CBD: Weight Loss or Munchies?

CBD: Weight Loss or Munchies?

Summer is finally here. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the beach awaits. But what about that winter weight we’ve all certainly been carrying around for the last few months?

At one time or another, you’ve probably found yourself reading through one of the many “Beach Body in 10 Days” articles that are plastered all over the internet and in our favourite magazines. You’ve probably also heard plenty about your co-worker’s juice cleanse, or how your friend swears by her detoxifying tea. Navigating through the endless stream of tips and tricks on how to begin a weight loss journey can be daunting. If these options leave you feeling doubtful, perhaps another player can be the answer for you.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound derived from the cannabis plant, might be exactly what you need to help you turn over a new leaf. CBD has been touted as a cure-all for any and all ailments we may find ourselves experiencing.

Can science back up the hype regarding CBD for weight loss or will the munchies get you every time?

There are countless indirect effects related to CBD use. For example, a reduction in anxiety can lead to a more restful sleep, which can in turn improve brain function and productivity. Using CBD to treat one symptom (such as anxiety or pain), could actually lead to better overall health. The results, however, will vary from person to person. CBD may be incorporated alongside your dietary and lifestyle changes but should not take center stage to your weight loss journey.

While it is clear that CBD improves health in many ways, and has little or no side effects, evidence-based studies linking CBD directly with weight loss are currently inconclusive. Here’s a snapshot of what the most recent research has been revealing about CBD’s potential application to weight loss. In each case, human studies are further needed to confirm these findings.

  • CBD May Boost Metabolism
    A 2011 animal study injected rats with various daily doses of CBD over a two week period and observed that those administered with CBD experienced an overall reduction in body weight over the study period. Additionally, those with higher doses of CBD saw a more significant reduction in weight. This study proposes that CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which play a role in food intake.
  • CBD May Encourage Brown Fat Production
    A 2016 lab study proposes that CBD could play a role in promoting the conversion of white fat (important for the human body but causes chronic illness when present in excess) to brown fat (the ‘good’ fat associated with burning calories).
  • Cannabis Helps Sustain a “Balanced” Weight
    The statistics of a large scale 2014 study, using data from 50,000 individuals, revealed that generally, those who use cannabis products regularly tend to weigh less than individuals who do not consume cannabis. This study broadly looked at several cannabis compounds, not only CBD. Researchers here propose that cannabis can regulate metabolism, stimulating (if underweight) or suppressing appetite (if overweight) as well as maintaining balance for normal-weight individuals infofurmanner.de.

Though CBD has been praised for its range of health benefits, many think using CBD products will cause overeating. Also known as the “munchies,” this condition refers to the overwhelming hunger one experiences after smoking marijuana. While it may be exaggerated in mainstream media, it’s true that consuming marijuana products can cause a significant increase in appetite for many people.

But can the same be said for CBD?

As it turns out, the increased appetite that many people experience from consuming marijuana are not an effect of CBD. This confusion stems from CBD’s association with cannabis, its source. However, cannabis contains another cannabinoid known as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the real culprit behind those dreaded munchies. THC binds directly to the CB1 endocannabinoid receptor that occurs naturally within each of our endocannabinoid systems. When THC binds with this CB1 receptor, it produces that feeling of increased appetite that we all associate with marijuana consumption.

When using CBD products, results will vary from person to person based on genetics, environment, stress, trauma, health conditions, or the fact that people react differently to various CBD products. This doesn’t mean you should shy away, but rather play with building CBD into your lifestyle and see whether it can blend into your routine – or quite literally, into your morning smoothie!? Although widely studied, more research – especially with humans – is needed to understand the direct effects of CBD on weight maintenance. Today’s findings, although exciting, are inconsistent. Rather than putting all your faith in CBD, incorporate it as an ‘aid’ towards your healthy lifestyle. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised!

CBD for Children: Friend or Foe?

CBD for Children: Friend or Foe?

With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, you’ve probably been hearing quite a bit of chatter about cannabis’ two most popular chemical compounds: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). While THC is known for producing the intoxicating effects that are associated with recreational marijuana, CBD does not produce any mind-altering effects. This has made CBD’s popularity as an alternative medicine skyrocket over the last few years. It has been widely applied as a remedy for issues ranging from chronic pain and inflammation to anxiety and seizures. While its therapeutic uses are still being extensively studied, they seem to be boundless.

But is trying CBD for children wise – or legal?

Before we delve into the laws surrounding CBD, let’s talk about whether this compound can actually be used as an effective treatment for children with hard-to-treat ailments. When a child is sick and conventional medicine is providing no relief, parents often seek alternative remedies. Over the past few years, CBD has become an increasingly popular choice for parents with ailing children. But is this really wise?

Extensive research has found that CBD is effective in reducing seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two common forms of epilepsy. These studies resulted in the Food and Drug Administration approving Epidiolex as the first prescription CBD-based medication in 2018. The emergence of Epidiolex in the pharmaceutical world has helped legitimize CBD as an alternative medicine. However, using CBD to manage childhood conditions remains controversial. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering CBD for your child.

CBD for Anxiety

One of the most common uses of CBD is for the treatment of anxiety. Anxiety is perhaps the most common emotional and behavioral problem faced by children and adults alike. According to the Depression Alliance, anxiety can be summed up as a state of restlessness and excessive worry. A 2017 report released by the World Health Organization claimed that nearly 264 million people live with anxiety worldwide.

