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Is CBD Effective for Weight Loss?

Written by Lisa Rennie

CBD might be well-known for helping epileptic patients manage their seizures, reduce pain and inflammation in arthritic individuals, and even alleviate stress and anxiety. But can it be an effective weight loss supplement?

Apparently, the answer is yes. In fact, studies have shown that CBD use may be associated with a much lower incidence of metabolic syndrome, a major risk factor for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes [1] .

Other studies have even linked CBD use with smaller waist circumference [2] .

But how is CBD able to do this?

Animal studies have shown that CBD may be able to stimulate proteins and genes that stimulate the breakdown and oxidation of fat and inhibit the production of fat cells. More specifically, CBD may be useful in “browning” fatty tissue, which is currently being looked into as a way to fight obesity [3] .

Brown fat burns calories in order to generate heat and is considered a “good” fat because as a result. Unfortunately, the quantity of brown fat drastically decreases with age.

White fat, on the other hand, has much fewer mitochondria and blood vessels, and is the main form of fat in the body. While white fat provides energy reserves for the body and serves as an insulator, too much of it – especially in the belly area – is linked to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome.

By “browning” fat, white fatty tissue can actually convert into brown fat tissue, which inevitably helps to increase metabolism and burn more calories.

According to studies, CBD is able to encourage the browning of fat and therefore help boost the metabolism and encourage weight loss as a result [4] . Through fat browning, CBD can help to stimulate the genes that break down fat and decrease the expression of proteins involved with fat cell generation.

The cannabinoid may also be able to boost the number and activity of mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells that are responsible for generating over 90 percent of energy required to support organ function. Mitochondria also boost the body’s ability to burn more calories.

CBD may also be an effective weight loss aid because it may play a role in suppressing the appetite [5] . Animal studies have shown that rats given CBD consumed a lot less food compared to the control group. Further, CBD has been shown to boost leptin levels, which is a hormone that creates feelings of satiety. In doing so, the desire to continue eating subsides [6] .

CBD has plenty of benefits, and it appears as though helping maintain a healthy weight may be one of them.


  1. Kleiner. D. and Ditrói. K. “The potential use of cannabidiol in the therapy of metabolic syndrome”, Orvosi Hetilap, Vol. 153(13), April 2012, pp.499-50.
  2. Penner, EA, et al. “The impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance among US adults”, The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 126(7), July 2013, pp.583-9.
  3. Vargas-Castillo, A, et al, “Understanding the Biology of Thermogenic Fat: Is Browning A New Approach to the Treatment of Obesity?” Archives of Medical Research, Vol. 48(5), July 2017, pp.401-413.
  4. Parray, HA and Yun, JW, “Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes,” Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Vol. 416(1-2), May 2016, pp.131-9/
  5. Kirkham, TC, “Cannabinoids and appetite: food craving and food pleasure,” International Review of Psychiatry, Vol. 21(2), April 2009, pp.163-71.
  6. Klok, MD, et al, “The role of leptin and ghrelin in the regulation of food intake and body weight in

About the author

Lisa Rennie

Lisa Simoneli Rennie has been working as a freelance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content dedicated to informing consumers. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and in her spare time, Lisa enjoys trying funky new recipes, spending time with her dog, and of course, reveling in the joy of family.

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