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Cannabis and keto: Can CBD help boost the health benefits?

The keto diet may help to boost the effectiveness of CBD.



Keto: A collection of keto diet foods

An increasing amount of people are turning to the ketogenic diet for its potential health benefits. But what are they are how can you incorporate CBD?

The word keto was the most Googled food topic in the world, with over 25.4 million searches in 2020. It has now overtaken diets such as the Atkins Diet and intermittent fasting. The ketogenic diet market is predicted to reach a global value of $15.6 billion USD by 2027.

We ask if CBD could help with the keto diet and if it could have any benefits for our mental and physical health.

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What is the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet is a low carb but high-fat diet. It involves reducing the number of carbohydrates a person consumes and replacing them with fat. After a while, the body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis.

The body then burns fat for energy and also transforms it into ketones in the liver. This creates energy supplies for the brain.

There are several different types of keto diet including standard, Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD), Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) and High protein ketogenic diet. Each one has slightly different ratios of fat, protein or carbohydrates.

What are the health benefits of keto?


There are some suggestions that eating certain diets may help with ADHD symptoms. Keto has been suggested as a potential due to its association with reducing epilepsy and Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms. However, there is not a lot of research on this.

In one study from 2001, researchers put 65 children with epilepsy on a ketogenic diet for a year. They recorded significant behavioural improvements in attention and social functioning as well as a reduction in seizures.

Another study from 2021 suggested that changing the diet of children with ADHD may help. Among the suggestions of what foods to avoid was carbohydrates which would mean the keto diet.


As the keto diet is associated with better brain function and enhanced energy. It makes sense that it may help to combat high stress in the body. It is thought that it can lower inflammation while boosting energy levels with ketones.

Studies show that the ketogenic diet may work by increasing the level of glutathione which is an anti-oxidant. This prevents oxidative stress. It may offer protection from a range of neurogenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Keto and CBD


There is not a lot of research on the keto diet and depression or anxiety. However, there is an animal study that suggests that a forced-choice model of depression in rats led to a beneficial effect similar to standard antidepressants.

Brain injuries

Brain injuries can happen in a number of different ways from accidents to sports or military service. There is some suggestion that the keto diet may help with epilepsy that develops from a brain injury. It is thought that it can reduce seizure frequency and potentially prevent epilepsy from developing by healing the brain.

In one study, 65 rats were placed on a standard or ketogenic diet after a controlled cortical injury. After seven days, the 35 and 45-day old rats fed on the ketogenic diet showed a 58 per cent and 39 per cent reduction in the contusion size. However, the diet had no effect on the 17 and 65-day old rats.

The authors wrote: “The age-dependent ketogenic neuroprotection is likely related to age-related differences in cerebral metabolism of ketones and suggests that alternative substrate therapy has potential applications for younger head-injured patients.”

What foods are keto?

The keto diet focuses on good fats including fish, cheese, eggs, avocado, nuts and seeds. Carbohydrates are drastically reduced so this includes cake, bread, starchy vegetables and most fruits.

How does CBD work with the keto diet?

The keto diet may help to boost the effectiveness of CBD. This is because the high-fat nature of the keto diet may increase the bioavailability of CBD. Our bodies are not great at absorbing CBD so it can help to take it with certain foods such as healthy sources of fats.

It can also help to be selective about the oil your CBD is in. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) naturally occur in coconut oil and it’s a good source of healthy fat which works with keto.

Another benefit of adding CBD is that it may prevent the ‘keto flu’ in the early stages of adopting the new diet. Keto flu refers to the symptoms some people feel when the body starts to burn fat after it realises its carbohydrate supply is too low. Symptoms include physical fatigue, headaches, dizziness and impaired concentration.

There are also signs that it may help to fight the irritation that some people can feel during this adjustment period. CBD may potentially have anxiolytic properties which can help to boost your mood.

What is the best way to take CBD for a keto diet?

One of the main features of the keto diet is that it reduces the number of carbohydrates you can consume. Unfortunately, this means the majority of edibles are not allowed especially cakes or sweets.

It can be best to stick to oils that have a ‘good fat’ carrier. This can help to raise your healthy fat levels and also provide valuable nutrients such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

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