Is CBD Keto Diet Friendly?
Posted by Christopher Gatchis · October 21, 2019
Here at Axis Labs , we’ve noticed something. We’ve found that the same people who enjoy our keto products are usually the same people who like our CBD products. It makes sense, after all, both of these product collections are designed to help you live a healthier life. But what do these people know that you don’t?
If you’re looking to make changes in your health and wellness routine, embracing a ketogenic diet and supporting it with CBD products like tinctures or pills, might be a great way to do it. But how does CBD impact your keto diet? As a leading provider of both ketogenic products and CBD, we figured this was worth looking into. Let’s explore this issue a little bit.
Different Approaches and Shared Causes
Before we get too far into how you can use CBD in your keto diet, we thought it important to highlight the shared uses that both CBD products and the keto diet have.
Chronic pain and inflammation are systemic problems here in the United States. Rather than relying on opioids or other hard pain killers, many are looking for more natural alternatives. Fortunately, diet and hemp-based products are just that.
Inflammation is the result of your body releasing chemicals into your body to protect you from harmful substances or injury. It can also occur due to disease, autoimmune disorders, and more. But the keto diet has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. A 2015 study found that the diet helps induce thermal nociception, which changes the way the body experiences pain and can help to reduce peripheral edema, which is when fluids build in the tissues that leads to swelling.
Similarly, CBD is often used to help those with problems of inflammation. In a number of studies , CBD was shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory . This is because it reacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The high levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids offer your body the nutrients it needs to recover quickly from injury or inflammation.
Epilepsy is a condition in which an individual experiences frequent and disorienting seizures throughout the day. Especially prominent in children, this condition can be debilitating and have an enormous impact on your quality of life.
Surprisingly, the keto diet has been an effective form of treatment for this condition for decades . In the 1920s, Russel Wilder used the ketogenic diet to help minimize seizures in children. This diet plan can sometimes be the only option for those who have epilepsy and drug restrictions.
CBD, as well, is a great option for those with epilepsy. A 2016 study from Israel found that CBD can be used to help manage intractable epilepsy. Surprisingly, the study found that CBD was an excellent alternative for those who did not respond well to the ketogenic diet.
Does CBD Take You Out of Ketosis?
For those on the keto diet, few things matter more than distinguishing what puts you into ketosis and what takes you out of it. For avid followers of the diet, they’ll deep dive into the research to ensure that no errant carb makes it into their meals so they don’t even have a risk of leaving ketosis.
Fortunately for people like this, and those who are more casual followers of keto trends, CBD won’t kick your body out of the ketosis process. That’s because CBD is a great source of essential fatty acids, something your body needs during ketosis. Not only that, but when you use the right CBD product, it actually fits naturally into your keto diet. For instance, CBD tinctures and capsules are often made with a carrier oil like MCT or coconut oil. These are oils that are common in the keto community for their weight loss and energy-boosting properties.
That means there’s no risk of CBD taking you out of ketosis. In fact, CBD may be what you need to stay in ketosis. Here’s how.
How CBD Helps Your Keto Diet
There’s no denying that the keto diet can be challenging to follow and maintain at first. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible, and with a little effort, and of course, some help from CBD, you might find that your keto dieting efforts are easier than ever.
One of the ways you can unintentionally kick yourself out of ketosis is by being too stressed. Whether it’s work, relationships, or just general day-to-day stress, it affects our lives in a litany of lasting ways. When our bodies are stressed, we release more hormones to increase our blood sugar levels. This also lowers the level of valuable ketones in our body, forcing us out of ketosis.
But CBD has shown promise in helping some individuals manage their subjective feelings of stress. That’s because CBD impacts your serotonin 5HT1A receptor , which helps your body control feelings like stress and anxiety . Used correctly, CBD could, in theory, help you stay stress-free. A less stressful life also means a more effective keto diet. That has a compounding effect, as the added weight loss could help address some of the other stressors in your life. It’s a win-win!
Getting Better Sleep
It’s not uncommon for those who are just starting a ketogenic diet to struggle with getting enough sleep. That’s because your body is producing different hormones at different levels than you’re used to. Not only that, but your neurotransmitters are reacting to all of this in a different way. This can keep some from sleeping restfully throughout the night.
We all deal with a few sleepless nights every now and then, but a lack of sleep stresses your body, which as we just discussed, can kick your body out of ketosis. So how do you manage this? With CBD, of course! Numerous studies have found that CBD could help you get a better night’s sleep. That’s because CBD might help you get more REM sleep , which is where our bodies begin to repair itself. Not only that, but using CBD could help prepare your body more effectively. By limiting your sense of stress and anxiety by using CBD , you might find you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. Finally, the purported anti-inflammatory properties of CBD can help you say goodnight to the aches and pains that are keeping you up at night.
