CBD & Fasting - Intentional CBD - ICBD Blog

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Fasting and cannabinoids make a perfect pair. Why? Because they both encourage fat-burning. CBD is essentially fuel for the holy fire that is ketogenic fasting. CBD may even increase the same type of autophagy that fasting does!One area where CBD and fasting really shine together? Dealing with diabetes. And because the concepts seen in this area tend to hold true for the rest of us, diabetes or not, we’ll give things a closer look.

…the ketogenic diet alone is beneficial because it turns on fat-burning, which turns on recycling of free-radical-damaged components of the cell […] this could be a very important adjunct to using high-dose cannabis…”

– Dr. Bob Melamede

CBD, Fasting, and Diabetes

Much of today’s research on CBD has honed in on its potential ability to alleviate type II diabetes. With over one-third of Americans suffering from type I or II diabetes and almost another third at risk, this type of research is definitely warranted. CBD may help in two ways: both by promoting fat burning and by sensitizing the liver to insulin. The mechanisms through which it promotes insulin sensitivity aren’t fully known — but they’re strong enough that many diabetics noticed reduced [exogenous] insulin demands when they start taking CBD.  Diabetes also goes hand in hand with inflammation and oxidative stress, but CBD may come to the rescue yet again. In act, the US government has a patent on CBD for this very reason! Take a look — we’ve paraphrased it here: 

“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This newfound property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation-associated diseases[…] and autoimmune diseases. […] Non Psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use…”By promoting glutathione production, CBD may help one regenerate quicker in the face of oxidative stress…and prevent the vicious cycle of type II diabetes from getting any worse. CBD also shows great promise in helping alleviate the main complications of diabetes. The underlying factor in diabetes is insulin dysfunction, and cannabinoid receptors have been found in the islet cells of the pancreas that produce insulin. Even the side effects of diabetes may be relieved by CBD. Many diabetics experience severe neuropathy or skin conditions, but CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties can be harnessed by using a simple CBD topical. Could the CBD + fasting combo mean better insulin sensitivity for us all? Maybe so. A clinical review from 2008 described how CBD users have 16% lower fasting insulin levels than non-users…and similarly lower levels of insulin resistance. 

CBD, Fasting, and Weight Loss

As great as CBD may be, however, it simply isn’t a sure path to weight loss. For that, CBD needs to be combined with other lifestyle changes — like fasting.  And while CBD doesn’t really seem to boost one’s metabolic, its more subtle impacts could pay off in the long run. Why? Because CBD may reduce inflammation, which in turn could indirectly lead to weight loss. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, “being fat is being inflamed — period!”  Inflammation > insulin resistance > obesity. If inflammation makes it into the brain then leptin resistance could also occur. It’s a vicious cycle…one that CBD may help you escape. Another way CBD could help you manage your weight is by helping you stay stress-free! Some studies show that CBD can lower levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone. Why does that help? Because out-of-control cortisol, much like out-of-control insulin, can lead to chronic weight gain. High cortisol alters hormonal levels for the worse through something called pregnenolone steal syndrome. This is how it all comes together: many people who struggle with their weight have high cortisol ‘stealing’ resources away from healthy hormone levels…and wrecking their body composition. Thankfully, CBD may be able to help via its gentle impact on the hormone-regulating endocannabinoid system. Finally, CBD might help one’s fat-burning abilities (the same ones initiated by fasting!) become just a little more efficient. How? It seems to stimulate a fat-burning pathway called the PPP, in turn promoting what this study calls mitochondrial bioenergetics. That might sound complex…so just know that anything that benefits mitochondria is generally great for health and weight loss too.

How to Combine CBD & Fasting

“Fasting,” says Steven Gundry, “gives us an opportunity to really get all the best cells all the time and that’s what we all want.”If the thought of going days without food scares you, don’t worry. There’s an easier solution which seems to work just as well! Welcome to the world of intermittent fasting. First popularized among bodybuilders (who realized it made fighting fat without fighting hunger easy), intermittent fasting typically takes the form of eating for 8 hours per day…and fasting for 16. For example, one might break their fast with lunch at 1, then wrap up the day’s meals by 9 pm. The next day they’d do it all again, not eating or drinking anything with calories until lunch at 1.Simple, right? With the help of engaging activities and coffee, many intermittent-fasters report avoiding hunger entirely. And just imagine how easy it could be with the help of some CBD-infused coffee…The science looks good, too. Professor Krista Varady’s been studying fasting for 12 years, and in 2018 she authored a study that found “8:16 style” intermittent fasting helped obese patients lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived. At its heart, fasting is all about balance. Whether you choose to fast once a week, within each 24-hour day, with CBD, without CBD…it’s all about letting your body’s innate healing properties fully shine. Unlock the power…of you! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.