The word is out; the obesity crisis has reached epic levels in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71.6 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese. That’s nearly three out of every four people – an unacceptable number by any standard.
You’re here because you’re struggling to lose weight. You’ve tried to exercise more often, but you’re exhausted when you get home from work and can’t manage to build up the motivation. You’ve also tried to reduce your caloric intake – but suffering through the day with a growling stomach is easier said than done. Even when you do manage to diet successfully for a while, you gain the weight back.
You’ve decided to see if hemp oil for weight loss can give you a push in the right direction, and it’s our job to help you answer that question. We’ll do that by examining relevant clinical studies and finding out what modern science has to say on the subject. When you’re done reading, you’ll be an expert and will know if trying CBD for weight loss is the right decision for you.
This article is not medical advice. CBD oil is not an FDA-approved medication and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.
CBD for Weight Loss: Our Top Pick
We believe that BioMD+ makes the best CBD oil for weight loss. We love BioMD+ because the quality of the hemp extract is second to none. While many other CBD brands are using inexpensive hemp extracts imported from China, BioMD+ has gone through the work necessary to establish a relationship with an organic hemp farm in Colorado. That means you’re getting better soil, better growing practices and full adherence to the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s strict requirements for hemp farmers. You’re also getting a CO2 extraction process that leaves no residual solvents in the final product. We haven’t found a higher-quality hemp extract anywhere.
We also like BioMD+ CBD oil because each one has its own proprietary terpene blend selected to promote specific health goals. You can find a blend for stress reduction, a blend for pain and inflammation, a blend for general wellness and so on. Terpenes unlock the full potential of CBD, and we’re delighted to see a brand that takes the “entourage effect” seriously.
The even more impressive aspect of BioMD+ is the fact that the company offers a money-back guarantee. With so many CBD products out there, choosing the one that’s right for you is no easy task – particularly when you consider that most CBD companies will do absolutely nothing for you if you don’t like their products. It’s refreshing to find a brand with the confidence to guarantee that you’ll be satisfied with its products. If you don’t like it, you can get a refund. It’s that simple.
What Is Obesity?
Obesity is a term used to describe individuals who have high body fat to the point where their excess weight significantly increases the likelihood of morbidity or mortality. In the United States, we identify obesity by calculating Body Mass Index (BMI).
- 18.5-25.0 BMI: Healthy weight
- 25.0-30.0 BMI: Overweight
- 30.0 BMI and above: Obese
The primary underlying causes of obesity are overconsumption of calories and insufficient physical activity. There are several risk factors and health conditions, however, that can contribute to the development of obesity. Across the world, hundreds of millions of people are obese – and many more are overweight. Some experts have called the obesity epidemic the greatest public health crisis that the world will face in this century. After hypertension and cigarette smoking, obesity is the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Worldwide, obesity drains hundreds of billions of dollars from healthcare systems each year.
Obesity isn’t just a major health concern. It’s also bad for your self-esteem. If it’s severe enough, it can prevent you from engaging in your favorite activities. Obesity may prevent you from attracting a mate. Those who are obese are less likely to find jobs and less likely to be promoted once they are employed. Obese individuals also typically earn less money than those of normal weight.
Obesity is also a condition that tends to perpetuate itself. Being overweight means that movement requires greater effort. You usually feel tired, so increasing your level of physical activity is difficult. Since moving requires so much effort, you need more calories than the average person simply to keep your body in motion. Since you’re eating higher-calorie meals to keep your strength up, you’re more likely to overeat. In otherwise healthy individuals, getting the body back down to a normal weight is a matter of breaking those cycles – and in some cases, taking a supplement such as CBD for weight loss can potentially help with that.
Risk Factors for Obesity
It’s an oversimplification to say that obesity only comes down to lifestyle choices. In fact, there are many risk factors that can increase your odds of having an unhealthy body weight.
- Food choices: There is a strong link between obesity and the consumption of sugary drinks. That’s why some nations and localities have moved to tax sales of those drinks. Some people will choose not to buy those drinks and will be healthier as a result. Others will contribute to the burden that they will later add to their societies’ healthcare systems.
- Few opportunities for physical activity: Think about how the world has changed since the days of our grandparents. Today, more people than ever work in offices, and few jobs require physical labor. We drive everywhere rather than walking. In many communities, urban sprawl has pushed points of interest so far apart that we couldn’t walk to most places even if we wanted to. Entertainment options such as on-demand media further fuel the modern sedentary lifestyle. You can go golfing next week; Netflix just added the latest season of your favorite show.
- Genetic predisposition: Scientists have identified certain genes that appear to increase the likelihood of obesity. If those gene mutations are present – and you have access to a plenty of food – you are more likely to become obese.
- Health conditions: Obesity is a hallmark symptom of certain severe genetic abnormalities such as Bardet-Biedl syndrome and Prader-Willi syndrome. Conditions such as hypothyroidism. insulin resistance and any metabolic syndrome can also contribute to obesity.
- Prescription medications: Some types of prescription medications may contribute to weight gain. For example, antidepressants and antipsychotics both increase the risk of obesity.
Why Is It So Difficult to Lose Weight?
