CBD Oil for IBS: Top 3 Benefits for Gut Irritability

Increasingly, the use of CBD oil for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has come into the spotlight as a natural relief for the condition. IBS is a common gut disorder in places like Australia, where it affects up to 30% of people, equating to millions of individuals with gastrointestinal distress. The condition leads to a range of uncomfortable symptoms. These can include bloating, gas, stomach aches, cramping, nausea and irregular bowel movements.

It can be painful or even excruciating in severe IBS cases. More people are seeking help from remedies that aren’t taxing on the body or gut. This is why CBD oil, extracted from the hemp plant, has become a popular option. It has many anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing and soothing gut effects. Let’s uncover the proven benefits of CBD oil for IBS. Plus, we’ll run you through how to use it so you can begin taking advantage of its amazing calming effects.

Understanding IBS

IBS is a stomach disorder that affects how the bowel functions. Its causes are mysterious and display differently across individuals. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Gut-Brain Axis Dysregulation: Often, IBS causes communication disruptions between the gut and brain, which causes irregularity in the brain’s ability to control and signal the gut.
  • Abnormal Gut Motility: Irregular muscle contractions in the intestines can lead to diarrhea or constipation. Bowel movements can occur randomly instead of at a regular cadence.
  • Increased Sensitivity to Pain: Individuals with IBS often have heightened pain or discomfort triggered by their intestinal activity. Frequently, this stems from bloating or large amounts of gas being built up in the intestines.
  • Altered Gut Microbiota: Imbalances in the gut flora can cause or result from IBS. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is a significant example of a condition relating to microbiome imbalances, with strong correlations to IBS.

We know that CBD can assist with these problems. But how does this occur?

How CBD Works in the Gut

CBD is absorbed into the gastrointestinal system when consumed orally through products like CBD oil. It does this via the gut’s CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are prevalent in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These are the primary receptor paths by which CBD can modulate stomach activity, gastrointestinal regulation, and the gut-brain axis. When it activates these receptors, the problems of IBS are frequently suppressed and soothed. Let’s review how these calming benefits for the gut manifest.

Benefits of CBD Oil for IBS

There are many natural, practical benefits of CBD oil for IBS symptoms. It helps holistically to prevent irritability, inflammation and strain in the gut system. A few of its top advantages for IBS extend across:

  • Promoting regular gut motility and normalised bowel movements
  • Reduced aches and pain from IBS
  • Calming down gut inflammation and irritability
  • Relieving anxiety caused by IBS
  • Fewer symptoms of nausea and distress

For many people in Australia, CBD oil is a godsend when it comes to helping manage IBS, particularly for flare-ups. Let’s take a look at these in greater detail.

Regulation of Gut Motility

Gut motility, or the regulation of food and stool through the gastrointestinal system, often gets impaired due to IBS. It’s a hallmark symptom of the condition. Most experience this as difficulty passing stool, problems with diarrhea or frustratingly irregular toilet timings. A significant benefit of CBD for IBS is that it helps restore the normal functioning of bowel movements. This has been confirmed through clinical research that highlighted the cannabinoid worked to reinforce the regulation of intestinal contractions. 

In studies, it prevented hypermotility (excessive bowel movements) and helped prevent diarrhea. But it also assists with Conversely, it can also help stimulate bowel movements in constipation, promoting a more balanced digestive process. These benefits are thought to occur through a few mechanisms. One is CBD’s ability to help regulate nerve and muscle function in the intestinal walls. Keeping these muscles from misfiring and contracting chaotically helps with healthy gut motility. Research on rodents has shown CBD prevents dysregulating gut contractions or cramping through the modulation of the gut’s nerves. This creates an overall smoother, calmer rate of stool secretion. Eventually, more human studies will be sure to corroborate these early discoveries.

Stomach Ache Reduction

For those with IBS, the feelings of aches, pains and cramps in the stomach are ubiquitous. The good news is CBD helps prevent and relieve these challenges. It’s a potent analgesic with powerful abilities to prevent aches in the stomach at its source. This stems from its capacity to block nerve signals from the gut that cause pain and alter its sensation through the brain. One way it achieves this is by suppressing TRPV1 receptor activation in the brain. These receptors receive pain from the nociceptor nerve endings in the body (including across the gut). 

It’s often the case that people with IBS have increased sensitivity affecting these nerve endings. They can become inflamed and overactive, causing chronic achiness that doesn’t subside. Blocking such signalling means CBD is an ideal option for managing chronic abdominal pain triggered by IBS. More research is now backing these claims. For instance, CBD has shown pain-alleviating effects in reviews on mice, particularly in the gut and abdomen. This benefit is also commonly cited by people who already take CBD oil for their IBS. 

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Chronic Inflammation in the gut is another problem that IBS results in. The condition can cause the intestines’ gut lining tissue to become sore, irritated, and damaged. This can even impact gut permeability and nutrient absorption. A leaky gut can occur, which reduces the body’s ability to capture vital nutrients and vitamins from food. Using CBD is one way to help suppress this inflammation. 

It has anti-inflammatory effects that work in relaxing the gut’s inflammatory response. The pathway it does this via is the immune system. CBD modulates immune cells that control the body’s stimulation of inflammation. Doing this can prevent GI tract inflammation and related bloating, aches or discomfort. A trial in ‘Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research’ highlighted CBD’s anti-inflammatory value. It underscored the cannabinoid’s utility in managing inflammatory and pain-related conditions of the gut like IBS.

