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Understanding CBD and Weight Loss

Cannabis isn’t usually associated with weight loss. When most people think of cannabis, they think of the munchies and couchlock- which certainly wouldn’t help with wanting to drop a few pounds.

However, it isn’t exactly true that cannabis will make you eat more and be lazy. While this may be the case for marijuana, which is high in THC, it isn’t at all what CBD is like. CBD is known as a natural remedy for many problems we face in daily life. CBD can help with stress, pain, anxiety, and sleeping difficulties– which are all common saboteurs when trying to lose weight.

People will want to lose weight for various reasons and more often than not, it’s quite the struggle. The stress of it all may be working against you and causing your body to hold onto its weight, making the whole endeavor even more of a challenge.

There are five FDA-approved weight-loss drugs that are popular when wanting to lose weight for medical reasons. Some of them come with warnings such as “May increase suicidal thoughts or actions” or “May lead to birth defects”, and these are just from the non-prescription drugs. Contrave, for instance, is prescribed as a weight-loss drug claiming to make you feel less hungry- however, it’s simultaneously used to treat drug addicts. Some of its side-effects are increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, liver damage, insomnia, and severe depression.

There must be better supplements that help with weight loss and CBD could be the solution we´re looking for. Although there aren’t yet many studies showing CBD weight loss results, the evidence that has been gathered so far is looking very hopeful. Statistics also show that people who regularly use cannabis weigh less on average than those who don’t. A review of over 50,000 people had an obesity rate of 14-17% for those who consume cannabis at least three times a week, which is much lower than the obesity rate of 22-25% for those that hadn’t consumed cannabis in the past year.

So what causes there to be such a difference? How does cannabis affect our weight?


CBD and our ECS

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Because of its unique qualities, CBD has become very popular and is just as well known now as its infamous cousin cannabinoid, THC, the cannabinoid responsible for the high sensation you get from marijuana.

To explain how CBD works in our body and what effect it has on weight loss, we’ll first have to start with the endocannabinoid system. Every mammal has an endocannabinoid system or ECS. Although it isn’t as well known as other vital systems in our body, such as our nervous system, our cardiovascular system, or our immune system, it’s just as important.

Our ECS helps regulate all these other systems and is responsible for maintaining homeostasis. For instance, if you injure yourself, your body will send a signal to try and heal itself and the area will become inflamed. Your ECS has cannabinoid receptors located throughout your body which will then stop the inflammation once the area has recovered enough. Your ECS uses CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors as well as endocannabinoids, part of the cannabinoid family, to transmit information to different parts of your body and keep you healthy by adapting to situations.

CB1 receptors are mainly located in your brain, and Cb2 receptors are mainly located throughout the rest of your body. THC tends to bind with CB1 receptors, hence the psychological effects, and CBD tends to bind with CB2 receptors, bringing physical relief.

So, how does all this relate to losing weight?  


Factors causing weight gain

Before we dive into how CBD can help you lose weight, let’s first take a look at how CBD will help you stop gaining weight, or stop holding onto weight you should be losing. A CBD weight gain treatment is a real thing, and some doctors even prescribe CBD oil and weight gain prevention to help with weight loss. 

  1.     Sleep

You’ve surely heard how not getting enough sleep will stall your weight loss. That´s because it´s true. Insufficient sleep can affect your energy intake and expenditure.

Scientists have found that mammals adapt their energy balance and metabolism to the amount of sleep they get as a survival mechanism. And we´re no exception. When we don´t get enough sleep, the efficiency of losing weight by dieting goes down significantly.

A study with two groups of people on moderate calorie restriction of around 20kcal/kg/day for two weeks, sleeping either 8.5h or 5.5h every night showed surprising results: the group that slept only 5.5h experienced increased hunger, higher concentrations of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and reduced concentrations of leptin, a hormone inhibiting hunger. Higher concentrations of ghrelin can also cause your body to retain fat, slowing down your progress. 

The final results of the study showed that the group not getting sufficient sleep lost only 55% of the weight that the group with sufficient sleep did- 0.6kg compared to 1.4kg.

Trouble sleeping could therefore harm your efforts to lose weight and get in the way of your progress, possibly even causing the opposite effect. Fortunately, CBD helps with sleep! 

