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Powerful CBD Potential for Obesity Uncovered

By: Wickham Simonds, MD 

Dr. Simonds runs Dr. Simonds Metabolics & Weight Loss in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina.

Those who suffer from the disease of obesity will often tell me that months of diet and exercise has been of no use to them. Their efforts resulted in little or no weight loss. The truth is that obesity is a powerful biology and it requires more than just diet and exercise to treat it and overcome it. Prescription medications and high quality supplements are also needed.

The human body has a complex weight regulation system that involves multiple different mechanisms. Prescription anti-obesity medications like phentermine, liraglutide, topiramate, and contrave are examples of prescription medications that work by addressing some of these various mechanisms. One of the heretofore undressed mechanisms that regulates body weight is the endo-cannabinoid system. But, at last, a potential solution has emerged: cannabidiol, or CBD.

I am joined by thought leader and prominent voice in the obesity space, Dr. Wendy Scinta--she is the former President of the Obesity Medicine Association. It’s my pleasure to serve on the organization’s board as a trustee. Collectively, we have a lot to say about our experiences with CBD and its efficacy with patients who use it.

“Diet and exercise,” says Dr. Scinta “are two lay-popular pillars of obesity treatment, yet three other pillars--behavioral modification, pharmacotherapy and in severe cases, surgery—are also important.”

“Adding CBD to physical exercise and nutrition as a powerful adjunct is already becoming popular. I see it every day,” Dr. Simonds says. I treat thousands of patients yearly “a significant number add CBD to their regimen to treat obesity and report less hunger, faster weight loss, and better weight loss maintenance.”

Dr. Scinta adds that the obesity medicine community was disappointed a decade or so ago when a purported miracle weight loss drug—Rimonabant which targeted the endo-cannabinoid system - turned out to have suicide inducing side effects. This resulted in in much disappointment in the medical community. However, CBD is natural and CBD’s safety record is good:

National Institute of Health

“In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research. Here, the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight.

In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile. This could improve patients' compliance and adherence to treatment. CBD is often used as adjunct therapy.”

World Health Organization

“CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product. To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."

Mayo Clinic

“Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue."

With CBD providing evidenced augmentation to the pillars of obesity treatment, Doctor Scinta and I have organized organized our optimism with these observations:

1. Cannabidiol acts a CB1 receptor antagonist. CB1 agonists (like THC) cause increased hunger and increased adiposity. Cannabidiol displays the opposite effect, most likely accounting for a decrease in hunger in animals treated with cannabidiol.

2. Cannabidiol acts to accelerate the transition of white adipose tissue to brown adipose tissue. The latter is associated with higher metabolic rate, better metabolic parameters, and lower weight.

3. It is now clear that inflammation plays a role in the CNS in the development of obesity. An inflamed weight regulation center in the hypo-thalamus with injury and destruction of neurons is a hallmark feature of this. Peripherally, as excess fat accumulates at various anatomic sites, inflammation becomes a prominent finding. Cannabidiol acts as a potent anti-inflammatory, and it is also known to promote neurogenesis.

4. It is clear that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in glucose and insulin regulation and that cannabidiol has a positive effect on glucose and insulin regulation.

Obesity is a common cause of disease and death in the United States. The use of CBD to augment the pillars of obesity treatment is important potential progress. Penicillin from mold, aspirin from trees, and now CBD from hemp are game changers.

In light of the above points, Doctor Scinta and I have developed relations with CBD provider, Root Bioscience which makes a consumer brand Naternal that meet standards we demand before mentioning them in our metabolic advisories.

Because some CBD manufacturing has a reputation for unreliability and impurity, we created The CBD Trust, the mission of which will be to provide colleagues trustworthy and approved products which will meet the FDA regulations and our more stringent criteria. The CBD Trust could also be a vehicle to encourage—even facilitate—clinical research germane to CBD and weight loss.

References

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/

2 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and- effective/faq-20446700

Receptor Antagonism

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Adipocyte Browning Effect

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Appetite Reduction

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CNS Inflammation

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Neurogenesis

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Glucose and Insulin Metabolism

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