There is a lot of buzz circulating the medicinal properties of Cannabidiol otherwise known as CBD. CBD is a cannabinoid compound found in the hemp plant that interacts with receptors in the body.
Many sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) have tried using CBD oil, opting for a naturopathic treatment over prescription medication. Medical studies have shown that CBD can be used to regulate digestive flora and activate and inhibit receptors of endocannabinoid system that have a direct impact on gut health.
Depending on the case, prescribed drugs have been problematic for many IBS patients. Instead of solving the problem at the source, prescription medication like laxatives or antidiarrheals only treat the symptoms of IBS. These drugs temporarily relieve abdominal pain without treating the long-term medical issues. Medical research has shown that 55% of individuals taking CBD for a variety of health issues have stopped using prescription medications. They have found that CBD oil alone is more helpful. Many in the Gut-Brain Connection community have also reported success with ways of taking CBD for IBS.
Read on to discover the different ways of taking CBD oil and other forms of Cannabidiol for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The Best Ways to Take CBD for IBS
There are a variety of ways to take CBD for IBS treatment. The most common ways of administering CBD is through vaporizers, edibles, and capsules. Since there is no THC involved—the psychoactive chemical in Marijuana—it is completely legal without any mind-altering side effects. You can get topical ointments, CBD-infused candy, vapor devices, or even cooking oil!
Figuring out which method of taking CBD boils down to your preference. Once you've discovered the best dosage level for your body, you can take CBD any way you choose. Some find it easier to take in capsule form because it's easier to remember each day. Others find cooking with CBD oil a good substitute for foods on the FODMAP which also relieves symptoms.
As with many medicinal treatments you will most likely have to experiment with dosage to find the best concentration of CBD to treat your IBS symptoms.
CBD is measured in milligrams. CBD products range anywhere from as little as 15 mg to 3000 mg. Depending on the form of CBD, a capsule might deliver 15 mg while a bottle of CBD oil will have 500 mg of CBD in a 30 ml vial. This makes capsule form a much easier way to track dosage than vaporizing.
A good rule of thumb is to start small and work your way up. There are no unpleasant side effects of Cannabidiol that you would get rom prescription drugs or marijuana but beginning your IBS treatment with a low dosage of CBD could be all that you need. There's no sense introducing high milligrams of anything into your body when a smaller dosage will perform with the same success.
Even though CBD is a natural treatment it should be used with the same regimen you would apply to prescription drugs. Try and use your CBD at the same time each day, with the same dosage. Take notes on how you feel and the severity of your symptoms. This will help you discern the best way to take CBD for your IBS symptoms.
There are ways of administering CBD like vaporizers that can provide more instant relief but make sure you're tracking when you use your vaporizer and its effects. The more data you collect, the more refined your self-care becomes. Journaling even helps to lower your stress levels which also helps relieve IBS symptoms.
How to take CBD for IBS?
If you don't want to inhale vapor or taste anything—capsules are a good way to go. A 450 mg bottle will supply 30 capsules with a 15 mg dose each. This easy to ingest method of taking CBD is simple. Just swallow each vegetable-based capsule.
You can purchase CBD oil capsules here
Tinctures are a common herbal extract and use an alcohol solvent to concentrate Cannabidiol. You just squirt a small amount of the tincture and swallow. Many tinctures come in different flavors and the vial dropper makes it easy to measure your dosage.
In the case of medicinal CBD, this form is technically an extract since CO2 is used to extract the compound from the plant matter. This is preferable for those with IBS! CO2 "tinctures" won't interfere with your digestive system the way alcohol solvent tinctures might, especially if you have intestinal susceptibilities to even low amounts of alcohol.
You can purchase CBD oil tinctures here.
There are two ways of vaporizing CBD. You can either buy disposable vape pens that are loaded with CBD oil or buy the oil itself and drop it into your own vaping device. The majority of CBD vape oils are concentrated with vegetable glycerin.
