Digestive disorders are becoming increasingly common throughout the US, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) being the most common functional GI disorder. In fact, there are between 2.4 and 3.5 million annual physician visits for IBS in the United States alone. Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are other well-known GI diseases that can cause tremendous damage to the digestive tract if not kept under control.
Gut disease typically stems from a severe inflammation in the GI system. While there are many pharmaceutical treatments prescribed to help alleviate associated symptoms, CBD for digestive issues is becoming a more mainstream therapy.
Why Use CBD for Digestive Issues?
With its tremendous anti-inflammatory properties and extremely limited side-effects, CBD oil can reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, improve the gut’s immune response, and relieve the anxiety and stress associated with gastrointestinal disorders.
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons why people turn to CBD oil. CBD works to minimize pain by altering the brain’s pain response. At the same time, it works with receptors located throughout the immune system to reduce inflammation.
Digestive disease causes chronic pain from muscle spasms, cramping, constipation, bloating and more. Using CBD for IBS and other digestive issues can reduce gut inflammation providing relief from these symptoms.
Is it Safe to Use CBD Oil for IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder in which abdominal pain is associated with a range of symptoms. Typically, these include intermittent abdominal pain accompanied by diarrhea, constipation, or alternating episodes of both, (International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders).
Typically a physician will prescribe a combination of over-the-counter and prescription medication to combat GI issues. Ironically, these often come with a long list of side effects including increased abdominal pain, nausea, and constipation. The very symptoms patients are trying to alleviate. CBD oil, however, rarely presents side effects.
CBD oil for IBS can offer many of the same benefits as traditional medication, but without the unwanted side effects. CBD oil is known to be an extremely safe therapy, even when taken regularly at very high doses. However, if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding, considering administering to a child or elderly patient, or taking other medications, it is important to consult with a physician prior to starting on a CBD therapy.
CBD has the potential to impact the way the liver metabolizes certain drugs, which may interfere with the efficacy of your other medications, possibly resulting in long-term liver damage.
Can CBD Help with Secondary Symptoms?
While CBD use for digestive issues can be quite effective, CBD can also help with the secondary symptoms that many who suffer from digestive disease will experience. Anxiety, nausea and lack of appetite are all common side effects of digestive disorders.
Anxiety can be a debilitating side effect to digestive disease. There is a gut-brain connection that may directly contribute to anxiety and digestion problems. The brain has a direct effect on the stomach and intestines. Therefore, stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the result of anxiety, depression or stress.
CBD has been shown to be useful in reducing stress, and so may have a dual purpose when it comes to treating digestive issues that are accompanied by anxiety.