Stomach bloating: Could this popular natural remedy improve your gut health?
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Stomach bloating describes that uncomfortable sensation that typically follows a blowout meal and an overindulgence in fizzy drinks. The symptoms can be a nuisance – an overwhelming feeling like the belly is on the brink of bursting is a commonly reported complaint. Cutting out the known offenders is usually recommended course of treatment. Growing evidence suggests a popular natural remedy may alleviate symptoms.
CBD oil has garnered much publicity for its potential health benefits.
The chemical compound sourced from hemp plants been touted as a potential medication for a wide-range of conditions such as depression, pain management, cancer and skin flare-ups.
Evidence also suggests it may help to soothe tummy swelling and other symptoms associated with poor gut health.
Commenting on the potential benefits of CBD oil on gut health, a review published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid said: “Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of disorders, including those associated with the gastrointestinal tract.”
The authors add that the endocannabinoid system participates significantly in the normal physiology of gastrointestinal function, displaying involvement in motility, gut-brain-mediated fat intake and hunger signalling, inflammation and gut permeability, and dynamic interactions with gut microbiota.
Stomach bloating: Evidence suggests CBD oil may help to improve gut health (Image: Getty Images )
It’s been shown to help heal ulcers and decrease acid reflux
Dr. Kenneth Brown
Reflecting on the potential of CHB oil in this area, Dr. Kenneth Brown, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and doctor of internal medicine in Plano, Texas said: “It’s been shown to help heal ulcers and decrease acid reflux.
“When the CBD binds to the CB1 receptor, it decreases excessive gastric acid, helps the lower esophagus prevent reflux, and increases blood flow to the lining of the stomach to help it heal quicker.”
Conversely, some people do encounter gastrointestinal issues with CBD. Dr Brown posits an explanation: “In my practice, when someone has gastrointestinal issues with CBD, we start with the product, because many times that may be a reason they are feeling sick. Just like all other health supplements, the quality and the source of CBD oil make all the difference.”
Another potential issue people face relates to the “carrier” of the oil, according to Dr. Michele Ross, PhD, CEO of Infused Health and a leading cannabinoid medicine researcher.
A carrier oil, also known as a base oil, is a plant-derived oil which is used to “carry” essential oils and plant supplements – supplements such as CBD, absorb better with the help of carrier oil.
Gut health: Cutting out gassy culprits such as beans can help to curb the bloat (Image: Getty Images )
Stomach bloating: A sensitivity to the “carrier” oil may create gut issues for some (Image: Getty Images)
Dr Ross said: “If you are experiencing gastrointestinal distress symptoms or an upset stomach, you may have a sensitivity, especially to coconut/MCT oil, which is the most common carrier I’ve seen. Many people can experience abdominal cramping and stomach pain, especially when consuming large quantities.”
If people are experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Ross suggested that they stop taking CBD oil for a day or two to identify that it’s the supplement and not some other issue (your diet, stress) that is causing their discomfort.
Then, try taking the CBD oil again at half the dose they were taking before.
If it’s still bothering them, they should experiment with a CBD oil that uses a different carrier, or perhaps an entirely different method that’s applied to the skin, rather than through the stomach, he advised.
According to the NHS, other more common ways to banish the bloat include cutting down on on foods known to cause wind and bloating, such as:
“But make sure you still eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” said the health body.
The NHS also recommends keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most, to determine whether the bloating is being caused by a food intolerance.
CBD for Digestive Problems [Does It Really Work]
When mentioning digestive problems, most of us probably automatically think of complaints such as stomach ache, diarrhea, and constipation. While these are all genuine issues, they are sadly only a few of the many symptoms of digestive problems.
There are several debilitating and severe digestive issues that some of us don’t know about. From irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal disorders can be serious. They can also have a massive impact on the lives of those who suffer from them.
This often leads to individuals becoming reclusive and isolated; in some cases, it can even lead to mortality. This informative post will discuss the different types of digestive problems and how CBD can potentially help alleviate common symptoms.
What Are Digestive Problems?
Approximately 40% of people have at least one symptom of a digestive issue at any one time. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that many over-the-counter medications claim to treat these common digestive issues. Known as functional disorders, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and bloating are common and usually temporary digestive problems.
