Can CBD curb your appetite? Quash anxiety? Protect your heart and brain? Anecdotal evidence for these and other health benefits has created a surge, a potential tsunami of demand for CBD products. While the FDA recently declared CBD an illegal, Schedule 1 drug, it’s being sold in states where medical cannabis is legal, and some companies are shipping it across state lines.
Another study published in 2012 by Farrimond et al. examining the effects of different phytocannabinoids, such as cannabinol (CBN) and CBD, on feeding patterns in rats supports the theory that different cannabinoids modulate CB1 receptors and enhance appetite and metabolism with opposing effects. This study demonstrated that cannabinol increased food intake and body weight gain, while CBD decreased food consumption and weight gain. If your guess is that in this study CBD was also working by “tanning” WAT to BAT, then you are likely spot on.
Scientists have only scraped the tip of the iceberg so far. The DEA has recently removed  CBD from its list of controlled substances. This significant event paves the way for government-funded grants that will allow some of the best minds in the world study cannabidiol’s effect on the human body. It will be exciting to see what is uncovered in the years to come. For the time being, evidence points to CBD’s use as a valuable tool for losing weight. And because it is safe and readily available in most places (check your own state to be sure), it is a simple way of supplementing your health as you attempt to shed unwanted pounds.
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Dietary changes are the most important action individuals can choose to get off the roller coaster. But CBD could lend a hand in the process. A 2018 study showed that the cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBN enhance cells’ ability to take up glucose. And they perform even better than metformin, a common pharmaceutical prescribed to lower elevated blood glucose.
Alicia Salazar, a New York state board certified health coach, uses CBD with her clients to maximize their health outcomes. “I don’t look at CBD as a magic bullet for weight loss,” she said. “But CBD along with a healthy diet – one that contains healthy fats, whole grains, grass-fed meat and dairy, and plenty of greens, without processed foods and sugar – sets the tone for a healthy weight. And for some, that can naturally include weight loss.”

Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows a role for the endocannabinoid system in maintaining energy balance and glucose as well as lipoprotein metabolism, according to a 2009 study. Modulation of this system has resulted in an improvement in a number of important risk factors in clinical trials, including visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adipose tissue, glucose tolerance, dyslipidemia and measures of inflammation.
Another study published in 2012 by Farrimond et al. examining the effects of different phytocannabinoids, such as cannabinol (CBN) and CBD, on feeding patterns in rats supports the theory that different cannabinoids modulate CB1 receptors and enhance appetite and metabolism with opposing effects. This study demonstrated that cannabinol increased food intake and body weight gain, while CBD decreased food consumption and weight gain. If your guess is that in this study CBD was also working by “tanning” WAT to BAT, then you are likely spot on.
Frankel had rarely tried cannabis until he was 49. He was a partner in one of the most successful practices in West Los Angeles and a clinical professor at UCLA Medical School. He’d been my family’s internist for 15 years, and I found him a skilled diagnostician, who listened carefully, and who cared. He had to quit practicing in 2000, after he’d suffered a disabling back injury, then developed a viral infection of the heart and was told he had six months to live. Some of his cancer and AIDS patients urged him to try cannabis. “They did a reverse intervention,” he said, and a year later, his heart was normal. He can’t be certain how or if cannabis healed his heart. “I’d been depressed and CBD stopped the depression,” he said. “It gave me something to look forward to. My brain was turned on.”
CBD’s effect on homeostasis is believed to be why those in need of nutrition can experience an appetite increase and those with excess weight can experience an appetite decrease. The reason for this is that CBD is an adaptogen. Referred to by some scientists as “the boy scout molecule” because it always does the right thing in any given situation. The Journal of  Psychopharmacology tested this theory on rats in 2012. The researchers wanted to see how three common cannabinoids, including CBN, CBD, and CBG, affected the appetite of the rats. The study concluded that both CBD and CBG worked to reduce the rat’s appetite.
Frankel also asserts that CBD reduces appetite—the opposite of THC, which triggers hedonic over-eating. I hadn’t read this anywhere, so I invited two friends, Tina and Cha Cha, to try it with me. We would soon be calling ourselves the Ladies Weed Detective Society. We squeezed a few drops of CBD-infused oil under our tongues and waited. An hour later, at the time we’d planned to have dinner, we noticed we weren’t especially hungry. All thoughts of food had been swept away. If this effect were widely known, Tina said, “Cannabis would be legal in twenty minutes.”
Frankel runs GreenBridge Medical, which he founded in 2006, like an internist’s office. He begins with a one-hour consult, comes up with a treatment plan, and recommends products for which he designed the formulas: ten oils with different combinations of THC and CBD. (THC gets you high; CBD doesn’t, but is alleged to have strong healing properties) The #1 oil is almost all CBD, #10 is almost all THC, and #5 has equal amounts of both. So the doctor, patient, and dispensary know how many milligrams of what chemicals the patient is taking, and the doctor can adjust the dose as needed.
To briefly review, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of specialized fatty acid-based signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. These endocannabinoid chemical signals act on similar brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) using the active compounds found in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD), and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The endocannabinoid system appears to have an essential role in regulating basic human functions like sleep, eating, metabolism, and more. When this system is not functioning correctly, weight gain can occur. CBD helps to restore homeostasis to the cells of the body and can be very useful in reducing fat accumulation and subsequent health risks related to excess body weight.


Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 phytocannabinoids found in marijuana and hemp plants. Together with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is a cannabinoid intensely investigated for its health properties. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means that when CBD is consumed, it produces no psychological effects, or the controversial “high” marijuana is well known for.
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