simple. Not all fat is the same. In fact, the most dangerous type of fat cells are the "white" cells, which tend to gather around organs, decreasing their functionality. The most benign type of fat cells is the "brown" type. This softer fat is easily converted by the body into energy, for example to maintain body heat. White fat, on the other hand, is much more difficult to lose...
There is now evidence that improved mitochondrial function occurs through the use of CBD and it has also been observed that CBD stimulates gene expression within white fat cells. This initiates the "gilding" of these cells. This reaction holds great promise, converting white fat, which is difficult to reduce, into a form more easily consumed by the body. In addition, researchers found that CBD decreased the rate of creation of new fat cells. The evidence weighs heavily on the health of the endocannabinoid system, the latter being inextricably linked to whole-body health. In fact, measuring endocannabinoid activity levels is a proposed new marker for metabolic health. Overall, recent research shows great promise in the development of potential new therapies that are effective and safe for obesity and diabetes. Because these areas of study are still very new and in their early stages, it is still difficult to predict the extent to which their scope will generate a stable and positive impact. In combination with lifestyle and dietary changes, the prescribed use of cannabinoids will most likely be a pivotal intervention in the future of combating obesity and managing and recovering from diabetes.