#016: Role of Cannabinoids in Management of Obesity

When we approach obesity, we need to realize that it’s a disease and should be treated as a medical condition. Obesity isn’t just having a little extra fat around your belly. The criteria for obesity is anyone with a body mass index (BMI) of over 30. As a serious medical condition, being obese increases the chances of other diseases such as:


  • Diabetes
  • Uterine and prostate Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Infertility
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis

It is important to address the issue of obesity before it shortens the quality or length of a patient’s life. So what are the causes of obesity? Sometimes it’s genetics, a person’s environment, or their finances. I’m going to share the first steps a patient should take to address their weight, and then I will discuss different available medications and surgical options.

In the pharmacological world, medication is only recommended for people with a BMI greater than 30 kilograms per meter square and who also have comorbidity. But these products are not without side effects, and sometimes the side effects are embarrassing and inconvenient, like fecal urgency.

Finally, I will explore the double-edged sword of using medical cannabis to treat obesity. From studies done in rats, we have some preliminary results that are promising, but we also know that cannabinoids can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. We should proceed with caution and study this more so that we can be sure of its benefits before recommending it to patients with obesity.

What’s Inside:​

  • When is surgery a consideration for obesity treatment?
  • The side effects of medications used to treat obesity.
  • How fat-insoluble medications impact birth control.
  • How cannabinoids and SSRIs are related.

Mentioned In This Episode:

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Hey, guys. Welcome to another episode of Let’s Talk About Medical Cannabis with Dr.O. I’m your host, Dr. Lola Ohonba, aka, Dr. O. I am the founder and CEO of WCI Health. The alternative health and wellness store. At WCI-Health, we help people get and stay well using the healing powers of botanicals such as cannabinoid. You know, I’m also the host of this show. Let’s Talk About Medical Cannabis with DR. O, and I’m the author of the notebook of A Pharmacists Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a Nonconforming Clinician. I’m gonna talk a little bit about the book shortly. But before we get into today’s episode, let’s have a little you know, we have to have a housecleaning first. And that is a disclaimer, this show is for educational purposes that should not be taken as medical advice, cannabinoids and all that kind of supplement, not FDA approved.

So they are not FDA approved, but many of them are FDA registered. And I need you to reach out to your provider, health care provider for your medical need. Do not start stop any medication without talking to your doctor.

So what I like to say first, thank you to our sponsors, to our patreons that have been supporting us. Without you, we are not even going to be able to do this. This show is sponsored by WCI-Health makers of Gloze beauty, cosmetics and beauty line. We have products like that’s product skincare and hair care products. So for all your needs, for all your cosmetics need, for your pet. Our pets is our loved ones too. So head straight to WCI Health and for your product.

On today’s show, we’ll be looking into the role of cannabis night in the management of obesity. But before we get into that, let me quickly talk to you about our feature product. On our feature product today, we have Gloze day and night. It’s moisturizing cream. This product is extremely good. I use it myself for my face and for your under eye. It’s botanical nature is extremely good for the puffiness of the face, especially now we are having all kind of stressors going on in life with everything going on in the country. We tend to leave ourselves and let ourselves go all that puffy. Many sleepless nights is causing all kinds of stress. So grab your copy of your Gloze beauty day or night. And let me know how you feel about it.

And like I said earlier, I’m so excited. I just published a new book called A Pharmacist Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a Nonconforming Clinician. I know you guys. I kind of wondering that title. Yes. I mean, in this space, there are so many good teams going on. We need many clinicians to step into this space. So for any clinician would be talking about cannabis, cannabinoid, psilocybin, botanical, medicinal herbs generally.

We have a little boldness to that because these products are not federally legal yet, but we really do need to be talking about it. People need to know when you go out there, you need to know what you are buying. That’s part of my, that’s in this book. I wanted to educate the general public about the potential health benefit of medicinal herb. Growing up as a little girl, I used medicinal herbs myself. So back in the days this product was used. Medicinal herbs were dispensed by the pharmaceutical company, everybody back then used it. How did we go from being used for to manage almost everything under the planet to it being the most dangerous product in our planet today.So we have to have to talk, especially here in United States. A.

