CBD for Weight Loss

Andrew Ward

The information is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve readers of their obligation to obtain qualified medical, legal or other professional advice.

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Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of the hundreds of compounds found in the complex cannabis plant that helps produce each strain's beneficial effects. CBD rose to prominence as a fan  favorite among a wide range of consumers in recent years. Its popularity grew, in part, thanks to its effects. 

When consumed, CBD tends to resemble tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with one significant variance: you won't get high. Rather than feeling high, or intoxicated to be more precise, CBD consumers often report experiencing relief with numerous medical conditions. CBD is believed to assist with a range of conditions in the head and body, including chronic pain and anxiety.

A common misconception about CBD focuses on its lack of "heady" effects. You may hear someone describe CBD as being non-psychoactive. However, that statement isn't accurate. While CBD won't get you high, it does have the potential to affect your mental functions. CBD can cross the body's blood-brain barrier, making CBD a psychoactive substance. 

While CBD won't get you high, it seems to have the potential to help in many other ways. Beyond health conditions, there appear to be signs of promise concerning its effect on weight loss. Additional data is required to determine the true extent, but here is what we know about CBD for weight loss so far. 


Cannabis plant being held


Takeaway: CBD is different from THC in that it doesn't get you high, but it does still have an effect on your brain and body. Some of these effects might be beneficial for weight loss.

Can I Use CBD for Weight Loss? What Does the Science Say?

Much of the world would like to lose weight. Between nearly 2013 and 2016, roughly half of Americans tried to drop some pounds--with over 56% of women and more than 41% of males attempting to lose weight in some form or fashion. 

All too often, people end up either falling short of their goal, leaving them to turn to aids, ranging from weight loss supplements to surgery. The rise of CBD in wellness led the cannabinoid to find its way into weight loss regimens in recent years. According to anecdotal feedback, the cannabinoid may help in several indirect ways. Meaning, CBD isn't going to help you trim down on its own. Instead, it may help relieve pains and other issues that could affect your performance when working. 

Limited lab data has been performed. Therefore, it's currently difficult to understand how CBD affects weight loss. However, select studies do suggest that there is potential. Results include a 2016 study from South Korea's Daegu University, which revealed CBD's potential for curbing obesity through its browning of fat cells and promoting lipid metabolism. 

Indirect results also suggest that CBD could help while performing physical activities and during the recovery phase. Results revealed that CBD could reduce anxiety and stress, which might help a person focus during their workout. It is also believed that CBD can improve sleep patterns and manage pains in the body, both key for recovery. 

measuring tape and cannabis leaf

Takeaway: CBD isn't necessarily an effective weight loss drug by itself, but some people have found it helps their weight loss by:

  • reducing anxiety
  • reducing stress
  • increasing focus during workouts
  • improving sleep, and
  • reducing pain
  • promoting lipid metabolism
  • converting "bad" fat into "good" fat (known as browning fat cells)


How Much CBD Should I Take to Lose Weight?

Consider first speaking to a medical professional before using CBD for weight loss or any other measure. While CBD is mostly considered safe, every person has a unique medical history. In some cases, CBD may not interact well with your body or the medications you're taking. Keep in mind that while we aim to be a helpful resource on CBD, we aren't trained medical professionals. Speak to your doctor first before embarking on CBD or any other endeavor. 

If your doctor agrees that CBD could be worthwhile, you'll next want to consider your ideal dose. Keep in mind that optimal dosage varies from person to person. Your tolerance to cannabis, your body weight, and the CBD product concentration all play a factor. You will likely require a more substantial dose if you have experience with cannabis or you have a large body mass. The same can be said for the dosage consumed. You won't feel the same effects if you take a low-dose 5mg edible compared to a 20mg or higher item. 

taking cannabis tincture with food


Just like the ideal weight, there is no perfect dosage. What fits for you won't always work for someone else. Each person's makeup determines how much they should weigh, just as it determines how much CBD they need to take to feel the desired effects. 

Most people will need to use trial and error to determine their dose. A standard recommendation is to start with a 40mg dose during the first few days. Assess how you feel each day. Record the dosage and how you feel after each consumption to best track your results. Up the dosage by 5mg if you think that more is needed. Try to limit your milligram increases to once a week. Remember, a slow buildup prevents you from overdoing it. And be sure to keep your doctor updated as needed.

Takeaway: Everyone is affected differently by different doses of CBD. You should talk to your doctor for advice on how much to take, and whether it will interact with any of your medications or herbs.


Should I Be Worried About Taking Too Much CBD?

Most people should not have any concerns over consuming an excess of CBD. Current analysis suggests that there are minimal risks, with a 2017 study finding that humans can tolerate up to 1,500mg per day. However, other studies reveal a need for additional research. They include a 2019 study of mice, which found that doses at those levels can lead to liver damage; although it's unknown whether the CBD led to the damage, or it was caused by overdoses of the carrier oil used to dilute the CBD. Additional adverse effects of CBD overconsumption can include

  • increased anxiety, 
  • nausea, 
  • diarrhea, 
  • drowsiness and 
  • psychosis for those with a history of mental health conditions. 


While the risk is minimal, you should still exercise caution. Overdoing it on CBD or any other substance is never good for your body. Monitoring your dosage should help minimize this risk while allowing you to assess which dosage is best for your needs.

So, while worrying isn't necessary, you should be mindful of your dosage. It's believed that CBD is safe for those trying to lose weight, as well as scores of other people. But your best bet to ensure your safety is to speak with your medical professional and track your consumption until you have an understanding of how your body reacts to CBD. 

Takeaway: It's been shown that CBD is generally safe in doses many times those that are offered in commercial CBD products.

Conclusion

CBD tincture

CBD is all the rage, and while it hasn't been shown - yet - to have a direct effect on weight loss, it can become part of a healthy weight loss plan when combined with diet, exercise and stress reduction. Always be sure to speak to a knowledgeable medical marijuana doctor before you begin any new cannabis-focused treatment regimen. 


Andrew Ward

Andrew is a Brooklyn, New York-based writer with a degree in Creative Writing from Montclair State University in New Jersey. After years of working in freelance and offices, he embraced the future of work and re-entered the independent workforce. Today, he provides creative solutions to Nugg and other respected cannabis companies.

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