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.
During a day at his office, I saw three patients who’d had success with CBD. The first was Sawyer Maddox, five, from Atlanta, who’d been diagnosed at three with a rare form of epilepsy, Doose Syndrome, which is resistant to medication. He was having more than 200 seizures a day, where he’d drop face first on the floor. His parents fitted him with a catcher’s mask for protection, and carpeted their home with foam to cushion his falls. The pediatric neurologist they saw in Atlanta gave him meds that made things worse. Desperate, the Maddoxes, a conservative Baptist family, flew to California to see Frankel. He started Sawyer on #1 oil, and three months later, the boy was seizure free.
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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.
When the endocannabinoid system becomes dysregulated, it often becomes overactive and too much fat is being stored, particularly in the intra-abdominal tissue. Cannabidiol is known to regulate the endocannabinoid system as it can restore balance in both directions. Therefore, the study concludes that, along with lifestyle changes cannabis could be a means of fighting obesity.
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.
This is likely why CBD is capable of stimulating appetite among people that are in dire need of nutrition (such as cancer patients on chemotherapy), while at the same time suppressing appetite in those who need to lose weight. The active compound helps keep the body in balance, so if you need weight gain it can help you improve your appetite, but if you are overweight, it may be able to help curb your desire to eat.
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.
In 2013, a team of four medical researchers lead by Dr. Elizabeth Penner MD, MPH, carried out a clinical study with over 4,500 participants, called “The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults”. They concluded: “We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist circumference.”
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.