Since our launch, we have had many customers ask us whether or not they can take cannabidiol (CBD) for digestive relief. The good news is that as CBD has been on the market for a number of years now, we have access to a multitude of clinical studies that have examined the ways in which it can be a useful catalyst for optimized digestive health.
If you’re going to utilize this compound specifically for digestive purposes, then it’s important to know how to take it for this reason, and which CBD-based products are more capable of providing relief than others.
Digestive Health: Where It Can Go Wrong
There are numerous health problems that affect the digestive system, and even more reasons why a person may be in digestive distress. We are going to cover the most common causes for poor digestive health, but essentially, if you’re experiencing symptoms that have lasted for longer than a few days, you should seek a diagnosis from a medical professional.
- Poor Diet: Unsurprisingly, poor dieting is a common cause for poor digestive health. Failing to eat a balanced diet can result in all kinds of chronic issues, ranging from indigestion to inflammation of the gut.
- Autoimmune Disorders: A weak or dysfunctional immune system can manifest itself in all kinds of ways, and one way is through a chronically inflamed digestive tract, usually causing the most symptoms within the large intestine. Autoimmune conditions can cause the immune system to attack the large intestine or other regions of the digestive tract, causing chronic symptoms and severe pain.
- Stress: Chronic or severe stress can lead to compromised digestive health. The health of our gut can be disrupted by a constant secretion of cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, which can lead to inflammation along the intestines.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Before we get into specific applications of CBD for the digestive system, we need to understand how its effects are felt to this major system of the body, and how it works once absorbed following consumption.
CBD is a type of compound known as a cannabinoid, and cannabinoids are unique to the cannabis genus, of which hemp is a member. Cannabinoids like CBD behave unlike any other compounds in nature, because they only work directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
Your endocannabinoid system is simply a network of cannabinoid receptors that run all throughout the body, and are found in every major bodily system. Cannabinoid receptors, as the name implies, receive cannabinoids such as CBD. Cannabinoids attach to these receptors, which stimulates chemical reactions that allow the receptors to regulate individual processes of the body, including ones that pertain to the body’s many digestive functions.
Cannabinoid receptors found in the digestive system are categorized as CB2 receptors. Each cannabinoid binds to specific cannabinoid receptors, and cannabidiol appears to devote a lot of its resources to working directly with the digestive system, or CB2 receptors. This can promote digestive homeostasis by regulating the function of the entire digestive tract.
CBD for Digestive Relief
Since CBD is non-psychoactive and gentle overall to take, it can be used for the following digestive conditions:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Inflammatory bowel syndrome, or IBS is a condition in which the large intestine is chronically inflamed, leading to a host of unwanted symptoms that come from a poorly functioning intestinal tract. It can be exacerbated by poor diet, stress, and alcohol use. The inflammation can be very tricky to manage as it is caused by autoimmune symptoms that result in the intestine becoming hypersensitive and therefore frequently symptomatic.
Supporting Study: CBD may bind with receptors in the intestine that regulate inflammation.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are two symptoms that can become chronic, and as a result dangerous as they can interfere with the ability to consume enough calories for the body to sustain itself. They can indicate an underlying illness or be the result of circumstances like medications or pregnancy.
Supporting Study: Found that cannabidiol may bind to receptors in the upper digestive tract that pertain to appetite, nausea, and the vomiting reflex, in a way that can minimize these symptoms and increase a person’s desire to consume food.
GERD and Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, and its more severe manifestation Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD can be debilitating due to the constant feeling of burning in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The discomfort usually peaks after food has been consumed and then, can become so painful that a person loses their appetite. It’s the result of stomach acid flowing into the esophagus, leading to corrosion of the esophageal lining over time if left untreated.
Supporting Study: Cannabidiol may be able to reduce the symptoms of these conditions by regulating esophageal function that can interrupt the inappropriate flow of stomach acid into this region of the digestive tract. Many people take a dose of CBD before a meal to support the esophagus during the digestive process.
Motility pertains to how efficiently food travels through the digestive tract, and slow motility can lead to all kinds of unwanted issues including indigestion, bloating and excessive gas.
Supporting Study: Research is currently being performed to determine whether or not regular CBD use can improve overall digestive motility, with promising results in animal studies. Cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract may manage the flow of food by improving the overall efficiency of the digestive process.
Which CBD Product Should You Choose for Maximum Digestive Effects?
With so many CBD products on the market, knowing which one can be the most effective at helping you with digestive issues can be a challenge. That’s why we have created this short guide that will help you figure out which types of CBD formulas are the most likely to offer the properties of hemp where you need them the most.
Edibles are a great choice if you’re taking CBD specifically for digestion, because they allow the cannabidiol to work its way through the digestive tract, thus making more direct contact with cannabinoid receptors throughout. Edibles typically offer up to 8 hours of effects in the body, promoting a long-lasting activation window during which you may be able to experience the longest period of relief.
Capsules, like edibles, work through the digestive process, thus increasing contact with the digestive tract while promoting similarly long-lasting effects. Capsules may be a good alternative to those with sensitivities to ingredients commonly found in many edibles on the market.
CBD oils/tinctures are oral products that come in the form of an oil. Most of the formula is absorbed below the tongue through the sublingual tissue, and the remaining amount is swallowed. Tinctures are very easy on the digestive tract, and may offer some form of relief within about 45 minutes.
CBD: Something to Really Digest
If you happen to be struggling with poor digestive health, including recurrent symptoms that are interfering with your daily life, once again, we recommend that you seek a medical specialist who can help properly diagnose the issue. You can also talk about CBD with them, as more doctors are recommending it to their patients. As a natural, nontoxic compound, its effects can be both gentle and enormously helpful.
Ultimately, if you are going to use cannabidiol for digestive health, try to make it part of your daily routine to fully support the endocannabinoid system and its receptors found in the digestive tract.