In the last few years, experts have started exploring the potential use of CBD oil for IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic issue that requires a very delicate treatment. As its name implies, the condition is characterized by high stomach irritability and digestive issues. Various types of foods and ingested substances can cause further problems, which is why you need to be extra careful when administering drugs.
Ingesting more natural products such as CBD tincture and CBD gummies can help alleviate this problem, however, given that this industry is not fully regulated, certain products can worsen the situation by exposing you to low-quality ingredients. This is why you should always buy medical hemp substances from reputable brands such as Sivan CBD.
This article will analyze CBD for IBS and whether it can be a suitable treatment for this disease.
What is IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome goes by various alternative names such as spastic colon, spastic colitis, irritable colon, and mucous colitis. Often, the condition is mistaken for inflammatory bowel disease, otherwise known as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
IBS symptoms can vary significantly in terms of their impact on the body and each case is dependent on the individual, however, whatever triggers your IBS will irritate your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), which leads to visceral hypersensitivity. The problem can linger for up to 3 months, and IBS sufferers tend to feel symptoms for several days each month.
In some extreme cases, IBS can lead to further complications like complications with bowel movements and even internal damage.
What are the main IBS symptoms?
When dealing with the issue, your immune system will be compromised and your gut health will take the biggest hit. Here are some of the problems IBS patients might encounter:
- Intestinal inflammation
- Intestinal cramps and pain
These symptoms might not always be present, however. Some symptoms may appear concurrently and/or might cause contradictory effects. For example, you might have diarrhea and constipation at the same time causing highly irregular and unhealthy bowel movements.
It is also worth mentioning that IBS affects men and women differently. Women tend to be more prone to experiencing related symptoms and can feel heightened sensitivity especially during menstruation and pregnancy.
What are the main triggers behind IBS?
Irritable bowel syndrome is used to describe a plethora of digestive problems and therefore is not fully investigated, but experts presume there are several reasons why a person is prone to experiencing symptoms:
Like with many other stomach and metabolic issues, a bad diet is the main reason why a person will suffer from the condition, we quite literally are what we eat. That’s why IBS is especially prevalent in western countries that rely on a lot of processed foods. If you don't introduce enough fiber and nutrients through diet, you are more likely to develop symptoms indicative of IBS.
Excess sugar is a major contributor. Foods that are high in sugar will cause excessive fermentation when interacting with gut bacteria. This can cause a build up of gas in the GI tract that leads to bloating and uncomfortable gassiness.
Changing your eating habits is the first line of defense to treat IBS. To see the most drastic difference, switch to organic foods full of nutrients and avoid anything that doesn't hold value for your body.
Often, IBS can be caused by viruses that we introduce to our bodies. Symptoms can occur from a minor stomach bug that we didn't fully treat as these microbes can alter our internal cellular processes.
Keep in mind that the stomach has a very complex composition. Even without outside microbes, it is home to numerous fungi and bacteria referred to as the gut microbiome. All these organisms are essential for digestion. The introduction of foreign bodies can disrupt the natural balance and lead to IBS.
Gut inflammation is one of the things that can trigger IBS. Although we are not sure of the exact connection, we do know that there is a link between these two issues. Some researchers believe that inflammation is a more common precursor to IBS than we think.
CBD products might help with this issue through its potent anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, CBD might also provide pain relief and help restore and regulate the gut microbiome.
Lastly, we need to mention neurological issues and their connection to IBS. The brain is essentially the conductor for the symphony which is our body and therefore can have a drastic impact on intestinal processes. As such, IBS might occur due to certain stressors on the brain like lack of sleep, excess stress, and chronic pain flare ups.
What is CBD oil, and how can it work for IBS?
CBD oil (otherwise known as cannabidiol oil) is an extract from the hemp cannabis plant or Cannabis Sativa. Although most companies emphasize CBD, these substances have numerous other cannabinoids and compounds like terpenes and flavonoids which can positively impact our health.
While CBD hemp oil tinctures are the most popular form of CBD ingestion, other CBD methods of application can also provide benefits for IBS. Smokable hemp and edibles such as gummies can help to regulate internal processes, eliminate unwanted microbes, and deal with inflammation.
Current data indicates that the strength of CBD and other hemp cannabinoids lies in its ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system. By stimulating CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, the cannabinoids can help regulate and improve internal processes and restore natural balance, one of these internal processes being digestion.
According to some studies, medical hemp could be good for diarrhea-dominant irritable bowel syndrome. It has been shown that If a product has both CBD and THC, it might help with colonic motility and leaky gut.
More particularly, when talking about just CBD, the compound has powerful protective, regenerative, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties, which can help IBS patients in several ways. Firstly, CBD can help protect the intestinal walls and reduce inflammation within the gut leading to less irritability. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of CBD can provide an additional layer of relief while the anxiolytic properties can help reduce stress levels and improve sleep aiding with gut-brain signaling.
What are the potential drawbacks of CBD oil for IBS?
Although CBD is regarded as reasonably safe, it can still cause side effects in certain individuals.
For example, intestinal inflammation is a common problem associated with IBS which is why a potent anti-inflammatory like CBD oil is used in the first place. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation and soothe irritability, however, some individuals have been observed to experience additional irritation after using CBD which can further exacerbate an already painful stomach.
You should also be careful as to how you're combining CBD oil with other drugs. Often, IBS sufferers are already taking prescription medication before they start using medical hemp. One should speak to their doctor or health care professional before incorporating CBD into their treatment plan for IBS.
What is the optimal dosage?
Improper dosing of CBD can end up contributing to IBS symptoms rather than alleviating them. Finding out the right dose for you is critical to properly treat IBS.
First off, it is worth noting that CBD oil is not an official drug. There is only one FDA approved hemp product on the market, Epidiolex, which is used to treat seizures. CBD should be used as a therapeutic and OTC form of treatment for IBS.
Dosing varies from individual to individual, but most people take anywhere from 25 to 100mg of CBD per serving. This is just a general range, however, and optimal dosing can be even higher or lower depending on certain factors like your body weight and individual reaction to cannabinoids.
If you notice that cannabidiol causes increased irritability, you don't necessarily have to stop the treatment. Instead, try reducing the quantity and see how your body reacts.
Bokic, T., Storr, M., Schicho, R., (2015), Potential causes and present pharmacotherapy of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): an overview, Pharmacology
Sinagra, E., Pompei, G., Tomasello, G., Cappello, F., Morreale, G., C., Amvrosiadis, G., Rossi, F., Monte, A., Rizzo, A., Raimondo, D., (2016), Inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome: Myth or new treatment target, World Journal of Gastroenterology