A typical long-term gastric issue is IBS, which affects the large intestine. While many medications can treat IBS, symptoms can be uncomfortable and range from cramping and bloating to gassiness, constipation, and diarrhea.
An even more severe digestive problem is Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While it is more severe than IBS, it is no less common. Statistics show that approximately 700,000 people in the US have the disease.
If symptoms are severe enough, it is unlikely that the sufferer would want to leave the house for work or to socialize.
IBD causes inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to a variety of symptoms. These can range in severity from abdominal pain, tenderness, and discomfort to persistent vomiting, high fever, or even abscesses.
Not only are these symptoms damaging physically, but the side effects can also interfere with an individual’s daily life and mental health. If symptoms are severe enough, it is unlikely that the sufferer would want to leave the house for work or to socialize.
However, what causes these issues? Gastric problems can stem from something as small as a change in diet or increased stress levels. They can also arise from things like lack of exercise, medication use, or pregnancy.
What Are the Current Treatments Available for Digestive Problems?
Depending on the problem one has, there are a variety of things they can buy to help. However, this can become expensive, and the long-term side effects of taking the medication regularly can be damaging.
An over-the-counter antiemetic can relieve nausea and vomiting if they have a common and less severe digestive issue. There are also antacids, which will help relieve indigestion. There is also a wide range of aminosalicylate drugs for long-term intestinal inflammation and antidiarrheal drugs to relieve severe symptoms of diarrhea.
For more severe conditions such as Crohn’s, patients can look at a whole host of different medications prescribed to control the disease. These include antibiotics, steroids, and immune modifiers, which suppress the body’s natural immune response.
As you can probably imagine, the side effects of taking such a range of medications could result in new problems from weight gain to a lack of immunity and thinning of the bones. It is not uncommon for patients to seek alternative treatment to avoid these nasty side effects.
Every condition of the body, including those affecting the digestive system, can be helped through dietary modification and proper supplementation. CBD is one of those potentially essential supplements.
Living with Digestive Problems
A staggering 20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive diseases. As such, it is no shock that this type of disease is one of the most expensive to treat in the US. With hundreds of prescription medications on the market, it can be a costly and overwhelming thing to treat for long-term sufferers.
The common side effects that most treatments have on the body can cause further physical issues for the user and ultimately impact mental health.
Why Choose CBD for Digestive Problems?
There is a growing trend towards the use of CBD for a variety of digestive issues. This cannabinoid influences human health by interacting with something known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS comprises chemicals called endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2. They trigger various responses that help maintain a state of balance throughout the body, and CBD influences the activity of the ECS and other various receptors.
There is a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system. Therefore, CBD could have a significant impact on digestive health. One of the primary ways in which it does this is by reducing inflammation. It achieves this by preventing the production of interleukins and cytokines. These are proteins that give our immune system the signal to begin an inflammatory response.
CBD could also lower cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone. Cortisol breaks down tissues in the body and has a destructive impact on the lining of our GI tract. Keeping cortisol levels in check is a key factor in maintaining a properly functioning digestive system.
Now, let’s look at the studies that show CBD has a positive effect on stomach problems.
CBD for Stomach Issues
Research into CBD’s digestive system benefits goes back over a decade. While studies involving human subjects are limited, with mainly small sample sizes, the results are promising.
An Israeli study published in 2012 involved 292 patients receiving treatment for IBD. Around half of them used cannabis in the past or were using it at the time of the study. Overall, 32% of MMJ users said they tried it for poor appetite, diarrhea, and nausea. The researchers found that the current cannabis users reported a significant improvement in those symptoms.
A 2016 review of studies looked into the role of cannabinoids in inflammation and gastrointestinal mucosal defense. The researchers wrote that direct activation of CB1 receptors by cannabinoids helped reduce gastric acid secretion and gastric motor activity. The process also decreased the formation of gastric mucosal lesions induced by alcohol, stress, and NSAIDs.
We look at the science…
The researchers concluded that the ECS represented a promising target in the treatment of IBDs. They also said preliminary clinical studies confirmed the assumption.
One of the most recent relevant reviews was published in 2020. It looked into CBD products and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids for the prevention and treatment of GI disorders. The researchers concluded that CBD, particularly, was potentially useful for helping with different conditions and diseases of the GI tract. However, more research is required to confirm the link.
