It is natural to wonder about any new products you put into your body. After all, it takes a lot of focus and effort to be your most healthy, happy you! The last thing anyone wants to do is take a product that has side effects they were unaware of. Especially if one of those side effects may be something as sensitive as unwanted weight gain.
If you are just starting to add CBD into your routine, you may have some questions about how it can affect your body. Does CBD oil have calories? If so, how many calories? Can CBD affect weight and appetite?
We’ve been there too. So, this article contains information to answer your questions about CBD oil calories. In short, you can enjoy CBD oil throughout the day and not worry about calories adding up. We’ll explain why below.
Calories: A Background Story
First, let’s take a minute to review what calories are and how they are counted.
It is important to understand that calories are not a typical “thing”. You can’t put them inside a bottle or measure them on a scale. A calorie is a measure of energy. More specifically, one calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius.
A food calorie is technically called a “kilocalorie”. And this is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree.
Fun Fact: The original method for counting calories involved evaporating the water content out of a specified amount of food and placing it in a container surrounded by a specified amount of water. Then, the container was sealed, pumped up with oxygen, and ignited. The calorie count was determined by the rise in the temperature of the water.
Now, we have more accurate ways of determining how many calories are inside something. The Atwater indirect system calculates the calorie content by adding up the calories provided by only energy-containing nutrients. This means protein, carbohydrates, fat, and alcohol.
This system uses average values to determine the total calories. Here are the average values of each nutrient: Protein = 4 kilocalories per gram, Carbohydrate = 4 kilocalories per gram, Fat = 9 kilocalories per gram, and Alcohol = 7 kilocalories per gram.
Knowing these values means you can determine how many kilocalories are in something as long as you know how much protein, carbs, fat, and alcohol are inside of it.
CBD Oil and Nutrition
Now that we are up to speed on calories and kilocalories, let’s look at CBD and how it affects nutrition. There are two parts we need to consider: (1) the CBD extract; and (2) the carrier oil used to create the finished product.
You see, CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from hemp plants and then blending it with a carrier oil. So it’s not a one-size fits all equation to find out how many calories are in CBD oil.
Healthy fats (like the ones found in most CBD carrier oils) are the ones that help to suppress hunger and regulate diet. And just like healthy fats, CBD may also be able to help with things like regulating hunger.
The way CBD interacts with our bodies is through the endocannabinoid system. This system is designed to help us maintain homeostasis. In other words, it helps us stay balanced and stable, inside and out.
One of its big jobs is to help regulate our wants and needs to eat food. Whether it is an urge to overeat or undereat, CBD may be able to help curb your impulses and find balance. And for people who struggle with stress eating, CBD may be able to help here, too. This is because CBD is thought to help people with stress and anxiety, potentially minimizing the need to find relief in the first place.
The moral of the story is to not become so concerned with counting calories that you miss out on the well-rounded benefits of CBD oil. They are likely to have a much bigger impact on your health and diet than what a couple of extra calories would have.
Many studies show CBD has the potential for helping improve wellbeing. Studies are also starting to shine a light on CBD’s potential in helping with managing weight.
For example, preliminary research suggests that taking CBD may help with boosting metabolism and reducing food intake. This may be due to how CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. These receptors are thought to play a big role in managing metabolism and food intake. We still need to see these results in human studies before they can be confirmed.
CBD may also help with promoting the browning of fat cells.
There are two types of fat, white fat, and brown fat. White is the main form of fat responsible for storing and supplying energy to your body. It is also the type of fat connected to chronic illnesses.
Brown fat is the one responsible for generating heat and burning calories. Those with a healthy weight tend to have more brown fat, while people who are overweight usually have less.
Things like exercising, getting enough sleep, and getting into cold temperatures can turn white fat into brown. And studies suggest that CBD may also be able to help. A test-tube study found that CBD caused white fat cells to brown and helped to promote brown fat. Again, we look forward to knowing more about how this may work as more studies conclude.
CBD Carrier Oils
Different brands of CBD oil use different carrier oils and different added ingredients to create their own unique product. Due to this, different oils will have different nutritional values and different total calorie counts.
Usually, the most common carrier oils are coconut oil, MCT oil, or hemp oil. The calories that are in these oils are almost all entirely from fat.
Hemp is rich in healthy fats and essential fatty acids, like Omega-3. And coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides. These are metabolized differently than other fats. These fats can actually help you burn more calories than longer-chain fats can since they are shorter and easier to digest.
