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.
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.
The previously mentioned study which established improved mitochondrial function with CBD use also observed that CBD stimulates gene expression within white fat cells. This initiates the “browning” of these cells. This mechanism shows promise with converting hard-to-lose white fat into a more easily burnable form. Additionally, researchers found that CBD decreased the rate of new fat cell creation.
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.
Moreover, the inconsistency (to put it mildly) of the weight loss industry is probably more sketchy and less regulated than the current state of the cannabis industry. Google ‘weight loss scams,’ for instance, and you’ll get 5.76 million search results! There have been some shocking scams over the years, including vibration machines, weight loss pills (containing poisons such as arsenic), and ‘Vision-Dieter Glasses,’ just to name a few.
Cheanné is a freelance writer and blogger. She writes primarily about nutrition, fitness, and mental health. She has diplomas in Personal Nutrition and Weight Loss from Shaw Academy and an Introductory Certificate in Exercise Science from the Health and Fitness Professionals Academy (HFPA). She is also a qualified group fitness instructor. When not writing, she enjoys jamming on her guitar, reading, eating good food, trips to the beach, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.