Can CBD help with weight loss?

Posted in Science of CBD

Can CBD help with weight loss?

Can CBD help with weight loss?

A direct link between CBD and weight loss is still being researched and studied, but there is reason to believe that CBD can be effective in supporting weight loss.

Boosting metabolism:

Because of the way that CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system, and our CB1 and CB2 receptors, in particular, initial research suggests that CBD could have potential weight loss properties as it increases our metabolism. 

The aforementioned receptors are associated with metabolism and hunger and, unlike CB1 receptors, CB2 receptors aren’t always necessarily active. CBD helps to activate them and, when activated, they’ve shown to have potential weight loss benefits.

As is so often the case, the effects of CBD on the metabolic system have not been extensively studied in humans. In animals, however, a recent study conducted on rats showed that CBD oil activated their CB2 receptors, and produced “a profound reduction in body weight gain”. 

One of the most exciting ways that CBD may benefit anyone who is trying to trim down their unhealthy body fat, is its ability to activate a process called fat “browning”. For further reading on this process, check our previous article on CBD and weight loss.

Reducing appetite:

Many people think of cannabis and immediately think of an increased appetite, or “the munchies”. This effect, however, is associated with the THC cannabinoid (responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana) and not the CBD cannabinoid. If you need a quick refresher of the difference, read our article on CBD vs THC.

When THC stimulates the CB1 receptor, a hormone is released that increases food intake. On the other hand, CB1 receptor antagonists (such as CBD) may have the ability to reduce appetite and control obesity. This is because CB1 receptor antagonists can “block” or “deactivate” the receptor.

A 2012 study on rats found that being exposed to CBD reduced their appetite, but it’s important to point of that further studies on humans are still necessary.  

Turning bad fat into good:

This relates to the aforementioned “browning” process, and the belief is that CBD can convert white fat cells (bad) into brown fat cells (good) and help the body burn more calories. Unlike white fat cells, brown fat cells burn off energy as heat.

Fortunately, there is quite a lot of evidence in this department. This 2016 study found that CBD, unequivocally, helped convert white fat cells into brown fat cells. On top of that, it also discovered that CBD stimulated the body, allowing it to break down fats more efficiently. 

While the researchers still believe that more studies in humans are necessary, the results are extremely promising, and show that CBD could have the ability to help with weight loss, and could even be a potential therapy for obesity.


As with most things CBD related, research on its weight loss properties is still somewhat in its infancy. While the results certainly look promising, it is important to state that, to date, no solid research has been able to show a direct link between CBD and weight loss in humans. 

If you’re considering supplementing with CBD for weight loss, it’s important to understand that it cannot be a replacement for healthy eating, exercise, and looking after yourself. As always, we advise you to consult with your doctor first before introducing CBD into your daily regimen.

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Disclaimer: We recommend consulting with a qualified medical doctor or veterinarian when preparing a treatment plan for any and all diseases or ailments. Do not exceed more than 20mg of CBD(Cannabidiol) in your daily dose as per South African government regulations. Regulation amending s22(A)2 of the Medicine and Related Substance Act, 1965 (Act no.101 of 1965) Published 23 May 2019