Tummy troubles got you down?
Each day your gut choreographs a complex dance with the rest of your body. Turning the food we eat into necessary nutrients, it plays a critical role in our overall health.
A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria. These are the good guys that fight off dangerous invaders like other bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your gut and maintain that healthy microbiome.
But when something is off with the gut — you know it.
Wish your stomach would chill out already? Can CBD lend a helping hand? No need to bellyache, because we’ve got the info you need.
Gut health refers to the balance of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. These bacteria help process food but they also seem to regulate different processes in our bodies.
Our microbiome — this makeup of bacteria in the gut — is responsible for our overall well-being. It’s linked to things like regulating mood, the immune system, and preventing diseases.
There are a lot of things that determine your microbiome. Some childhood factors impact how your microbiome was developed. These include:
There are also other day-to-day factors that can influence your overall gut health:
Everyone experiences digestive discomfort — like bloating or nausea — at some point. But when you have digestive issues that keep coming back, it could be a sign of an underlying problem.
Signs and symptoms of gut health issues may include:
Not so fun stuff!
Some bacteria help fight against inflammation, while others cause it. When your gut is healthy, all the microorganisms can live peacefully, and the world — aka your body — is in balance.
But when the bad bugs start to take over, it can affect the rest of the body too. When there's too much harmful bacteria causing inflammation, that inflammation can spread beyond the GI tract and into the bloodstream — resulting in big problems.
Gut health has also been associated with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Scientists think that the gut communicates with the brain through hormones and the nerves in your digestive system. So when you’re feeling anxiety, you might also experience things like nausea and stomach pains.
So how does CBD help with all this?
CBD is short for cannabidiol — a naturally occurring substance found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a cannabinoid, like THC. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive, so it won’t give you a “high” like THC might.
Many people love taking CBD because it offers up a lot of potential benefits, without the psychoactive effects associated with THC. CBD has helped many with pain relief, anxiety, and even sleep issues.
So let’s get to the question of the hour: How does CBD affect your gut?
To dive in, let’s start with the endocannabinoid system.
Your body has something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has a ton of receptors that are in charge of regulating different functions like immune response, pain, mood, memory, and appetite.
Research shows that the endocannabinoid system and the digestive system are linked. The evidence suggests that a dysregulated ECS may have a role in gut diseases like inflammatory bowel disease and even obesity.
How does CBD tie into this? Scientists think that CBD works with the receptors in the ECS and to trigger different responses — like reducing inflammation and boosting mood.
We don’t know a whole lot about CBD and the gut, but there are a handful of studies we can look to. Most studies focus on how cannabis affects inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This disorder is characterized by — you guessed it — chronic inflammation in the digestive system.
Due to the inflammation of the digestive tract, IBD causes a lot of abdominal pain and discomfort. As CBD has shown that it can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain, researchers are enthusiastically looking to CBD these days as a complementary way of addressing IBD. Here’s a sampling of what they’ve found:
Lastly, excess stress and anxiety is associated with gut issues. So, if you’re feeling like a pressure cooker that’s ready to blow, CBD could be a way to loosen that tightly closed release valve. Furthermore, a CBD routine might help calm the mind and soothe the stomach on an ongoing basis.
While CBD isn’t a replacement for any medical treatment, it’s loved by many as an overall wellness supplement. If you want to give CBD a try, here are some tips for picking a high-quality product:
When you do your research, you'll be more confident you’re buying a safe product.
Your gastrointestinal system plays an important role in regulating your immune system and warding off harmful invaders. So, maintaining a healthy gut is essential for overall well-being.
CBD has shown a lot of promise as a wellness product. Research suggests that many of the compounds in CBD may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which might help reduce the discomfort and inflammation associated with gut problems.
If you want to add CBD into your gut health routine, give your doc a ring to see if it’s right for you. And when you’re picking out the CBD for you, look for products made with pure, domestically grown hemp and top-quality production standards.
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