CBD and Keto Diets: How They Work Together

Google weight loss and you will probably find an article about Keto Diets. Even if you haven’t tried this popular diet yourself, you’ve probably heard of it. Its popularity continues to gain traction in the health and wellness world for individuals trying to take charge of their health. From testimonials of reducing inflammation, improving sleep, and losing weight, this diet seems to have a solution for any individual’s ailments. 

How does CBD work its way into the equation? Well, when you begin to look at the benefits a keto diet may offer, it can be easy to spot how CBD can work synergistically with a keto diet to help achieve those benefits. 

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Keto Diet?

Before we hop on board the keto diet train, let’s talk about what it actually is. A ketogenic diet refers to a high-fat, low-carb intake meal plan. The goal of the keto diet is to help the body enter a metabolic fat-burning state known as ketosis. Unfortunately for many diet-goers out there, Ketosis is where individuals draw the line and reach for carbs. We’ve hit our carb-craving limits and oftentimes deal with constant headaches when we enter ketosis.

CBD, Keto, and Weight Loss

Taking the lead as the number one reason individuals start a keto diet are claims of weight loss. In fact, studies have actually shown that keto diets can be more effective in shedding pounds than a low-fat diet overall. 

When we start a keto diet and enter ketosis, our bodies have little to no carbs to burn as energy since it’s a low-carb intake diet. Where does the body turn to convert energy? Fats! With the help of CBD, our bodies could expedite that fat-burning process. 

Good Fats and Bad Fats 

While it’s easy to lump ‘fat’ into one category, there are actually two types of fats within our bodies: White Fat and Brown Fat.

The majority of our fat cells are White fat cells, which are basically insulation for our organs. White fat cells store your energy in large fat droplets that accumulate around the body. Too much white fat has been correlated with obesity. Brown fat cells are a special type of body fat that is turned “on” when you get cold, also called thermogenesis. These fats work as a built-in heater for our bodies. Brown fat breaks down blood sugar and fat molecules to create heat and help maintain body temperature.

So, white fat stores energy as large fat droplets, while brown fat has much smaller droplets and is specialized to burn them. In other words, white fat sits around in your body keeping it insulated, but brown fat is what does the work when it comes to your metabolism. 

In theory, this would mean that we want to encourage our white fat cells to convert to brown and start burning fats, right? That’s where the Endocannabinoid System comes into play.

Revisiting the ECS

In last month’s blog, we talked a lot about the body’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the role of CB1 and CB2 receptors. The effects of CBD in the body are largely due to how it affects and communicates with the ECS. This system communicates and responds to different chemicals in the body through CB1 and CB2 Receptors. *Remember: CB1 receptors are most dense in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are mainly in the immune system.

Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in Browning.

The Endocannabinoid system is deeply involved in controlling energy metabolism. The activation of CB2 receptors by CBD can help encourage the transition from white fat to brown fat, resulting in thermogenesis (a shift from chemical energy in the body to thermal energy) which is a fancy word for fat-burning mode. Although more specific research is needed, these findings tell us the combination of CBD and a keto diet may provide some legit weight-loss results. 

Help, Ketosis! 

We’ve heard about it, but what is it? Ketosis is a normal metabolic process that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose (carbs) stored for energy. Since keto diets keep us away from carbs, our bodies burn fat instead. This process produces acids called ketones, which build up in the body and can be used for energy. Unfortunately, it can sometimes make you feel like you caught a case of the “keto flu.” 

One of our clients turned to our Shah Saffron CBD oil when her ketosis headaches started interrupting her days. She previously relied on ibuprofen plus aspirin tablets when her headaches were raging the hardest in ketosis. 

While CBD may not completely diminish headaches for clients just starting CBD for the first time, there are long-term benefits to gain. We turned to our friends at The Green Medicine Shop in Greenville for some advice on how to come out victorious when the battle of keto headaches begins. It turns out, most keto headaches are often the result of dehydration….

Shawnee Bonner, Pharmacist, Co-Owner, and Co-Founder of the Green Medicine Shop in Greenville, Michigan, shared her advice for those suffering from ketosis headaches:

 “A single dose is not going to get rid of a headache for a new patient. Daily CBD can prevent headaches, but most headaches from ketosis are due to dehydration. Electrolytes are most beneficial like magnesium and potassium. Powerade or an electrolyte drink pack with lots of water usually helps. CBD can help with other aspects like appetite control and inflammation but would be most effective as a daily dose to prevent inflammation and headaches rather than treating them after the fact. Small amounts of THC may be beneficial, especially with the CBD.”

Questions? We Can Help!

Shawnee highlights the importance of drinking enough fluids while starting a keto diet. Keto headaches are often a result of dehydration in the body. During the first few days of a keto diet, it is common for individuals to lose a few pounds. The kicker is, it’s mostly water weight. Knowing this adds to the importance of keeping our bodies full of fluids when we decide to take on a diet like this. Before starting any diet, always do your research to find out if it is right for you. Many diets out there promise results at the expense of your health. 

If you choose to diet, do it the safe and responsible way! Reach out to us at Shah Saffron CBD or at the Green Medicine Shop with any questions. We’re here to help!

Are you new to CBD? Curious to learn more about CBD but don’t know where to start? Join pharmacist Shawnee Lenon of The Green Medicine Shop to learn about CBD and how people are using it to support their wellness.