The emerging benefits of CBD are practically endless. From helping to reduce anxiety to boosting mood, reducing seizures, and even boosting brain function, it seems like there’s nothing this “new” cannabinoid can’t do.
Another recent addition to CBD’s list of benefits is its ability to potentially help with weight loss. However, does research really support this claim, or is it simply CBD being seen under the rose-colored-glasses-effect of a new, trendy “super supplement”?
We dove into the researched-backed facts around this natural oil and weight loss to find out, and truth be told: it’s promising.
How CBD May Help With Weight Loss
- Helps Reduce Pain
The last thing you want to do when you’re in pain, whether from an injury, soreness from a killer workout, or chronic painful conditions like arthritis, is get up and start moving. We’ve been there. However (and obviously) movement and exercise can make a huge difference in your weight loss goals.
In fact, research shows even just going for a brisk walk every day can significantly reduce body fat. [*]
This is where CBD could indirectly improve your ability to lose weight. Studies show it can provide significant pain relief by not only regulating inflammatory compounds in your body that cause pain and swelling, but also by stopping the breakdown of a molecule called anandamide, or the “bliss molecule.” By keeping anandamide in your system for longer, you may experience less pain as a whole, which could then motivate you to move more. [*] [*]
The great news is you can take CBD for pain relief in a variety of ways, including even a pain cream and topical cream.
- Can Improve Mindset and Motivation
Believe it or not, mental and emotional health play a huge role in weight loss. Not only does depression and anxiety interfere with your motivation to actually get in a workout session, but it can also lead to binge eating, causing excessive amounts of calories to be consumed and throwing a wrench in your weight loss goals.
Research even shows that depression can directly promote weight gain. [*]
One of the most popular uses for CBD is to help improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. Remember the anandamide molecule we spoke of earlier? CBD helps prevent the breakdown of it in your body, which can help you maintain a feeling of well-being.
In addition, CBD also works with serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter in our brains, to help reduce depression and anxiety. Several studies in animals and humans have shown reduced depression and improvements in mood after starting a CBD regime. [*] [*]
- Can Help Reduce Cravings
One of the biggest roadblocks to weight loss can be sticking to a clean diet – especially when cravings hit. Interestingly, many people associate “hemp” products with marijuana, and subsequently marijuana with “the munchies.” Because of this, it’s often thought compounds like CBD derived from hemp could cause you to want to snack more.
However, studies show that CBD can actually help reduce cravings, as well as limit “drug-motivated behavior.” [*] Other research has shown some of our favorite foods tend to have a drug-like effect on our brains, releasing the same chemicals that are released when a drug addict receives a hit of his or her drug of choice. [*]
By limiting cravings for high-sugar, high-calorie foods, you may have an easier time sticking to a clean diet, which can definitely help shed the pounds.
- Could Boost Metabolism
While studies are limited, research on mice has shown CBD could have promising effects on metabolism. One study found rats injected with CBD daily resulted in significant reductions in body weight, with “the higher dose having the most pronounced effect.” [*] It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these doses were injected, and not taken orally.
Other studies have shown CBD’s interaction with our CB2 receptors may play a role in energy homeostasis (aka, our metabolism) and fat metabolism. While it’s unclear how effective this may be for obesity, researchers claim CBD could play a large role in reducing markers for obesity. [*]
- Helps Promote the “Right Type” of Fat
Humans carry two types of fat: white and brown.
White fat is the fat we often refer to when we think of excess fat and obesity. It’s the fluffy kind that builds up under our skin and organs, acting as an energy-storing system for excess calories. In simple terms, white fat is thought to be the “bad” fat because having too much equals being overweight or obese, and can even cause widespread inflammation and metabolic syndrome. [*]
Brown fat, on the other hand, is a denser fat that helps your body generate heat. Research has discovered that people and animals with more brown fat have higher metabolisms, and therefore have a healthier body weight than those with less. [*] By generating more “heat,” people with more brown fat burn more calories.
Interestingly, lab studies show CBD can help convert white fat cells to brown fat by enhancing the expression of genes that promote brown fat. [*] While more experimentation is needed, CBD could potentially help promote the development of more brown fat.
- Improves Sleep
You’re probably wondering what sleep has to do with weight loss.
As far as research is concerned: a lot.
In fact, studies show that lack of quality sleep can reduce fat loss by up to 55 percent. Sleep is essential for normal regulation of our metabolism, and lack of it has a negative impact on our metabolic process. Not to mention, some studies also show a lack of or interrupted sleep increases hunger and decreases a hormone that tells our body when we’re “full,” which could cause us to overeat. [*]
Luckily, CBD is widely used for its ability to help improve sleep. One study found just one month of CBD supplementation improved sleep by 66 percent, while also significantly reducing anxiety (fantastic if you have trouble falling asleep due to anxiety and racing thoughts). [*]
Where to Buy Hemp Oil
If you’re looking to buy CBD oil for weight loss, it helps to first take into account what other benefits you might need alongside it.
For instance, perhaps you’re looking to take CBD to help treat depression as well as help with weight loss. In this case, a vape pen or CBD oil you can take orally may be your best bet. However, if you’re dealing with pain and also want to lose weight, you could consider using a topical cream for localized pain, or a vape pen for widespread, chronic pain.
You can also consider taking capsules that are specifically designed for pain relief and other conditions.
Where you purchase these products matters, as quality varies widely between brands. Checking to see where your CBD is sourced from is becoming especially important as the popularity of CBD is rising.
You can find CBD in all of its forms online, and also many in your local health food store. Look for CBD that has been sourced from hemp plants in the U.S., as regulations on pesticides and chemicals are more tightly regulated. Also, double-check to make sure there are no added ingredients or chemicals in your CBD product unless you’re purchasing a pain cream that has other oils or butter.
As you can see, CBD interacts with your body in several different ways that could help promote weight loss directly and indirectly. At the very least, it may also help reduce things like cravings, which could stall fat loss, and therefore keep you on track with your weight loss goals.