CBD has been linked to pain relief and reduced anxiety and stress. But can it work for weight loss? Here’s what the science says.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is best known for helping decrease anxiety and stress, improve sleep, and reduce chronic pain.

Many people also wonder if they can use CBD for weight loss. However, there’s very little research to suggest that CBD can help with weight loss.

That said, CBD might be able to help indirectly by aiding factors that can lead to weight gain, such as chronic pain and poor sleep.

The research on the role CBD plays in weight loss is minimal and still evolving, but some data suggests it may help:

All these factors can contribute to weight gain.

In fact, research from 2015 reviewed the connection between obesity and chronic pain and found that the two conditions co-occur frequently, both negatively affecting one another.

Since CBD oil may reduce chronic pain, using a CBD product to minimize symptoms from chronic pain may assist with weight loss goals. Still, it’s important to note that taking CBD without adjusting your calorie intake and exercise plan will not contribute to weight loss.

A 2018 study noted that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating food intake and inflammation, both of which can affect weight gain. Some animal studies show that CBD may boost metabolism and reduce food intake by interacting with two endocannabinoid receptors in your body: CB1 and CB2.

The 2018 study also found that CBD may promote browning of fat cells, which is the fat responsible for generating heat by burning calories.

Choosing a product

No one type or brand of CBD is best for weight loss. Since there’s a lack of research on using CBD for weight loss, we’ve chosen not to recommend any specific brands or products.

If you’re hoping to use CBD oil or other CBD products to help relieve pain, stress, or sleep issues that may be contributing to weight gain, here are some product recommendations:

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We typically choose to recommend products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Every brand and product we feature is vetted by our team for medical and business standards.

When researching and purchasing CBD oils, be sure to check that:

  • The product is third-party tested: Check to see if the product has a certificate of analysis (COA) from a lab that is not affiliated with the brand you’re buying from. That way, you’ll be able to see whether the oil actually contains the amount of CBD and THC that the label says. You can also use the COA to verify that the product has not been contaminated with molds, pesticides, heavy metals, or other substances.
  • The brand has transparent business practices: The company you’re buying from should tell you where it sources its hemp and how it makes its products.
  • The brand has a good reputation: Check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letter database, do an online search for any pending lawsuits, and read customer reviews before adding a product to your cart.

Those are the must-haves, but there are still a few other things to consider:

  • CBD type: You can choose from CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, or full-spectrum CBD products. Choose isolate or broad-spectrum if you want to steer clear of THC. Choose full-spectrum if you’re looking for added benefits from the entourage effect.
  • Ingredients: Take a quick scan of the ingredients list and see if it’ll work for you. You’ll usually find a carrier oil and sometimes flavorings and sweeteners on the list.
  • Product type: If you decide oil isn’t your preferred way of taking CBD, you can explore other options like topicals or capsules.

A good rule of thumb regarding dosage is to start small, track how you feel, and reassess after a week.

The amount you take will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • your body weight
  • your goals
  • the oil’s potency
  • your body chemistry

With so many variables to consider about dosage and safety, it’s always wise to seek advice from a doctor or another healthcare professional before trying weight loss aids or supplements, including CBD oils, or beginning a weight loss program.

While the World Health Organization reports that CBD is generally safe, there are still a few things to be aware of before getting started.

  • CBD may cause mild side effects: These include nausea, fatigue, and changes in weight and appetite.
  • Taking CBD with a high fat meal may increase your absorption: Some research shows that taking CBD with high fat foods can cause you to absorb more of it. This can increase your risk of side effects.
  • Don’t take CBD if you’re pregnant or nursing: The FDA advises against consuming cannabis, including CBD, while pregnant or when breastfeeding or chestfeeding.
  • CBD may interact with some medications: This includes medications that carry a grapefruit warning.

Be sure to talk with a doctor or another healthcare professional before taking CBD, especially if you also take any medications or supplements.

There’s limited research in this area. While CBD oil alone probably won’t help you lose weight, some people find it helpful as an extra layer of support for their weight loss plan, helping them sleep better and alleviating exercise-induced soreness and inflammation.

It potentially could. Some people find that taking CBD oil increases their appetite. Others find that it reduces their appetite.

CBD itself won’t show up on a drug test. But some CBD products also contain a small amount of THC. Even though it’s a small amount, it could be enough to cause a positive result. If you undergo drug testing, you may want to avoid CBD products altogether.

Yes, some people find that CBD makes them feel tired. It depends on how much you take and your body chemistry.

CBD is a compound in the cannabis plant that, unlike THC, doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects. CBD works by targeting your endocannabinoid system, which manages bodily functions like coordination, movement, pain, appetite, moods, and others.


Eating a nutritious, balanced diet, which includes foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, and regularly moving your body are important for losing weight. Although some over-the-counter products or medications may assist in the process, they won’t work on their own or instantly.

CBD oil may help reduce pain, anxiety, and sleep deprivation — all of which can hinder weight loss. But it’s not a standalone solution, and it’s an area that’s not well studied.

Since the research on CBD and weight loss is limited, consider talking with a doctor or another healthcare professional about how to use CBD oil on your weight loss journey.

Is CBD legal? The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC legal at the federal level. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them illegal at the federal level. Some states have legalized CBD, so be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.