Can CBD Treat IBS Symptoms?
In order to reduce symptoms, many patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) turn to cannabis during a flare-up. There are many cases of people significantly increasing their quality of life through the use of cannabinoids, and suggests that continued research could help doctors and patients to better target the many various IBS symptoms more effectively.
With IBS, there has been some promising research regarding cannabinoids as a therapeutic option, which makes researchers suspect hemp-derived cannabinoids may actually be a solution for controlling flare-ups.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
IBS is a chronic condition that results in extreme distress to the gastrointestinal system. Unlike irritable bowel disease (IBD), it
does not involve changes to the tissues in the gastrointestinal tract. However, it causes numerous symptoms that can negatively impact the patient’s quality of life. Some of these symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Mucus in the stool
- Rectal bleeding
One in eight Americans are diagnosed with IBS, but the subset of symptoms often differ from patient to patient. IBS is usually the diagnosis when doctor’s can’t zero in on the cause of digestive pain. It’s clear that the digestive tract is irritable, but the source of this condition remains elusive.
Imbalances in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the gut microbiome, the immune system, and gut permeability (leaky gut) are major contributors to candidacy for IBS.
IBS and Mental Health
Furthermore, it’s believed that IBS is associated with some psychiatric illnesses, though this has not been established fully. Studies have shown a link between irritable bowel syndrome and mental health issues such as:
Interestingly, current microbiome research is focusing on the correlation between various psychiatric ailments and IBS. Research conducted over the past decade has shown that microbiome disruption can trigger severe psychiatric distress as well as gastrointestinal illness. Evidence suggests that there is a link between the ECS and the microbiome in the body. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the biological network with which cannabinoids interact inside the body to maintain overall balance and well-being.
Is IBS a Result of Endocannabinoid Deficiency?
Cannabinoids may help treat IBS by alleviating many of the associated symptoms. Researchers have found that hemp-derived cannabinoids do help to improve the quality of life in IBS patients. According to Ethan Russo, MD, a neurologist, and medical researcher, irritable bowel syndrome may be caused by endocannabinoid deficiency. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by the body. According to Russo,
“If you don’t have enough endocannabinoids, you would have pain where there shouldn’t be pain. You would be sick, meaning nauseated. You would have a lowered seizure threshold. And just a whole litany of other problems.”
Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids and IBS Relief
Even though solid research on hemp-derived cannabinoids is still being compiled, there are several recognized ways that cannabis can improve the quality of life of patients with IBS.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that it even helps some patients achieve remission. Additionally, it reduces abdominal pain, diarrhea symptoms, and nausea—all associated with IBD.
Cannabinol (CBN) also plays a role. Research has shown that this lesser-known cannabinoid provides numerous therapeutic benefits. CBN is a product of degradation. Exposure of THC to heat and oxygen causes it to degrade to CBN which has a mild psychoactive effect. Evidence has shown that the pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect of cannabinol give it an edge over IBS. Studies have shown that CBN reduces sensitivity to pain by causing the release of calcitonin gene-related peptide from sensory nerves. Surprisingly, this relief response occurs without its interaction with either of the receptors of the endocannabinoid system (CB1 and CB2). The implication here is that CBN may be more effective at pain relief when used with CBD, which inhibits pain through the activation of both receptors of the ECS. CBN also has anti-inflammatory properties that help it fight IBS and Crohn’s disease.
Cannabichromene (CBC) is another overlooked cannabinoid that plays vital roles in relief of IBS symptoms. Basically, it has an anti-inflammatory effect. In mice, it exhibits its anti-inflammatory properties in the gastrointestinal tract, indicating that it may be effective in the treatment of IBS. Its anti-inflammatory properties are not a result of interaction with cannabinoid receptors, indicating that CBC may be combined with cannabinoid receptor stimulants to produce even more potent anti-inflammatory effects.
Full Spectrum CBD for IBS Symptoms
Patients who suffer from IBS treat their symptoms with various forms of natural medicinal marijuana and cannabis products. They do so because it offers them relief, controls flare-ups, and increases their quality of life.
When using a full spectrum hemp CBD product, like hemp flower or full spectrum CBD oil or liposomal CBD, it’s like getting a range of whole plant anti-inflammatory compounds, rather than just one with a CBD isolate.
We recommend CBD products from The Hemp Haus—Ananda Hemp, Puffin Hemp Liposomal CBD, and Stardust Hemp Flower—because they is high-quality, tested brands that go out of their way to be transparent. Ananda Hemp and Puffin Hemp have even been used in first-of-their-kind CBD studies.
The Nature’s Breakthrough educational resource is just one of the ways The Hemp Haus practices its sincere commitment to and passion for educating people about CBD and helping them find the right, high-quality product based on their needs.
Where to Buy High-Quality CBD Products:
For pain, insomnia, anxiety, and more …
Croxford, J.L., and Yamamura, T. (2005, September). Cannabinoids and the immune system: potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases? Journal of Neuroimmunology, 166(1-2), 3-18.
De Filippis, D., Esposito, G., Cirillo, C., Cipriano, M., De Winter, B.Y., Scuderi, C., Sarnellil, G., Cuomo, R., Steardo, L., De Man, J.G., and Iuvone, T. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLos One, 6(12), e28159.
DeLong, G.T., Wolf, C.E., Poklis, A., and Lichtman, A.H. (2010, November 1). Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 112(1-2), 126-33.
Esposito, G., Filippis, D.D., Cirillo, C., Iuvone, T., Capoccia, E., Scuderi, C., Steardo, A., Cuomo, R., and Steardo, L. (2013, May). Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: a brief overview. Phytotherapy Research, 27(5), 633-6.
Izzo, A.A., Capasso, R., Aviello, G., Borrelli, F., Romano, B., Piscitelli, F., Gallo, L., Capasso, F., Orlando, P., and De Marzo, V. (2012, June). Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 166(4), 1444-60.
Naftali, T., Bar-Lev Schleider, L., Dotan, I., Lansky, E.P., Sklerovsky Benjaminov, F., and Konikoff, F.M. (2013, October). Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 11(10), 1276-1280.
Ravikoff Allegretti, J., Courtwright, A., Lucci, M., Korzenik, J.R., and Levine, J. (2013, December). Cannabis use patterns among patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 19(13), 2809-14.
Wirth, P.W., Watson, E.S., ElSohly, M., Turner, C.E., and Murphy, J.C. (1980, June 9). Anti-inflammatory properties of cannabichromene. Life Sciences, 26(23), 1991-5.