CBD for Gut Health
An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from chronic gut symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. While there are hundreds of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that treat gastrointestinal symptoms, some people have been turning to cannabinoids as a natural alternative.
Cannabis has been used to treat gut inflammation for thousands of years, but scientific research has only begun to catch up. There are two main theories regarding how using CBD products can help with gastrointestinal symptoms:
It is theorized that CBD encourages the natural cannabinoids in your body to remain active for a longer period of time than they would otherwise;
Or, CBD could bind with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within your body to encourage the production of new cannabinoids in your body.
The gut has one of the body’s highest concentrations of CB1 and CB2 receptors, making it a hub for the endocannabinoid system. This means that CBD has the potential to bind with millions of receptors or boost the effectiveness of millions of cannabinoid molecules, which can have a profound impact on symptoms like inflammation and nausea.
How Does CBD Help with IBS?
IBS is a common diagnosis among those suffering from chronic gastrointestinal issues, and for good reason; it isn’t as much of a specific disease as a collection of symptoms that last for an acute period of time.
As such, CBD is best at managing the symptoms of IBS rather than a root cause, since there is no root cause that is currently known.
CBD can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with IBS. Up to two-thirds of IBS patients experience abdominal pain with flares, and there can also be inflammation in the gut as well. CBD is a natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent, making it potentially helpful for those that do suffer from abdominal pain and cramping.
Additionally, stress and IBS have a proven link, and CBD can have a significant impact on stress. By reducing feelings of stress and anxiety both during and between flares, symptoms can be better managed and better controlled.
How Does CBD Help with IBD?
Before the extraction of CBD oil was even a known possibility, cannabis was used to treat symptoms of gut inflammation associated with what we now know as IBD. Individuals used to use the whole plant as medicine, including the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which would produce a “high” effect.
Now that CBD can be isolated, it is possible to treat the debilitating gut inflammation that comes with IBD without having the “high” effect that comes with ingesting THC.
Studies have been done that show how CBD can be effective in treating patients with IBD, which includes helping with inflammation and the infamous “leaky gut” that can come along with some of the disorders under the IBD umbrella.
CBD for Milder Gut Problems
Research into CBD for gut issues has gone back over a decade, and has shown a lot of promise. It has been anecdotally and scientifically known to help with appetite, but that is only one of the many benefits that CBD can have for milder gut problems.
CBD is known to help with nausea, and has also been seen to help with other symptoms such as diarrhea and digestion, especially if your digestive issues include occasional constipation.
How Can The Good Doctor Wellness Help?
Full-spectrum, in the case of gut issues, is oftentimes better than broad spectrum, simply because the cannabinoids work together in what is called the “entourage effect.” This is where all of the cannabinoids present provide a more full healing effect than each would individually as an isolate.
CBD can be a beneficial supplement to add to your daily routine, even if you don’t suffer from IBS or IBD and only have occasional gut problems. However, always speak with your physician before beginning any sort of supplement regimen, especially if you do have a condition like IBS or IBD and you already take medication for them.