CBD Oil for Gut Health: Benefits for Digestive Problems

Digestive issues are increasingly prevalent in Australia, affecting a significant portion of the population. These issues can range from mild discomfort or gas to chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As gut problems become more widespread, many seek natural remedies to improve their symptoms and quality of life. One emerging product for gut health that has garnered attention is CBD oil. This natural, easily consumed product is rich in the cannabinoid called CBD.

Although it’s from hemp, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound that can aid with a variety of health concerns, including those relating to gut health. More people now use it to keep their gut calm, prevent inflammation and aid with bowel movements. Let’s review the top benefits of CBD oil for your gut health. We’ll also explain how to use it for this purpose, plus products to consider in Australia.

Understanding Digestive Issues

Digestive problems and gastrointestinal disorders cover a broad spectrum of conditions, including:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)
  • Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • Constipation and Diarrhoea
  • Bloating and Gas
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

These problems can be caused by various factors such as microbiome imbalances, food intake, stress, infections, or genes. 

Conventional treatments often involve dietary adjustments, medications, and lifestyle changes. However, CBD oil can offer added support due to its helpful, anti-inflammatory gut effects.

How CBD Works for Digestive Issues

CBD modulates (works on) the endocannabinoid system (ECS) within the gut’s lining to exert its calming influence. The ECS helps to regulate and balance the gut, including digestion. 

It has several essential components:

  • CB2 cannabinoid receptors located throughout the digestive tract
  • Endocannabinoids such as anandamide and 2-AG
  • Enzymes that decompose endocannabinoids.

After it is consumed, CBD binds to CB2 receptors distributed throughout the gastrointestinal tract. This interaction modulates critical processes essential for gut health and triggers anti-inflammatory solid, balancing, and gut-enhancing effects.

Anti-inflammatory

In the gut, CBD influences the synthesis of immune system cytokines. It reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines while enhancing the production of beneficial anti-inflammatory cytokines. This is beneficial in alleviating intestinal inflammation and improving symptoms associated with conditions like Crohn’s.

Supporting Gut Motility

Studies have shown that CBD influences gastrointestinal motility through its interactions with ECS. It has been found to alleviate hypermotility, which involves excessive movement in the intestines, commonly seen in diarrhea-predominant IBS. Conversely, it can also aid in stimulating movement in cases of constipation. 

So, what are its main benefits in enhancing gut health?

Benefits of CBD Oil for Gut Health

CBD oil has a few beneficial, irritation-relieving benefits for gut wellbeing. These include:

  • Calming irritated bowels
  • Lowering stomach inflammation
  • Boosting motility and bowel movements
  • Preventing nausea

Let’s review each of these unique advantages.

Anti-inflammatory for Bowels

One critical advantage of CBD oil for gut health is its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a prevalent underlying cause of many digestive illnesses, such as leaky gut. Some inflammation is typical in the gut. It signals the body’s immune system is working and preventing invasive pathogens from causing problems. When it becomes chronic, chaos in the gut can ensue. This triggers digestive issues, anxiety, and uncomfortable gut inflammation.

Studies have proven that CBD reduces inflammation in the gut by interacting with CB2 receptors. For example, a study published in Phytotherapy Research discovered that CBD decreased inflammation and enhanced intestinal barrier function in colitis rodent models. Other clinical trials of CBD for gut health in animals have revealed similar beneficial outcomes for reduced inflammatory markers across the gut’s cells. More human studies should help to validate and confirm these findings.

Gut Pain Relief

Stomach aches or pain often accompany compromised gut health. This pain can result from bloating, gas, or inflammation, indicating intestinal problems. CBD has analgesic effects, which can aid with gut pain. Recent research suggests CBD relieves forms of chronic gut pain and improves comfort levels for people who have this frustrating health problem. Reducing stomach discomfort helps with regaining confidence, lowering anxiety from gut pain and bringing back calmness.

Bowel Movements (Motility)

CBD can influence gut motility or bowel movements through the endocannabinoid system in the digestive tract. Abnormal motility or gut dysregulation often surfaces with gut issues. It can lead to constipation, irregular bowel movements, and diarrhoea. A cutting-edge study has demonstrated that CBD can help control gastrointestinal motility and diminish hypermotility in animals with inflammation-induced disorders. CBD may help with regular, normal bowel movements and well-regulated gut health.

