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Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Help Support Weight Loss and Metabolism?

August 11, 2016

This article is sponsored by CV Sciences, Inc. CV Sciences is one of the leading suppliers and manufacturers of agricultural hemp-derived CBD bulk and finished products, namely their PlusCBD Oil and Purified Liquids brands.

To briefly review, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of specialized fatty acid-based signaling chemicals (think “keys”), their receptors (think “locks”), and the metabolic enzymes that produce and break them down. These endocannabinoid chemical signals act on similar brain and immune cell receptors (CB1 and CB2) using the active compounds found in cannabis – cannabidiol (CBD), and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is a non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-psychotic, anti-tumor, and anti-emetic properties. As far as natural products go, it’s a home run. Now if it could just help Americans lose a few pounds…

How Does CBD Impact Metabolism Through “Fat Browning?”

Can Cannabidiol (CBD) Help Support Weight Loss and Metabolism?

In a newly published study in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Korean researchers studied the effects of CBD administration on preadipocytes (immature fat cells) to explore potential benefits on the treatment and prevention of obesity. Remarkably, CBD was found to do the following:

  1. Stimulate genes and proteins that enhance the breakdown and oxidation of fat
  2. Increase the number and activity of mitochondria (which increases the body’s ability to burn calories)
  3. Decrease the expression of proteins involved in lipogenesis (fat cell generation)

Collectively, these results stem from the ability of CBD to induce “fat browning” – that is, converting what is normally white-colored fat tissue (WAT-white adipose tissue) that stores energy to beige-colored fat tissue (BAT-brown and beige adipose tissue) that burns it. Previous studies have shown that boosting beige-colored fat in animals improves their glucose tolerance, making them more resistant to diabetes and various blood lipid abnormalities.

How the Endocannabinoid System Impacts Metabolism, Obesity and Inflammation

How to Avoid Metabolic Dysfunction Using CBD

How to Avoid Metabolic Dysfunction Using CBD

Interestingly, over-activation of the endocannabinoid system, primarily via CB1 receptor activation, contributes to increased abdominal obesity (i.e., fat gain along the midsection), glucose uptake into adipocytes (fat cells), and insulin resistance in muscle tissue. This “metabolic dysfunction” sets up a vicious cycle whereby further insulin resistance in muscles and the liver increases abdominal obesity and further CB1 over-activation, resulting in greater food-seeking behavior, increased appetite, and increased body fat gain.

Cannabis, Sleep and Nutrition: How the Endocannabinoid System Affects Our Circadian Rhythm

Another study published in 2012 by Farrimond et al. examining the effects of different phytocannabinoids, such as cannabinol (CBN) and CBD, on feeding patterns in rats supports the theory that different cannabinoids modulate CB1 receptors and enhance appetite and metabolism with opposing effects. This study demonstrated that cannabinol increased food intake and body weight gain, while CBD decreased food consumption and weight gain. If your guess is that in this study CBD was also working by “tanning” WAT to BAT, then you are likely spot on.

Interested in other ways to increase your beige-colored fat? Try cold exposure and exercise – or better yet, exercise in the cold while supplementing with CBD.

The Effects of CBD on Fear, Anxiety, and a Healthy Stress Response


Parray HA and JW Yun. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol Cell Biochem (2016) 416:131–139.

Kim SH and J Plutzky. Brown fat burning for the treatment of obesity and related metabolic disorders. Diabetes Metab J. 2016 Feb; 40(1): 12–21.

Farrimond JA, Whalley BJ, Williams CM. Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2012 Sep;223(1):117-29.

Di Marzo V. The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2008 Aug;51(8):1356-67.

Romero-Zerbo SY, Bermúdez-Silva FJ. Cannabinoids, eating behaviour, and energy homeostasis. Drug Test Anal. 2014 Jan-Feb;6(1-2):52-8.

Després JP. The endocannabinoid system: a new target for the regulation of energy balance and metabolism. Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2007 Jun;6(2):46-50.

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  • Carmen Kelp

    Oh please God, let this be true.

    • Karen Neumann

      i hear you

  • James

    So many positive benefits of CBD even if this is not true. I have been using CBD products for almost a year now to help with my anxiety. It works wonders! I would definitely recommend CBD products, especially from to anyone looking at CBD for help!

  • pet g

    let this be true,jah bless the

  • Kathy Buys

    I’m glad you’ve found help from CBD products, James. I’ve been told by many pros that without any THC, the CBDs are not activated and so you’re essentially not getting hardly any benefit. Or you might need more of the product to get benefit. So I might suggest looking into this and trying a tincture that’s a 20/1 CBD/THC ratio. You won’t feel the THC effects but you’ll get the full benefit the plant has to offer.