Lot of changes is going on in Europe. And I feel like if we don’t start talking a body, we’re going to be left behind. And like President Bush said, we do not want to leave any child behind, No Child Left Behind. So that’s part of why I’m stepping into this space to start giving this educational material. One of the ways I’m also trying to educate the public is this my new book, A Pharmacist’s Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a Nonconforming Clinician is available on Amazon as a Kindle and also as a paperback. What are you gonna learn from this book? This book is busy, is supposed to give you a bit of basic. But without the medical jargon that you see in many books today is as relatively small. It’s kind of like your pocketbook is very small. You can take it in your purse. You can take it anywhere.

The man can have it in their compartment. Women have it in their car. You can have it in your purse. And it’s kind of to serve as a reference, as a quick reference. It has in it a little bit history of botanicals usage back in the day. We also have in there cannabinoid, CBD, THC, CBG a little bit what they are used for. Their properties, their medicinal properties. I talk about endocannabinoid system as a Robocop, as the cope of our body, what it does for the body. I also talk about entourage effects of terpenes, terpenes, terpenes is the smell that you perceive from your cannabis. They are coming from terpenes. Ginger, terpene. Orange, terpene. What are the uses of terpene? And I talked about that in this book and I also talked about how we can keep cannabinoid products safe and where we go from here.

So where can you get this book? You can get it on Amazon. Amazon does come A Pharmacist’s Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a Nonconforming Clinician. You can also get this on Etsy in our store on Etsy, we have Gloze Beauty on Glos Building. You will see it on Etsy. And finally, you can grab it from my website, WCI-Health dot com. So don’t wait. Go grab yours now. Thank you to, like I said to those that have subscribe to this show. If you are yet to subscribe to this show, please go to our website. You’ll have the subscription button there and subscribe to this show. And we are able to bring this show to you because of those of you that are supporting us. So if you want to donate to support this show, please go straight to our Web site. You will have information about our patreon group. Thank you so much for everything.

So on today’s show, like I say, we are looking at the role of cannabinoid in the management of obesity. Many people feel like obesity. Oh, it’s as a result of being lazy or anything like that. No, not at all. Obesity is a medical condition. This is a medical condition just like addiction. People judgmental about people are dealing with addiction sometimes. But this is a disease. So obesity is a disease as well. It’s a medical condition that increases the risk of developing other diseases. If it’s not many other diseases that can result from obesity, includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, other metabolic syndrome like hypercholesterolemia.

Basically what that means is high cholesterol and infertility in men and women equal cause are female reproductive system dysfunction. So this is a major, major disease. So how do we define obesity? What do we look at look out for when we have seen somebody so obese? So first of all, to define BMI. BMI means your body mass index. Basically, this is how obesity is measured. So if we have a BMI body mass index less than its eighteen point five, that means the person is under weight. I know you it might sound ridiculous. Underweight, how does somebody get under weight. It’s under this stress that we are going through right now.

But some people really have some diseases that we call anorexia, which means they tend to either not able to eat or they, for whatever reason, genetic reasons or stressors, they can be overweight. But we will be going into anorexia eventually. But today we’re looking in this obesity. So why we have less than 18.5 that will be under weight. If we have between eighteen point five BMI to twenty-four point nine, that will be a normal body weight. And if we have from 25.0 to twenty-nine point nine, then that will be seen as overweight. For 30 and above that will be an obese condition.

Sometimes you see somebody. They are small. They look small. And people are saying, oh, they are overweight. You begin to wonder this person is not even that big. But this is measure in relative to the body, your weight, your height. It’s a relative term. So somebody’s size when you look at them physically doesn’t necessarily mean that they are you judge them, I say, oh, they are overweight or obese.

So what are the causes of obesity? Sometimes we don’t really know. Boy, you could be a deal to genetics. So a lot of this situation is going now for people and they are not really responsible is just is what it is. Sometimes we are not we don’t choose where we are born. We don’t choose our parents. We just find ourselves it’s just what life has dished out to us. For some people it’s due to genetics. Some people is due to environmental factor. And when we talk about environmental factor, we look out where people leave. I mean, sometimes I see the result of maybe finances are background. You are not able to live in an area where you can go for a walk, where you can safely exercise, or have access to the say, like a gym or like a walking trail.

So these have effects on in our day to day lives. So when we look at people, sometimes we have to be very careful how we think about these things Other than that, there’s the diet and lack of exercise. And like I said, some time it’s beyond people’s control. When we talk about exercise, you have to have a conducive environment to be able to exercise. For diet, the same thing. Sometimes you can afford organic food, you can afford your organic product. So those are some of the issues when we talk about diet and exercise.

