CBD Oil for Weight Loss and Obesity: Benefits & How to Use

Healthcanal thumbnail

Updated on - Written by

cbd oil for weight lost

One of the cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant is CBD. Because there are two varieties of cannabis plants, marijuana and hemp, it’s crucial to note that the psychoactive component of cannabis is due to another cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found primarily in marijuana. 

However, the only treatment the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CBD for are rare types of epilepsy. While research suggests[1] CBD may be a promising treatment for some health problems — including relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation — there is not enough data to suggest that CBD is successful in treating any of these conditions.

Researchers are also looking at the potential for CBD to help people lose weight and reduce their risk of overweight-related conditions such as diabetes and metabolic disorder. 

While commonly available as oil-based extracts, lozenges, sprays, topical creams, and other forms, CBD most often comes as CBD oil. CBD acts on chemical messengers that regulate our weight[2] indirectly. 

A regulated diet and exercise regimen is by far, the preferred method to lose weight. Other treatments, like CBD oil, should be complementary to this. With that said, adding CBD oil to your routine for weight loss may help you lose extra weight more effectively for a long time.

How Can CBD Oil Help You Lose Weight?

Suppresses Appetite

Most individuals equate cannabis with a stimulated appetite as people tend to feel hungry after consuming cannabis (whether hemp or marijuana). This is because of a compound called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. While hunger can be triggered by THC, CBD has the opposite effect.  According to a study[2], CBD has the ability to suppress appetite. 

Leptin[3] is a protein that acts as an anorexigenic mediator, meaning it causes loss of appetite. Also, leptin has an important role in food intake, body weight control, and metabolism. 

The animal study demonstrated antagonists of CB1 receptors like CBD increases sensitivity to leptin, which can help reduce obesity.

Turns On Fat Browning in the Body

Research from 2018[4] helps to explain how CBD could break down fats in the body. The process of transforming white fat cells into brown fat cells actually affects how these cells work in the body.

A study published in 2016[5] claims that CBD can help turn white into brown fat, which may help the body burn calories. White fat is also referred to as “bad fat” because it can increase the risk of many chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Brown fat cells are an active type of fat. They burn off calories which contribute to the loss. 

The researchers found that CBD interacts[6] with CB1 and CB2 of endocannabinoid or ECS thus affect the regulation of fat tissues and may impact other functions in the body.

Reduces the Risk of Metabolic Disorders

There is a near correlation between obesity and many metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. 

In a report[7] of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Science, treatment using CBD reduced total cholesterol by 25 percent in rodents. CBD antagonizes the CB receptors in the body that could slightly cause this. In addition, according to the European Society of Cardiology, an overreaction of CB1 receptors could result in body-wide obesity and metabolic hazards. 

CBD’s ability to lessen inflammation and antioxidant effects also seemed to decrease blood glucose levels and improve liver health markers.

Helps With Insulin Resistance

In a major study[8] involving nearly 4,700 patients with metabolic disease, CBD, and marijuana use were shown to give a 16 percent drop in fasting insulin. This is crucial because when we can decrease insulin levels[9], it may help you lose the last few pounds. These findings are also particularly beneficial for those with obesity, as it helps regulate insulin levels and starts the weight loss journey back to healthy levels[10]. Obese individuals have a higher risk of insulin resistance, thus regulating insulin is a good thing. CBD has shown promise for individuals with type 2 who do not take insulin to minimize insulin resistance and moderate blood sugar.

Alleviates stress & anxiety

Stress and anxiety are two components of many people’s daily lives, whether it comes to stress and anxiety related to the workplace, at home, or due to ongoing world events like COVID-19. It has been known that the stress response triggers a shift in hormone balance[11] in the body, which increases the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, ultimately surging powerful hormones like cortisol which can alter the immune system

Altering the immune system can potentially contribute to a number of adverse effects[12] like diabetes, obesity, depression, and autoimmune dysfunction. Recent studies[13] have shown a strong correlation between long term increased cortisol levels are strongly related to the presence of abdominal obesity as well as mental health disorders. 

CBD has repeatedly shown in preliminary studies its primary benefit to be in reducing anxiety and insomnia[14]. CBD has the potential to aid in numerous other health conditions but these claims still require a more consistent body of research. CBD has shown a good effect in treating anxiety-related disorders in both human and animal models.

A study that was a first of its kind, studied the effect of CBD on “consolidation of extinction learning” which is another way of saying PTSD, showed that CBD had a potential role to improve in the release of “traumatic memories”. One more very unique study examined the role of the CBD in reducing anxiety in public speaking[15] situations, another promising trial that could lead to a growing body of research in this area in the future.    

While further research is needed to confirm all the potential benefits to be seen from CBD, one aspect remains clear: the number of CBD users is growing by the day and so is the number of people who benefit from these products too.CBD’s touted effects by users are getting harder and harder to ignore, with it being regarded as having a good safety profile[16] by the WHO it provides potential customers a high ceiling for benefit with relatively low risk. This extends to people who wish to lose weight, as CBD potentially can help to lower stress and anxiety which in turn could contribute to a healthy lifestyle change and weight loss benefits too.

