He did exhaustive research. He found there’d been decades of scientific studies on the effects of THC and CBD on cells and animals, but few trials with humans, because the FDA classifies cannabis and all its components as Schedule 1 drugs, which have “no accepted medical treatment use.” It took Sue Sisley, an Arizona physician, seven years of struggling with bureaucratic hurdles before she received the first FDA approval for a study, just beginning, of marijuana with vets who have PTSD.
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.
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.
A 2016 study in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry explored how CBD contributed to the fat browning process. Brown fat is a particular type of fat that works to increase energy expenditure, and it produces heat. This allows brown fat to burn more calories, but adults are mostly composed of white fat. In the study, the following was observed as a result of cannabinoid usage:
While overstimulation of the CB1 receptor may lead to symptoms such as high blood pressure and abnormally high cholesterol levels, CBD is a CB1 antagonist, so it is not likely to cause such issues. Furthermore, the World Health Organization has recently issued a global report on CBD, claiming that it has a good safety profile and minimal adverse public health effects.
I asked if he knew why CBD is so broadly effective. Could it be a gigantic, all-purpose placebo? He shook his head. His theory is that it’s an essential nutrient, like vitamins and amino acids, and when there’s a deficiency of CBD, people get sick. Because CBD brings the body into homeostasis, or balance, it can work in two directions: cutting appetite in people who over-eat, and increasing appetite in those who need to eat more.
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 and other cannabinoids attach to specific receptors in the body found within what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. In fact, up until recently, scientists didn’t know that these cannabinoids are actually naturally produced in humans and most animals. Some researchers speculate that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be the cause of many disorders and conditions. When CBD is introduced into the body, it binds to receptor cells called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
On the plus side, there is an earnest desire for people to lose weight, which is why the weight loss industry is worth an astonishing $66 billion! But this staggering number, added to the fact that fewer people are dieting and more are gaining weight, tells us two things: One, that weight loss supplements are fundamentally ineffective; and two, that they are very, very expensive.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.