Dieting is simple; if you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. In practice, though, losing weight isn’t that easy. In fact, most people who go on diets do not experience permanent weight loss. Even if you do experience some weight loss from dieting, you’ll change your body’s rate of metabolism in the process and will have to cut your calories further if you want the weight loss to continue.
There is a solution for the dieting problem: You can increase your frequency of exercise to kickstart your metabolism and burn additional calories. However, finding the time to exercise is difficult considering that Americans are already the most overworked people in the world. Per week, Americans work about two hours longer than Japanese workers, five hours longer than British workers and nearly 10 hours longer than French workers. If you could have an extra 10 hours each week to yourself without a salary reduction, you would almost certainly manage to find the time for exercise.
There is no single factor that keeps our society overweight. Rather, it is a combination of smaller factors all leading to one major problem that’s incredibly difficult to solve.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid derived from the industrial hemp plant. Hemp has always been an important cash crop prized by the textile and food industries. As medical marijuana programs have been instituted around the globe, though, researchers have begun to examine all forms of cannabis – including industrial hemp – to learn more about their potential health benefits. CBD, it turns out, is a compound with some remarkable properties. Researchers are finding that CBD may have potential as a treatment for conditions ranging from chronic pain to epilepsy. It has virtually no known side effects.
To meet the federal government’s requirements for industrial hemp, a cannabis plant must contain less than 0.3 percent THC by weight. Assuming the plant meets that requirement, you can grow industrial hemp in all 50 states without violating federal law. Since industrial hemp has most of the THC bred out of it, it cannot produce the euphoria that you would experience when smoking marijuana.
Since an extract from industrial hemp provides a ready source of CBD without the THC, it creates an easy opportunity for researchers to learn more about CBD’s properties. We’ll discuss those properties shortly and explain the mechanisms by which CBD oil for weight loss might work.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
We are fortunate to be alive during a time of remarkable scientific discoveries. Humans have known for millennia what happens when one smokes marijuana. It wasn’t until the late 1980s, though, that we began to understand why. Researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system in 1988. We’ve since learned that all mammals have endocannabinoid systems, and the THC molecule has a shape that allows it to bind to specific receptors in the central nervous system. Activating those receptors causes the characteristic high of marijuana. CBD, likewise, interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
The body produces its own cannabinoids. We call those endocannabinoids, and the body uses them to regulate certain functions such as appetite, sleep cycles, mood and pain sensations. Exogenous cannabinoids – those that come from external sources – also interact with the endocannabinoid system. Exogenous cannabinoids may disrupt or augment the body’s endocannabinoids.
How might the endocannabinoid system influence weight loss? That’s what we’re going to discuss next.
Scientific Studies About CBD and Weight Loss
Sustained, permanent weight loss isn’t just about going on a diet. As we discussed above, dieting alone simply doesn’t work. You hit a plateau, and then you give up and gain the weight back. Unless you have other health issues, experiencing permanent weight loss requires an overall change to your lifestyle.
- You need to burn calories faster than you consume them.
- You need to gain muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. That’s how you increase your metabolic rate.
- You need to increase your overall energy level. That’s what’ll give you the motivation to continue an exercise program that burns fat cells even though you’re tired from a long day at work.
- It’s very unlikely that you will lose weight if you take CBD for obesity without making any other lifestyle changes.
Let’s learn more about what modern science has discovered regarding the properties of CBD for weight loss.
- In 2012, Psychopharmacology published an animal study in which rats were given one of three different cannabinoids – CBD, CBG or CBN – and monitored for changes in their food intake. The rats in the CBD group reduced their food consumption, suggesting that CBD could potentially have appetite-reducing properties.
- In 2016, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry published a study examining the effects of CBD on fat cells. The study found that CBD seems to promote fat browning. The body uses white fat cells as stores of energy. Those are the fat cells that you want to lose. Brown fat cells, on the other hand, burn themselves away to create heat. If CBD influences the oxidation and browning of fat cells, it may help to trigger weight loss.
- In 2013, the American Journal of Medicine published an examination of 4,657 men and women. The participants were asked privately about their marijuana use. Among those, 579 reported being marijuana users at that time. A further 1,975 were former marijuana users. The researchers conducting the study found that current marijuana use correlated strongly with lower fasting insulin levels, lower insulin resistance and smaller waist sizes. Why marijuana use has those effects is unknown.
- In 2015, PLOS One published a study in which obese mice were given JWH-015 – a compound that activates the CB2 receptors – or a placebo. The mice given JWH-015 lost weight and demonstrated signs of reduced anxiety in behavioral tests. The study’s results suggest that the endocannabinoid system may play a role in obesity and weight loss.
- In 2018, the International Journal of Molecular Science published a review examining the role that cannabinoids play in obesity. The review found that stimulation of the CB2 receptors reduces food intake and promotes fat burning.
- In 2011, Neuroscience Letters published a study in which rats were given CBD and monitored for weight gain. The rats given the largest CBD doses gained weight most slowly.
- In 2011, the American Journal of Epidemiology published a review in which researchers examined the health survey responses of over 50,000 adults. While the surveys reported overall obesity rates ranging from 22.0-25.3 percent, obesity rates among regular marijuana users were lower at 14.3-17.2 percent. Although we’re still learning the role that CBD may play in weight loss, it seems clear that cannabis use in general has a strong correlation with lower body weight.
- In 2009, Cardiology published a review