CBD Oil for Digestion
Another reason to consider CBD for digestion is its apparent capacity to regulate appetite. This is extremely helpful if you eat too frequently or too much and suffer from bloating as a result. Ideally, you will leave a minimum of 3-4 hours between meals and snacks for optimal digestion.
In general, CBD could lead to weight loss as it reduces appetite. This was the finding of a 2012 study published in Psychopharmacology (Berlin). The researchers found that CBD usage led to a significant reduction in food intake amongst rats compared to CBG and CBN.
Does CBD Oil Help with Constipation?
Certain gastrointestinal issues impact the frequency of bowel movements, known as motility. A study from 2005 found that CBD could potentially help regulate GI motility. However, it depends on an individual’s specific symptoms. This is positive news if you suffer from constipation.
There is evidence that CBD could also alleviate symptoms of constipation, such as a stomach ache, nausea, and bloating. For example, this 2011 study found that cannabinoids could regulate nausea and vomiting.
There are many forms of CBD worth considering for digestive problems. CBD oils and gummies are among the most popular. However, there is an age-old remedy for stomach issues that could provide extra relief when infused with CBD.
Peppermint Tea for Digestive Problems
Peppermint is an herb that people frequently use for digestive problems. It is a plant that is native to Europe and North America, and humans have used it therapeutically for centuries.
Peppermint is rich in active compounds such as flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and menthol, among others. Therefore, it has a variety of potential benefits.
People often apply it topically to relieve symptoms like headaches and muscle aches. However, the most famous medicinal use of peppermint is as a digestive aid. It has anti-spasmodic actions, and research has shown that it can be useful for relieving IBS symptoms.
Most of the studies on peppermint for IBS have focused on its essential oil in the form of enteric-coated capsules. Results suggest that peppermint oil can alleviate abdominal pain and improve global IBS symptoms too.
It does not seem to cause any side effects, but high doses of peppermint oil can be toxic. Therefore, it is essential to take peppermint oil capsules according to a physician’s instructions and not exceed the maximum recommended amount.
Another popular way of consuming peppermint, which we turn to now, is as an herbal tea.
CBD Peppermint Tea Benefits
CBD peppermint tea combines all the benefits of the two herbs into one tasty and refreshing beverage. It is convenient and enjoyable to use and is an ideal solution for people with busy schedules.
Many people choose CBD peppermint tea with the hope of soothing digestive discomfort, but it has other potential benefits too.
While many people choose CBD peppermint tea with the hope of soothing digestive discomfort, it has other potential benefits. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, peppermint is known as a cooling herb. Therefore, it is ideal for drinking on hot summer days.
Other traditional uses include alleviating pain, regulating the immune system, and relieving colds. However, there is little clinical evidence to back up these claims.
CBD also has plenty of benefits outside of the digestive system. The most common reasons why people use it include chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. However, peppermint CBD tea may not be the best way to experience these effects. Let’s take a look at why.
Disadvantages of Peppermint CBD Tea
The main downside of CBD peppermint tea is that it generally contains only small amounts of CBD. So, while it makes a delicious beverage, it might be better viewed as a CBD top-up rather than a primary consumption method.
Consumers will get a far higher CBD dosage using oil tinctures, capsules, edibles, or similar. One solution is to add a few drops of CBD oil to peppermint tea to create a homemade infusion. However, the oil will separate from the drink, and some may find the taste unpleasant.
Furthermore, CBD is fat-soluble and needs a little fat to help the body utilize it fully. Therefore, unless consumers add something fatty to their tea, they will derive little benefit. Adding some coconut oil or full-fat milk will help, but it may also make the tea less enjoyable.
Some CBD manufacturers are starting to recognize this problem and produce water-soluble CBD. However, these items are often harder-to-come-by and more expensive than regular CBD products. Therefore, it is necessary to research to find the best and most effective peppermint CBD tea.
Does CBD Settle Your Stomach?
The data available so far suggests that the answer is ‘yes.’ There is a clear connection between the ECS and the GI tract. Endocannabinoids work with CB receptors all over the body, including the stomach. While CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain, CB2 receptors are mainly in the gut. When any digestive system organ gets swollen, these receptors bind with cannabinoids such as CBD to slowly reduce inflammation.
