Obesity rates are skyrocketing in the U.S. and around the world. Worldwide, nearly 2 billion adults are overweight and almost half of those qualify as being obese.  Being overweight or obese can lead to illness and disease. Could those suffering from obesity benefit from the use of CBD? What are CBD’s effects on obesity?
An extract from industrial hemp, Cannabidiol, or CBD, targets the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Research shows that the ECS regulates appetite and metabolism. CBD is believed by researchers to affect appetite and thereby may help with weight loss. Also, along with being extremely safe, it’s these properties and more that make CBD a potential candidate for use in limiting weight gain, promoting weight loss, and reducing obesity-related inflammation.
Results from experiments into CBD’s effects on obesity suggest that CBD can reduce food intake in test subjects. However, this does not imply that cannabis, in general, can be of benefit. Other cannabinoids such as CBN and THC found in marijuana can cause an increase in food intake – the opposite effect shown by CBD from hemp.
Additionally, researchers believe that CBD may counteract other symptoms that we associate with being overweight. These include ailments such as high blood sugar and depression. Below we take a look at some of the statistics and scientific research on the topic.
Overweight and obese people suffer high risks of associated sickness, disease, and disability. And there aren’t many drugs which medical professionals regard as safe or non-toxic that address the development of obesity. Therefore, safer effective treatments are badly needed by those suffering from obesity.
Obesity in the U.S.
With obesity rates on the rise, doctors and patients are desperately seeking drugs that will help overweight patients. In the U.S., the condition has become an epidemic with more than one-third of adults being obese. 
Research published in the Journal of American Medicine indicates that:
- “Non-Hispanic blacks” and “Hispanics” have the highest rates and risk of obesity in the U.S.
- Obesity-related conditions include some of the leading causes of preventable death.
- Researchers estimate that the U.S. cost of treating obesity-related conditions was around $147 billion in 2008.
The epidemic of obesity isn’t just isolated to the United States. The worldwide prevalence of obesity nearly tripled between 1975 and 2016, according to the World Health Organization. 
Once considered a high-income country problem, obesity is now a serious problem for low and middle-income countries too, specifically in urban populations. 
In 2016, the WHO estimated that out of the global population, 
- 39% of adults were overweight.
- 13% of adults were obese.
- 18% of the world’s children were overweight.
- About 7% of children were obese.
- Nearly half of overweight and obese children under 5 years old lived in Asia.
Researchers link obesity and being overweight with far more deaths worldwide than being underweight. Globally, more people are obese than underweight, except in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. 
Low- and middle-income countries have higher risks of both infectious diseases and malnutrition while simultaneously showing increasing rates of obesity, particularly in urban regions. 
Global Obesity in Children
Children in these areas of the world have higher risks of malnutrition during prenatal growth, infancy, and into adolescence. Also, youth in these areas tend to mainly eat foods that are high in:
These types of foods and food products are typically inexpensive, but low in essential micronutrients and overall nutrient quality.
Generally, being overweight and obese can be referenced by the body/mass index, or BMI. Children with an unhealthy BMI have higher chances of developing obesity, dying prematurely, and disability in adulthood. 
Obesity-Related Conditions & Prevention
Dangerously high BMI levels are associated with developing deadly conditions such as:
- Cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke
- Musculoskeletal disorders such as osteoarthritis.
- Cancers, including endometrial, breast, ovarian, prostate, liver, gallbladder, kidney, and colon.
For the majority of people, obesity can be prevented, as can the illnesses associated with it. And experts suggest the best way to address and prevent becoming overweight or obese is to choose healthier foods and partake in regular physical activity. Key elements that are fundamental in shaping a person’s diet and lifestyle choices are their environment and community.
In a supportive environment with help from one’s community, an individual can:
- Limit intake of fats and sugars
- Increase fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts in their diet
- Engage in regular physical activity
Research Studies on CBD’s Effects on Obesity
Studies of CBD’s effects on obesity in adult male rats indicate that CBD may have the ability to suppress appetite. A team of pharmacology and psychology researchers from the U.K. researched the effects of various phytocannabinoids upon feeding behaviors. Interestingly, their results showed a marked decrease in food intake in lab animals. 
Obesity comes with many complications. And those complications can create additional health risks such as metabolic syndrome. Doctors associate metabolic syndrome with obesity and believe is linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD; hepatosteatosis) as well as the onset of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 
A study into CBD’s effects on obesity published in the Journal of Hepatology studied the effects of CBD in vitro on NAFLD and hepatosteatosis. Data showed that CBD:
- Reduced accumulated lipid levels.
- Induced post-translational changes in a variety of proteins such as CREB, PRAS40, AMPKa2, and several STATS, indicating increased lipid metabolism.
- Supported data from animal studies that indicate CBD is able to increase yolk lipid mobilization and inhibit the development of hepatosteatosis, respectively.
Furthermore, studies indicate that CBD may treat and could potentially prevent the development of liver disease in the obese. [3,4]
CBD in the Treatment of Obesity
As you can see, studies into CBD’s effects on obesity are producing results that show a clear correlation between alterations in appetite, weight gain, and emotions associated with food.
Lower body/mass index is associated with frequent cannabis use. But be aware, however, that CBD products which are derived from marijuana may contain THC. In fact, there is no guarantee that they do not. Since THC may increase appetite and may also cause psychoactive side effects, it’s best to purchase CBD extracted from hemp. [5, 6] Curative Biosciences makes all of our CBD oil products with hemp-derived, full-spectrum, THC-free CBD oil.
It’s clear that CBD’s effects on obesity can have a substantial impact on the way we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat. But there needs to more research and continued investigation into the mechanisms by which CBD effects eating and appetite in order to develop new and effective medicines in treating obesity,
Each individual responds uniquely to CBD. So, if you are considering adding CBD products to your health regimen, first consult with a qualified medical professional before beginning any weight loss program.
- CDC: “Adult Obesity Facts.” 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
- World Health Organization Media Centre: “Obesity and overweight” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/
- C.M. Psychopharmacology, “Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns” https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-012-2697-x
- Journal of Hepatology: “Two non-psychoactive cannabinoids reduce intracellular lipid levels and inhibit hepatosteatosis” http://www.journal-of-hepatology.eu/article/S0168-8278(15)00003-3/pdf
- National Institute of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Marijuana and Body Weight” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204468/
- National Institute of Health, National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Obesity and cannabis use: results from 2 representative national surveys.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21868374
Research Papers for CBD’s Effects on Obesity
- The impact of marijuana use on glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance amongUS adults
- Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns
- Cannabis andΔ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for weight loss?
- The endocannabinoid system in obesity and type 2 diabetes
- Role of the endocannabinoid system in abdominal obesity and the implications for cardiovascular risk
- Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in metabolic disorders with focus on diabetes
- CBD promotes browning in 3T3-L1 adipocytes