CBD eases the mind and body into a state of balance by interacting with several of the body’s receptors that are known to regulate fear and anxiety. Evidence from multiple studies demonstrates that CBD is effective in reducing anxiety behaviours that are relevant to disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and OCD.

CBD for Autism

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a range of conditions related to challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. An Israeli study found that medical cannabis improved conditions in 80% of children on the autism spectrum. The study further found that CBD improved communication in half of the children tested and decreased anxiety in 40%.

CBD for Seizures

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which an abnormal electrical activity in the brain spreads and causes seizures or periods of unusual behavior and loss of awareness. Many anti-seizure drugs work by slowing down the erratic nerve activity in the brain.

A recent study conducted by the Epilepsy Society used randomized trials of pure CBD in children and young adults with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and found a significant reduction in monthly seizures. These trials also found a greater reduction in drop seizures in patients taking CBD. A 2019 review on Epidiolex found a sustained reduction in seizure frequency between 30 and 63 percent. Additionally, seizures were found to be about half as severe when they did occur.

Now that we know that CBD can be an effective treatment for certain disorders, the question remains: Is it even legal to use for children?

Under the Cannabis Act, the legal age for the consumption of recreational cannabis is 19. This differs in some provinces – Quebec and Alberta, for example, have lowered the legal age for consumption to 18.

Unlike recreational cannabis, however, there is no minimum age for medical consumption of cannabis. Since medical cannabis requires a physician’s recommendation and ongoing treatment by a doctor, there are no age restrictions. This means that as long as your child’s pediatrician deems CBD-based products an effective medical treatment, your child is legally entitled to use CBD medication.

While the World Health Organization has concluded that CBD is generally safe with limited risks, it is important to exercise caution when administering CBD to a child. Adverse effects could occur if CBD is mixed with other medication or if the product contains traces of THC. This is why it is extremely important to consult a physician and use approved CBD products for your children.

How CBD Can Bring Your Productivity and Motivation to New Heights

How CBD Can Bring Your Productivity and Motivation to New Heights

It probably takes a little boost to get most of us going at the start of the day. For many of us, this boost can be found in a cup of coffee, a quick workout, or maybe even a cold shower. But have you ever considered using CBD as your morning pick-me-up? The many health benefits of CBD (short for ‘Cannabidiol’ – a naturally occurring compound produced by the cannabis plant), coupled with the fact that it is safe and legal, makes it an attractive and exciting option to consider mixing into your daily routine. The use of CBD to improve motivation and mental clarity are novel. Although CBD has been touted as an all-in-one magic potion, it is important to understand exactly how CBD can be introduced into your daily schedule to boost mental clarity, mood, and productivity.

Imagine this. You’re at the office, sipping on your third or fourth cup of coffee (but who’s counting?). Your heart rate increases, you feel restless so you start shaking your feet rhythmically under your desk, and all of a sudden you’re feeling more anxious than you were before. A few hours later, you find yourself yawning again. Time for another cup. Does any of this sound familiar? Caffeine, perhaps the world’s most abused substance, can leave you feeling on-edge and extremely restless, especially by the time you get to your third or fourth cup. Consuming CBD, on the other hand, won’t produce these unwanted side effects. CBD is now emerging as a natural and safe alternative for boosting concentration compared to other popular stimulants. So what is this fascinating process that happens inside our bodies once we consume CBD? Simply put, the human body’s endocannabinoid system works to maintain proper levels of hormones. An imbalance in a certain hormones, such as an elevated level of the stress hormone cortisol, can greatly affect our state of mind, resulting in fatigue and restlessness. When you bring CDB into your body, you are giving your endocannabinoid system the tools it needs to better regulate your hormones. Throughout the day, this internal balance can result in a calmer demeanor, clearer mind and sharper focus.

Experiencing occasional anxiety and stress is normal. It is chronic anxiety, which causes extreme fatigue and irrational (or even debilitating) thoughts, that can affect your overall health, work and personal life. A number of studies have found that CBD can help treat anxiety naturally and often without the countless side effects of many pharmaceutical anxiety medications, which can oftentimes leave you back at square one – feeling drowsy, nauseous and unable to enjoy life the way you want to. While it is important to note that CBD may not treat your anxiety completely, it can effectively eliminate some barriers to productivity. To experience clarity and increased wakefulness during the day, opt for small doses (about 1 – 5 mg, up to 10 mg) of a low-potency product such as CBD oil. This allows you to control the dose, which can be adjusted as needed. Small, consistent doses will leave you more alert and focused. Another common way we hinder our focus and motivation during our waking hours is not getting enough sleep. The fact is, skipping out on sleep affects your productivity since mood, memory, stress levels and ability to make decisions are all hindered as a result. Taking a higher, one-time dose of CBD oil in the evening (5 mg – 10 mg or more) is recommended for better sleep. This will get allow your body to spend more time in a deep sleep with reduced sleep disturbance. With increased REM sleep, you will wake up feeling more rested and alert – and less anxious and tired. In turn, this all plays into the endocannabinoid system mentioned earlier, which, coupled with an invigorated and rested brain, will be better able to regulate your hormones throughout the day.

The links between CBD and productivity are made more obvious when the direct effects it has on anxiety relief and improved sleep are explored. The fact that CBD can improve mental cognition and clarity makes its application and possibilities limitless. Whether you choose to use CBD to start or finish your day, it is a safe and natural option that will help you attain the balance, productivity, and motivation you’ve been seeking in all of those coffee cups.