CBD has been pitched as a “superfood” and a “panacea”, with advocates claiming that it will do everything from cure your pain and boost your mood to prolong your life. One of the things that has received a lot of attention in recent years is the apparent weight loss benefits of this cannabinoid, with some claiming that it has been “proven” that CBD burns fat.
Is this true? Can CBD really help you to lose weight and if so, how?
What Does the Research Say?
Many of CBD’s benefits are anecdotal, but there are a wealth of animal studies and a few human trials as well, all of which create a very interesting body of evidence. The problem with CBD, like many other alternative medicines, is that everyone falls in love with the substance and starts making grandiose claims backed by very little evidence.
The result is a mess of contradictory claims and nonsense advice.
Some argue that CBD, like THC, is great for stimulating your appetite, suggesting that it could help individuals recovering from long-term illnesses, being treated with palliative care, or dealing with conditions like anorexia.
If true, it wouldn’t be very promising as a weight-loss substance. In fact, some of the most popular weight-loss drugs on the market today rely on appetite suppression, effectively stopping people from binging and allowing them to keep their calories down without impacting their digestive system or metabolism.
On the flip side, there are suggestions that CBD could also promote healthier eating and even burn additional calories. Advocates point to a variety of animal studies that have looked at the ways in which cannabinoids could help to tackle the obesity epidemic.
A study on rats found that CBD could significantly reduce body weight when injected every day for 14 days, suggesting that the CB2 receptors played a notable role in providing these effects.
Other studies propose that these effects could be replicated in humans and there is no shortage of anecdotal reports suggesting that same.
Does that mean that CBD is an effective weight loss drug? Not really.
Should You Use CBD to Lose Weight?
CBD is definitely a beneficial substance and one that can provide a wealth of benefits. The side effects are very few and yet it’s able to help with pain, depression, stress, insomnia, and a host of other ailments in a lot of different people.
But there are some caveats here.
Firstly, even if we assume that it is effective and that the results seen in animals will be replicated in humans, it’s still not the most effective solution. CBD consumption won’t negate the effects of a bad diet. You won’t lose weight if you continue eating unhealthily and consume more calories than your body can use.
By the same token, it’s not going to substitute for eating lots of protein and fiber or finding ways to control your appetite, and if you’re clinically obese, it’s definitely not the solution.
Think of it like this: A cup of chamomile tea can calm you down and may help you to sleep. But if you have chronic insomnia, a history of drug addiction, and a highly stressful job, that tea won’t do anything, and you need stronger substances.
CBD might help you to lose a few pounds and keep you healthy when combined with diet and exercise. But it should never replace those things and it should not be the first course of treatment if your obesity is a serious health risk.
Secondly, in terms of fat burning, the effects are likely to be minor at best. Just because a few rodents experienced massive weight loss with mega-dosed CBD, doesn’t mean the same thing will happen with you. Maybe it will burn a few extra calories, but it’s unlikely to have a significant effect and may give you a false sense of security.
Finally, and perhaps more importantly, CBD doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. Some users find the effects to be very pronounced and relaxing. They report not feeling very hungry and to enjoying a sense of calm throughout the experience.
Others feel very little, if anything, and there are others still who immediately get the munchies and start rummaging around in the cupboards to see what they can feast on. And as any experienced smoker will tell you, the munchies are hard to resist and nearly always make you crave the sweetest and fattiest foods.
Summary: CBD for Weight Loss
The jury is still out on whether or not CBD is beneficial for weight loss. The early signs are certainly promising, but a lot more needs to be done before we know anything for sure.
If you’re looking for a natural way to lose weight, this is not it. You will be much better off speaking with your doctor (if you’re clinically obese) or following some simple dietary advice. Even if CBD was an effective fat burner, you would likely lose more weight simply by reducing your daily food intake by a single slice of bread or glass of juice.
If you use CBD for other reasons and consider the weight loss benefits to be a potential bonus, then great! You have nothing to lose.
If you were underweight in the past and consider these weight loss “benefits” to be more of a concern, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. Just make sure you’re eating your recommended daily calories, following the advice of medical professionals, and doing everything in moderation.