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Does CBD Speed Up Metabolism?

As research into cannabis has begun to seriously ramp up in recent years, it’s becoming apparent there is much more to this leafy plant than rolling it up to get high. THC – the bit that causes the ‘high’ – is a widely researched compound found in cannabis, but CBD (another compound) has recently taken over the spotlight. 

CBD has been so much praised that it’s almost become a catch-all alternative therapy to treat a vast range of ailments. Anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia, ageing-skin, it has even been hailed as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. But there’s one question, which has frequently been resurfacing – does CBD speed up metabolism?

The problem with answering any question about CBD is that there isn’t enough research to provide a soundproof response. While there are countless claims around what CBD can do for you, the only use that has actually been granted FDA approval is to treat rare forms of epilepsy and seizures. But what we can do is make an educated guess.

Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Endocannabinoid Systems

To even begin to answer if CBD can affect our metabolisms, we first need to understand how our bodies react to it. There’s quite a bit of confusing terminology surrounding cannabis, so stay with me here! 

Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis – THC and CBD are the most widely researched cannabinoids, but there are actually hundreds in the cannabis plant. When cannabinoids enter our body, cannabinoid receptors (called CB1 and CB2) signal messages to the rest of our body and interact with our endocannabinoid system. It’s this system that is the crucial bit.

Much research still needs to be done on the endocannabinoid system, but a few studies suggest that it’s linked to weight management, appetite, and metabolism.

But Doesn’t Weed Give You The Munchies?

If you’ve ever smoked a joint, you probably have first-hand experience of the ‘munchies.’ But the appetite increase you get from cannabis is actually due to the THC in the plant (the psychoactive compound). CBD, on the other hand, hasn’t been shown to increase your appetite at all. In fact, it has even been shown to decrease appetite in some studies.

How Does This Work?

CB1 receptors are increased in people with obesity, and when CBD interacts with these receptors, it essentially deactivates them, which could lessen your appetite.  

Unfortunately, not much research has been done on humans, so you have to take this information with a pinch of salt. That said, studies on rats can be indicative of how they might affect humans. One study showed that rats that had been injected with CBD experienced weight loss. But as I said, this was done on rats, not humans, and CBD was injected, which is not the usual method for human consumption and could affect how our bodies metabolize it. The only real resource we have for the effects of CBD on humans is their reported experiences.

Another study done in test tubes showed that CBD transforms the white fat in our bodies (which is used for energy) into brown fat (which burns calories to generate heat). The same thing happens when we exercise. This indicates that CBD can assist with weight loss. This study also showed that the CBD affected specific proteins, decreasing their ability to create new fat cells. But, again, this study was done in test tubes, not on human beings.


So does CBD speed up metabolism? We’ve come to the conclusion that basically, no one knows. A bunch of new research indicates that yes, it probably could, but as there’s been no scientific proof through studies done on humans, then we can’t be sure that it can. 

What we do know is that CBD isn’t harmful, so if you want to give it a go, why not see for yourself?