IBS-Anxiety Relief

Because IBS can disrupt the vital connection between the gut and brain, it can be a contributor or cause of anxiety. This is also likely results from disrupting the regulation of the serotonin neurotransmitter. It’s secreted in the gut before it makes its way to the brain, meaning gut problems can seep into related mental health difficulties. What’s more, feeling anxious or highly strung can worsen IBS. This can create feedback loops. Anxiety and IBS can each exacerbate one another through this process, causing spiralling detrimental effects. Breaking this downward spiral is vital to managing IBS-related anxiety. Doing so can be supported using CBD oil. One of CBD’s main applications is calming down nervousness and reducing stress. 

Clinical Studies

Many people in Australia already swear by it to help keep their overactive minds in check. This is also great for preventing worsening IBS. Studies on the topic are quickly accruing. One example is a study published in 2020. It demonstrated that CBD has substantial potency and potential for the relief of anxiety disorders that correlate to gut disruption. In other words, it suggested that the dual action of CBD worked to calm both the gut and brain simultaneously to prevent digestive issues.

Other research on CBD for IBS indicated it helped users improve serotonin regulation via gastrointestinal pathways. Serotonin imbalances from IBS can lead to emotional or mental distress and worsening anxiety. This link can be rebuilt or brought back into normality naturally for some through CBD’s soothing powers. A few animal trials have suggested this may indeed be a possible application of the CBD cannabinoid. In a review, it positively influenced gut microbiota, which supported better serotonin levels. These benefits for serotonin and the mind-gut connection to calm anxiety are reinforced through the ability of CBD to bolster mood. CBD is an excellent way to ground the mind, restore peace, and reduce worry, contributing to gut irritability.

So, how do you use CBD oil to take advantage of these rich benefits?

How to Use

There are a few pointers to keep in mind when you’re taking CBD oil for IBS. These should help you get great results for symptom improvement and gut relaxation while avoiding risks or side effects. Remember to speak to your doctor first before taking CBD. Don’t consume it with medications in particular until you’ve run through safety with your medical practitioner.


How much CBD you take plays a crucial role in success rates for IBS. It’s always wise and best practice to begin with meagre quantities of CBD. Don’t take more than 20mg daily to start, typically several drops per day. Ensure you read your product’s label to understand its strength, which must be factored into your dose calculations. Eventually, if you’re not seeing any adverse reactions but desire more substantial effects, you can raise your dosages after a few weeks.

Most people increment up by 5-10mg of CBD per week until they find what best mitigates their IBS. Staying under 50mg per day is a good idea to prevent tolerance and the likelihood of side effects. Remember that dosage amounts are a personal decision. Characteristics like weight, genetics, and metabolism influence what’s right for you. Don’t copy others or use a cookie-cutter approach. Your doctor should tailor doses to your body’s needs.

Dosage Administration

There are several ways to take CBD oil beyond simply dropping it onto your tongue. Try dosing sublingually for more rapid relief of IBS, or see if capsules are preferable. You can mix your doses into your favourite foods or drinks like coffee. It’s excellent as an addition to a bulletproof coffee in the morning.

For most CBD users, the standard approach of swallowing a few drops directly will be the most simple, easy administration method. We recommend trying these options too:

  • Sublingual: Drop your dosage beneath your tongue and keep it there for up to 90 seconds to allow absorption into your blood. You can then swallow your dose. Using CBD oil sublingually is ideal when you need fast effects for IBS flare-ups.
  • Capsules: Taking CBD oil capsules is another excellent way to consume your doses through convenient, pre-measured gels. These pills are convenient and taste-free. Plus, they tend to last longer in the gut for a more prolonged, smooth reduction in inflammation.

Try out a few methods of taking CBD oil to decide on your preference. 

Dose Timing

When using CBD for IBS, the timing of your doses can be crucial. This is because IBS doesn’t always trigger uniformly throughout the day or night. Sometimes, symptoms flare up after a meal or stressful event. For others, IBS commonly accompanies bouts of anxiety. You can target your CBD doses when you need them to combat a flare-up. Alternatively, try a few smaller doses spread out throughout the day, ideally before meals.

Again, there’s no tried and true method for dose timings for IBS. What works for each person varies substantially, so do some experimenting. Tracking your doses, their administration times and the results you see are good practices. Reviewing your dose tracker regularly and looking at success rates for different approaches enables you to tweak your plan for more excellent results over time.

Side Effects and Risks

Because people with IBS have sensitive guts, it’s not unheard of for CBD oil to irritate or worsen symptoms initially as a side effect. If this happens, don’t worry. The body and gut may need some adjustment as they absorb the product. Stomach aches, cramping, or early IBS flare-ups are to be expected. Shifts in bowel movements or gut motility can also occur. 

More generic signs of CBD side effects sometimes reported are:

  • Lack of mouth saliva (dry mouth)
  • Feeling tired
  • Some degree of nausea
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Lower appetite

If you have side effects for over a day or two, something could be slightly off. Try a different product, CBD strength or formulation. It’s always possible you’re allergic to a carrier oil used in your CBD oil. But if this doesn’t work, consult your doctor. It’s infrequent that symptoms don’t pass within hours. Other factors could be at play if this does occur.

Remember, too, that taking CBD products with other medications is a risky idea and isn’t advisable. Confirm with your doctor before trying anything new on top of your medication. 


CBD oil has a range of benefits for alleviating IBS. Importantly, it also helps suppress the anxiety and mental distress it is commonly linked to. CBD is great for the gut because it modulates the gastrointestinal system’s immune, nervous, and mind-gut regulatory functions.

Doing so helps to reduce inflammation across the gut’s lining, lowering irritability. But it also yields reductions in pain or cramping from IBS relating to dysregulated bowel muscle contractions. These properties help stabilise the gut’s motility, restoring normalcy to stool movements. Its variety of gut health and anti-inflammatory benefits make CBD a versatile, natural choice for those with IBS. Using it is a worthwhile option for regaining confidence, peace of mind and balanced digestive health.


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