Combats Nausea

Nausea and vomiting are frequent symptoms of various digestive illnesses. CBD has been found to have antiemetic (anti-nausea) effects. A Journal of Pharmacology reported that CBD mitigated nausea and vomiting in sick subjects by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain. It helped to calm and reduce the vomit response through altered neural signalling. This can be especially helpful for people receiving medical therapies that produce nausea or vomiting symptoms, such as chemotherapy.

Reduces Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can worsen digestive problems, resulting in a vicious cycle. Because the gut and mind are connected, dysfunction in either organ can impact the other. Sometimes, this makes it hard to know where the source of the problem is occurring. But in either case, restoring balance is essential.

CBD oil can help here. By reducing stress and anxiety, CBD can prevent these mental problems from triggering gut disorders and vice versa. Many cases of IBS, for instance, are the result of anxiousness. A study from Neurotherapeutics found that CBD has significant potential as a treatment for several anxiety disorders, which can help with stress-related digestive issues. The link between these two areas means a multi-targeted approach is best. CBD is the perfect natural aid as it calms the mind and the gut.

How to Use

Using CBD oil for gut health is relatively easy. However, before using it, ensure you consider the following:

  • Delivery method (how you’ll take your CBD product)
  • Dosages and dose timings
  • Side effects and medication interactions

Here are some tips on these factors.

Delivery Method

There are a few ways to take CBD oil for digestive issues. How you consume it can alter its absorption rate and length of action in the gut.

  • Orally digested: Most people consume it orally and swallow drops directly. This takes a bit longer for absorption but provides a more prolonged effect.
  • Sublingual drops: For fast absorption into the bloodstream, it’s best to apply the drops under the tongue and hold them there for a minute before swallowing. 
  • CBD Capsules come with pre-dosed amounts of CBD oil inside a gel cap. You can consume CBD oil capsules if you prefer a more gradual effect without any flavour. 
  • Topical: CBD oil topically applied isn’t very often used for gut health because it is hard to absorb from the skin to the stomach. 

The choice of consumption method (and CBD product type) is really up to your preferences.

Dosage

Read your product’s label to determine the right amount of CBD. Different products have varying strengths and formulations, so they must be assessed individually. Most people begin at doses of 10-20mg of CBD per day, typically equating to a few drops.

This is generally enough to soothe the gut and improve motility. A good step here is speaking to your doctor about a dosage plan. They can help you with an approach that makes the most sense for your stomach problems, prioritising your safety. Upping your dose can be done after a few weeks. Try raising the dosage by 5 mg daily while carefully monitoring your symptoms and any side effects.

Consider dividing your daily dosage and targeting your intake for when you’re experiencing gut irritation. Often, it works best when consumed at specific times when your symptoms are flaring. For others, taking CBD an hour or two before meals delivers the best results for reduced stomach irritation. Experiment with different dosage timings to identify the best approach for your stomach health.

It’s also essential to keep a detailed log of your CBD usage, including how much you take and at what time of the day. Be sure to monitor any adverse reactions as well. Doing this can help troubleshoot later if you encounter any product problems.

Side Effects

When using CBD oil for your gut, remember it can (in rare cases) trigger some adverse reactions or side effects. It could irritate your gut initially because your body may not be accustomed to it. But other commonly observed side effects include:

  • Reduced saliva and a ‘cottonmouth’ feeling
  • Appetite shifts (typically reductions in appetite, which can help with weight loss)
  • Drowsiness or lethargic behaviour
  • Stomach irritability or changes in bowel movements
  • Diahrrea or nausea

If these problems occur, check that your product is lab-tested and organic. These help validate that it’s not contaminated with toxins or pesticides. You should also be aware of the carrier oil used for the product. Intolerances of these are common. For instance, if you are allergic to coconut and it’s used to mix your CBD tincture, you may misattribute your intolerance to CBD. If side effects persist, changing your product or speaking to your doctor may be necessary.

Conclusion

Using CBD oil for gut health is common today for a good reason. It helps calm digestive issues through its ability to relieve gut inflammation, improve bowel movements, help with gastrointestinal regulation, plus combat gut-related anxiety. In combination, these properties are decisive for bolstering overall gut motility and reducing discomfort.

Many use it as a natural relief for stomach aches, reflux or irritable, inflamed bowels. There have been some early animal research studies on the benefits of CBD for the gut. However, its side effects on the human gastrointestinal system are still largely unexplored. Over time, we will see more evidence of CBD’s powerful advantages for intestinal and stomach wellbeing.

References

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