    • Natale

      Not all CBD is created equal. I use Pure Hemp CBD that is Full Spectrum (whole plant) with Isolate and even the carrier oil is made from help seed and not MCT. It does have a wee bit of THC, but not enough to get you high. It has helped so much with my chronic pain.

  • Alda Puzzuoli Gentile

    Since I started useing medicinal CBD oil in a vaporizer to treat my fibromialgia pain I have lost 40 pounds of fat without changing anything I’m doing. It controls my hunger and my mood which stopped me from bing eating. It gave me energy to do more without pain as well as clearing up a skin problem I was having that my dermatologist tried every pharmaceutical cream on the market. It took cannabis an illegal product to fix me.

    • Helen Rinde

      Hi Alda,
      Can you share about the CBD oil, which brand, and what kind of vaporizer you use.

    • violettablooms

      Yes, please, which brand? Are you using a topical creme for the acne or just ingesting the oil to treat the acne.

    • Helen Rinde

      Alda, can you share what CBD oil and what strength you use. Also how do you use it in a vaporizer.

    • Sami

      For those asking what she uses, I have only been using CBD for a couple weeks, and though I use it for anxiety and back pain, I’m already eating less and losing a little weight as well. I use American Indican(Blueberry OG), but I plan on trying gold Koi soon, because American Indican doesn’t taste too good as a vape, but you can use it as a tincture too, and it DOES taste pretty good that way. I’ve heard Koi brand is more suited to vape, though, and works the same(it can ALSO be used as an under-the-tongue drop, as with American Indican).

      • I use the plain Koi, and mix it with my favorite ejuice, for headaches. If I have a really bad headache, I put a dropper, or two, full under my tongue. Recently, my doctor wouldn’t refill my Vicodin for my pain, so I ordered some full spectrum CBD hemp oil. In Wisconsin, medical marijuana is only prescribed for seizures and marijuana isn’t legal. I hope the full spectrum CBD hemp oil works because I have pain all over, it seems. Fibromyalgia, degenerative joint disorder, and now back problems that cause sciatica. I could stand to lose weight, too.

      • CLalum

        What’s your regime? 3x a day? I smoke Cannatonic right now on and off and I think I need to do it more, especially weight, back pain and appetite.

      • Jennifer Combs-Minyard

        Where can we get the American Indian Blueberry OG tincture?

    • Alexa

      That’s all great, but just keep in mind that CBD oil is actually not illegal anywhere in the US, except for (North?) Dakota. So, it really took a LEGAL product to “fix” you 😉

      • Natale

        The Hemp plant CBD oil is legal in almost all states, as it contains less than 0.3% THC and will not get you high. It is not the same as regular marijuana base CBD that is illegal in a lot of states due to it having a high THC %. I get Pure High Quality Hemp CBD from a really good company that keeps up with and follows the laws of each state. Only state at this time they cannot ship to is NE.

    • Maren Tollefson

      what cbd oil do you use?

    • Brandon C. Foreman

      Hi Alda, I found this article while looking for reasons why my appetite was suppressed and had a feeling it was the CBD I am using. I’ve always been a big guy with a big appetite and now have to force myself to eat and cannot finish large meals like in the past. Hunger no longer controls my life. I started with cbd oil earlier this year in March and now use high CBD low THC (less than .3%) flower in a vaporizer. I went from 275 to 255 since March with no changes in my physical activity. Now that I have my appetite under control I can focus on getting in the gym.

  • Mass S

    If you haven’t already – try Care by Design! Their products are amazing and consistent! They have tincture, edibles and capsules. I’ve also tried Kiva & Bang CBD bars, it’s nice for like a Friday night but not everyday – still feels like an edible since it’s got the THC ratio still in there but still nice

  • Mildred Mele

    How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd oil for weight loss online? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.

    • Tim Funk

      you have to order within your own country. If you live in Canada and order from the states, they’re going to check your package. If you live in Canada, order from a Canadian website that way they legally can’t open your package.

  • Natalie

    I would love to hear from anyone who has tried CBD oil for arthritis? Esp rheumatoid arthritis. Looking for more information for my mom. She’s never tried any form of THC, but is now willing to give it a try, without having to smoke anything. Just wondering if anyone can give me some info. Is CBD oil helping you? how much do you take? when do you take it? Thanks all

    • Silvijo Phan

      I am takIng CBD oil for more than a month for arthritis and back pain. I am taking 20 drops per day. Still no effect….

    • Alicia Taylor

      Contact me through facebook messenger . Yes there is help for your mom. I use Kannaway products, CBD, without THC, for my arthritis and other pains… OMG what a difference.

      • Grant

        Hi Alicia,
        Have you noticed any difference with your appetite using the products you’re using? I have a few coworkers looking to reduce appetite cravings using Kannaway – wondering what you have experienced 🙂 Thanks!

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