Obesity and overweight present many challenges to individuals, societies, and even the world as a whole. Over one-third of all Americans meet the diagnosis for obesity, and many other countries around the globe are also seeing progressively higher obesity rates with each passing year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity places people at higher risks for chronic, life-changing, and potentially fatal diseases. These diseases include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and stroke. However, obesity is preventable, and even treatable, with the right kinds of evidence-based approaches, which often include dietary, exercise, and other lifestyle interventions. In the future, we may also see a growing role for cannabidiol (CBD) in addressing this health issue.
Obesity and cannabidiol studies are a cutting-edge and promising area of research. They include pilot studies on animals and protein systems developed in laboratories. The preliminary findings indicate that CBD might influence obesity in several ways. A team of researchers led by Gernot Riedel discovered that rats that received oral CBD were less likely to overeat, even when presented with large amounts of food, compared to rats that received other types of hemp-derived supplements or no supplements at all. The rats that were administered CBD ate less often and consumed less food when they did eat. Their appetite regulation lasted for four hours or more after exposure to CBD.
A recent study, by Lanuti et al., found that cells released less cholesterol into the bloodstream when they were exposed to CBD. The researchers also found that certain white blood cells prevented cholesterol from accumulating in the blood vessels; usually, this accumulation would occur during obesity, high blood pressure, and related diseases. We have discussed the anti-inflammatory potential for CBD in this blog, and Lanuti et al. built on this concept, proposing that anti-inflammatory actions could possibly reduce inflammation due to cholesterol, insulin, and other compounds. Those types of inflammation are involved in diabetes and obesity-related metabolic diseases, but future studies will need to investigate whether CBD could truly lower these disease risks.
Another role for CBD to help with obesity was suggested by Silvestri et al. They compared liver cells exposed to high levels of lipids, or fats. One group of cells was also treated with CBD. The CBD-treated cells contained lower lipid amounts compared to the no-CBD control group. CBD exposure was found to change the ways that liver cells responded to fats. The CBD-treated cells created proteins that helped them metabolize, or break down, the lipids. Those cells also stepped up production of another group of proteins used in mitochondrial actions. Mitochondrial activity lets our cells convert food into energy. Higher mitochondrial activity and more effective lipid metabolism would account for why the cells in the CBD group had lower lipid counts. The researchers also found that similar effects occurred in mice and zebrafish, showing that their results could apply to at least some animals.
If you are thinking about beginning a regimen of taking a CBD supplement, you might consider possibilities like edibles. Edibles are available in a plethora of flavors, from energy chews to chocolate bars. Some edibles are offered in sugar-free formulations, if you would like to try CBD supplementation for yourself, but want to stick to a diet or watch your calories. Vegan and organic edibles are also available, so that no matter what your food choices or preferences are, you can find a supplement that meets your health goals and tastes.
With all of these options, which even extend to teas, honey, and non-food packages like oils and concentrates, you can develop your own personalized regimen to support the healthy choices that you make. Some customers who follow a daily CBD supplement program have reported higher energy levels, sounder sleep, and better mealtime and snacking habits. Their statements reflect their personal experiences, and supplementing may not affect every person in the same way, of course. However, CBD could potentially have a place alongside healthy lifestyle habits like a balanced diet and regular exercise when it comes to meeting your wellness goals.
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