How CBD Prevents Obesity: Gina Talks Food, Fat Cells & More - Farmulated

How CBD Prevents Obesity: Gina Talks Food, Fat Cells & More

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CDC statistics published in 2017 show approximately 42 percent of American adults are obese, increasing the prevalence of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.1 In this month’s conversation with Pharmacist and Natural Wellness Expert Gina Ruffa, we discuss how CBD is impacting the obesity epidemic – for the better.

Hello again, Gina! Any initial thoughts as we begin this conversation?

First off, I do want to note that obesity has tripled since 1975. In 2016, 2 billion adults were overweight.

And what would you say are the key driving factors of the obesity epidemic?

Fast and processed foods are so convenient. Then you add in stress, anxiety and, in turn, increased cortisol. For those struggling most with food, someone once told me you can’t out-train a bad diet. You can do all the exercise in the world but without clean eating, you will still gain weight.

Note: Cortisol is a stress hormone that suppresses the functioning of the immune system, digestive system and other vital bodily functions while increasing glucose levels in your blood2

How does cannabis play a role in this conversation?

Unlike high-THC cannabis products giving people “the munchies,” or the desire to snack uncontrollably, according to a new study, CBD actually has the potential to suppress the appetite. There are already so many benefits to CBD and here we come across research about CBD breaking down fat!

It seems the more we dive into CBD’s capabilities, the more groundbreaking research we discover. The 2018 study states that activation of cannabinoid receptors can turn white adipocytes, or fat cells, to brown.3 What does this mean?

Just like with types of cholesterol, adipocytes are divided into good and bad categories. There’s good, brown fat and bad, white fat. When white fat converts into brown fat, we see an increase in thermogenesis, or heat production, which boosts our metabolism. 

How exactly does CBD influence these adipocytes?

Well, I think the main mechanism of action is that CBD stimulates the genes and proteins responsible for breaking down fat cells in the human body, increasing lipolysis while reducing lipogenesis.

Note: lipo- is a root word meaning, “fat,” so lipolysis = the breaking down of fat; lipogenesis = the production and storage of fat

Research shows CB2 receptors, specifically, are what modulate adipocytes. Why is that?

CB2 receptors are mostly within our immune systems, which influences so many of our other internal systems. Plus, we know stimulating CB2 receptors decreases our inflammatory response.

...which is directly tied to obesity. What other obesity-related side effects can CBD assist with? 

In addition to reducing inflammation, CBD can also decrease cholesterol, which helps restore balance to a body stressed by excess weight.

The most important takeaways from this research though, are three mechanisms of action:

  1. CBD can turn white adipocytes to brown.
  2. CBD reduces new fat formation.
  3. CBD increases thermogenesis, which boosts our metabolism.

In summary, the triple-mechanism in fighting obesity is so promising, and we know the potential uses of CBD will only continue to increase!

There is always more to come with this super-plant. Thank you for another fascinating conversation, Gina! 


To learn more about Pharmacist and Natural Wellness Expert Gina Ruffa, visit


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, May 17). Adult Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from
2. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, July 8). Chronic Stress Puts Your Health at Risk. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from,fight%2Dor%2Dflight%20situation.
3. Rossi, F., Punzo, F., Umano, G. R., Argenziano, M., & Miraglia Del Giudice, E. (2018, September 10). Role of cannabinoids in Obesity. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Retrieved August 18, 2022, from
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