EFFECTS OF CANNABINOIDS ON HEARTBURN

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Now that more conclusive research is being carried out with cannabis therapies, cannabinoids are becoming a more viable, healthy option to treat common, yet uncomfortable chronic conditions.

Heartburn is an informal name for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is also known as acid reflux disease. It is defined by chronic symptoms or mucosal damage done to the esophagus by abnormal reflux.

At least one in ten Americans experiences this disorder once a week. So many factors may trigger heartburn, including obesity, some foods (e.g., spicy, citrus, and fatty), medications, and stress. Acid reflux is quite common, but the chronic condition can decrease quality of life.

CBD Vs. OTC Drugs for GERD

Typically, GERD is treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

Cannabis has an enviable record of being used in the treatment of gastrointestinal distress going back at least a century in western medicine, and far longer in the east. While clinical studies on the use of cannabis for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders has been mainly limited to investigations on nausea suppression and appetite stimulation, both are conditions on which cannabis is highly effective.

Comparatively, the cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), has relatively few side effects compared to the OTCs that are used to treat GERD.

Side effects of CBD include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness with high doses
  • Lightheadedness,
  • Low blood pressure
  • Inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism

Side effects of OTCs for GERD include:

  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Bloating

OTCs for the treatment of GERD seem to have side effects that cause pain and additional gastrointestinal issues. Compared to these, CBD has far fewer and less severe negative side effects.

This may be due to another reason why cannabinoids are a better option than OTCs: cannabinoids are a naturally occurring chemical compound that our bodies, specifically our nervous systems, are designed to receive.

Cannabis affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS) directly. The ECS regulates the interaction between the mind and the body. Our ECS has cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Cannabinoids bind with these receptors to help regulate the body’s natural balance.

According to CannabisScience.com,

“It has been found that activation of cannabinoid receptors CB(1), CB(2) and GPR(55) produces analgesic effects in several experimental pain models, including visceral pain arising from the gastrointestinal tract, in one study at AstraZeneca R&D Molndal in Sweden.

Promoting the Science Behind Cannabinoids

Politicians, clinicians, and people suffering from varying degrees of medical and psychological conditions, are becoming more aware of the benefits of CBD. Along with a growing population of personal positive experiences, there is an increasing base of research to support these benefits of CBD on certain diseases and disorders and on health in general.

But support for the research and development of CBD on human ailments must continue to progress. There is evidence enough already to suggest that CBD could do more for humanity.

Now that the 2014 and 2018 Farm Bills have made it possible for researchers to safely grow, develop, and study a variety of cannabis strains and make use of the full spectrum of cannabinoids, we cannot afford to delay the advancement of cannabinoid science.

References

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2. “The saliva PH test and cancer”. Healingdaily.com. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
3. a b c Kahrilas, PJ (2008). “Clinical practice. Gastroesophageal reflux disease.”. New England Journal of Medicine. 359 (16): 1700–7.doi:10.1056/NEJMcp0804684. PMID 18923172.
4. a b Wang KK, Sampliner RE (March 2008). “Updated guidelines 2008 for the diagnosis, surveillance and therapy of Barrett’s esophagus”. Am J Gastroenterol 103 (3): 788–97.doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.01835.x. PMID 18341497.
5. “Consumer Health Information”. Healthlink.mcw.edu. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
6. “Spitting Up in Babies”. familydoctor.org.
7. and Barrett’s Esophagus. Retrieved on 2009-02-01.
8. Numans, ME; Lau, J; de Wit, NJ; Bonis, PA (April 2004). “Short-term treatment with proton-pump inhibitors as a test for gastroesophageal reflux disease: a meta-analysis of diagnostic test characteristics”.Annals of internal medicine 140 (7): 518–27. PMID 15068979.
9. Diagnosis – Endoscopy. Retrieved on 2009-03-20.[dead link]
10. Mills, S (ed.) 2009.Sternberg’s Diagnostic Pathology. 5th Edition.ISBN 978-0-7817-7942-5
11. Sontag S (1999). “Defining GERD”. Yale J Biol Med 72 (2-3): 69–80.PMC 2579007. PMID 10780568.
12. a b Piesman M, Hwang I, Maydonovitch C, Wong RK (2007). “Nocturnal reflux episodes following the administration of a standardized meal. Does timing matter?”. Am J Gastroenterol 102(10): 2128–34. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01348.x.PMID 17573791.
13. Ayazi S, Crookes PF, Peyre CG, et al. (2007). “Objective documentation of the link between gastroesophageal reflux disease and obesity”. Am J Gastroenterol 102 (S2): 138–9

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