This article was originally published by Lisa Egan at The Organic Prepper.
You have probably heard that cannabidiol – commonly known as CBD – offers a wide range of health benefits, but did you know that it can reduce inflammation and improve gut health?
Before we talk about how CBD can help manage gastrointestinal disorders, here’s a brief overview of what CBD is and how it works:
- CBD is a fascinating compound that has tremendous therapeutic value. It is one of over 100 compounds found in cannabis sativa plants that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids.
- Cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds that bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system.
- The endocannabinoid system is a biological system which plays many important roles in the human body. It is responsible for the physical and psychological effects of cannabis.
We recommend Organica Naturals CBD products for their consistently high quality.
CBD is a non-intoxicating natural medicine that has been shown to benefit an ever-growing list of health conditions.
Inflammation, the endocannabinoid system, and the gut all play crucial roles in our health – and they are all intertwined.
CBD can help reduce inflammation, which has been linked with many diseases.
Inflammation is a natural response to injury, and its purpose is to protect itself the body from harm. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic, as Harvard Health explains:
You’re probably more familiar with the acute type, which occurs when you bang your knee or cut your finger. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible redness and swelling. The process works similarly if you have an infection like the flu or pneumonia. So in these settings, inflammation is essential—without it, injuries could fester and simple infections could be deadly. (source)
When inflammation continues for too long, it can lead to serious chronic health problems. It has been linked to autoimmune disorders, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
The endocannabinoid system plays a role in gut health.
Over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates said: “All disease begins in the gut.”
The father of modern medicine was way ahead of his time. While gut health is not linked to every disease (as far as we currently know), continuing research into the gut microbiota is revealing just how important the communities of bacteria that reside there are to our overall health.
Dr. Ethan Russo is a neurologist, published scientist, and director of research and development for the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute. In a recent interview with Project CBD, he explained that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in gut health. Here are two excerpts from that interview (which can be read or listened to in full here: Dr. Ethan Russo: CBD, the Entourage Effect and the Microbiome).
There’s been some very interesting work done recently that shows that the microbiome, which is a collection of natural bacterium in the gut, has a great deal to do with our health overall. Whether someone has problems with inflammation or not, it provides neurotransmitters that go to the brain, effects our moods in a very key way, it’s very involved in autoimmune diseases.
…there seems to be a key role for the microbiome, or gut bacteria, in endocannabinoid tone. Endocannabinoid tone is a function of how many receptors, say CB1 receptors, are active in the brain. The amount of the endocannabinoids like anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol, and also the function of the enzymes that make these substances and break them down. (source)
The endocannabinoid system also plays an important role in immune system functioning as well – including in the gut. An estimated 70 percent of your immune system lives in your gut, and gut bacteria help your immune system’s T cells develop.
The gut-brain connection
Gut health and mental health are closely linked. This is commonly referred to as the “gut-brain connection.”
The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. For example, the very thought of eating can release the stomach’s juices before food gets there. This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected.
This is especially true in cases where a person experiences gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause. For such functional GI disorders, it is difficult to try to heal a distressed gut without considering the role of stress and emotion. (source)
CBD appears to have powerful anti-anxiety properties and antidepressant-like effects, so it may help provide relief for gut issues caused by those problems.
As I explained in What is Going on in Your Gut? Your Second Brain, Bacteria, and Your Health, you have a “second brain” in your gut:
Okay, not literally – there isn’t a tiny brain sitting in your GI tract -but there is an extensive network of neurons (nerve cells that transmit information throughout your body) lining your guts. It is filled with neurotransmitters (chemical messengers), and it does a heck of a lot more than dealing with digestion and giving you “butterflies” when you are nervous. This gut brain has pretty big responsibilities – it partly determines your mental state, and plays a role in diseases throughout your body. (It does NOT help you with decision-making, thought processes, or all that other important stuff – that 3 lb. organ in your head gets to carry that burden.)
This “second brain” is called the enteric nervous system. It contains around 100 million neurons (that’s more than in your spinal cord or peripheral nervous system!). Those neurons are in the walls of your alimentary canal, which is about 9 meters long. It starts with your esophagus and ends with your anus.
The most fascinating part? Your enteric system can control gut behavior INDEPENDENTLY of your brain. So, the brain in your head can deal with things like problem-solving while your gut brain deals with the dirty work in your digestive tract. (source)
Scientific research supports the use of CBD to treat inflammatory and functional bowel disorders.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. That inflammation can eventually cause damage to the GI tract. Common symptoms of IBD include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, weight loss, and fatigue.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both.
