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.
Frankel puts his hand on his heart. “Imagine the pressure!” he says. A complex soul, whose parents survived the Holocaust, Frankel says that when his patients don’t get better, he’s sad and disappointed, and starts to question if he’s wasting people’s time and money. “But then ten people will get better, and I feel… grateful. It makes me confident I’m on the right road, on the right side of history.”
Interestingly, over-activation of the endocannabinoid system, primarily via CB1 receptor activation, contributes to increased abdominal obesity (i.e., fat gain along the midsection), glucose uptake into adipocytes (fat cells), and insulin resistance in muscle tissue. This “metabolic dysfunction” sets up a vicious cycle whereby further insulin resistance in muscles and the liver increases abdominal obesity and further CB1 over-activation, resulting in greater food-seeking behavior, increased appetite, and increased body fat gain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”
Collectively, these results stem from the ability of CBD to induce “fat browning” – that is, converting what is normally white-colored fat tissue (WAT-white adipose tissue) that stores energy to beige-colored fat tissue (BAT-brown and beige adipose tissue) that burns it. Previous studies have shown that boosting beige-colored fat in animals improves their glucose tolerance, making them more resistant to diabetes and various blood lipid abnormalities.
The effects of slow metabolism stretch beyond impeding weight loss. It can cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and chronic fatigue. There are many different kinds of metabolism support pills on the market, as well as pills and a myriad of other products to help you lose weight. Each of these come with their own problems: Do they work? What are the side effects? To avoid the guesswork, we recommend you try CBD for weight loss. When you decide to do so, there are two important things to consider.