So, Is CBD Keto Friendly?
Yes! When you use a high-quality CBD extract or supplement, you can safely use it in your keto diet with nothing to lose and so much to gain! That said, you’ll need to be a little particular about which CBD products you use, as the ingredients in something like our CBD gummies don’t fit in a keto diet. Luckily, we offer tinctures and capsules that are carb-free.
We put all of our ingredients and health facts right on the label of our CBD products so you can make informed purchasing decisions. It’s all part of our quality assurance process .
Ready to take your ketogenic diet to the next level? Axis Labs offers more than just premium CBD. Make sure you check out our lineup of sports nutrition supplements, including Ketorush! Order your CBD and ketogenic products from Axis Labs today!
On a keto diet but want to try CBD? You might be surprised how well these two things work together. Find out why in this new blog from Axis Labs, then order your ketogenic and CBD products!
CBD Oil and Paleo/Keto Diets: Research and What You Should Know
CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in marijuana, but it doesn’t have any psychoactive effects (in other words, it doesn’t cause a high). The cannabinoid in marijuana that causes a high is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), not CBD.
Recently, there’s been a huge surge of interest in the health benefits of CBD and a predictable increase in the number of products with CBD added to them: on top of the basic CBD oil, there’s a whole range of eatable and drinkable CBD products from fizzy soft drinks to lattes to brownies. CBD is more acceptable than THC-containing products to people who can’t or don’t want to get high, and there’s some interesting evidence that it may help with pain, anxiety/depression, and possibly insomnia.
If you believe all the marketing hype, CBD is the new elixir of life, but as usual, the marketing is way overhyped. Here’s a look at the actual research, but first…
Is this stuff even legal?
As this post explains, it’s complicated. In the US, CBD isn’t considered a dietary supplement and it isn’t regulated like normal supplements. The legal status of CBD depends on whether your particular state has legalized recreational and/or medical marijuana use, and possibly on whether the CBD in question is extracted from marijuana or industrial hemp. 17 states also have laws specific to CBD. Here’s a map showing which states have what kinds of laws, with details available for each state.
The federal government still considers marijuana-derived CBD to be illegal (although some CBD sellers have argued that this doesn’t technically apply to hemp-derived CBD), but in practice, enforcement is patchy at best and CBD is pretty widely available, especially online. Here is a research paper breaking it down in extreme detail, for the curious. In short, it’s very hard to say and trying to figure out the relevant laws is a recipe for a headache: here’s to hoping that we get some clarity on this soon.
Is it safe?
This review looked at precisely that question and concluded that it probably is. The researchers found that CBD is mostly safe and definitely safer than a lot of common psychiatric medications. When people had side effects, the most common reported problems were fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in weight and appetite – none of those are fun, but none of them are really deadly. But the authors also noted that:
“some important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied, for example, if CBD has an effect on hormones. Additionally, more clinical trials with a greater number of participants and longer chronic CBD administration are still lacking.”
A bigger problem for a lot of interested consumers is that the CBD market is barely regulated, so it can be really hard to find products that actually contain the advertised amounts of CBD. A 2018 study found that many commercially available CBD products didn’t contain the amount of CBD advertised on the label. One study found that only 30% of CBD products were accurately labeled to reflect the amount of CBD they actually contained (26% contained less CBD than they claimed; 43% contained more than they claimed). Even more concerningly, the study found that nearly 20% of products sold as pure CBD actually contain at least some THC (that’s the chemical in marijuana that does get you high).
This is all important for anyone thinking of trying CBD to consider: when you buy a supplement, you ought to feel confident you’re getting the label ingredients and nothing else, but that’s just not the case with a lot of CBD products.
Does it work? Evidence in humans
Based on evidence that it’s helpful, the FDA has approved an oral formulation of CBD as a treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy in children. CBD is also approved in Canada to treat pain from multiple sclerosis. But most people who walk into a CBD store aren’t children with epilepsy or MS patients: what about the rest of us?
A couple of studies have examined CBD oil for pain in humans, particularly chronic pain. For example, This review of reviews concluded that some reviews found evidence of benefits for multiple sclerosis (MS) pain and spasticity.
Other studies (here and here) have found benefits of CBD for cancer pain specifically. And in this study of 303 patients with allodynia (that’s a problem where you weirdly feel pain from things that shouldn’t hurt), a combined THC/CBD spray was safe and effective, even in patients who didn’t respond to other painkillers.
