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Cannabis Weight Loss Strategies: Does It Work?

Posted on March 24 2019

You have probably experienced (or at least heard of) getting the munchies after a good cannabis smoke session, so it’s probably a little weird to hear that people are actually using cannabis to lose weight. But many people have found cannabis weight loss strategies that work for them, and according to research it really isn’t that weird at all. In fact, certain strains of cannabis contain terpenes and cannabinoids that help manage appetite. Studies have shown that certain cannabis molecules may even help avoid weight gain and promote weight loss in people who are obese or suffer from certain conditions that make it difficult to lose weight. Of course, not every cannabis cultivar is the same, so you’ll need to understand a bit more about the best cannabis weight loss strategies before you put the science to the test.


THCV Weight Loss Information

Many strains contain moderately high potencies of THCV or tetrahydrocannabivarin. This cannabinoid is very similar to the THC molecule in structure but has some potential benefits that set it apart from other cannabinoids. Research shows that THCV can help reduce appetite, Other studies have identified THCV’s ability to help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels in people with diabetes. Another study even shows that THCV has the ability to lower body fat percentage in obese mice following a high-fat diet, so it may be beneficial for help people manage obesity and lose weight.


Humulene Weight Loss Information

Humulene is a terpene that is essential to herbs like hops, sage, ginseng and is often found in some strains of cannabis. It is widely accepted in the medical cannabis community that humulene helps suppress appetite in a similar fashion to THCV, though no medical studies exist yet to prove this theory. Other studies do identify a number of potential benefits related to this terpene. One study links humulene to anti-inflammatory effects, and it has been used both orally and topically to fight both internal and external inflammation. Still, the lack of research hasn't stopped people from recognizing it’s appetite suppressing benefits for themselves.


Hemp Weight Loss Information

While most of the appetite suppressing spotlight has been on THCV heavy strains of cannabis, people have also attributed some of their weight loss to hemp strains and it’s CBD-heavy structure. One 44-year-old man reported that he lost 12 pounds without any change to his diet or routine, despite his already lean structure, after taking CBD oil for three months. Many people have also used other parts of the hemp plant as a dietary supplement, adding hemp hearts to meals in order to promote weight loss and multiple other health benefits.


CBD Weight Loss Study

Multiple studies have looked at the impact of CBD on weight, eating patterns, and obesity. One study found that CBD lowered food intake when compared to other cannabinoids. Another study shows that CBD promotes fat browning, a process necessary for fat to burn. Research has also identified that cannabidiol may have a positive impact on insulin levels and insulin resistance, and many experts are interested in the impact that CBD could have on people with diabetes. One unique study even shows that CBD may lower your risk of diabetes. CBD may also have benefits that help people get more out of the workout and might be a great fitness supplement for those hoping to combine exercise and diet to lose weight.


Best Dose of CBD for Weight Loss

Because there is so little evidence that outlines a clear path for using cannabis to lose weight, it’s hard to say what dose of CBD is best for each person. Plus, dosing often relies on a number of varying factors, like weight, age, gender, existing health conditions, metabolism, and more. Many people have successfully found a dosing routine that works for them by using a weaning method, usually with a dose based on weight. Edibles are popular for dietary needs and dosing CBD edibles is easy, which may make it the best way to use CBD for weight loss.

For using CBD for weight loss, it may be best to start with the lowest recommended dose and increase slowly, allowing up to a week to notice any substantial weight changes or other effects from the CBD product of your choosing before increasing your dose. Another dosing strategy that may be effective is microdosing CBD, which many people have found success with for a range of symptoms. Because of the effect that it may have on fat burning and appetite, low doses of CBD over time may result in slow and steady weight loss.


Blocking the Hunger Inducing Effects of THC

THC, the main active component of cannabis, causes most people to get what has come to be known as “the munchies.” Many researchers are particularly interested in the way that some cannabinoids and terpenes might counteract some of the effects of THC. Some research shows that CBD may be able to counteract certain negative effects of THC. Another study might explain why CBD has this effect, and also brings to light similar properties found in THCV. Both CBD and THCV may act as negative modulators in the endocannabinoid system or the bodily system that cannabis interacts with. By acting as negative modulators, both CBD and THCV may be able to reverse the hunger-inducing effects of THC. However, more research is needed to explain the efficacy or if other factors are involved.


Cannabis Weight Loss Best Practices

Despite a lot of talk and many reports of its effectiveness, there’s no science behind designing a cannabis weight loss routine that works. However, there are a few tips you can follow that may make your cannabis weight loss efforts more successful.

First, if you are using cannabis flower for your weight loss efforts, choose a strain that is high in THCV, humulene, or both ideally. Strains with high THCV content include Durban Poison and Girl Scout Cookies.  Many people have used other types of products, like vapes, tinctures, or THCV edibles, and have found success when dosing once or twice daily, preferably before a meal. Also, ensure that you increase your water intake alongside your cannabis intake since some cannabinoids have a tendency to dehydrate you. Proper hydration is vital to efficient and healthy weight loss. Another trendy way that people are using cannabis to find and maintain a healthy weight is in their fitness routine. Many people have incorporated cannabis into their workout routines to give them a bit of a boost in and outside of the gym.

If you are obese or are looking to lose large amounts of weight, try talking to your doctor about using cannabis or CBD to ensure that it can be used safely. In some areas, cannabis-friendly gyms and fitness centers exist, which may act as a great resource for information and cannabis weight loss advice. Experienced cannabis users may find it easier to incorporate cannabis into their weight loss routine, and may already have an idea of which strains make them feel hungry or too relaxed for a good workout. Either way, finding a cannabis weight loss strategy that fits your needs and lifestyle just takes a bit on experimenting and dedications (and cannabis, of course).

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