CBD or Cannabidiol has become one fascinating topic of research in the field of alternative medicine. With evolving evidence suggesting that CBD may have multiple health benefits, people have been intrigued to adopt CBD supplements as a natural alternative for conventional drugs.
Cannabidiol extracts have therapeutic potential against various psychological disorders, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and even epilepsy. It has antidotal effects on skin lesions, inflammatory diseases, and also diabetes. In addition, recent clinical studies have demonstrated that CBD consumption can also alter one’s appetite. Is it true? Let’s find out.
CBD gummies and its effect on the Endocannabinoid System
Cannabidiol, abbreviated as CBD, is a non-psychoactive chemical component extracted from the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is one of the 100 compounds (termed cannabinoids) obtained from the Cannabis plants. CBD extracts are used to produce various health supplements such as oils, tinctures, creams, capsules, vapes, and even edible gummies, thanks to their numerous health benefits. Among these preparations, CBD gummies have become quite popular, mainly because they are fun and delicious to eat. We make CBD gummies by mixing broad-spectrum CBD extracts and sugar, gelatin, and flavouring agents. They serve as a remedy for sleep disorders, neurotic disorders, and also Type-2 diabetes. Nowadays, the assumption that CBD gummies influence appetite and help lose weight has also increased people’s interest to try CBD hemp gummies for anxiety in UK.
Ongoing research confirms that CBD gets absorbed by the mucous membrane of our GI tract (i.e., the gastrointestinal tract, which includes mouth, food pipe, and stomach) when consumed orally. It stimulates the Endocannabinoid System present in the mucous membrane of the GI tract by binding with its two prime receptors: CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors are associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems of our body. On the other hand, the CB2 receptors influence our immune system. When the phytocannabinoid extracts in the CBD gummies enter our body, they bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Consequently, it stimulates the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to impart various effects on different vital bodily functions. In addition, experts have deduced from recent studies that ECS may impact our eating behaviour too. Let’s find out what they have to say about it.
The Endocannabinoid System and its impact on your eating behaviour
Two nerve centres located within the hypothalamus, a part of the central nervous system in the brain, regulate our eating behaviour; the two nerve centres being the Lateral Hypothalamus and the Ventromedial Hypothalamus. When stimulated by various internal (hormones, enzymes, empty stomach) and external stimuli (smell, sight), the lateral hypothalamus transmits “Hunger” signals to the body. Similarly, when our stomach is full, a “Satiate” signal is transmitted by the ventromedial hypothalamus. This signal commands the brain to reduce the desire to eat, i.e., appetite.
Recent discoveries confirm that endogenous cannabinoids (EC) and the Endocannabinoid System are integral in regulating hunger, food intake, and energy metabolism. A recently published review inferred that the ECs bind to the CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus of our brain and modulates food intake and metabolic homeostasis.
Few studies also stated that pharmacological antagonists of the cannabinoid receptors could control appetite and improve weight loss. Governed by these facts, experts concluded that CBD (a weak CB1 antagonist and a partial CB2 agonist) might help in down-regulating appetite and promoting weight loss. However, this speculation is debatable as data derived from the research showed variable results. Let’s look into evidence to get a better understanding.
Can CBD Gummies Stimulate Your Appetite?
CBD gummies are rich in phytocannabinoids. We observe that these plant-derived cannabinoids can block the function of CB1 receptors. When the cannabinoids bind to the receptors, they boost our metabolism and reduce the desire to eat. Thus, it can help in controlling obesity and aid in losing weight. CBD also functions as an agonist for the CB2 receptors that produce signals capable of altering the appetite indirectly via changes in the activity of the digestive system.
Though some animal studies indicate that CBD can reduce appetite, not much information is available regarding the role of CBD in human subjects. Two hundred fourteen patients who had epilepsy and were resistant to conventional treatment took part in an open-label trial. They were administered with CBD as a form of alternative therapy. The result showed that 32 subjects had developed decreased appetite as a side effect.
In a review, experts compared the data collected from an epidemiologic study to estimate the prevalence of obesity in people regularly consuming cannabis. They found that obesity prevalence is 17.2% in people who consume cannabis for at least three days per week. In comparison, about 25% obesity prevalence was observed in the group who reported no use of cannabis for the past 12 months.
Experts implied that as cannabis has a considerable concentration of CBD in it – CBD can be associated with weight loss. However, the mechanism of its action is unclear.
The Alternate Theory
Contrary to the reports that suggest CBD can diminish appetite, a few studies also demonstrate that CBD may intensify the desire to eat. A study was conducted on 23 children with Dravet Syndrome (a type of epilepsy). All of them took 25 mg of CBD per kg body weight for three months. In the results, CBD showed mixed effects on appetite,
i) Increased appetite and weight gain in a few children.
ii) The others underwent the exact opposite effects, including reduced appetite and weight.
A study considered 117 children who received treatment using CBD supplements for epilepsy. The report stated that the parents of the children declared a considerable reduction in seizures and other epileptic symptoms in the children. However, it also came to light that 30% of the children felt a significant increase in their appetite.
To sum it up
Experts say that, unlike THC, CBD gummies do not give you the “munchies” even though both these compounds are extracted from the same plant. However, CBD may affect your eating behaviour differently by influencing your central nervous system. The change in appetite caused by CBD is considered a side effect that may happen when using CBD for any therapeutic purpose. Experts accredit this property of CBD as a way to control obesity and lose weight. But, a few studies produce conflicting results. Further studies are needed to come to a definite conclusion.