For many, weight loss is about a lot more than looks. Being overweight or obese raises the risk for a host of serious health problems, from type II diabetes to heart disease to kidney disease to some cancers—contributing to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S. A number of factors play into to the country’s very high obesity rate (more than a third of adults are obese nationwide), such as lack of access to healthy food and/or education about a healthy diet, sedentary lifestyles, and genetics. The good news is that in many cases, changing your nutrition and exercise habits will lead to weight loss. And science is discovering the ways that CBD can help along the way.
How Does CBD Help with Weight Loss?
The more you read about the body’s endocannabinoid system, the more you appreciate what a huge role it plays in so many different aspects of our lives, including appetite, metabolism, and fat storage. Studies have examined how the endocannabinoid system helps regulate food intake and energy balance by acting on targeted areas of the brain and influences metabolism and fat storage in several ways. Scientists also know that when the system is thrown out of whack, obesity and its attendant health issues follow—raising the profile of cannabinoids as a possible form of therapy.
Research suggests CBD can supplement a weight loss plan in several ways. One involves the two types of body fat: brown fat and white fat. Brown fat burns calories as it generates heat, reducing deposits of inactive white fat (what we usually think of when we picture body fat). A recent study found that CBD helped the body turn white fat into that calorie-burning brown fat and promoted fat burning in general, earmarking it as a potential preventative therapy for obesity. And an animal study examined cannabinoids and appetite: While THC has an appetite-inducing effect (ever heard of the munchies?), this research found that CBD actually reduced food intake.