CBD and weight loss


Obesity and related disorders have emerged as a significant cause for health concern. Many individuals want to lose weight not just for better health, but also to look and feel better. People are always on the lookout for practical ways of maintaining or reducing body weight.

It seems that CBD may assist in weight loss in multiple ways. Let’s look in more detail, what to expect from CBD based products, and understand if they are as good for weight loss as claimed.

CB1 and CB2 receptors for reducing food intake

Some animal findings show that CBD may reduce food intake, which can lead to weight loss. CBD may help suppress appetite in some cases.

This may happen as CBD interacts with CB1 and CBD2 receptors in lymphoid tissue and the brain. They play essential roles in metabolism and food intake. The animals given CBD daily showed reductions in body weight1.

Though results from initial studies are encouraging, more human studies are needed. But considering the fact that CB1 and CB2 receptors also exist in the human body (CB1 is found mainly in the brain and central nervous system while CB2 exists throughout the body)2 there is a reason to believe that CBD may work in humans too.

In people with obesity, CB1 receptors become more widespread, and they exist in a comparatively large number in fatty tissue. The possibility of CBD to affect interactions of CB1 and CB2 receptors may be potentially helpful for regulating metabolism and contribute to weight loss. The influence upon CB1 may also be involved in appetite control3.

Promoting “good” fat

All fat is not created equal. There are two main types of fat – brown and white – and they play different roles in the human body. White or “bad” fat stores energy in large oily droplets while brown or “good” fat cells are packed with smaller droplets and high amounts of mitochondria which give the cells brown color4.

White fat can lead to obesity and a number of issues associated with weight. Humans are born with brown fat cells, and these cells help to regulate body temperature and stay warm. If a person has an unhealthy lifestyle, brown fat can turn into white fat. And vice versa, if using some of the recommendations like diet or psychical exercises, “bad” fat can change to “good” one.

Some findings showed that CBD might help the body interact with fat and contribute to converting of white fat into brown fat5. Such an ability may help the body burn calories and lose weight.

Help with issues associated with obesity and overweight

Obesity is the underlying cause of numerous metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Overactivation of CB1 receptors may be partly responsible for this as they mostly exist in fat tissue. CBD helps to block CB1 receptors, and therefore it may potentially reduce the risk of obesity3. Prolonged use of CBD may contribute to reducing the risk of various metabolic disorders.

Also, some findings show that CBD may be helpful against high levels of cholesterol, blood pressure6, and it may be used by patients with type 2 diabetes to regulate the level of sugar in blood7. But every person suffering from metabolic disorders should remember that CBD is not a treatment and these conclusions are drawn based on animal studies.

If you decided to take CBD against metabolic issues, consult with your doctor.  CBD does not substitute prescribed drugs and if you suffer from a serious condition, you may combine your daily medicine with CBD.

So, in some way, CBD may be helpful for people who want to lose weight, but it is essential to know that it is not a treatment and CBD products will not make you slim and healthy immediately. To obtain the best results, it is recommended to combine CBD with a healthy diet and exercise.


  1. Koch M. Cannabinoid Receptor Signaling in Central Regulation of Feeding Behavior: A Mini-Review. Front Neurosci. 2017;11. doi:10.3389/fnins.2017.00293
  2. Zou S, Kumar U. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(3). doi:10.3390/ijms19030833
  3. Hawkins MN, Horvath TL. Cannabis in fat: high hopes to treat obesity. J Clin Invest. 127(11):3918-3920. doi:10.1172/JCI97042
  4. Knight K. The biology of fat. The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2018;221(Suppl 1):jeb178020. doi:10.1242/jeb.178020
  5. Parray HA, Yun JW. Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Mol Cell Biochem. 2016;416(1):131-139. doi:10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5
  6. Stanley CP, Hind WH, O’Sullivan SE. Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(2):313-322. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04351.x
  7. Frisher M, White S, Varbiro G, et al. The Role of Cannabis and Cannabinoids in Diabetes. Diabetes & Vascular Disease. 2010;10(6):267-273. doi:10.1177/1474651410385860


Share this article