Skip to main content
How CBD Impacts Stress and Weight Gain

How CBD Impacts Stress and Weight Gain

Oct 04, 2021

Life is tough. Balancing work, family, finances, school or whatever else is on your plate can be stressful.

Just when you think you have enough to worry about, your jeans seem to be fitting a bit tighter . . . and not in a good way. Yep, stress has not only made you want to pull out your hair, but it has also incited unwanted weight gain. Here are some ways that CBD oil can help combat stress and weight gain.

Why Stress Causes Weight Gain

When you become stressed your body releases the hormone cortisol. This is also the “fight or flight” hormone, which means that it is the same release whether you are being attacked or just worrying about a big project at work. When cortisol is released it causes a burst of energy, shifts in metabolism, blood flow, and other changes. These changes cause the body to believe there has been a large expenditure of calories and that it needs to refuel. Thus you become hungry and eat as though you had just worked out when in reality all you did was worry!

The Dangers of Stress and Weight Gain

Not only does stress suck, but it also affects where fat is stored. Research shows that higher levels of stress are linked to greater abdominal fat. A little extra around the middle is not exactly aesthetically desirable. But even worse, it is also linked to greater health risks than fat in other areas.

The subcutaneous white fat that makes up the dreaded love handles is not nearly as dangerous even if it is troublesome to get rid of. "Visceral” fat wraps around organs and is metabolically active. It has been associated with heart disease, insulin resistance, lung issue, and even cancer among other things. Stress and weight gain are linked to visceral fat. It takes more than diet and exercise to lose this type of weight. A conscious effort to be less stressed is also required. 

Stress and the Endocannabinoid System

The body contains a natural endocannabinoid system with receptors placed throughout the body, including the brain. Unlike most receptors in the body which can only communicate in one direction, endocannabinoid receptors can incite two-way communications. This means that cells can talk to each other. Two-way communication allows them to exchange information about a situation and quiet the mind that would otherwise become stressed. Balance in the body is called “homeostasis” and this also applies to the mind. Click HERE for more details on how the endocannabinoids impact stress and anxiety. 

Blocking Endocannabinoid Receptors

The 2006 European weight loss drug “Rimonabant” blocked specific cannabinoid receptors. The theory behind the drug was that it would also block the receptors that are activated to cause hunger or “the munchies.” It worked to block hunger, but also blocked the mood-boosting properties of endocannabinoids. The drug was quickly banned due to severe cases of anxiety, depression and even suicide. It was never approved in the U.S.

Appetite and Emotional Eating

Unlike the cannabinoid THC, CBD does not interact with the receptors that hinder the feeling of satiation. The mood-boosting properties of CBD also help to control and balance appetite as part of homeostasis. 

Emotional eating is the act of consuming food to try and feel better. Though some foods like chocolate (contain a natural endocannabinoid) can temporarily boost mood, the extra calories are usually not productive and often leave a feeling of guilt. Soothing the emotions will help stop the cravings a lot better than a handful of jelly beans.

Addressing Stress and Weight Gain

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your stress level that don't involve punching your boss in the face or buying McDonald's for dinner every night. Meditation, yoga and other activities can help you to be more mindful and less anxious. Adding CBD oil to your daily routine can also help take the edge off by encouraging the interactions between receptors and helping you to find balance. Less stress could mean less unwanted weight gain, and that means a healthier, happier you!