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Lose those Unwanted Pandemic Pounds with the Help of CBD

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Lose those Unwanted Pandemic Pounds with the Help of CBD

Research evidence suggests that CBD can help people lose weight or prevent metabolic disorders 


Life changed drastically on March 11, 2020 when the World Health Organization declared that the COVID-19 virus was officially a global pandemic. Within a month,more than 90% of the American population not deemed essential workers  were under shelter-in-place orders , abruptly disrupting everyday schedules and routines.

As a result of moving less, burning fewer calories, boredom, stressing, snacking and then snacking some more, one recent Harris Poll conducted for the American Psychological Association revealed that 42% of us gained a stunning 29 pounds on average over the past year.  Ironically, the poll found that essential workers actually gained the most weight (and also lost the most weight) and more than half of parents gained an average of 36 pounds.  Of all the generational segments, aged 25-42 Millennial waistlines expanded the most, with an average gain of 41 pounds!

Compounding the problem, many health experts warn that stress resulting from the pandemic is causing metabolic changes associated with the fight-or-flight syndrome, where the body is unwilling to part with calories, making it even harder to lose weight. 

So, what should people do to shed these unwelcomed pounds?   Eating better, exercising more, stressing less… yeah, yeah, yeah – we all know that.  But, were you aware that CBD may be part of the solution?

How CBD May Aid Weight Loss

Numerous clinical research studies have shown that the effects of CBD in the human body and brain are largely due to how it affects the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS).  This system has been found to play a notable role in appetite control, food intake and energy balance.  In addition, the ECS also contributes to the regulation of metabolism in the body.  Through manipulation of this system with the addition of CBD, many healthcare experts believe we may be able to encourage a more active and efficient metabolism.  However, to appreciate CBD’s promising potential as a weight loss supplement, it is important to first understand some basic science underpinning it.

  

The ECS is a complex, cell-signaling system that involves three key components:  endocannabinoids, receptors and enzymes.

  • Endocannabinoids, also known as endogenous cannabinoids, are molecules made by the body.  These molecules help keep internal functions running properly, with your body producing them as needed.

  • Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body and endocannabinoids produced biologically bind to them in order to signal the ECS that it needs to kick into high gear to return the body to a balanced state.  There are two main  endocannabinoid receptors: CBI receptors, which are mostly found in the central nervous system; and CB2 receptors, which are mostly found in the peripheral nervous system.  In real world practice, endocannabinoids might target CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain.  While others might bind to a CB2 receptor in the body’s immune cells to signal that the body is experiencing inflammation – a common sign of autoimmune disorders.
  • Enzymes are responsible for breaking down endocannabinoids once they have done their job and helped restore homeostasis, otherwise known as physiological equilibrium.

In a study published in September 2018, researchers noted that CB1 receptor antagonists found in CBD may help reduce appetite and control obesity.  This is because CBD may block off or ‘deactivate’ the receptor that triggers the hunger sensation.  Moreover, the authors reported that stimulating the CB2 receptors through CBD use may also decrease inflammation and reduce food intake, thereby possibly helping to reduce obesity.

Perhaps, the most interesting finding in the study was the suggestion that CBD use may promote ‘browning’ of fat cells.   Note that the body has two types of fat cells: white cells and brown (or beige) fat cells.  The body uses the former as a store of energy; however, it turns to the brown fat cells as a source of energy during exercise or when the body is burning calories.   With the implication that the breakdown of fat cells  via fat browning occurs with CBD use, weight loss is possible.

While there is no magic cure for shedding unwanted pandemic pounds, adjusting your diet, introducing CBD into your nutritional regimen and exercising regularly could be the ideal recipe for losing weight.   What’s more, CBD could be the key to addressing much, much more than simply weight gain.

Sad and Sleepless in Lock-Down Leads to Junk Food Fests

CBD oil may also help reduce chronic conditions that hinder weight loss, like pain, anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation – with the latter three being closely linked to pandemic-influenced issues that could be confounding the weight gain problem.

As the pandemic wears on, isolation, job loss and economic worries have resulted in about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression – up from one in 10 adults who reported these same symptoms from January to June 2019.  (See Figure 1.) The quadrupling of the number suffering is jarring and illustrates the need for viable, health-minded solutions.

A February 2021 peer-reviewed paper recently posed the question “Could cannabidiol be a treatment for Coronavirus Disease -19-Related Anxiety Disorders?”   The authors note, “Symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress are going to be prevalent as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in those most closely affected by the disease, and in those with pre-existing anxiety conditions.  Unlike CBD, current anti-anxiety medications possess significant unwanted side effects, and delayed onset of action, limited efficacy in some patients, strong drug dependence and withdrawal syndromes.” Continuing, the paper concludes, “CBD is already being evaluated as a potential treatment during the active coronavirus disease phase, and we suggest that the pre-clinical and clinical evidence base supports the hypothesis that CBD could be a novel pharmacological option for treating COVID-related anxiety disorders that merits testing through well-designed clinical trials. CBD could be more preferable compared with some of the medicines currently available with respect to its safety and side effect profile….”

Summary

The initial findings of medical studies on CBD and its impact on weight loss (and anxiety-induced weight issues) are indeed promising and will assuredly lead to more research in the years ahead.  Nonetheless, CBD is available now. However, it is best to work directly with a doctor when using CBD for weight loss or for other medical disorders  that may be resulting in undesirable weight gain.  

Additionally, it is important to note that the FDA does not regulate CBD products in the same way they regulate drugs, so some companies mislabel or misrepresent their products.  That means it is essential for people to do their own due diligence to find and use only high quality CBD formulations, like those produced by Bespoke Extracts. 



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