If you’re actively seeking alternative medications, the chances are that you’ve heard about CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is one of the many naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Cannabidiol is widely used in treating a range of chronic illnesses, including arthritis, cancer, epileptic seizures, insomnia, anxiety disorders, etc. Researchers are also investigating anecdotal claims that CBD might boost the metabolic rate.
This post looks at how CBD-based products might help power up your metabolism.
What Is Metabolism?
Metabolism refers to life-sustaining chemical reactions occurring involuntarily in an organism. These reactions serve three crucial purposes, namely;
- Converting food into energy
- Converting food into the building blocks for proteins, lipids, essential nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates
- Eliminating metabolic waste products through bladder and bowel activity, sweating, etc.
Metabolism can also denote the sum of all the chemical processes in an animal’s body. These processes range from digestion to respiration, blood circulation, excretion, etc.
Types of Metabolic Reactions
Metabolic reactions fall into two major categories – catabolic metabolism and anabolic metabolism.
Catabolic metabolism is a type of metabolism that involves the breaking down of compounds into simpler forms via cellular respiration. An example of catabolic processes is the breaking down of food into glucose.
On the other hand, anabolic metabolism involves synthesizing or building up compounds. Typical examples of anabolic reactions include the stacking up of muscle, increase in bone density, and increase in belly fat.
The fundamental difference between anabolic and catabolic metabolism is that the former uses up energy while the latter’s energy is released.
The Role of CBD Products in Boosting Metabolism
Cannabidiol comes in different product formulations. Popular examples include;
- Smokables like dried hemp buds
- Vapables like CBD-based e-juices and concentrates
- Oral tinctures
- Edibles like CBD-infused beverage drinks and baked goods
- Topicals like CBD balms and bath bombs
CBD gummies in Uk products have garnered considerable popularity in the recent past. That’s due to successful marketing campaigns portraying vaping as safer than traditional marijuana delivery methods, particularly smoking. Although initially popularized by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003, vaporizers have grown into a global craze.
Another reason to vape cannabidiol is that this delivery method has a faster onset time than administering CBD edibles or topicals. Effects of vaping CBD can set in in as few as 10 minutes.
The following are the specific ways CBD may boost your metabolism;
CBD May Activate Endocannabinoid Receptors Responsible for Metabolism
Cannabidiol impacts the body through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The endocannabinoid system is a cell-sustaining system that supports several crucial body functions. Its core roles include:
- Controlling endocrine activities.
- Offering pathways for pain signals to the brain.
- Maintaining circadian rhythms.
- Boosting overall immunity.
The full extent to which cannabidiol impacts the endocannabinoid system is yet to be understood. However, preliminary findings show that CBD may affect a group of endocannabinoid receptors called CB2 receptors, responsible for metabolic activity.
CB2 receptors widely occur in the body’s peripheral organs, such as the gut. Note that the gut plays a major role in stimulating metabolic reactions. That’s because it’s the primary organ that receives food, the main substrate for catabolic reactions.
Since cannabidiol impacts CB2 receptors and considering their concentration around the gut area, it’s easy to establish CBD’s clear role in metabolism.
CBD May Reduce Food Intake
Cannabis is generally known to induce munchies. However, marijuana’s appetite-stimulating properties mainly come from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Tetrahydrocannabinol is another widely studied cannabinoid in cannabis. But unlike CBD, which is more famous for its therapeutic benefits, THC is best known for its mind-altering effects. It’s the compound that comes to mind when referencing marijuana high.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is also associated with appetite stimulation. However, cannabidiol seems to produce the opposite effects. A rat study found that CBD can substantially reduce food cravings and hunger pangs compared to other cannabinoids.
We’ve already mentioned that food is the primary substrate for catabolic metabolism. So, you could be wondering how reduced food portions might boost metabolism.
Interestingly, the metabolic rate tends to be slower for people who consume heavy meals. Therefore, reducing (not eliminating) food intake may help power up your metabolism.
CBD May Promote Fat Browning
Fat browning refers to biological processes that involve the conversion of white fat into brown fat. Note that body fat occurs in two forms – white and brown fat.
Much of body fat exists as white fat. This fat form supplies the energy required for various metabolic processes while insulating vital organs. However, white fat has also been adversely linked to chronic metabolic illnesses, such as diabetes.
Brown fat mainly generates the heat required to burn calories. People with more brown fat tend to have a healthy weight, while those with white fat are generally overweight.
Although adding body mass is an example of anabolic metabolism, it also indicates an unhealthy metabolic rate. Therefore, keeping your white fat levels in check is a proactive way of maintaining a healthy metabolism. And this is another area where cannabidiol has shown tremendous promise.
According to a test-tube study, CBD may stimulate the conversion of white fat into brown fat by increasing the expression of specific proteins and genes involved in fat browning.
Cannabidiol may not speed up your metabolic rate directly compared to other interventions like exercising.
However, the compound impacts numerous biological mechanisms responsible for a healthy metabolism.