The sudden urge to eat everything in your fridge (or make a Takis run like Dan once did) is one of the most well-known “side-effects” of marijuana.
Whether or not you get the munchies depends in large part on the strain you’re consuming.
But what about CBD?
Since CBD and THC are often confused as one and the same, we sometimes have people ask if CBD will have this same effect on hunger. The short answer is no. This is because the urge to eat when consuming cannabis is said to happen when THC binds CB1 receptors located in the brain and CBD doesn’t bind to these receptors in the same way. In fact, there is promising research that has found CBD may do the exact opposite.
There is accumulating scientific evidence that CBD may in fact play several roles in weight management and a better functioning metabolism.
To get answers, we looked into numerous studies and interviewed the experts at Dr. Reefer, one of the most popular medical cannabis card licensors in Las Vegas. We wanted to know their thoughts on these studies and were curious if they had any CBD weight-loss success stories.
“Our patients definitely feel more mobile when they are pain free. Once on a daily regimen of CBD, the patient is able to exercise and move around because they are pain free. This usually leads to lower blood sugar, reduces the side effects of nausea and diabetes, helps shed the pounds and lose the extra weight,” says John Cox, Practice Manager at Dr. Reefer.
Ah-ha, proof! CBD is a miracle drug! We knew it!
Not. So. Fast.
This is where we must look at correlation versus causation. In the case of the patients at Dr. Reefer, it wasn’t necessarily CBD that caused his patients to lose weight, but rather their new ability to feel better and move more that resulted in more calories being burned and pounds shed. This is a correlation, which is much different than causation.
So what does the science say? Could CBD actually cause weight loss?
Research Says: It Could Curb Your Appetite
Back in 2012, British researchers found that rats that were given CBD consumed considerably less food over the study period compared to a control group of rats given CBN, which interestingly resulted in increased appetites.
Research Says: It Could Help You Lose Body Fat
In 2016, Korean researchers found that CBD has three ways of effecting "fat browning". They found that it stimulates the proteins and genes that play a role in increasing the breakdown of fat, can boost the number and activity of mitochondria (which can magnify the body's power to burn calories) and also can reduce the expression of proteins involved in creating new fat cells within the body.
A 2018 group of researchers had similar findings, including the potential CBD could have in helping the body break down fat and eliminating it from the body as waste.
Research Says: It Could Help Combat Metabolic Disorders
Researchers believe that the overactivation of CB1 receptors in the body may be partially responsible for metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Researchers have discovered that CBD could potentially help block off CB1 receptors, meaning there is promise that CBD could have a positive effect on metabolic disorders such as obesity.
Research Says: It Could Help Your Metabolism Function Properly
CBD interacts with the body with the help of the endocannabinoid system (ECS.) In addition to signaling chemicals and receptors, the endocannabinoid system is made up of metabolic enzymes. Some studies have discovered that our ECS is directly connected to several metabolic functions, including storing energy and transporting nutrients. According to a study conducted in 2008, the ECS seemed to also stimulate other areas of the body involved in metabolism, including skeletal muscles, the gastrointestinal tract, and the endocrine pancreas, just to name a few.
More recently, a 2013 PubMed study found that cannabis use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and smaller waists!
Scientists are no doubt curious as to how CBD could help you manage weight, but most of these studies point out that more research needs to be done. The staff at Dr. Reefer agrees, however they point out that using CBD as part of a proper diet and exercise regime certainly can’t hurt. “It’s a much better option than many products marketed for weight loss. Even if you don’t see weight loss as a result of taking CBD you will feel better once your endocannabinoid system is functioning to its best ability,” says Cox.
So there we have it. We would love to tell you that CBD is a magic potion that will get you the six-pack of your dreams, but when it comes to changing the composition of your body, nothing will ever replace proper exercise and nutrition. However, these studies certainly have scientists digging deeper and doctors and consumers paying close attention to how CBD could potentially help.
We can’t drive you to the gym or take the potato chip bag out of your hands, but we can provide you with quality CBD for when you want to see for yourself how it could potentially help enhance your healthy lifestyle journey.
If you want an idea for some great workouts we have several on our Ignite House Youtube Channel. To get you started, here is a great HIIT workout, a plyo workout, a lower body workout, an upper body workout, and a chest workout.