Apart from diet and exercise, we have diseases, some diseases like Cushing’s syndrome or Pradel Wheels syndrome. This are some of the diseases that causes, that could result in obesity. And we have aging. As we grow older, the hormones change in our body, especially women, and we become less active. So all this can result in obesity. Pregnancy, when women get pregnant, sometimes it can be difficult. I know, I’ve been there three times, so I know how hard it is. It can be difficult to shed that extra pounds that we pack during the pregnancy. And we also know that another cause is due to smoking. Smoking causes a lot of problems. So we want or look into that.

Apart from that, uncontrolled obesity, if we don’t control the way, how can this affect us? Uncontrolled obesity can result in cardiovascular disease. When we talk about cardiovascular disease, we’re talking about heart attack or stroke. How is this even possible? See, when the fat passage through the vessel where we break down our food, the product the triglyceride, these are fats resulting from our food, the sugar they all pass through the vessel. And we know the nature of fats. They like to stick to somewhere. So sometimes this fat sticks into the veins and the arteries.

These are the vessels carrying blood to and from our heart and all part of our body. So if obesity is not controlled, if our weight is not controlled, this fats can stick to the walls of the arteries and cause blockage. And when there is blockage, the blood is unable to flow easily to the path that needs it, like the heart, the other part of the body. And it can result in a heart attack or stroke. Apart from an attack or stroke, other metabolic syndrome. And I’m wondering why you talk about metabolic syndrome? We are talking now about obesity. We’re talking about diabetes. We’re talking about cholesterol, high cholesterol and things like that.

Metabolic syndrome, like type two diabetes. Which are insulin resistance, these are also possible. And obesity is also being implicated in cancer like uterus, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, prostrate cancer, and so can result in infertility in both men and women. A man can list erectile dysfunction if the weight is not controlled. In women, it can lead to irregular periods, which can lead to infertility.

So apart from infertility, we can also experience various types of sleep disorder, which will make sense. Sometimes people when you are going through, when you have obesity, you are unable to breathe very well. And this is called sleep apnea. We’ve dealt with that in the previous episode, in our sleep episode. And other than that, we also experience osteoarthritis or osteoporosis. Osteoarthritis is the arthritis of the joint and osteoporosis.

This lie here affects the bone, especially in elderly population. Basically, what’s going on in the US to attract this osteoporosis is the excessive collection of due weight in our weight bearing, John. Like on knee, our ankles here are this bad. This is one day this uncontrolled extra weight going on. This can results in pain in this joint. And it can also cause osteoporosis, which can easily lead to breakage of these bones and a joint.

So how do we manage obesity? How do we control it? For the people that have genetic predisposition it can be challenging to control because we don’t have genetic method of managing diseases yet, but we can do all that is all we can do to help with the management. Like I said, although diet and exercise can result in obesity. We can also use diet and exercise to manage it. That is diet. We have to find a way to eat healthy, lower cholesterol level food. On saturated fat, this fat is very good for our body. Plant based products, plant-based fat, plant based oil they have low saturation. What we want to use when we talk about all that we want to use. We want to use unsaturated fat. That is what we want to use and also exercise.

Exercise is say we have to try to do at least 30 min. exercise like maybe moderate intensity exercise. Including either a fast swimming, walking. I am living with disability and now also I have physical disability, but I also walk. You don’t have to follow everybody’s footsteps. You don’t have to do what other people are doing. When you go to the trail, when you go to the park, if somebody is running, if you can only walk, just tailor the exercise to your own physical mental abilities. So the total numbers of minutes of exercise that is required is 150 to 300 minutes per week. And we can divide that how best it works for our schedule.

You can divide it based on how it works for our lives. Our lifestyle. So for me I try to walk like thirty minutes, two miles most mornings or weekends. So just tailor it to your to the best way that you can do it.

What are the pharmacological therapy? you all know by now and we talk about pharmacological therapy, we are talking about medication for individuals with obesity. Medication is solely recommended for people that have BMI greater than 30 kg per meter square. And we already know what BMI is, body mass index of 30 and above that. So people die. We recommend pharmaceutical therapy like your medication. Also, medication might also be recommended for people that have BMI is now up to 30, six, 27 kg by Medoff Square. But they also have at least one way to relate a comorbidity when we see a real weight related comorbidity. We talk in our bar like high blood pressure, like diabetes, like cholesterol. Those are weight related. So if somebody have a weight related disease going on underlying condition and you have 27 kg power meter square in addition to diet and exercise the amount, so introduces pharmaceutics. So what are the pharmaceutics that I use? One of the main one dyes use recently is the oldest that a list that comes in. I like the brand names are Ally. They also comes in Zenica and these ones, what do they do?

