Can Two Cannabinoids in Marijuana Fight Obesity?
by HelloMD Staff
January 27, 2020
The CDC considers obesity the leading cause of death in the U.S., although it's not the weight that kills you. Instead, it's the full range of serious diseases associated with carrying excess weight. Comorbidities of obesity include high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, chronic pain, and more.
Cardiovascular disease and certain cancers are the biggest oncern with obesity, as these diseases have high mortality rates. It's not just the U.S. either, as obesity is now a global problem. The World Health Organization says the global obesity rate nearly tripled since 1975.
The Negative Effects of Obesity
There are nearly 2 billion overweight adults around the world, and over 650 million are obese. It's defined by body mass index (BMI), which is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kg by his height squared in meters. A person with a BMI of 25 or more is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more is obese.
Obesity is more than just weight - it's a lifestyle that can't be treated by any quick fix. Most medical professionals recommend a variety of healthy lifestyle changes first. Proper diet and exercise can regulate weight better than anything. Bariatric drugs and procedures are used as a last resort, and some people have gastrointestinal complications as a result of surgery.
Thankfully, cannabis can be used by patients who aren't responding well to other bariatric medications. However, it's essential to keep in mind that all of these obesity treatments rely on healthy lifestyle changes in conjunction with a better diet.
How CBD and THCV Affect Obesity
CBD is now shown to help increase metabolism. This is because CBD is an antagonist to our endocannabinoid systems, which stores energy and transports nutrients through our bodies. This means it literally deactivates our CB1 receptors, which, in turn, cranks our metabolism to high.
In fact, a Korean study found CBD increases caloric burning, decreases fat cell production, and stimulates fat oxidation. The study used CBD isolate to ensure the effects were properly examined.
Another study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that metabolism sped up, even though caloric intake increases with cannabis use. Inhibiting the endocannabinoid system was again found to be the cause, although no specific cannabinoid is mentioned.
Meanwhile, researchers say THCV may be a key component in fighting the symptoms associated with obesity. While CBD increases metabolism, THCV decreases appetite. It's also known to be an anticonvulsant that helps with a wide range of medical problems, but appetite suppression is one of the most surprising.
In one study, consuming THCV was found to alleviate symptoms of type 2 diabetes in patients while decreasing glucose in plasma and improving pancreatic function. This cannabinoid also blocks THC from entering your CB1 and CB1 receptors, making it a handy compound to isolate.
Study findings indicate that both CBD and THCV can be used to suppress appetite and increase metabolism. That's a winning combination for healthy and sustainable weight loss.
How to Find CBD and THCV
Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD is much easier to find. Usually, hemp-derived CBD will be a CBD isolate, meaning that no other cannabinoids will be present. A secondary option is to buy full spectrum CBD, which may be found in most legal dispensaries. In some cases, you may be able to find a product, such as a tincture, that may have THCV as well.
Several medical marijuana states sell THCV, but it's a lot harder to find, especially in isolate form. California-based brand Level, for example, offers a THCV:THC:CBG blend. Cannabigerol (CBG) is also an endocannabinoid antagonizer, so it's a good supplement to the other cannabinoids.
Popular strains that contain high levels of THCV include Durban Poison, GSC, Pineapple Purps, Master Kush, and Cherry Pie. These strains will contain other cannabinoids and terpenes, with higher levels of THCV the effect of appetite suppression should be present. With the consequences of obesity so high, cannabinoid therapy is a supplement that should be considered as it's an all-natural alternative to synthetic pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures.