Cannabis to make you skinny?  CBD for obesity?  Preposterous!  Everyone knows weed gives you the munchies.  Doesn’t it?  How could anyone dare conject that a cannabis compound actually helps people lose weight.  How could something known for out of control appetite actually serve to curb that same desire to chow down?  However, as soon as the endocannabinoid (ECS) system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors were clinically established in the late 1980’s, relevant studies were underway.  In Europe, researchers found intrigue in the CB1 receptor specifically and it’s regulatory role across the body.

CBD for Obesity
The Zucker rats, left, are commonly used in obesity studies.

CBD for Obesity – CB1 Receptor Agitation Treatment

In clinical studies, researchers quickly discovered that an out of synch endocannabinoid system plays a huge roll in obesity and its maintenance.  Soon thereafter, researchers deemed the CB1 receptor specifically is responsible.   So effective, that researchers developed a drug, rimonabant whose sole discretion is CB1 receptor modulation. In a 2010 study by a team of researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, monkey’s treated with CB1 agitation ate less sweets than the control for an overall greater weight and body fat reduction. Before that, in 2004, the International Journal of Obesity published promising evidence.  Tests on obese rats over a 6 week period showed rats with CB1 treatment ate less than the control group.   Furthermore, after the treatment was over, the treated rats, though eating at normal rates again, kept the weight off better, attributed to better metabolism.

CBD for Obesity

CBD for Obesity – Indirect CB1 Agonist

Obesity is a painful condition, and those who suffer from receive unfair scrutiny.  Tragically, it has grown to epidemic status, with over 69% of American adults qualifying as obese.  This condition may be out of their control.  The fact of the matter is certain individuals have a different genetic structure that inclines them to obesity.  Studies now find that a specific mutation of the CB1 receptor via the CNR1 gene may the responsible party, at least in obese men.  CBD, cannabidiol, a naturally occurring phytocompound from the cannabis plant, does not directly interact with the CB1 receptor.  Conversely, by increasing anandamide (AEA), an endocannabinoid, CB1 therapy can be employed.  Furthermore, research shows it is the periphery CB1 receptors aid in healthy metabolism, which AEA targets.

Obesity can greatly reduce the quality of one’s life.  It often leads to other health conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems – to name a few.  It can seem like an uphill battle for those wishing to return to a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).  With the legalization of industrial hemp and ongoing research, a CBD centric pharmacotherapeutic approach may someday be the go to treatment help those struggling with obesity.

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