They reduce the dietary absorption, basically it as to not absorb the fat. So what we eat, instead of taking in and storing all those fat, eat our source, do not absorb the fat. What are the side effects of this? The side effects of the olista can be abdominal pain, flatulence, gas. It will be very embarrassing when we are going public and we have to start smelling some flatulence and soft stools. We have to be careful when we’re using this product.

Fecal urgency, like when somebody is going, maybe you’re going to walk. And so one has to be very, very careful because we don’t want nor have on fecal accident and the other major thing that we have to pay attention to when we are using Olista product is that because it’s preventing absorption of fat, some of our fat soluble vitamins and oral contraceptives. I can’t talk. Oal contraceptives can be affected. Basically, what’s going on is there are some fat-soluble vitamins.  and some of our vitamins can only be absorbed in our body, in the fat environment, in their fatty environment, lipid environment. So when we are not absorbing enough fat, then this vitamins may not be absorbed in our body.

And in that situation, that can result in another problem. So basically, we have to weigh the risk and the benefits of it. The other thing we often look for is people that are on contraceptives. That is our birth control. For the birth control that will be for the women. We have to be very careful because this product also messes with that. That’s why we want to talk to our doctors before starting any medication. The other product that is seen is a loriciferans. Locaserin, we call it selective serotonin receptor agonist.

We have the selective serotonin receptor inhibitor that we sometimes use in the management of our depression and other psychiatric situation. But the Locerin is a selective serotonin receptor agonists. When we say agonist, agonists isencouraging that receptor to work and we say antagonist and vandalize is preventing that receptor from working. So this one is activation results in appetite suppression. Basically what’s going on is when this SSRA is activated, it causes appetite suppression and so it helps to not eat as much. What are the side effects of this product?

The side effect is part of the side effects is headache, dizziness, dry mouth fatigue, constipation. These kind of on at well, we call Anti cause some of them are call anticholinergic side effect. And this might be a little challenging when we are dealing with the elderly population. So we want to be careful about that. If these pharmaceutics does not work, other avenues that people try are surgery. We have the bariatric surgery.

Basically what it does is that this reduces the intestine. This basically targets a reduction of food intake. It helps us to not take much food like we would normally do. And we have what we call geriatric bypass and gastric banding. For people that are looking into surgery, most time they look into the BMI between thirty-five and thirty nine point nine. For those that have comorbidities, so does our obesity. We deal estriol for high blood pressure or diabetes for people that have a BMI group than 40. They also look into surgery.

So if we have tried all these steps and it’s not working, how can cannabinoid help in the management of obesity, what are the roles that we see when it comes to talk about cannabinoid? That is why we will be going through next. In our previous episodes we talked about the endocannabinoid system. And you can also learn a little bit more about endocannabinoid system. In my new book of Pharmacist’s Guide to Cannabis Perspectives of Nonconforming Clinician available on Amazon and also on WCI-Health. So when we talk about endocannabinoid system, we talk about bilevs. Basically what this system does in our body.

This is where our Phyto cannabinoid, like CBD, THC, CBG. This is the receptor in our body, where they bind. So while we talk about the endocannabinoid system it helps with the homeostasis. What is homeostasis? Homeostasis is balancing of our activities going on in our body and this is them. It’s also responsible for weight, for how we eat, what we eat, how we store this food in our body. So, the main receptor in the body that affects weight is what we call CB one receptor C, cannabis receptor one. This is where your THC is binding to. CBD binds to the CB1 receptor 2 but THC is predominantly binding to the receptor.

And that’s where you’ll see people. People will say oh when I take THC people, that smoke or people that use THC in  any other form in an edible form? They say when I take it, it makes me eat. And we also use this pharmaceutical product like marinol, dronabinol, we use marinol and dronabinol for HIV patients in the pharmacy to help them eat due to what we call caucasia, weight loss due to HIV AIDS. That is the same pattern we are using, just that dronabinol and marinol, these are synthetic cannabinoids. So people that are using that THC cannabis. They said it helps them to eat.