There are now dozens of studies that suggest CBD can help with gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, and constipation. The antiemetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties of CBD could help alleviate various digestive issues.
Final Thoughts on the Use of CBD for Digestive Issues
Clinical trials are still ongoing. We have yet to see breakthrough results to show that CBD can fully eradicate the symptoms of digestive diseases. Nonetheless, there has been a great deal of promising work relating to how CBD works on the body. Also, a growing number of individuals who use CBD for GI issues claim that it is effective.
While we understand the thought of moving to something such as CBD can be daunting, the results speak for themselves. Many positive testimonials suggest that CBD does offer digestive benefits with limited risks. This is an advantage that you can’t get from prescription medications.
Best CBD Oil for Digestion – February 2022
CBDistillery’s Full Spectrum Oil Tinctures combine the powers of CBD oil and other naturally occurring plant proteins, minerals, vitamins, and more so that you can get all of the benefits of the cannabis plant without any potentially intoxicating effects.
- 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
- Various strengths
- Oil extracted from aerial plant parts of US grown industrial hemp
- Sourced from non-GMO industrial hemp grown in the USA through natural farming practices
- Dropper is a bit shaky
|Discount pricing available?||CBDCLINICALS15|
cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg
Uses USA hemp that is grown on non-GMO farms, and is both vegan and gluten-free
Overall Clinical Score
cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.
- Various delicious flavors to choose from
- Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
- Free shipping for this particular product within USA
- World-class customer service team
- cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
|Discount pricing available?||15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15|
Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil
Specifically formulated to be more palatable to CBD users
Overall Clinical Score
Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.
- Natural peppermint flavor
- Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
- No other flavors
|Discount pricing available?||20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS|
NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil
Perfect for anyone who are looking for CBD products that promote a healthy body and mind.
Overall Clinical Score
Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Pure CBD hemp
- All natural
- Approximately 300 drops total
- No other flavors
|Discount pricing available?||20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS20|
Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil
4x the strength of a regular cbd oil
Overall Clinical Score
Super Good Vibes CBD Oil provides the purest and highest quality Cannabidiol (CBD) on the market as well as other high quality phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, omega fatty acids, trace minerals, and other beneficial for your health elements, which all work together to provide benefits.
- Extra strong
- Significant benefits with just a few drops
- 100% Natural ingredients
- No other flavors
|Discount pricing available?||15% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS15|
Why People Are Using CBD to Aid Digestion
The digestive system has three main functions: food digestion, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination. These functions involve the whole gastrointestinal tract (GI), from mouth to anus.
The digestive functions play an essential role in a person’s holistic well-being . Food broken down through digestion becomes nutrients that are absorbed in the body.
The body uses these nutrients as daily sources of energy, growth, and cell repair. Without enough nutrients, the body cannot function properly.
The digestive system works together with the excretory system, the system of the body responsible for discharging body wastes. The former also works with other body systems, like the nervous system and the immune system . If an organ of the digestive system is not functioning, then the whole body may be impaired.
Studies have shown that cannabidiol (CBD) might help relieve digestive issues and maintain gut health (4) .
Results suggested that CBD might regulate digestive problems through the enteric nervous system (ENS), a subsystem of the central nervous system (CNS) responsible for intestinal homeostasis (5) .
Biopsies from patients with acute and remission ulcerative colitis were administered with CBD.
After 24 hours, results showed that CBD was able to reduce the intestinal inflammation of the patients. CBD activated the cells found in the ENS, which helped mediate inflammation in the gut.
The CNS plays an active part in controlling intestinal inflammation through the brain-gut- microbiome axis. This axis serves as a communication pathway among the brain, immune system, and the gastrointestinal tract (6) .
In vitro studies conducted on colon cancer cells showed that CBD was able to maintain the gastric mucosal barrier despite the presence of harmful toxins (7) . This barrier is the stomach’s defense mechanism that serves as self-protection against acids, erosions, and ulcers.
Results showed that CBD had the potential to treat hospital-acquired diarrhea, which had the same toxins as colon cancer cells.
In addition, CBD has a good safety profile with no adverse side effects (8) . Compared to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another active component of cannabis, CBD is non-psychoactive.
