There is a lot of talk about the importance of keeping gut bacteria healthy, and using CBD for gut health is a topic that has become a common part of that conversation. In order to help keep the body and mind healthy, it is believed that probiotics, superfoods, and other supplements are all essential for promoting good bacteria health in the gut which in turn support our mental and physical wellbeing. As cannabidiol (CBD) products become more popular around the country and are now readily available to millions of Americans, there is growing evidence and support for the positive influence CBD can have on maintaining good gut health.
What is CBD?
CBD is an extract commonly taken from hemp plants. Unlike THC, which produces a “high,” and can cause negative reactions for the user, CBD is legal for general consumption and is extremely popular for reducing pain, anxiety, depression, and cancer-related symptoms. Some of the most popular ways CBD is consumed is through various products like oils, edibles, lotions, creams, and other products.
The primary way CBD positively affects gut health is by interacting with the body’s Endocannabinoid system (ECS). Although the importance of the ECS has been mentioned in previous posts, this is another excellent opportunity to look it up as it relates to maintaining good gut health. The ECS links every organ system through millions of receptors and enzymes that produce compounds called endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are regulators within our bodies, affecting a variety of bodily functions and behaviors such as stress levels, appetite control, inflammation, and our immune system responses. Digestion, intestinal inflammation, and cancer cell proliferation are also other functions regulated by ECS. An out of balance ECS can cause sadness, low energy, and complications with blood sugar levels.
Our digestive systems are complex, and as you have probably noticed, contain a dizzying amount of factors that influence almost everything happening in our bodies. Microbe balance, intestinal health, and the ECS combine to form a delicate system that requires special attention. A properly cared for gut serves as a platform for physical and mental well-being that spreads throughout the body. It is a cornerstone to good health that once understood, can unlock doors to a better quality of life.
It is easy to see why a properly functioning ECS is important for keeping the gut functioning at a normal, healthy level, thereby perpetuating these other behaviors and functions we need to survive. In short, nourishing the ECS could have a big impact on creating and maintaining a healthy balance of body and mind.
CBD and Gut Health
Now that we understand what the ECS is and what it does, we can look at the link between it and the positive benefits CBD can have on the body’s gut health. There is growing evidence that the gut microbiome is deeply connected to the body’s ECS, which would suggest that CBD could serve as a natural and safe tool to maintain excellent gut health. For instance, it is widely held that CBD oil is an effective anti-inflammatory, reducing effects from IBD, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. CBD can eliminate deficiencies in the ECS which could otherwise lead to celiac disease and colorectal cancer if ignored. The gastrointestinal system of the human body is vastly complex and contains an intricate network of nerves and muscles which work together to create gut mobility, a necessary function for a healthy digestive system. If these nerves or muscles are not in sync, problems like constipation, diarrhea, cramping, and changes in appetite can start to occur. Using CBD regularly and promoting good gut health throughout the ECS could also help maintain excellent gut mobility.
Another way CBD can promote good gut health is by supporting the proliferation of the 38 million microbes that live in the gut and make up its complex ecosystem. This microbiome is constantly at work fighting for the body’s health, digesting food, controlling the immune system, and even helping control the brain. In fact, the gut is often referred to as the “second brain” because of its direct link to the actual brain, and how the two work together to promote health throughout the body. How do they do this? Through the ECS! Aiding the microbes and ECS with CBD can not only help the microbes remain healthy and strong, it could also help strengthen the connecting between the brain and the gut.
In summary, CBD can be a wonderful support tool for the body’s digestive system and ECS, fast-tracking its way into the bloodstream to reduce pain, bloating, inflammation, and promoting good health. CBD could also bolster the health and growth of the body’s natural microbiome, which helps fight off diseases and improve digestion. CBD has much more potential than simply calming the mind and improving moods. We have seen how it could be an effective way to treat chronic digestive issues, strengthen the bond between the brain and gut, and allow the body’s ECS to do its job better. We should always strive to maintain good gut health, and using CBD can be a very effective way to achieve this safely and naturally.
For those using CBD for gut health for the first time, it is critical to choose a high quality product that has been thoroughly researched. We recommend starting with low doses and working up into higher, consistent doses until positive results start to manifest. If you need help choosing a product that is right for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out and speak with one of our dedicated staff, or alternatively, contact your family doctor to discuss which CBD products might be right for you. As will all treatments, using CBD may come with some side effects, so it is important to be fully educated before anyone starts using CBD regularly or as a form of treatment. We would love the opportunity to assist you any time you are ready.