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Can CBD Help You Lose Weight?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound with a number of potential therapeutic properties, such as relief from pain, seizures, insomnia, and depression. Some people believe that CBD might also be able to aid weight loss. In this article, we look at what the existing research says on CBD and weight loss, and our recommendations for achieving sustainable weight loss with the support of CBD.

Table of Contents

Obesity is a complex issue with many causes, including genetics, underlying health conditions (such as an underactive thyroid), certain medicines (such as steroids), and environmental factors. In the UK it’s estimated that around 1 in every 4 adults and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11 are obese, which increases the risk of several health conditions, including heart, liver and kidney disease, stroke, asthma and some types of cancer. Being overweight can also lead to difficulties with daily activities, due to breathlessness, feeling tired, joint and back pain, and low confidence and self-esteem.

If you’re overweight, losing weight reduces your risk of these health conditions, and can improve your mental health. The best method to lose weight is to eat a healthy reduced-calorie diet and exercise on a regular basis. However, there is growing interest in how alternative treatments can support your goals. One such approach is Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not induce inebriation or the euphoric “high” associated with marijuana use. Instead, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors and molecules that plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including appetite and metabolism.

Research is still being carried out to uncover the full health benefits of CBD. However, research on CBD has shown that one of the benefits of may lie in promoting weight loss, or triggering the responses of the body that support reducing excessive fat. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Preliminary research has proven that, even though CBD is not directly effective in reducing excessive fat, it can help other processes that may lead to weight loss. This includes the potential of CBD to help reduce appetite, encourage fat browning, and increase metabolism, which can help individuals to lose weight.

Most people associate THC with a stimulated appetite because, when it stimulates the CB1 receptor, it releases a hormone that increases food intake. However, CBD could do the opposite and reduce our appetite.

One 2018 study found that cannabinoid receptors regulate food intake and inflammation. To be specific, CBD blocks the CB1 receptors that stimulate the appetite, which could reduce food intake and body weight, and stimulation of the CB2 receptors limits inflammation and promotes promotes anti-obesity effects by reducing weight gain.

An animal study from 2012 found that exposure to CBD reduced appetite in rats, and also significantly reduced the total chow consumption over the test period. A 2015 study carried out on rats also found that CBD effectively reduced weight over a period of two weeks.

The human body contains two types of fat: white fat and brown fat. Brown fat helps to maintain body temperature and improves metabolism, whereas excessive white fat can be bad for you. The body transforms bad fat into good through different practices such as adequate sleep, exercise and exposure to cold temperature. However, it is thought that CBD can also convert white (or “bad”) fat into brown fat, which may help the body burn calories and lower the risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

A 2016 study concluded that CBD helped to convert white fat cells into brown fat cells, as well as stimulated the body to break down fats faster, and thus CBD is a promising therapeutic agent for the prevention of obesity. Further research from 2018 also stated that CBD may help burn fat if it turns white fat to brown fat.

Research has shown that obesity is closely linked with metabolic disorders, such as high blood pressure, high levels of bad cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, and that overactivation of the CB receptors in the body may be responsible for this. Blocking – or “deactivating” – the CB1 receptors with CBD could prevent this overactivation, and reduce the chance of obesity and metabolic risks.

In short, our cannabinoid receptors may be over-activated, causing metabolic disorders, but blocking the CB1 receptors could reduce the chances of obesity and ailments. Studies carried out on rats have shown a reduction in the level of blood sugar and cholesterol via CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Research from 2015 reviewed the connection between obesity and chronic pain and found that the two conditions appear to co-occur frequently, with both having a negative impact on one another. Since CBD may reduce chronic pain, using CBD for chronic pain may also assist with weight loss goals.

This is, in part, because it is thought that CBD can increase the body’s levels of anandamide, a compound associated with regulating pain which can reduce pain perception. A 2017 review of studies concluded that, in adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms.

2018 review of studies, which looked at studies conducted between 1975 and March 2018 on various types of pain, concluded that CBD was effective in overall pain management and didn’t cause negative side effects. Another study found that, in adults with chronic pain, patients who were treated with cannabis or cannabinoids are more likely to experience a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms. 

In 2020, in a four-week trial evaluating the efficacy of topical CBD oil for pain management, participants experienced a significant reduction in intense, sharp pain after using a treatment containing 250 milligrams of CBD.

The initial results on the relationship between CBD and weight loss are promising. However, there are some important things to consider. CBD is not an official treatment for obesity or weight loss, and further research on humans is required to fully understand its effectiveness. Indeed, it is best to work directly with a doctor when using CBD for weight loss, in particular as it can react with certain medications. CBD should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program for the best results.

If you’re considering using CBD to help support your weight loss, there are some key factors to keep in mind when choosing a product.

  • Medications: CBD has the potential to interact with certain medications, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking CBD.
  • Type of CBD: Broad-spectrum CBD is a great option for those who want to experience the effects of CBD without consuming THC, the psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Clinical reports suggest that broad or full-spectrum CBD may have a better effect due to the number of cannabinoids and other plant compounds they contain that work together, otherwise known as the entourage effect
  • Type of Product: CBD products come in various forms, such as oilstopicals, capsules, edibles, and vape pens. Choose a delivery method and dosage that suits your needs. 
  • Dosage: Finding the right dose and administration method can be a trial-and-error process as results can vary significantly from person to person. Start with a low dose and gradually increase it while monitoring its effects.
  • Source and Quality: Choose CBD derived from organically grown hemp, as this ensures minimal exposure to harmful chemicals. You should also look for third-party laboratory reports to verify how pure and potent your product is, and to ensure there are no contaminants.
  • Individual Variability: The effectiveness of CBD may vary from person to person; what works for one individual may not work for another.

Need additional help? Take our CBD Quiz for product recommendations in minutes, or read our full guides on How to Choose the Right CBD Product and The Different Types of CBD

We are Purity Hemp, the UK’s #1 Online CBD provider. Backed by science, and built on the principles of traceability, transparency & trust, we are dedicated to improving the health & wellness of people around the world. We are proud to be one of the only companies to guarantee full traceability from seed to shelf with our premium range of CBD products, tested by third-party, independent quality control analysts.

Date Uploaded: May 24, 2020
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

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Wein, Harrison. “How Brown Fat Improves Metabolism.” National Institutes of Health (NIH), 9 Sept. 2019, www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-brown-fat-improves-metabolism.

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Directions for Use:

  • Shake well before use
  • Add dose directly to your pet’s food, stirring it in if necessary
  • Use up to twice daily – (See dosage table for guidelines)
  • Store in a cool dry place out of direct sunlight

Weight of Pet Regular Dosage Strong Dosage
Up to 20lbs/9kg 1 to 4 drops 4 to 8 drops
20 to 40lbs/9-18kg 2 to 8 drops 8 to 16 drops
Over 40lbs/18kg 4 to 20 drops 16 to 40 drops

Contains Zero THC, chlorophyll free

*This product is sold for use by pets only, as it contains CBD Isolate.

We recommend discussing the use of CBD with a qualified vet, especially if your pet is pregnant or nursing a litter.

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