CBD is a compound abundantly found in hemp plants , a variety of cannabis plants .
How CBD Oil Works to Help Alleviate Digestive Issues
Cannabinoids, like CBD and THC, can help treat various digestive disorders by working with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) (9) .
The endocannabinoid system maintains the body’s equilibrium by regulating various functions, such as appetite, mood, and inflammation (10) . It is made up of three main components, namely endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors , and enzymes.
Endocannabinoids act as neurotransmitters that bind with cannabinoid receptors. Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they fulfill their function.
CBD and THC bind with the cannabinoid receptors and function like endocannabinoids.
Phytocannabinoids CBD and THC have shown results in preventing the increase of gut permeability caused by inflammation (11) . These phytocannabinoids bind with the receptors to activate their anti-inflammatory properties.
Gut or intestinal permeability refers to the intestinal wall’s resistance to block harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. If permeability has increased or become loose, it may cause leaky gut , allowing bacteria and toxins to enter the body circulation.
CBD may work with the common GI infections.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder of the colon or large intestine. It is characterized by a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramping , diarrhea or constipation, and bloating . People who have mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, may also suffer from IBS (12) .
There is no known cause and cure for this condition. However, symptoms can be managed with dietary and lifestyle changes and prescription drugs, such as loperamide for diarrhea, laxatives for constipation, and antispasmodics for bloating and pain.
CBD has shown potential in treating depression , anxiety, and other mental health conditions (13) . The compound helped reduce stress, a primary contributor to anxiety , by regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
In a 2016 study, CBD exhibited its ability to desensitize pain receptors and nerve fibers responsible for the presence of IBS symptoms (14) . Results suggested that the compound might be a potential treatment for the condition.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease ( IBD ) that affects the digestive tract. The main symptoms of this disorder are diarrhea, stomach cramps, sudden weight loss , and rectal bleeding.
Some symptoms may be evident in other parts of the body, such as swollen and painful joints, mouth sores, and redness or pain in the eyes.
There is currently no cure for the disease. However, prescription medications , such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, can ease the symptoms.
Findings of a study about IBD have shown that CBD can reduce colon inflammation, activate the immune system, regulate homeostasis, and fight cancer cells and infections (15) .
CBD may also help inhibit GI inflammation through the enteric glial cells found in the ENS. These cells regulate the overall digestive health and GI functions (16) .
Ulcerative colitis is an IBD caused by inflammation in the colon and rectum lining. Ulcers may develop in the colon lining, which can eventually bleed and produce pus that may infect the entire GI tract .
This chronic condition has an unknown cause, but a possible suspect is an immune system malfunction that may infect the colon.
Researchers examined the effectiveness of CBD in the immune response of mice with colon inflammation (17) .
The results showed that the test subjects improved their condition after being administered with CBD. It was concluded that the compound blocked the impending intestinal damage with its anti-inflammatory property.
Translating the results into human studies needs to be developed to determine how the discovered mechanisms may be applied in future treatments of patients with IBD.
Constipation is identified with infrequent bowel movements and difficulty in passing stools. This condition can be treated with over-the-counter laxatives and taking a high-fiber diet.
CBD may help alleviate the symptoms of constipation, such as bloating (18) , nausea (19) , and stomach ache (20) .
In a study, CBD has shown significant effects in normalizing intestinal motility in mice models (21) . By increasing gut motility, CBD helped reduce bloating.
Motility is described as the digestive system’s normal movement as it transports food, waste, and other substances from one point to another.
In another study, a low dosage of the compound elicited an anti-nausea and antiemetic effect in chemotherapy patients and animal test models (22) .
Sativex, an oral spray containing CBD and THC, displayed pain relief properties that might be substituted for opioid use (23) . Results also showed that CBD reduced the psychoactive effects of THC and contributed to overall pain relief.
Diarrhea is the opposite condition of constipation. It is characterized by frequent bowel movements accompanied by loose or watery stools and stomach pain.
However, there are no proven studies that CBD may treat diarrhea. The condition may be a side effect of the compound.
In a compilation of studies, diarrhea was shown as one of the common reactions of CBD use for different conditions (24) .
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining caused by a bacterial infection, smoking, or overuse of pain medications. Symptoms of this condition include indigestion, burning stomach pain, vomiting, and nausea.