CBD is showing promise in managing these disorders. To view lists of studies on CBD for these ailments, please see Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
CBD is a very safe substance and is well-tolerated. However, it can interfere with certain medications. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you are taking prescription drugs and would like to take CBD.
Do you use CBD products?
Do you use CBD products on a regular basis for a condition? Have you found it helpful? Share your suggestions and experiences in the comments below.
CBD is the new colloidal silver. BUY BUY BUY!!!! Click the links and BUYYYYYYY!!!!
LMAO! I have heard of all these cures that CBD can do. I at the time felt there might be something to it. Some here say its good and some say it ain’t worth a damn. Being in relatively good health I haven’t felt the need to try it. For now I’ll just watch the other dancers.
Common hemp is a cash crop, when sold as a functional food or nutra-ceutical, but might just as well be grown, in bulk, as a grain or an oilseed.
Without some Satanic revenuer, there’s nothing particularly controversial about a salve, liniment, unguent, or emollient. Healthfood, in that expensive, hippy cereal brand is ultimately just-food.
Within reason, the oils of all different kinds of seeds probably work, for a medicine. And, poisonous metals can be used as an antibiotic, within reason.
Though, who is more capable of reasoning — the ignorant or indoctrinated, the person who says it can do harm, or the person who says it is a miracle cure, unconditionally. Either person is unbalanced, and I have the cure for that.
Brighteon website has the original Rick Simpson documentary video up, as well as how to produce cbd oil at home using a rice cooker and simple solvents. It’s remarkably simple. In Colorado, why buy when you can grow? Prohibition has had it’s day, and that day is over. It’s true, don’t believe the hype but then again, cbd oil is unique in comparison to what we have had access to for our generations. You can get it through a variety of culinary expressions as well. CBD is not the new colloidal silver, completely different synergystic responses and biological mechanisms going on. The silver lingers in the blood and forces the electronic bond away from toxins, thereby allowing you to expel them. CBD is different because it activates internal immune system functions which can pump up your bodies ability to properly identify toxins, rather than accidentally attacking the wrong thing, like what happens with synthetic additives and such which merely mirror things in nature, but have disastrous effects internally. Just steer clear of vaccinations and gm foods, you’ll be all right.
Mr clown world, I beg to disagree, in part. We’ve personally been focused on food and medicine safety for the past decade, there is a lot to look at and learn there. When talking gut health, it’s the synergistic reactions of compounded chemical intake through bio accumulation that is the most concerning. I called the round up danger well over 10 years ago during the height of monsanto trolling. We like nvic.org and their partner publication, The Vaccine Reaction, for medical education. We like the Cornicopia Institute (the premier organic farm lobbyist group) for food safety. What most people have failed to understand is that for every consumer whom switches to organic, the next consumer whom does not has their problems further compounded by insatiable greed of big ag, big chemical, and big box food producers. We switched to costco from sams and it was like day vs night. Costco makes organic easy, with green labels. We’ve completely switched our brand loyalties and even now, it’s important to not just be a label shopper, more than ever actually. We can handle toxins in moderation. But when you reach the point of bio accumulation maximum capacity, that’s when the cascading effects of health problems spiral out of control. I had a tumor the size of a softball in my gut, non cancerous. They removed most of it and told me it would be back and I’d deal with it for life. I beat that with medical marijuana varieties like cheeba chews, a sugar free, gmo free, mostly organic diet. I switched from cheap beer to new belgium (although there are still flouride concerns), and never did stop smoking or drinking. Despite all claims that it was the stogies and drink which was holding me down, I instead followed food purity guidance and that tumor is long gone. Hopefully, I’m back on the coca cola lately which surely is the wrong choice but you know, live life without fear. It is certainly worth it to eat organic and what our parents or perhaps yourself took for granted 30 years ago is long gone. Everyone used to eat ‘organic’. Splice9 genetic manipulation has let the genie out of the bottle and there is no turning back. Organic farm land is getting crushed as big ag seeks to cash in on the exponential growth of the organic industry. Whole foods is a scam. Cornicopia food score cards need to be your new best friend because that’s some of the only unbiased truly honestly researched food disclosure available for American consumers. We bounced away from Horizon organic because it’s a straight fraud. We’re onto Organic Valley and Tillamook for dairy. CBD oil is interesting and helpful, but like everything, it has synergystic response and is not necessarily a cleanser. Natural chelation is vital for heavy metal toxicity. Garlic and cilantro is a unique combo to remove heavy metals. The more you know…