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Correcting a calorie excess with a calorie deficit sometimes works for weight loss, but it can be difficult. First of all, reducing calories leaves people feeling hungry, which can be incredibly uncomfortable. Second of all, weight gain can cause changes to hormone levels and balance, metabolic patterns, inflammation status, and balance within the endocannabinoid system.
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).
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.
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 marker of obesity and diabetes includes damage to liver cells. The liver is a major organ in the conversion between stored energy forms and useable energy forms in the body. Overburdening that system, such as with high fructose intake, can have disastrous effects. Inflammation within the liver indicates the onset of dysfunction, and possibly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
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