Several studies have shown that regular cannabis users have a lower body mass index, smaller waist circumferences, and reduced risk of diabetes and obesity. One 2011 report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, based on a survey of more than fifty-two thousand participants, concluded that rates of obesity are about one-third lower among cannabis users. This is despite the findings that participants tend to consume more calories per day, an activity that is potentially related to THC’s stimulation of ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite but also increases the metabolism of carbohydrates. CBD on its own was shown in 2006 to lower the incidence of diabetes in lab rats, and in 2015 an Israeli-American biopharmaceutical collective began stage 2 trials related to using CBD to treat diabetes. Research has demonstrated that CBD benefits weight loss by helping the body convert white fat into weight-reducing brown fat, promoting noatherogenesisrmal insulin production and sugar metabolism.
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Compared to THC, CBD has very different properties. It weakly binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and body, gently stimulating and blocking them at the same time. This not only mildly activates the receptors, but is also thought to trigger the body to create more CB1 and CB2 receptors, a process known as upregulation. It also results in increased natural levels of anandamide.
CBD has some other very important jobs outside of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). For instance, CBD mildly activates one of the brain’s predominant serotonin receptors (5-HT1A), which may explain CBD’s effects on depression and anxiety. It also acts at the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs), which halt the proliferation of cancer cells and convey neuro- and cardioprotection. By interacting with a particular PPAR (gamma), CBD could prove to be a promising new way to prevent alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.