Based on the incredible amount of attention around the topic of CBD these days, it’s difficult to find something that CBD isn’t said to help with. What began as a “miracle” cure for a severe form of treatment-resistant epilepsy in children has become a household name for an ever-growing list of ailments.
Just a few of the illnesses and diseases whose symptoms can be assisted by the use of CBD are cancer- and chemotherapy-related side-effects, anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain. Given its status as a hemp-derived chemical and its relation to cannabis, the legality of CBD does not yet stand on firm ground. However, its popularity as a holistic alternative to illnesses seems to be growing stronger every day.
But what about CBD and weight loss? Read on to find out how it may be able to support your health.
CBD: The New Kid in Town
Despite numerous clinical trials, people still question the actual efficacy of CBD–and its ability to live up to all of the hype surrounding it. However, this hasn’t stopped an influx of anecdotal perspectives. Masses of people are telling their stories about CBD and how it continues to be a useful part of their treatment in many different life-affecting illnesses.
New potential benefits of CBD are emerging every day. One of the latest areas of research CBD and weight loss, a particularly relevant topic considering the obesity rate in the U.S. This article will address the topic of weight loss in the U.S., its implications, and how CBD can possibly help alleviate the related problems with weight loss on an individual and, ideally, a national level.
Weight Loss in America: A Source of Mental Unrest
It’s no new development that America is obsessed with weight loss. While at first thought it might sound like a healthy preoccupation for a nation to develop, some observation will reveal that the American relationship with weight loss is anything but healthy. This unhealthy dynamic between America and losing weight is intrinsically tied to the concept of “body image.”
If you haven’t heard the term before or aren’t precisely sure what “body image” refers to in this sense, think of it as the individual idea or mental representation of one’s own body. Having a body image, in itself, is perfectly fine and even healthy. However, Americans have the tendency to develop negative body images. This phenomenon is mainly present in American women and is partially responsible for the nation’s high density of eating disorders.
This negative perception of body image alone is almost always affected by people’s inclination to look like the American ideal of beauty. Sadly, this ideal is unachievable in most circumstances and an unhealthy precedent from which to draw motivation.
It should come as no surprise that this obsession with weight loss and body image leads to feelings of anxiety and depression in many Americans. It might come as a nice surprise that CBD can help with those, too!
If CBD can decrease feelings of stress and anxiety in people who are caught up in negative body image preoccupation, they may be able to create a more healthy relationship with their bodies and their weight. Then, any weight loss that is necessary for better health could be done as a way of taking care of the body instead of as a war against it.
Understandably so, weight loss is often a topic in the spotlight for the American people. While there are a growing number of resources that offer healthy ways to view one’s body and to view weight loss, much unhealthiness still remains. While unhealthy weight loss and self-image is undoubtedly an issue, that’s not to say that weight loss is inherently harmful. In fact, most doctors recommend it, and a lot of people are fatally obese, especially in the U.S. So, can CBD support weight loss?
CBD and Weight Loss
What with the rise in popularity of CBD in the United States health and wellness industries, it’s worth considering what role the little “miracle” cannabinoid might play in weight loss in Americans, other than assisting with anxiety and depression.
Let’s back up a little bit. How exactly is CBD said to work in the human body anyway? Well, it has everything to do with an incredible system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which up until very recently has been virtually overlooked by most health experts.
The ECS is a group of distinct fatty acid-based signaling compounds, their receptors, and the metabolic enzymes that create and break them down. These endocannabinoid chemical signs act on the related brain and immune cell receptors using the active composites found in cannabis–one of which is cannabidiol (CBD).
Unlike its related chemical signal, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get users of it high. Considering the already impressive list of potential benefits CBD has, weight loss is an especially attractive prospect too.
CBD and Weight Loss: Fat Browning
In one study, researchers found that CBD has the potential to activate genes and proteins that improve the disruption and oxidation of fat and boost the amount and action of mitochondria, which enhances the body’s capacity to burn calories and reduce the representation of proteins required in lipogenesis, also known as fat cell production.
Pretty incredible, right? We think so too. What’s more is the collective result of these processes to activate a process called “fat browning.” Fat browning is basically the conversion of white fat tissue, which is responsible for containing energy, into beige-colored fat tissue, which is responsible for burning said energy. This color conversion in fat cells increases the glucose threshold, which can be
One of the things we do know about the ECS and its relation to weight gain is that when its CB1 receptor is overly activated, the result is often abdominal obesity. It also affects one’s immunity to insulin and sets off a dangerous cycle where the individual is left with high feelings of hunger, fat gain, and food seeking responses.
This is where CBD comes in to save the day. Partly through the “fat browning” process, CBD can decrease food consumption and weight gain. Read this study to find out more about how that works.
CBD and Weight Loss: Homeostasis
One of CBD’s truly unique qualities is its ability to create homeostasis in the body. That means that CBD can suppress the appetite in individuals working on weight loss because it equals out the chemicals and brings them back into balance. Animal studies have found that CBD decreases appetite in its users.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology showed that the ECS is capable of stimulating specific areas of the body involved in metabolisms, such as the skeletal muscles and GI tract. This happens due to anandamide and 2-AG, which are two naturally-occurring compounds in the body that communicate with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
As CBD stimulates receptors in these areas, it could help metabolize the compounds consumed from food during the digestion process. While overstimulation of the CB1 receptor can lead to signs such as high blood pressure and abnormally high cholesterol levels, CBD is a CB1 antagonist so it will not cause such troublesome issues.
Given America’s notoriously unhealthy relationship with food and with body image, CBD for weight loss is an incredible potential anecdote to look forward to. CBD is known for its positive effects on anxiety and depression, two ailments directly related to self-esteem and thus, the body image issues that plague so many Americans.
Removing some of the stress and anxiety involved in weight loss can be extremely beneficial for those looking to achieve weight loss in a way that is both mentally and physically healthy.
Since CBD is also able to “brown” the white fat tissues, setting off a chain reaction of fat-resistant processes, it could be a biologically superior alternative to weight loss than what’s on the market now.
The future is promising for CBD in the medical and wellness industries on so many different levels for so many different physiological issues–thankfully, weight loss is becoming one of them.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information article
- The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy
- US National Library of Medicine article
- Cannabinoids in health and disease
- Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
- A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study
- Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
- Adult Obesity Facts
- Clinical Trials
- New England Journal Medicine
- Studies on CBD and Depression
- The Endocannabinoid System Encourages Homeostasis
- New Studies On CBD, A Cannabis Extract
- History Of Body Image In America
- CBD And Metabolism
- Our Obsession With Weight Loss
- Eating Disorder Statistics
- Why Should I Lose Weight?