Can CBD Oil Help You Lose Weight?

Obesity is literally an epidemic in North America. Even though the overall cause is quite clear— junk food and lack of movement—each individual might have a different root cause for being overweight. It can be anything from leptin resistance, metabolic syndrome, psychological addiction to a combination of multiple factors.

The key to healing anything is to target the root cause and to try to bring balance into the system, whether it's hormones, appetite, or circadian rhythm.

So how can CBD help with weight loss and weight management?

1. Appetite

It’s common knowledge that THC helps bring out the munchies. However, CBD has more of a balancing effect on your appetite. If your body is out of homeostasis, you can experience either an abnormally large appetite or no appetite at all.

Our appetite is controlled by two hormones: ghrelin, a hunger stimulating  hormone, and leptin, a satiety hormone, which are secreted by the hypothalamus. The part of hypothalamus that regulates Ghrelin is stimulated by CB1 receptors. CBD is a CB1 blocker, which means that it prevents the hunger hormone from being released. Animal studies show that rats given CBD ate much less food than the control, as well as that CBD increases leptin levels, which means that rats felt fuller. (1)


2. Mitochondria, aka metabolism

Fat cells are metabolic; they don’t just “hang there”. This means that they burn energy, produce hormones and are an active participant in our system. We have brown adipose tissue that is high is mitochondria (that’s why it’s brown colour), a powerhouse of our cells, and white adipose tissue that is used to store energy. In vitro studies have shown that CBD is able to convert white fat into brown fat. This process is called browning. CBD can increase metabolic activity of white fat cells, thus increasing the amount of energy that is burnt. Since stored fat is stored energy, it should assist it in burning body fat. Human studies are still needed to confirm this hypothesis. (2) 


3. Cortisol

CBD oil has been shown to help regulate the levels of the stress hormone called cortisol. Since in our endocrine system all hormones are intricately related to each other, cortisol has effects on other hormones as well. The most important relationship in the case of weight management is cortisol to testosterone. Cortisol is known as a hormone that decreases testosterone and testosterone is needed for stimulation of muscle growth and burning of fat. So stress increases cortisol thus decreasing testosterone and thus causing muscle breakdown and fat storage (especially mid-waist). 

Also very often stress stimulates appetite, I mean, have you ever experiences stress eating?


4. Sleep

One of the biggest root causes of weight gain is lack of sleep. When we can't or just don't get proper night sleep we cause imbalances in our hormones, especially in the ones we already talked about - ghrelin and leptin. Studies have shown that lack of sleep causes your body to have low levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, thus making your body feel like it's hungry when it might actually not be. In addition to that lack of sleep causes ghrelin, the hungry hormone, to increase thus making you feel hungry too. 

Have you ever experiences a jet lag when you have an abnormal appetite? When that's leptin and ghrelin being confused about the abnormal sleeping patterns. 

CBD oil can help you relax at night and fall asleep easily, as well as it can help you stay asleep through the night giving you a more restful sleep. As a result improved sleep can help you better manage your weight. 


5. Balance

CBD’s main goal is to bring balance to our body, whether it’s appetite, mood, energy, sleep, or the immune system or any other system. Many women in our society struggle with excess weight, and there can be many reasons why a woman might not be able to lose that weight, ranging from hormonal imbalances and slow metabolism to lack of energy and psychological addiction to food. Whatever the reason is, the key is to find the underlying issue and deal with that root cause. Since CBD brings all systems into homeostasis, including appetite, energy levels, and cognitive function, it is likely that CBD will help you become healthier overall and achieve a healthy body weight. 

A few last words...

As a holistic nutritionist, I believe that each of us is unique and we shouldn’t try to measure up to anyone. Every woman has her own body type and her own “perfect weight”, which fluctuates depending on where she is in life, hormonal cycle or even season.

I also believe that if you want to lose weight it should be coming from a place of self-love. Implementing a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be from a place of punishment, deprivation or self-abuse. Instead, it should be from a place of nourishment, satisfaction and self-care. The best weight loss strategy is a long-term plan that involves making changes towards eating wholesome real food and moving your body regularly.