CBD – you may have read it labeled as a dietary supplement, heard about it from a friend, or even seen it displayed on a grocery or convenience store shelf. In fact, it’s growing at such a popular rate that it’s conservatively estimated to be a $16 billion industry by 2025.
Most research about CBD is relatively new due to cannabis prohibition staunching progress for so many decades. We see studies on CBD to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, fight acne, relieve certain pain types, improve brain and heart health, and more.
We also see claims that CBD can be used to promote weight loss, which is the subject we’ll be talking about today.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the 400+ compounds found within cannabis plants. It’s the most abundant compound within hemp plants, while THC is the abundant compound found within most marijuana plants. Now that industrial hemp is legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, we can extract CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids from the hemp plant to turn it into CBD oil, edibles, gummies, capsules, and much more.
And while THC is known as the psychoactive compound that gets you high, CBD is the non-psychoactive variant that studies show could potentially provide a range of medicinal properties.
The weight loss industry is a staggering $66 billion strong, even though there are still over 93 million US adults classified as obese – and that was just the number in 2015-2016. The numbers continue to climb, and CBD oil is expected to assume a nice portion of the industry’s pie in the coming years.
The obesity epidemic in the US as well as internationally is at an all-time high. Not something to be taken lightly, it’s a serious problem with no quick fix. It’s a multi-culprit issue, with the prime suspects being social acceptance over lack of exercise, a full-time fast food diet, and prescription medications or scam weight loss supplements.
That beckons the question: is CBD just another scam weight loss supplement that’s as ineffective as it is expensive?
To answer, we should first clarify that CBD shouldn’t be considered as “weight loss supplement” at all – though it may still help promote weight loss indirectly. We should also clarify that while not every CBD brand is the same, the right one can provide a CBD product that’s both effective and inexpensive.
Is there any truth to incorporating CBD oil for weight loss? The answer, unfortunately, isn’t such an easy “yes” or “no.” Let’s look at how people can respond to CBD differently so you can decide if adding CBD into your daily weight loss routine is the best option for you.
CBD is advertised as having a direct link to weight loss with very little evidence to back this stance. However, there may be evidence that it instead has a more indirect correlation to weight loss. A daily, consistent serving of CBD can promote general wellness, which includes weight reduction in some individuals. The aspects of health we highlight below that CBD can help improve are what can indirectly lead to weight loss.
As animals have an endocannabinoid system that responds to CBD in a similar way to ours, animal studies can reflect the same results something might have on humans.
More human studies are needed before we have definitive answers, though we can see that CBD might affect weight through animal studies. The CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and lymphoid tissue, believed to play important roles in food intake and metabolism, can interact directly with CBD.
A two-week study on rats showed significant body weight reductions in the rats that were injected daily with CBD. The rat given the higher dose (5mg per kg to 2.5mg per kg for the other rat) had a more pronounced effect in weight reduction. Other rat studies also show CBD resulted in the reduction of their food intake.
These results are promising, but we need more human studies before we can fully approve cannabidiol’s influence on metabolism and food intake. The jury is still out, though there are countless personal experiences to use as anecdotal evidence on its efficacy.
Most people think of “fat cells” as just one type of cell that exists in your body. Factually, though, there are both brown and white fat cells – and they have different purposes.
Those that are at a healthy weight generally have more brown fat cells than those that are overweight. The brown fat cells burn calories to generate heat.
White fat cells, on the other hand, is the more predominant fat cell that helps cushion and insulate the organs as well as supply and store energy. When you accumulate white fat cells in excess, though, there’s a direct association to chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
Up until now, we’ve known that the best way to convert white fat cells to brown is by getting enough sleep, exercising, and even exposing yourself to cold temperatures. Now, research shows that CBD may also help aid in this conversion process.
The downside: it was only a test-tube study. The upside: we got positive results, so we’re excited to see human studies on the same matter within the next few years.
Specific proteins and genes promote brown fat cells. The study found the expression of these proteins and fats were enhanced and there was a “browning” in white fat cells from CBD. In simplified terms, CBD can promote the good kind of fat cells that promote weight loss and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases.
Not every CBD brand offers the same quality of cannabidiol products. On the contrary, the industry goes wildly unregulated, so it’s more likely that the brand is advertising a half-truth. Especially when you want it for a specific purpose like weight loss, we want to make sure you have the knowledge you need to pick a CBD brand that will be effective for your needs.
Reputable CBD brands will display their product’s lab results prominently on their web platform. You should be able to look at a batch number on a product and trace it back to that batch’s lab results from an independent, third-party lab.
Batch testing is necessary for CBD products to ensure the quality as well as the concentration levels of both CBD and lack of THC in the product.
You can check out our Independent Lab Testing Here.
Does the brand specify they extract from the whole plant, or just a part? A full-spectrum or broad-spectrum tincture ensures you’re getting all the valuable cannabinoids in addition to CBD. This can stimulate an Entourage Effect in some users, which improves and enhances the overall efficacy of the product.
You should stick with a CBD brand that cultivates, treats, and manufactures their hemp and CBD products within the US. United States regulations on industrial hemp will ensure the product is free of pesticides, metals, and other pollutants, as well as tested through a third-party lab.
A full-spectrum, USA-sourced top seller is the UltraCell Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil. It comes in Lemon and Berry flavors for a different taste experience, though they provide the same effects and could help stimulate weight loss.
Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is unique, so not every person will need the same strength of CBD per serving. Depending on weight, tolerance, and many other variables, one person might need 15mg CBD a day while one may need 100mg or more to achieve the same results.
The best recommendation, especially if you’re new to CBD, is to start out with a small serving size and work your way up. Everyone responds differently, so we always recommend starting with whatever the serving size on the product bottle states.
If the label on the bottle states 1 to 2 droppers of CBD oil per day, for example, you’d start with 1 dropper full in the morning and go throughout your day to see if you’ve achieved the results with cannabidiol that you wanted to. If it wasn’t enough, simply increase the serving size until you find what fits.
While you play around with a serving size to decide what the best amount of daily CBD is for you, it’s important to remember that a consistent, daily serving is what matters the most. Try not to take CBD oil sporadically or only when you want to lose weight, as the effects will not be instant.
In fact, it takes up to 30 days of consistent, daily use for the full range of CBD’s effects to be achieved. Once you hit that 30-day mark, a routine serving each day is still recommended to maintain and regulate the endocannabinoid system in the body.
Daily CBD servings allow for stacking returns when it comes to general wellness. You won’t feel as much on the first day as you do after the first week, and the same goes for the first week as you’ll feel after the first month.
In conclusion, CBD oil for weight loss isn’t a scam, but it’s also not a miracle fat cure that will do the work for you. Rather, CBD oil can be an addition to your daily weight loss routine to optimize your results, enhance your efforts, and promote better general wellness overall.
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