Weight Loss And the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system[17], or ECS, has a significant role in the human body, having potential mechanisms contributing to weight loss and management. The ECS is composed of an array of neurotransmitters and receptors across the body that control communication between a number of different parts of the nervous system. 

It’s believed to regulate many distinct tissues, including the neurological, metabolic, and immune systems. Scientists have only begun to discover the multiple functions this mechanism plays in the body in recent years, and how cannabinoids from marijuana and hemp plants can manipulate this system to our advantage.

The ECS contains a number of targets including those in the liver, adipose tissue (fat cells), pancreas, and brain[18]. As stated before, the ECS system is a vast and complex network that is still not fully understood by researchers but shows favorable targets for pharmacological intervention in obesity. 

Morbid obesity has shown to actually have an inhibitory effect on the ECS through a complex network gene regulation at enzymes like FAAH as well as the CB1/CB2 receptors. It is proposed that through a number of obesity mediated inflammation factors, this is the pathological cause[18] of dysfunction in the ECS system Extensive research in the past years has come with the discovery of rimonabant and taranabant both selective CB1 receptor reverse agonists. These drugs have shown to essentially relieve the blockade on the ECS and help restore normal function. Future research and leads in this area will be worthwhile and exciting to watch. 

Why Full-Spectrum CBD Is Better For Weight Loss

The cannabis plant, whether hemp or marijuana, has well over 200 different chemicals. Full-spectrum CBD oil, or whole-plant cannabidiol oil[19], is an oil with high concentrations of CBD. It also has many other cannabinoids, terpenes, and a small amount of THC. 

CBD may be an effective supplement for treating obesity concerns and encouraging weight loss in people who are overweight, but it can’t do it all on its own. Other natural compounds in the full-spectrum oil, like terpenes, help the intestinal tract to absorb CBD, cross the blood-brain barrier, or delay the liver’s breakdown of CBD. 

This is called the entourage effect[19] because the many terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids act together to increase the effects of the oil. The full-spectrum hemp oil extract is a good option to help you get started on your weight loss journey.

How to Use CBD for Weight Loss

CBD products come in all shapes and sizes. The accelerating CBD market sees the addition of brand new types of products every week and this can be a burden as well as very confusing for a consumer. While choosing if CBD is right for your situation is a personal decision that should be supported by your medical provider, it is very important to be following the proper steps to ensure safety. 

CBD is a dietary supplement which means it is unregulated by government agencies like the FDA. This could mean inconsistencies in ingredients and potentially presence of unwanted ingredients. Finding a reputable company backed by reputation and third party testing should be the first step in choosing a CBD product

Once you start using this product use the “Start low and go slow” rule, which means starting at the lowest dose and titrating up until desired effects are reached. By following these rules of thumb and proper instructions it will help to ensure safe use of the product.

Different CBD products are designed to be administered in a number of different ways and can have varying effects based on their route. Oral supplements like gummies are the most simple form, administered simply by the oral route and absorbed through the gastrointestinal system. While tinctures and oils can be taken orally but can be used in sublingual administration, which is placed under the tongue and can have faster onset and potentially stronger effects. Another form of administration is vaporization which is administered through inhalation, this technique has the fastest onset of effects but can also have the shortest duration of effect. 

It must be noted that CBD is not to be treated as a miracle cure for weight loss. While CBD has its potential benefits to the user, one should also be partaking in an effective diet and exercise program primarily to aid in weight loss with supplements like CBD being used in conjunction with an effective diet and workout regimen. 

Proper Dosing of CBD for Weight Loss

Doses of CBD oils for weight loss differ wildly, so not one typical dosage is on the market. 

According to British Pharmacological Society[20 research, the wide active dosing range of cannabidiol that can be used for losing weight is (<1 to 50 mg per kg per day). 

Usually, doses can vary based on body weight, objectives, and body conditions. Body weight mis an important factor when dosing CBD oil and using CBD products. For example, a higher dose may be a better option if you are starting on the further end of the obesity spectrum.

It’s recommended that you should begin with a relatively low level and monitor for a couple of days to find the correct dose for your situation. Of course, you should always talk with your healthcare provider before you start any new supplements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What strain helps you lose weight?

Cannabis has a lot of strains or a specific species. Each strain has its unique characteristics. If you want to lose weight you need more CBD and less THC. Tangie
Girl Scout Cookies and Durban Poison are some of the few strains that you can use to lose weight.

Does Smoking Weed Promote Weight Loss?

While there is some evidence that smoking marijuana (another cannabis plant variety) may affect weight, there is a need for a lot more research. CBD and weight loss can be correlated to one another.

Why Does Cannabis Make You Hungry?

For those crazy hunger pangs, the THC in marijuana is the one responsible.
In this regard, we can deduce that it’s essential for you to use a CBD product if you want to lose weight since it contains a higher dosage of hemp oil than marijuana oil (where high THC comes from), which can largely help you lose weight.