This study found that CBD definitely doesn’t mess with normal sleep patterns and suggested that it might be helpful for restoring altered sleep patterns.
Brain health/mental health
On top of being FDA-approved for treating epilepsy, this review of human studies explains how CBD may have some antipsychotic properties, but the conclusion highlights the need for way more big, high-quality studies before anyone starts claiming anything about it for sure.
This review of CBD for mental health and psychiatric issues also stresses the call for more research – the authors found a little bit of evidence for treating symptoms of social anxiety and schizophrenia, but noted that “most of the studies published presented several drawbacks and did not reach statistical significance.”
This review, specifically on anxiety, also noted that the human studies so far are all on acute administration (you give someone CBD once and see how they feel), not chronic administration (you give someone CBD every day for three weeks and see how they feel), which is another huge gap in the research.
This aspect of CBD just doesn’t enough research to draw clear conclusions in humans, although it would be really great to find out that there’s actually a benefit.
Two more miscellaneous items to round off the list:
- This review found five human studies suggesting that CBD may be helpful for people trying to quit smoking cigarettes.
- This study is also fascinating: unlike THC, CBD (16 mg, delivered via inhaler) actually improved subjects’ ability to recognize facial expressions and match them to emotions.
What do actual CBD users say?
Finally, there’s this survey. The researchers in this study didn’t actually give CBD to anyone. Instead, they asked current CBD users why they use it. Of course, this is only surveying people who liked CBD enough to stick with it, so it’s biased towards people who had a good experience with CBD.
About two-thirds of those people said they used CBD for medical reasons, with the most common reasons being chronic pain, arthritis/joint pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Just over a third of respondents claimed that CBD worked “very well” to address their problem. About one third also reported some kind of minor side effect. The most common side effects were dry mouth (11% of people), euphoria (6.43%), hunger (6.35%), and red eyes (2.74%).
Again, this isn’t a super rigorous test of efficacy, but it’s interesting in the absence of big clinical trials on some of these things.
Does it work? Evidence in animals
Predictably, there’s more of it and it looks pretty neat.
For example, animal studies have found that CBD relieves pain and inflammation in a variety of contexts. Here’s a study on eye pain in mice; here’s one on arthritis pain and inflammation in rats that improved after rubbing CBD oil directly on the affected areas. This study also found that CBD reduced the inflammation and immune dysfunction involved in fatty liver disease in rats
Animal research on the mental health/brain health benefits of CBD also looks promising. For example, this study found that oral CBD helped alleviate depressive symptoms in rats genetically prone to depression and this one found some interesting fast-acting antidepressive benefits. A review of cannabis and cannabinoids in sleep disorders found that CBD alleviated insomnia in animal models, but studies in humans are still really limited.
This type of animal research is where a lot of claims about the benefits of CBD come from, but animal research doesn’t necessarily translate into human benefits.
CBD and Paleo or Keto
None of these studies examined the combination of CBD oil and diet, although the potential anti-inflammatory effects definitely seem to complement a Paleo-style approach to health.
One major worry, especially for the low-carbers, might be “will CBD give me the munchies?” – but fortunately, this study found that low doses of CBD didn’t cause sweet cravings or increase liking of sweet foods.
From a Paleo perspective, CBD oil also comes under scrutiny for fat quality – and that goes double for any kind of CBD candy, CBD cookies, CBD drinks, and other edibles. But other than that, the studies above suggest that it’s compatible with a Paleo diet and lifestyle habits – like any other supplement, the question is really whether it’s right for you and whether you have a clear reason to be taking it. The Paleo approach isn’t about out-supplementing a bad diet, but there’s definitely a role for a few carefully-chosen supplements to complement a base diet of nutrient-dense whole foods.
So what does it all mean?
Ultimately, these studies suggest that the biggest risk of taking CBD might not be the CBD itself but rather the chance of getting a contaminated supplement or one that’s inaccurately labeled (causing you to take more or less than you think you’re taking). There’s also the question of legal status, which is incredibly unclear and confusing in most places.
It’s also true that the evidence doesn’t support the really extreme claims about CBD, like the idea that it prevents/cures cancer or that it’s some magical therapy for chronic pain in all patients. But it’s definitely an interesting one to watch and it’ll be cool to see what happens as more and more human studies start coming out.
Have a look at Paleo Restart, our 30-day program. It has the tools to let you reset your body, lose weight and start feeling great. Learn more and get started here.
+ #PaleoIRL, our new cookbook all about making Paleo work for a busy life is now available! Get it now here.
CBD oil: what is it, why is it suddenly everywhere, and is it compatible with a keto or Paleo diet? Here's a look at some of the research.