Anyone who has struggled with digestive problems knows that this issue is serious business. We’ve been there too. You’re on a crowded bus or in an important meeting, then suddenly you get stomach cramps — and things get real, very fast.
And while digestive health problems are often the source of an eye-roll and a joke around the office water cooler or amidst a passel of boys at the dinner table, they’re really anything but funny for the individuals who suffer from these conditions on a regular basis.
In some countries, marijuana-based products are already being used to treat people that suffer from chronic pain and other grueling conditions. And now, recent studies suggest that CBD, a compound found in cannabis, may also offer a viable alternative for people suffering from gastrointestinal woes.
Although the FDA doesn’t recognize it as a treatment for any medical problems, many people are now turning to CBD oil to help them manage their digestive issues.
A Brief Introduction to CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is chemical that is part of a larger group of compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds are in a variety of plants, including black pepper, echinacea, and, of course, the cannabis plant. And, as you probably already know, the use of cannabis-derived products is currently one of the most debated topics in the United States.
While most of the attention goes to the psychotropic compound known as THC, CBD is gaining popularity thanks to its therapeutic benefits. Pure CBD oil, such as that derived from hemp, contains only .3% of THC — 33 times less than the required amount to create a high. Thousands of people are now turning to CBD oil in order to treat an array of different conditions, such as chronic pain, treatment for refractory epilepsy and other seizure-inducing conditions. And now, CBD is also becoming a popular remedy for digestive issues.
How Does It Work?
Known today as one of the most important systems in your body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) was first identified in the mid-20th century. This system consists of endocannabinoids and nerve receptors that are scattered throughout different organs.
There are many types of receptors that are part of the ECS, but the two most abundant types are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Both of these play a critical role in basic physiological functions such as sleep, digestion, appetite, internal organ sensation, memory, mood, and the modulation of pain, just to name a few.
CBD interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Both types of receptors are also extremely important for our digestive health. This means that CBD oil may pose a great alternative to people suffering from chronic or refractory gastrointestinal conditions.
The Many Gastrointestinal Issues of the United States
It’s estimated that more than 60 million people suffer from all types of digestive issues in the US alone. These conditions may bring an array of symptoms, some of which include intense pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Here are some of the most common digestive issues that Americans struggle with.
People who suffer from celiac disease tend to show damage in the small intestine. Celiac disease causes the body to react to gluten, which is present in a wide range of foods. This can cause different symptoms in your gastrointestinal tract and other parts of your body, which include:
- Joint, bone, and muscle pain
Colitis is the inflammation of the colon. The exact causes of colitis are mostly unknown, which makes treatment extremely challenging. Note that colitis may include ulcerative colitis, microscopic colitis, and Crohn’s disease, among other types. Common symptoms of colitis include, but are not limited to:
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Weight loss
- Rectal pain
- Joint pain and swelling
- Decreased appetite
Crohn’s disease is a type of colitis that is characterized by cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and a sharp pain in the abdomen. Like other types of colon disorders, the exact causes of Crohn’s disease are unknown. There is no test to diagnose this condition. Physicians usually diagnose through a series of tests that include the evaluation of family history. You can learn more about CBD for Crohn’s Disease here.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a complex condition that affects the colon and the small intestine as well. Also known as IBS, this condition is characterized by a group of symptoms that tend to manifest simultaneously. These include bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, constipation, cramping, and diarrhea.
Looking for an Effective Alternative
People that face chronic gastrointestinal problems often experience reduced quality of life. This especially true for those who show signs of having refractory conditions (resistant to all known forms of treatments).
One of the reasons why IBS, Crohn’s disease, and other conditions are hard to treat is because the causes are usually unknown. It’s very likely that most, if not all of these conditions have a genetic component. Some studies have even concluded that a person’s ethnic group may also influence the development of these conditions.
Using CBD for Digestion Issues
People that suffer from IBS and other bowel conditions often have limited options. While changing your diet may help, relying on pharmaceuticals as a long-term solution is not ideal.
Not only can they create dependency, but synthetic pharmaceuticals tend to have a detrimental effect on your body. And if that’s not enough, their effectiveness may also gradually diminish over time.
This is where CBD oil comes in. CBD oil can help treat symptoms usually associated with gastrointestinal problems. Some studies even suggest that cannabinoids may even help with complex conditions that affect your gastrointestinal motility.
- Strong Analgesic — The efficiency of CBD as an analgesic is well-documented, which is one of the reasons why it was first legalized medically in California back in 1996. And, the best part is that this compound has been proven to work well for visceral pain, which makes it ideal for gastrointestinal problems.
- Regulate Bowel Movements — Many gastrointestinal conditions affect the frequency of your bowel movements, which is referred to as motility. While sample sizes were relatively small, recent studies suggest that cannabinoids may help regulate gastrointestinal motility, depending on a person’s specific symptoms.
- Reduce Inflammation — Inflammation seems to be at the core of most gastrointestinal problems and CBD is an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory. And, because it’s not as harsh on your stomach lining, it poses a viable treatment for chronic conditions.
- Antiemetic — Cannabinoids have also shown antiemetic effects. This means they are a great solution for nausea and vomiting, regardless if it’s caused by a medical condition or by treatments such as chemotherapy.
- Improve Appetite — Digestive issues and other problems such as anxiety and diabetes can cause loss of appetite. This, in turn, has detrimental effects on your basic body functions. As we mentioned before, CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which in turn controls appetite, salivation, and satiety.
Getting the Right Supplements
Gastrointestinal issues can have a huge impact on your quality of life, especially if it’s a chronic condition. CBD oil for digestion issues may pose a great alternative to help you treat more than one symptom at the same time, allowing you to enjoy your day-to-day and take back control of your life.
Apple Wellness – The Healthy Place
At Apple Wellness, we believe CBD oil is a great choice for people who suffer from digestive issues and don’t want to or can’t rely on conventional pharmaceuticals.
Feel free to come down to our Madison natural supplement store or get in touch with us by giving us a call or checking out our online store.
Let’s find your healthy place!
The Apple Wellness Team
*Never change, stop, or alter any medications you are currently taking before consulting with a medical care professional. Information supplied by our team should not be considered medical advice. Information within this article has not been evaluated by the FDA.
Check out our growing library of research studies on CBD oil’s benefits.
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