CBD showed anti-inflammatory properties against oral mucositis, which has similar ulcers and erosions with gastritis (25) . This condition is a complication of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Digestion
- CBD is reported as well tolerated and has a good safety profile, based on the 2018 report of the World Health Organization (26) .
- Cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with the ECS to bring therapeutic benefits, such as maintaining balance in the digestive tract.
- CBD has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, antiemetic, and anxiolytic properties that may treat various digestive issues (27) .
- There are various formulations of CBD products available for different medical conditions.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) has not approved any CBD medication aside from Epidiolex, a CBD drug for epilepsy (28) .
- Possible side effects of CBD include vomiting, nausea, drowsiness, and diarrhea (29) .
- Further researches and tests are needed to support and validate the existing studies on CBD for digestion.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Digestive Issues
Most digestive disorders can be treated with dietary and lifestyle changes. Severe cases require intensive treatments, such as surgery and hospitalization.
IBS and gastritis can be eased with simple lifestyle modifications, such as eating more fiber-rich foods, drinking at least eight glasses of water daily, limiting dairy intake, and avoiding caffeinated beverages.
Aside from taking prescription drugs, Crohn’s disease symptoms can be managed by taking vitamin and mineral supplements, such as iron, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Chronic cases may require enteral nutrition (tube feeding) or parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding).
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis may be treated with medications and surgery. However, taking natural remedies, like probiotics, turmeric, and fiber supplements, may reduce flare-ups and ease its symptoms.
Constipation and diarrhea can be eased with therapies, dietary changes, and taking herbs and supplements.
However, the efficacy of alternative and supplementary treatments may not work for everyone. A discussion with a trusted doctor is recommended to decide on which supplementary treatment works best for a particular digestive condition.
Meanwhile, CBD is a natural treatment that may help with digestive problems. CBD products may be infused with herbs, vitamins, and minerals to give additional benefits aside from its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties (30) .
Hemp seeds from Cannabis sativa plants contain fiber and fatty acids that can aid in digestion (31) . Essential fatty acids help in the absorption of vitamins and minerals and maintain the production of hormones.
How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Digestion
There are three types of CBD oil available in the market: isolates, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum.
Isolate is a pure CBD that does not contain any other cannabinoid. CBD is extracted from the hemp plant using several processes, like filtration and CO2 extraction, to obtain the 99% concentration.
CBD isolate is recommended for first-time users who do not want to experience psychoactive effects.
The next one is broad-spectrum. It is the type of CBD that contains multiple cannabinoids except for THC. It can deliver the entourage effect, the combined benefits of the cannabinoids present in the cannabis plants.
Broad-spectrum is for people who want to experience the health benefits of CBD and other phytocannabinoids without getting high.
Full-spectrum contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes , and other compounds found in hemp, including traces of THC. This type elicits the full entourage effect for maximum wellness.
Although full-spectrum CBD oils may contain THC, the Farm Bill states that only 0.3% of THC is allowed for any CBD product (32) .
Here are several tips in choosing the right CBD product in the market:
- Buy products from a reliable company. Products made by these companies abide by the United States ’ state laws and regulations.
- Look for products that are non-GMO, contaminant-free, and organically-grown.
- Ensure that an accredited third-party lab tested the CBD products. A certificate of analysis may guarantee that the products have met quality standards..
- Check online reviews on the manufacturer’s website. Feedback may help consumers decide what to expect and which product to buy.
CBD Dosage for Digestion
There are no official guidelines directed by the FDA about CBD use for medical conditions (33) . The right CBD dosage for any digestive condition may vary from person to person and may depend on different factors. These factors are body weight, underlying health conditions, body chemistry, and allergies.
A standard recommendation is about 1mg to 6mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of a person’s weight.
For initial dosage, take the lowest recommended dosage as indicated on the product label and as advised by a doctor. The amount can gradually increase if there are no significant effects on the condition.
Research shows that a high dosage of CBD is well tolerated in humans (34) . However, as a precautionary measure, the dosage increase should stop once the desired results are reached.
If CBD is used for fasting, serving size depends on the nutrition information panel on the product label. An average CBD product with hemp oil contains about 125 calories and 15 grams of fat per tablespoon.