+ 20 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Argueta, D.A., Ventura, C.M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V. and Gupta, K. (2020). A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain. Frontiers in Pharmacology, [online] 11. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7204604/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  2. Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G., Argenziano, M. and Miraglia Del Giudice, E. (2018). Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 19(9), p.2690. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163475/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  3. Jo, Y.-H., Chen, Y.-J.J., Chua, S.C., Talmage, D.A. and Role, L.W. (2005). Integration of Endocannabinoid and Leptin Signaling in an Appetite-Related Neural Circuit. Neuron, [online] 48(6), pp.1055–1066. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16364907/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  4. Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G., Argenziano, M. and Miraglia Del Giudice, E. (2018). Role of Cannabinoids in Obesity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 19(9), p.2690. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163475/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  5. Parray, H.A. and Yun, J.W. (2016). Cannabidiol promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, [online] 416(1–2), pp.131–139. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11010-016-2702-5 [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  6. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. (2018). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 19(3), p.833. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  7. Jadoon, K.A., Ratcliffe, S.H., Barrett, D.A., Thomas, E.L., Stott, C., Bell, J.D., O’Sullivan, S.E. and Tan, G.D. (2016). Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabivarin on Glycemic and Lipid Parameters in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Group Pilot Study. Diabetes Care, [online] 39(10), pp.1777–1786. Available at: https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/39/10/1777.long [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  8. Penner, E.A., Buettner, H. and Mittleman, M.A. (2013). The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. The American Journal of Medicine, [online] 126(7), pp.583–589. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002934313002003
  9. Mason, C., Foster-Schubert, K.E., Imayama, I., Kong, A., Xiao, L., Bain, C., Campbell, K.L., Wang, C.-Y., Duggan, C.R., Ulrich, C.M., Alfano, C.M., Blackburn, G.L. and McTiernan, A. (2011). Dietary Weight Loss and Exercise Effects on Insulin Resistance in Postmenopausal Women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, [online] 41(4), pp.366–375. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3185302/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  10. Clamp, L.D., Hume, D.J., Lambert, E.V. and Kroff, J. (2017). Enhanced insulin sensitivity in successful, long-term weight loss maintainers compared with matched controls with no weight loss history. Nutrition & Diabetes, [online] 7(6), pp.e282–e282. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5519190/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  11. Harvard Health Publishing (2020). Understanding the stress response – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-the-stress-response [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  12. Stress Effects on the Body: Endocrine (2018). Stress Effects on the Body: Endocrine. [online] https://www.apa.org. Available at: https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress/effects-endocrine#menu [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  13. van der Valk, E.S., Savas, M. and van Rossum, E.F.C. (2018). Stress and Obesity: Are There More Susceptible Individuals? Current Obesity Reports, [online] 7(2), pp.193–203. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5958156/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  14. Blessing, E.M., Steenkamp, M.M., Manzanares, J. and Marmar, C.R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, [online] 12(4), pp.825–836. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020]
  15. Bergamaschi, M.M., Queiroz, R.H.C., Chagas, M.H.N., de Oliveira, D.C.G., De Martinis, B.S., Kapczinski, F., Quevedo, J., Roesler, R., Schröder, N., Nardi, A.E., Martín-Santos, R., Hallak, J.E.C., Zuardi, A.W. and Crippa, J.A.S. (2011). Cannabidiol Reduces the Anxiety Induced by Simulated Public Speaking in Treatment-Naïve Social Phobia Patients. Neuropsychopharmacology, [online] 36(6), pp.1219–1226. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21307846/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020].
  16. Geneva (2018). CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Critical Review Report Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Fortieth Meeting. [online] Available at: https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/WHOCBDReportMay2018-2.pdf.
  17. Engeli, S. (2008). Dysregulation of the Endocannabinoid System in Obesity. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, [online] 20(s1), pp.110–115. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01683.x [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020].
  18. Engeli, S. (2008). Dysregulation of the Endocannabinoid System in Obesity. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, [online] 20(s1), pp.110–115. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2826.2008.01683.x [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020].
  19. Pavlovic, R., Nenna, G., Calvi, L., Panseri, S., Borgonovo, G., Giupponi, L., Cannazza, G. and Giorgi, A. (2018). Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations. Molecules, [online] 23(5), p.1230. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6100014/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020].
  20. Millar, S.A., Stone, N.L., Bellman, Z.D., Yates, A.S., England, T.J. and O’Sullivan, S.E. (2019). A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, [online] 85(9), pp.1888–1900. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710502/ [Accessed 24 Dec. 2020].


Healthcanal thumbnail

Written by:

Healthcanal Staff

Medically reviewed by:

HealthCanal Editorial team is a team of high standard writers, who qualified the strict entrance test of Health Canal. The team involves in both topic researching and writting, which are under supervision and controlled by medical doctors of medical team.

Medically reviewed by:

Harvard Health Publishing

Database from Health Information and Medical Information

Harvard Medical School
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source


Database from World Health Organization

Go to source

Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology Journals

American Academy of Neurology
Go to source


United Nations Global Compact
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

U.S. Federal Government
Go to source

Trusted Source

Database From Department of Health and Human Services

Governmental Authority
Go to source

PubMed Central

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
Go to source

Help us rate this article

Thank you for your feedback

Keep in touch to see our improvement