Cannabis Extracts and the Gut
Many studies and researchers have shown that CBD and cannabis edibles can help patients with intestinal problems such as Crohn’s and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Cannabis or Marijuana has been long known to have beneficial effects for those suffering from gut issues.
IBS and Crohn’s disease is not uncommon. In fact, according to Centers for Disease Control 238 out of 100,000 adults in the US are suffering from Crohn’s disease. Intestinal damage and disturbance in the digestive system occur from an excessive inflammatory response in the GI tract. Patients with such ailments experience severe pain along with other related pervasive symptoms. However, in many cases, the problem remains undiagnosed because of such chronic issues.
Although there is no known cure for such ailments, treatment is mostly done to reduce symptoms and to control further aggravations. Several medications and steroidal treatments are available that induce and retain remission.
Do CBD and related extracts help with Intestinal Gut Issues?
We need to understand the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to know why CBD and related extracts are beneficial for IBS and Crohn’s disease. The ECS is a complex combination of endocannabinoids (cannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce) and helps regulate pain, appetite, (GI) motility, mood, memory, emotions, stress, immunity etc. It helps to stimulate the cannabinoid receptors present throughout our body.
CBD, which consists of molecular shapes similar to endocannabinoids, when administered to an individual, the molecules attach themselves to the same receptors and trigger a chain of responses that regulate the brain cells when secreting the neurotransmitters. As researchers suggest, this reaction is critical to the functioning or lack of functioning of the ECS has an important relationship to the pathology of IBD and Crohn’s disease.
In other scientific studies, researchers have proposed that CBD regulates endocannabinoid function by inhibiting the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). FAAH is an enzyme which is responsible for the hydrolysis of anandamide (the endogenous mimic of THC). As a result of this in an intestinal anti-inflammatory effect, the efficacy of CBD is related to its role in FAAH inhibition. However, studies have also shown that CBD has potent antioxidant features and interactions with other cytokines which are known to be cell signaling molecules. In a study conducted in 2008 by Capasso et al. – “CBD had been shown to have a putative inhibition of FAAH. Capasso et al selectively inhibited FAAH mRNA in mice and found an increase in endocannabinoid levels (anandamide and 2-AG). This increase would result in activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus leading to the anti-inflammatory action that has been observed. It is then logical that an inhibition of FAAH by CBD would result in this same effect as seen by inhibition of FAAH mRNA in mice, which is in a sense the hypothesis of Capasso et al. However, Borrelli et al further explored this topic in 2010 in order to present a more solid hypothesis of CBD interaction. They found, surprisingly, that although CBD did have a putative inhibitory effect on FAAH expression, colonic endocannabinoid levels were in fact decreased (opposite to the expected increase). They also found that FAAH mRNA expression was unchanged with the CBD-treated mice. This cuts out the possibility of activation of CB1 or CB2 via CBD (at least through an FAAH pathway), and therefore the anti-inflammatory action of CBD must occur through a separate pathway. Capasso et al did however find that CBD did not affect transit (present results) or defecation in the control rats, which suggests that the compound is only pharmacologically active in the presence of an intestinal inflammatory stimulus. This is important since it underlines the specificity of CBD activity on altering body conditions. Anti-spasmodic activity of CBD was demonstrated by Capasso et al. Induced contractions via ACh was reduced by CBD. However, this effect was shown to occur in both the inflamed and the healthy intestine. Therefore the antispasmodic effect of CBD occurs separate from an inflammatory or mucosal stimulus.”
What types of products are available on the market for those with intestinal problems?
THC and CBD oil have some positive effects on treating digestion. However, do not buy CBD until you are sure of the ideal dosage, safety, and costs involved.
Which companies are currently working on CBD products for people with IBS or Crohn’s?
Here are some trusted sources of CBD Extracts: –
- Vape Bright
- Mana Artisan Botanics
- Pure Spectrum
- American Shaman
- Sagely Naturals
- NuLeaf Naturals
- CW Botanicals
- BIO CBD Plus
- Bluebird Botanicals
- Try the CBD
- NuLeaf Naturals
- Bio Hemp CBD
- Folium Biosciences
- Palmetto Harmony
Several studies have proved that CBD and THC could have a major positive impact on the treatment of digestive issues. Although further researches are needed to confirm the positive effect of cannabinoids but there is a clear indication that it can be of huge therapeutic value as the molecule binds with the same receptor present in brain, stomach and intestines. The CB-1 receptor in particular has been found to regulate nausea, vomiting, stomach acid regulation and protection from stomach acid. A lot of research is needed at the moment to confirm the findings, unfortunately, the amount of research needed is limited mainly due to the presence of several strains with varying potency and limitations on patenting cannabis. Further, use of cannabis is illegal in many countries which may prevent adequate research. However, a lot of patients could be found easily who can vouch for CBD while there would a significant others who will vote against it.