So basically, when there is this what we call dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system. When the endocannabinoids system is not working as it should. Instead of balancing what we take in and what we get out, what we store, it just go ahead and store most of this fat. And this can result in overweight, which would later result in obesity. Other stressors: there is a lot of stresses that we go through. If the stress that we are going through in our life, especially now, is overwhelming for this system. Then the system will not walk.

So how do we repair endocannabinoid system to help us so that we do not have to have this situation? Because when you, like I said earlier, fat, where we continue to pack on fat is going to cause what we call arteriosclerosis, which is the blockage of the arteries. It gets accumulated in the liver. It’s a lot of damage that the fat does to us. So how do we repair this system? A lot of studies is still being done on how to repair the endocannabinoid system. Other than repairing the endocannabinoid system. There has been CB1 receptor antagonist.  Like I said, the agonist is what is due to a receptor antagonist is what encourages the cannabinoid to bind and encourages us to eat more.

So the scientists are developing a product that we call CB1 receptor antagonist. Like CBD, THC. These are CB1 receptor agonist. They help this system to bind. But when we have our antagonist coming in it prevents the THC from binding to CB one receptor so that helps people to eat less. But, it’s been found from clinical studies that when this antagonist comes in and prevents cannabinoid from binding to CB one receptor or it actually reduces the level of food that was taken by experimental rat. So basically in the clinical trial, the experiments are obese rat that was used in carrying out this experiment.

They find out that when the antagonist binds to the CB one receptor, it prevents the cannabinoid like THC from binding. And when you prevent THC from binding, so people, these obese rats or mice, as the case may be, did not take as much food as they needed, and they have less fat storage. It’s also been shown that some of the experimental animals, when they are endocannabinoid system was removed or was stopped, they, did not just not take in food, they even when it was restored. They take way less food. But the problem with that is that when the CB one receptor is starved, when this antagonist blocking this CB1 receptor, it’s not just blocking the CB1 receptor, it’s also blocking other benefits that we get from activation of the CB1.

Like in this experimental rat, anybody in a product that was thought to be stopped earlier in the trial. This was due to the fact that people started experiencing higher depression when they are on this CB one antagonist.

Basically, this product is helping the animal to lose weight, to not take as much in food by blocking the receptor, but at the same time it’s also blocking what causes people to be happy that parts of the brain that causes happiness. So people started experiencing depression on the animals, experiencing depression. So you say it’s like what I call a two edged sword. Yes. You lose weight. Now your joy is, now your joy is gone. That’s not what we want. So in this situation, we’re probably gonna need more studies to be done on those products.

And maybe eventually a deal will be able to afford the science of this broader and may show. They’re probably going to have to exclude people that have underlying psychiatric condition from taking this agent. If it was ever developed again.

How else can we manage obesity with cannabinoid? It’s been shown that tetrahydrocannabivarin, THCV. That is one of the cannabinoids, minor cannabinoids that we see is being shown to help in insulin sensitivity. Part of the problem we are seeing in obesity is that some people their body is not able to detect insulin. So when your body is not able to detect insulin, then the carbohydrate, the food, the fat is not able to be broken down and taken out of the body. So basically what goes on is that this food, this fatty food, this sugar. They just store in our body and that’s how the overweight and obesity happens. So in experimental rat, it was shown that THCV increases the insulin sensitivity of this obese rat or mice as the case may be.

So basically, we probably need to begin to look into agents to develop that we incorporate THCV into anti for in diabetes agent. Also in obese products. So basically we need a lot of studies still need to be done. It looks like for right now, our main focus when we come to managing weight related issue, when it comes to metabolic syndrome is to continue diet and exercise. Basically 30 minutes a day or any how we can do it for between 150 to 300 minutes or we dividing it the best way that you will fit your lifestyle.

That’s our show for today. Thank you guys, so much for hanging out with me. I am very grateful for that. For those of that have yet to subscribe to this show, please go to our Web site. The show is available most of the podcast platforms. Apple podcast and go to WCI-Health.com. You will see buttons where you can subscribe. Also, if you want to donate to support us, we have a patreon account so you can go to our Web site and register to join us.

And for your cosmetics, hair products, or your pet, go to WCI-Health. Gloze Beauty Products is absolutely fantastic. And don’t forget to pick my new book A Pharmacist’s Guide to Cannabis: Perspectives of a Nonconforming Clinician. Thank you, sir, so much. Until next time. Always remember, health equals wealth. And please vote.

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