Studies show that keeping the carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day adjusts the body into a metabolic state called ketogenesis (35) .
Ketogenesis is a metabolic process of the body that provides an alternative source of energy by burning fatty acids and amino acids. The long-term practice of a ketogenic diet has mixed results based on numerous studies (36) .
How to Take CBD Oil for Digestion
There are several ways on how CBD products should be taken. The best method depends on an individual’s lifestyle and preferences. The product’s absorption rate may also factor in a person’s decision-making process.
CBD gummies are ideal for users who have a hard time swallowing pills and prefer a discreet way to intake CBD. This method takes the longest time to work (about 30 to 90 minutes). CBD must be digested first before entering into the bloodstream, where it interacts with the ECS.
CBD topicals , such as creams and lotions , allow users to relieve acute and chronic pain through transdermal administration. Once the product is applied, CBD binds directly to the cannabinoid receptors under the skin.
Effects may be felt within minutes and can last for several hours (about four to six hours after application).
CBD oil and tinctures are popular options for users who prefer products without additives or flavors. The products can be taken orally or sublingually. If the latter is chosen, CBD enters directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes under the tongue. Products may take effect in less than 20 minutes, and benefits may last up to six hours.
Using CBD vape pens is the fastest method to take CBD. Inhaling the product allows CBD to enter the bloodstream instantly. While this is the quickest method to get CBD into circulation, its effects can last for only two to three hours.
How the Endocannabinoid System Works
The ECS has three main components that are found throughout the body.
- Endocannabinoids: These molecules act as neurotransmitters that communicate with different bodily functions. There are two kinds of endocannabinoids found in the body.
- Anandamide (AEA) regulates inflammation and neuron signals
- 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) manages pain relief, appetite, and suppress tumor growth (37)
- CB1 receptors are abundant in the nervous system
- CB2 receptors are associated with inflammation and pain relief
- fatty acid amide hydrolase breaks down AEA
- monoacylglycerol acid lipase breaks down 2-AG
When endocannabinoids bind to the receptors, the ECS can communicate with the other systems of the body. This process shows how the ECS regulates other bodily functions to maintain homeostasis or equilibrium (38) .
The Endocannabinoid System and the Gastrointestinal Tract
The ECS has a clear connection with the GI tract. Endocannabinoids work with cannabinoid receptors to work with different parts of the body, including the gut.
The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are mostly found in the brain and gut, respectively. They also function as inflammatory mediators. When the GI or any organ in the digestive system is swollen, the receptors begin to bind with cannabinoids and slowly reduce the inflammation (39) .
The ECS is also responsible for stimulating appetite. When the stomach experiences hunger pains, anandamide levels increase. This endocannabinoid then sends signals to the brain that the person feels hungry and needs food (40) .
Brain and Gut Communication
The ECS allows the GI tract and the brain to send signals to each othe r (41) . The ECS can regulate the emetic reflex or the vomiting reflex while the brain evokes nausea. When the two sensations simultaneously happen, they serve as a signal that there is something wrong with the GI tract.
The Legality of CBD
Out of 50 states and territories in the United States, 18 of those permit the use of medical CBD (42) . The majority of the states allow CBD use in severe disorders, like epilepsy and seizures. Meanwhile, the remaining states legalized medical marijuana use.
Only three states, namely Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kansas, allow CBD use for any diagnosed condition. However, CBD products should be prescribed by a physician.
Iowa and Georgia are the only states that included CBD’s use for digestive problems, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and chronic or intractable pain.
Patients that are part of a state-funded clinical trial are authorized to use CBD, even outside the research environment. However, all 18 states that permit the use of medical CBD do not allow its home cultivation.
As part of the state law, medicinal CBD should contain at least 10% to 15% of CBD and no more than 0.3% to 0.5% of THC.
The digestive system is an integral part of the body. It digests and absorbs nutrients needed for the entire body to function correctly.
Digestive problems can lead to adverse effects on an individual’s day-to-day life.
While prescription and over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief, they may also have undesirable effects that may aggravate the condition.
Using CBD oil can help relieve digestive problems, regulate movements in the bowel, support the immune system, and support the gut’s health.
Before engaging with cannabis products and dosages, it is essential to consult a doctor about CBD as a treatment for medical conditions or using CBD oil for digestion.