Does CBD Work for Losing Fat?
It’s a sad day indeed when you wake up in the morning, head to the bathroom, and notice your waistline has ballooned way past what you’re comfortable looking at. But is CBD the answer for weight loss?
Gaining weight is easy to do, but hard to reverse. That temptation to reach for the next bag of crisps often outweighs the desire to hit the gym…or to move at all, period.
However, losing weight doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Research is pouring in on CBD as a way to stop that expanding waistline in its tracks, and our CBD supplement can help you shed those extra pounds.
With more and more CBD supplements on the market, can this wonder ingredients be used to lose weight?
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
When most people think of “Cannabis”, they think of the psychoactive part of the Cannabis sativa plant, delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Through a variety of mechanisms, THC causes the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of satisfaction in the body.
Unfortunately, too much THC leads to higher amounts of anxiety, stress, and more cravings. That’s why many people transform into Gordon Ramseys of the microwave after smoking [13, 14].
On the other hand, cannabidiol (CBD) curbs THC’s buzz. Research is still young, but CBD works to block THC’s unwanted effects, which means less high-seeking, less anxiety, and less withdrawal [13, 14]. Taking CBD causes a “body high”, much like the feeling you have after a fantastic yoga class .
Researchers have been looking to CBD for other medical problems as well, from severe epilepsy [3, 8] and post-traumatic stress disorder , to multiple sclerosis  or even cancer .
Why has CBD been the go-to for these studies? One reason may be that there haven’t been negative side effects, even at high doses, and that kind of safety is hard to beat . In fact, you can now be prescribed a CBD medication if you are Canadian [SativexⓇ, 1], and you can find CBD in a range of everyday products, from soaps to drinks .
But we’re looking at CBD as a weight loss supplement, aren’t we? Here are the facts.
CBD & Weight Loss
The CBD Alternative
With obesity on the rise all over the world, scientists have been scrambling to find solutions. While there have been promising candidates that have boasted amazing weight loss potential (such as rimonabant in Europe back in 2006 [2, 11]), these treatments also tended to have negative side effects – depression, inactivity, and other “psychiatric adverse events” .
Researchers had no other choice than to look for an alternative, and CBD took center stage.
As more research was done on the hemp plant and its various parts, scientists found that CBD no only curbed the ‘high’ from THC, but also had similar weight loss benefits to treatments like rimonabant.
In 2011, a group of researchers finally decided to test out CBD in the lab. In their experiment, they tested subjects with one of four different treatments, two of which contained different doses of CBD.
14 days passed, and at the end the subjects were weighed. The researchers collected their results, and found a shocking fact: the subjects on normal treatments gained weight as expected, while the subjects with CBD treatments had 25% less weight. .
The best part? After these treatments, the subjects showed none of the adverse psychiatric side effects found with treatments like rimonabant. In fact, they showed a high tolerance to CBD.
CBD & Fatty Tissues
The evidence for CBD as a weight loss supplement doesn’t stop there, friends.
Two types of fat exist in our bodies: white adipose tissue (WAT), the kind of fat we see gathering ‘round the midriff after five consecutive nights of pizza dinners, which is mainly used for storing energy; and brown adipose tissue (BAT), which is mainly burned by our bodies to keep warm and create energy .
Researchers used to think BAT cells were rare in adults. However, in recent years, they have found that BAT is actively used in adults, which has caused an upswing in BAT research as a way to fight obesity .
In the course of this research, they have also found that under certain circumstances, WAT cells can switch into BAT cells. They named this switch “browning”.
When WAT cells are “browning”, certain genes and proteins are used. If scientists see these genes and proteins expressed more in WAT cells, then those cells are more likely to change into BAT cells and be used for energy (which means less fat in the body).
That’s where CBD comes in. Researchers prepared some WAT cells and gave them different treatments. After studying them for several days, they found that the cells treated with CBD were expressing “browning” proteins and genes more frequently – as high as 1050% expression versus the 100% of the control group .
They also found that cells treated with CBD created more proteins that cause fat cells to break down, and that they used genes responsible for creating new fat cells less frequently .
TL;DR: With the CBD treatment, the subjects’ bodies were more likely to destroy fat cells, less likely to form fat cells, and their WAT cells were more likely to begin “browning” into BAT cells for use .
Conclusion: Can CBD Aid Weight loss?
So where does this leave us on the CBD/weight loss debate?
Although research on CBD is still in its early stages, we have seen losses in weight by as much as 25% , the conversion of hard-to-burn fat into an easier alternative to shake , and next to no negative effects [3, 5]. The science speaks for itself.
You blink awake again. You sit up in bed, remembering dreamy whisperings of strange terms like “CBD”, “Sativex”, and “brown adipose tissue”. You shake off the thoughts, and head to the bathroom, bracing yourself for that mushroom waist from a few weeks prior.
However, those CBD supplements paid off: you instead see your waist thinning, and you’re ready to start your day.
If you’re looking to try CBD to lose unwanted weight, then currently we have only found one premium option that’s actually targeted at the fitness community. This capsule based supplement, made of premium CBD isolate is exactly what you should be looking at. Check out ShredCBD here.
- Barnes MP (2006) Sativex®: clinical efficacy and tolerability in the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain, Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 7:5, 607-615, DOI: 10.1517/146565126.96.36.1997.
- Christensen R, Kristensen PK, Bartels EM, Bliddal H, Astrup A (2007) Efficacy and safety of the weight-loss drug rimonabant: a meta-analysis of randomised trials. The Lancet, 370(9600): 1706-1713, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61721-8.
- Devinsky O, Cilio MR et al. (2014) Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia. 2014; 55(6): 791–802. doi:10.1111/epi.12631.
- Elms L, Shannon S, Hughes S, Lewis N (2018) Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. http://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2018.0437.
- Ignatowska-Jankowska B, Jankowski MM, Swiergiel AH (2011) Cannabidiol decreases body weight gain in rats: Involvement of CB2 receptors. Neuroscience Letters, 490: 82-84.
- Lukhele ST, Motadi LR (2016) Cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa extracts inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in cervical cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med, 16(1): 335, doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1280-0.
- Parray HA, Yun JW (2016) Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol. Cell. Biochem., 416(1-2): 131-9, doi:10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5.
- Porter BE & Jacobsen C (2013) Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav., 29(3), 574-577, DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.08.037.
- Saely CH, Geiger K, Drexel H (2012) Brown versus White Adipose Tissue: A Mini-Review. Gerontology, 58:15-23, DOI: 10.1159/000321319.
- Sastre-Garriga J, Vila C, Clissold S & Montalban X (2011) THC and CBD oromucosal spray (Sativex®) in the management of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 11:5, 627-637, DOI: 10.1586/ern.11.47.
- Taylor D (2009) Opinion: Withdrawal of Rimonabant – Walking the Tightrope of 21st Century Pharmaceutical Regulation? Current Drug Safety, 4(1): 2-4, DOI: 10.2174/157488609787354396.
- Williams A (2018) Why is CBD Everywhere? New York Times, https://nyti.ms/2Jkoosw.
- Zlebnik NE, Cheer JF (2016) Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for
Disorders of Motivation? Annu Rev Neurosci, 39: 1–17. doi:10.1146/annurev-neuro-070815-014038.
Zuardi AW, Shirakawa I, Finkelfarb E, Karniol IG (1982) Action of cannabidiol on the anxiety and other effects produced by delta 9-THC in normal subjects. Psychopharmacology (Berl), 1982;76(3): 245-50