MCT oil is another carrier oil often used that is made from concentrating medium-chain triglycerides. It is often made from coconut and palm oil. MCT oil absorbs into your bloodstream quickly which makes it great for helping CBD be absorbed, too.
At Yummy CBD we create CBD oils using organic hemp extract sourced from U.S. farms and infused with organic MCT coconut oil. We choose MCT coconut oil because it is a fatty acid that is quickly metabolized, absorbed, and used for energy in the body. We like this outcome over using an oil that may be stored as fat.
MCT oil might have many of its own therapeutic properties, but we are in the infancy of its research. Stay tuned as more studies help us understand more about this carrier oil and its potential benefits.
So How Many Calories Are In CBD Oil?
The number of calories in CBD oil will vary from product to product. That is because different CBD brands use different types of carrier oil and different ingredients to come to their finished products. And, as we outlined above, different oils have different amounts of calories.
But you can put your mind to rest by considering the fact that taking CBD oil involves very little amounts of oil. So small that the differences between them can be tiny. Let’s look at coconut oil as an example.
The average coconut oil has 120 calories and 14 total grams of fat per tablespoon. There are no carbs, no protein, and no alcohol. But, most people take nowhere near a tablespoon of CBD oil.
Most people that take CBD take half a dropper to one whole dropper full of oil per serving. Taking an entire dropper full is probably close to just one gram of CBD oil.
There are about 14 grams of coconut oil in one tablespoon. And if you remember from above, the average amount of calories in a gram of fat is 9 kilocalories.
So if you are wondering about how many calories are in a typical serving of CBD oil (about 1 gram) it is likely to be about 9 calories.
It is just a fraction of the calories that come in one tablespoon of the carrier oil. And this is the general outcome for all the common types of carrier oils.
Hemp oil has around 13 grams of fat per tablespoon. And MCT oil contains around 14 grams of fat per tablespoon.
So, if you enjoy a full dropper of CBD oil with breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are only adding about 30 extra calories to your whole day. And you are also getting little bits of healthy fats, and full spectrum CBD extract that may offer some benefits like helping to regulate your hunger and diet around the clock.
Zero Calorie CBD Options
If you are steadfast in your desire to find a zero-calorie CBD option, there are some options to consider.
You could opt to vape or smoke CBD oil. But delivering CBD via inhalation has different effects than when taking an oil orally. The effects may come on faster and stronger, and they will also dissipate quicker.
This means you may need to take CBD more often using this method of delivery than you would an oil taken orally, which will come on more slowly but with effects that may last for many hours of your day. Also, you will be taking the health risk of smoking combustible materials or inhaling vapor.
Another option is to try a CBD topical.
CBD topicals like creams and lotions are a great way to avoid putting extra calories into your body while still getting to enjoy the relaxing effects. You can even rub some CBD oils directly into your skin! They permeate your skin to provide on-the-spot support. Topicals are a much safer alternative to smoking or vaping, and you can apply them as needed.
Finding Quality CBD Oil
Just because CBD oil doesn’t pack a punch in calories, doesn’t mean you should just buy any brand and take it. There are some other things you might want to consider.
Carrier oils like hemp seed oil and olive oil might be great for health, but they are not great for delivering CBD into our bodies. They have lower bioavailability than MCT oil as they have less saturated fat. So you may end up taking more of the oil (and extra calories) to get the same effect of CBD you would get with a CBD extract mixed with MCT oil.
On the other end of the spectrum, some brands may cut corners and use a cheap carrier oil that they add artificial ingredients or sugars to just to make the oil taste better.
Palm oil, for example, is one such oil that may be best avoided. There are conflicting opinions surrounding its potential health benefits. It may be able to help with things like brain and heart health as it is high in antioxidants, but it may also lead to increased cholesterol levels and some forms of heart disease. And it is undisputed when it comes to the negative impacts it has on the environment.
Many brands – such as Yummy CBD – offer CBD oils that are responsibly sourced and made with natural ingredients, flavoring, and coloring. We recommend opting for one like ours, which is made with organic hemp extract and organic MCT coconut oil.
We also test all of our products in third-party labs for purity and potency. This way you can be sure that the products you put in your body are what they say they are. And that they are free of toxins and contaminants.
Whether it’s with us, or somewhere else, it is best to buy CBD products only from brands that have full panel CoAs available. This is the only way to be sure the label is accurate and that you are getting a safe product. You can check out our CBD buyers guide to get more tips on how to choose the product that is right for you.