  1.     Stress

Stress has been normalized in our society but that doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Studies show that stress can disrupt many vital body functions, such as causing higher blood pressure, damaging your arteries which could cause a heart attack, weakening your immune system, and causing fertility problems or even stopping women´s menstrual cycle altogether.

Is it so hard to believe then that stress will also hinder weight loss or even cause weight gain? High stress-levels put your body into survival mode, which makes it try to hold onto all resources it has — one of which is its energy stores, aka body fat.

Stress causes your body to release cortisol, the stress hormone, which leads to higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar also means you’ll experience strong cravings for sugary or fatty foods, as a means to bring your blood sugar levels back up again.

How helpful is CBD for appetite control? And are there any risks in using a CBD appetite suppressant? CBD helps suppress your cravings by regulating your body’s stress response, and it does so completely naturally. Since it helps bring your body back to a healthy state, there are no risks involved as it’s not an artificial suppressant.

One of the ways CBD helps our body stay balanced is by supporting our endocannabinoid system in regulating our stress levels by reducing the production of cortisol. CBD also interacts with our serotonin receptors, releasing serotonin, the happiness hormone. The combination of less cortisol and more serotonin will make you feel overall happier and less stressed, allowing your body to go out of survival mode and let go of the weight it’s been holding onto.

  1.     Chronic Pain

Although there is no concrete evidence that chronic pain causes our weight to go up or stagnate, there is a connection between the two.

People who suffer from chronic pain may gain weight or find it difficult to lose weight because their pain won’t allow them to exercise or stay active. In a survey, many overweight people even cited chronic pain as the main cause of their excess weight. Weight gain is also a common side effect of many pain medications. Another possibility could be that chronic pain causes people to overeat, which releases endorphins — the feel-good hormone — as a way to help manage the pain.  

Naturally, the more someone weighs, the more pressure there is on their joints which also increases inflammation, causing pain. Studies also suggest that complaints of chronic pain seem to increase as people’s BMI increases.

This just creates a devilish cycle of pain and weight gain. The best way to break it would naturally be to ease the pain, and CBD can help. Compared to most pain medications which will cause weight gain as a side effect, CBD is an all-natural remedy to pain as it has anti-inflammatory qualities and is also able to relieve pain in joints and specific trouble areas by being applied topically.

CBD works in one of two primary ways — it either makes its way into your bloodstream where it can circulate in your system and unfold its effects, or it can be applied topically and interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in your skin where it can unfold its effects directly in the cells causing problems. Both can help with pain, however, CBD creams or gels are more efficient in the time they take to kick in and how much relief they bring.


Is CBD good for weight loss?

Yes, and not just because it makes it easier to lose weight. CBD also directly affects our weight by helping our body regulate insulin levels and speed up our digestion, resulting in a higher metabolism.

Although CBD comes from cannabis, which is known to trigger cravings and overeating, it has a very different effect on our feeding behavior than THC does. Whereas THC will bind with our CB1 receptors, CBD will loosely bind and block the CB1 receptors without having any psychotropic effect.

Studies have shown that stimulating the CB1 receptors can increase our appetite and trigger cravings, whereas blocking CB1 receptors will have more of the opposite effect. By blocking the CB1 receptors, CBD will help suppress our hunger and food cravings.


The Bottom Line

Will using CBD for weight loss really work? And is CBD oil weight loss real weight loss? Yes, but taking a single drop of CBD oil won’t make you magically wake up lighter the next morning. CBD helps in the weight loss process by reducing any stressors causing our body to gain weight or hold onto weight, which helps prepare our body to start losing weight. It can also help speed up our metabolism by expending more energy than we normally would, and it also helps us stick to a diet by suppressing hunger and cravings.

CBD oil for weight loss is a great natural alternative to weight loss medications which often come with a handful of side effects. Just make sure that the CBD you take is also of good quality, which you can easily check by looking for third-party lab results.

Here you can see the lab results for all our Mission Farms CBD products. To help wind down and relax your body, we recommend trying CBD topicals such as our CBD Creams or CBD Bath Soaks. You can also introduce CBD oil into your daily routine as a way to help along with your weight loss and boost your metabolism throughout the day. If you want to try out both, take a look at our CBD Bundles!