Again, this boils down to preference. Many will buy their own vaporizer and use CBD vape oil for more instant relief instead of throwing away plastic pieces every few weeks. Others use CBD vape oil sparingly and can make a disposable vape pen last months.
Another way of ingesting CBD is through edibles. Edible CBD-infused treats come in forms like baked-goods and candy gummies. Similar to capsules, each edible will typically have anywhere from 10 to 30 mg of CBD.
The only issue you will want to be aware of is the ingredients of the candy itself. Although most harmful ingredients like preservatives and sugar won't be enough to cause any issues, if you have extreme FODMAP sensitives it might be easier for you to go with another form of CBD.
How CBD Offers a Natural Treatment
CBD is used to block spinal, gastrointestinal, and peripheral mechanisms. In the past, most of the research done on CBD treatments for IBS was based on anecdotal evidence. Essentially, IBS patients would use CBD and report their success to the community. As with many remedies for IBS, Cannabidiol-based treatment began with experimentation.
Since CBD is completely legal in all 50 states, research is continuing to build evidence this natural remedy can help treat IBS with empirical science backing these claims.
CBD Helps Regulate Brain & Gut Health
The scientific community is not only discovering more information about the medicinal effects of CBD, but new research is uncovering more about the nature of IBS itself: the connection between gut health and brain chemistry.
The nervous system connects the brain to the gut by way of the enteric nervous system. This system regulates gut function. Meaning, our mental state corresponds with our gut health and vice-versa. Using CBD over a prolonged period has shown to protect neurons in the endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for cognitive processes like appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. Instead of allowing stress to exacerbate IBS symptoms, taking CBD can help restore IBS sufferers to a more physically & mentally balanced state.
CBD curbs anxiety while also alleviating the physiological triggers of IBS. The body produces 95% of its serotonin in the gut by enterochromaffin and enteric nerve cells found in the digestive tract. This makes keeping the gut healthy vital for mental health.
Cannabinoids also play a significant neuromodulatory role in the gastrointestinal system by activating cannabinoid receptors, leading to less secretion of gastrointestinal fluid and inflammation.
Pain Treatment with CBD
Pain management for chronic and recurring pain is a challenging issue for 11% of the American population and 1.5 billion worldwide. For the 25 to 45 million Americans with IBS, the intestinal disorder causes bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and gas. These symptoms can range in severity from discomfort to extreme pain. Even in light cases, the discomfort interferes with quality of life. Many with IBS experience recurring pain that can be so physically draining their abdominal discomfort dominates their life.
Medical research has shown that CBD use blocks the body from absorbing anandamide—a compound associated with pain regulation. The more anandamide in the bloodstream the more sensitive IBS sufferers are to the sensation of pain. Using CBD to inhibit absorption helps the body with the visceral hypersensitivity that often stems from IBS.
Pain perception is controlled by the Vagus Nerve which acts as an interface between your digestive system and brain. Pain becomes a more dominate sensation when the Vagus Nerve responds to chemical stimulation that increases vagal nerve tone. Cannabidiol has been shown to suppress inflammation in the brain and nervous system. CBD also helps regulate the digestive flora that keeps your body balanced. By alleviating inflammation in the nervous system, through use of CBD, you can help control the immune-system responses associated with pain, insomnia, and other discomforts.
CBD Treatment for Muscle Spasms
Another way that CBD helps treat IBS is by alleviating the frequency and severity of muscle spasms. This is even true for patients outside of the IBS realm. Many diagnosed with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and West Syndrome have already reported great findings with CBD usage. In fact, the FDA has approved the usage of pharmaceutical CBD for infantile spasms and every day the medical industry shifts toward pro-CBD treatments.
Clinical Trials performed at UCLA are showing that CBD users are more thoroughly able to take control of their bodies, reducing the rate of spasms. As research continues to explain fewer occurrences of spams as an effect of Cannabidiol use many with IBS are reporting the same results.
About The Author: Drew is the founder of The Gut Program and a gut health expert. His work has been featured on The Gut Program, CbdOilForIBS.com, Ask Men and The Gut BrainConnection Community. Learn more at his personal site.