Did you know that over 70% of your immune system exists in your gut? Proper gut health is a vital part of healthy human life. Getting the occasional tummy ache or an episode of heartburn after overeating or indulging in unhealthy foods is a problem most people are familiar with. However, It is widely believed that the stomach is the root of many chronic health problems including cancer, obesity, depression, autism, obesity, and more. The microbiota of the gut is a complex, living ecosystem which thrives off of balance and healthy living. When this microbiota is out of balance, problems develop. Many people take things like probiotics to support their gut health. Research is now suggesting that cannabinoids like CBD may also help support a healthy gut.
As we already know, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a vital role in many of the body’s essential functions. One of these functions is basic gut health. Since we know CBD as a compound can alter the functions of the immune system as well as act as an anti-inflammatory, it could have incredible applications for those with digestive issues. Also, things like stress or anxiety can heighten the symptoms of those who already have abdominal conditions. Using CBD may not only help with gut issues but also prevent your brain from making them worse than they already are.
One of the digestive issues which CBD is thought to be able to relieve is gut motility— a general term used to describe the stretching or contraction of muscles in the GI tract. When these muscles don’t function normally, symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, constipation, or cramping can develop. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in the contraction of these intestinal muscles. It is thought that stimulating the ECS with compounds like CBD might promote the healthy contraction of abdominal muscles. This contraction could help digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial overgrowth, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Another condition which CBD may help with is leaky gut. It has been found that there are many cannabinoid receptors along the small intestine which are thought to modify the places in the digestive tract where leaky gut occurs. Additionally, it is now known that signaling is transmitted between the ECS and the gut microbiota, which could explain why an imbalance in the ECS can contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
The gut barrier is another place where CBD is thought to be a helpful dietary supplement. According to one study, CBD may be able to mediate or counteract gut permeability. Gut permeability is the process of materials from inside the gut passing through the barrier to other parts of the body. There are many autoimmune diseases associated with problems in this gut barrier, and cannabinoids have been shown to have therapeutic potential to reduce or reverse this intestinal permeability.
The gut is one of the places where people should be paying the most attention when it comes to their overall health. If there is a sense of disorder in the intestines, it can impact almost all other functions in the body. Another great thing about CBD is that it can be used in conjunction with other dietary supplements like probiotics without any interactions or harmful side effects. A recent aminal study found that giving rats a probiotic increased the number of endocannabinoids present in the gut microbiota. This study illustrates the positive association between gut health and cannabinoids, and points to the fact that in the future, CBD could have therapeutic applications for those with intestinal issues.