A proprietary hemp extract shows promise as a supplement for promoting weight loss, according to a study funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Data from the double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that all 100 participants who took Nitro-V hemp extract daily lost weight and lost up to 22 pounds over 90 days. The minimum weight loss for those taking the supplement was 5 pounds, while 64% of participants in the placebo group either gained weight or saw no change.
The study participants who took the hemp extract, which is high in cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabidivarin (CBDV), and other cannabinoids, also showed improvements in other metabolic health metrics and important wellness indicators without changing their diet and exercise habits to change. Participants who took Nitro-V saw their body mass index (BMI) scores drop an average of three points and lose an average of 2.4 inches from their waist measurements. On average, the study participants in the placebo group gained weight and saw that their BMI remained the same.
Cannabis (hemp) extract.
Almost 75% of Americans are overweight
According to data from the CDC, more than 73% of adults aged 20 and over in the United States are overweight or obese. The health risks associated with obesity can be serious and include heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Additional CDC data shows that between 2013 and 2016, more than 49% of American adults reported trying to lose weight in the past 12 months.
“Those working to lose weight and improve their overall health are looking for every benefit they can find to help keep their exercise and nutrition plans on track,” said Arthur Jaffee, CEO of Nitro-V manufacturer ECS Brands , in a press release. “Given the results of these studies, we believe that Nitro-V could be the tool to help many achieve their weight loss potential and feel better.”
To conduct the clinical study, which had not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, the researchers assembled a group of 125 subjects to participate in the research. A total of 100 participants received either one or two 50 mg servings of Nitro-V daily, the remaining 25 participants received a placebo. Study participants were not told that they were participating in a weight loss study and that they had not changed their diet or exercise habits.
At the beginning and end of the 90-day study period, participants visited the Mayo Clinic campus in Scottsdale, Arizona and completed standardized surveys on health determinants such as diet, appetite, anxiety, and pain. The researchers also monitored the subjects’ weight, BMI, waist circumference, and vital signs, and performed full blood tests to measure blood sugar, cholesterol, and organ health, as well as other diagnostic tests. A statistician analyzed the data collected during the study to identify trends and assess the importance of the results. The research was funded by a small business owned by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by a contract researcher with 20 years of experience in product safety studies.
Each softgel microcapsule serving of Nitro-V contains 50 mg of hemp extract with a combination of cannabinoids such as CBD, THCV and CBDV in an organic hemp seed oil base. The solvent-free hemp extract contains the full cannabinoid profile of the source plant, including less than 0.1% THC. Further processing increases the THCV and CBDV levels in the supplement.
The “thin cannabinoid”
Cannabinoids from cannabis, including hemp, act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain physiological, cognitive, and emotional stability. Research has shown that THCV can act as an effective appetite suppressant, which has earned it the nickname “thin cannabinoid”. Other studies have shown that THCV can also help regulate blood sugar levels. THCV also has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.
Nitro-V hemp extract softgels from ECS Brands.
Photo courtesy of ECS Brands
Jaffee notes that recent research has shown that CBD and THCV can affect lipid and glucose metabolism in animals, both important factors in maintaining a healthy weight. The study also found that CBD had several positive effects on hyperglycemia, largely due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Further evidence from animal studies shows that CBD modulates the cardiovascular response to stress, which plays a role in weight gain and loss. However, the link between CBDV and weight loss is “less direct,” he says.
“Research shows that CBDV is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can play a role in both appetite and weight,” Jaffee wrote in an email. “Reduced inflammation in the body helps optimize the performance of the metabolic organs, and fat cells themselves are metabolic organs. Inflamed fat cells do not work properly and can contribute to unhealthy weight gain. “
The Nitro-V study also showed several other changes in the health and well-being of the participants, including many with the potential to affect weight loss. Participants who used the supplement in the study showed a 61% reduction in hunger and had fewer food cravings. In addition, all 37 study participants who took Nitro-V and were classified as prediabetic had their blood sugar levels returned to normal by the end of the 90-day study. The subjects also reported less difficulty resisting food cravings and showed improvements in sleep, happiness, and anxiety. Research also showed that the hemp extract was well tolerated and safe, with blood tests showing that all safety and toxicity levels remained within healthy, normal ranges.
A hemp field in rural Belgium.
While the study was designed to examine the effects of Nitro-V on weight loss, Jaffee says the data suggests the supplement may have other health and health benefits as well.
“The ultimate goal of the study was to identify the overarching power of the ECS system, and the results indicate effects beyond weight loss and appetite suppression,” he writes. “But as with all cannabinoid and ECS researchers today, we still have many unanswered questions about how interactions between cannabinoids and the ECS lead to health improvements.”