In recent years, more of an emphasis has been put on the health of our gut – aka the digestive tract, as we’re recognizing just how much of an impact our digestive health has on the health of the rest of the body. At the same time, there’s a growing interest in addressing the needs of our body through more natural, holistic methods, rather than relying on pharmaceuticals for every need that we encounter throughout our lives. So, it’s really no surprise that so many people are turning to CBD, a natural compound derived from the hemp plant, as part of maintaining gut wellness.
As you may know, CBD, short for cannabidiol, has been researched quite extensively for the last 50+ years, as scientists have uncovered a multitude of potential therapeutic uses for the compound. And, unsurprisingly, this hemp derivative has been shown to offer distinctive potential benefits to the digestive system. We’re going to explore these potential benefits, while providing you with all the information you need pertaining to how to use CBD properly to get as much of those benefits as possible.
Gut Health: The Foundation of Wellness
So, what exactly is gut health, anyway? “Gut health” is a term that ultimately reflects the general health and equilibrium of the digestive tract, which absorbs nutrients, breaks down the food we eat, and helps the body rid itself of waste. The gut contains numerous microorganisms that support these processes, collectively known as the “microbiome.” Our microbiome doesn’t just maintain the function of our digestive system, but affects numerous aspects of our health, including our balance of hormones, the production of our neurotransmitters, the function of our immune system, and more. Because of that, when our microbiome is out of whack, resulting from stress, a poor diet, medications, etc., our entire body can suffer.
As we said before, a greater emphasis has been put on the health of our gut than ever before. And, that’s because of all the major discoveries that have been made through research about just how much our gut influences other systems of the body. For example, we now know that more than 70% of the body’s immune cells are found in the gut, and that means that if our microbiome is imbalanced, our immune system can be compromised, leading to a host of chronic symptoms and disorders.
Then, there’s the gut-brain axis, which demonstrates how the bacteria in our gut influences brain function significantly, so that poor gut health can play a role in our mental health, our cognitive function, our energy levels, and more.
An estimated 60-70 million Americans have compromised gut health, which can result in symptoms including:
- Poor appetite
- Loose stools
- Digestive cramps
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is the dominant chemical compound in the hemp plant. Nonintoxicating and nontoxic, it’s a type of compound known as a cannabinoid, of which there are over 100 found in cannabis. CBD was first discovered in the 1960s, and since then, researchers have uncovered a number of unique properties that it can offer to the human body.
CBD is widely used around the world because of its potential benefits, which relate to things like our mood, our levels of physical discomfort, our sleep, our appetite, and much more. It’s also extremely accessible, as it’s fully legal, and something that you can easily buy online, in various product forms, formulations, strengths, and so on.
How Does CBD Benefit the Body?
By now, it’s likely that you’ve heard about all of the things that CBD can do to improve how we feel each day. The question is, what’s so special about this plant derivative, that gives it a reputation for helping us with so many issues? Well, that comes from the plant’s classification as a cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are compounds that directly work with our body’s endocannabinoid system, a system in the body that is in charge of regulating processes of the body that affect our health.
In every system of the body, we find cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are each tasked with regulating a bodily process, whether it be our inflammation levels, our balance of neurotransmitters, our pain tolerance, our immune function, or another crucial function that we depend on. But, these cannabinoid receptors can’t do it on their own. They rely on cannabinoids, like CBD, which are capable of attaching to these receptors, thus enabling the process of regulating. In other words, taking CBD allows the endocannabinoid system to do its job.
Because the endocannabinoid system is so expansive, with cannabinoid receptors in all systems of the body, CBD is able to balance the function of the body from head to toe. This is why it’s renowned for addressing so many daily needs, with lots of research to back up each potential benefit.
What Can CBD Do for Gut Health?
Turning our attention back to the health of the gut, it’s become clear through years of research that CBD has quite an influence. After all, the digestive tract contains lots of cannabinoid receptors that are waiting to be fed cannabinoids in order to start balancing out digestive functions.
Gut health, like we said earlier, relies largely on our own daily choices. What we eat, the medications we take, our stress levels, etc. all influence the function of the digestive tract. Existing in a chronically inflamed state, due to poor diet or elevated stress, can cause a series of digestive problems, and affect our microbiome by causing the digestive tract itself to be inflamed. So, the key is finding ways to support our gut to minimize things like inflammation and symptoms of overall digestive disorder. Now, let’s look at the research.
CBD for Stomach Inflammation
Does CBD help with stomach inflammation? In fact, CBD can help with inflammation of the entire digestive tract, as shown through numerous studies. CBD has been found time and time again to deliver uniquely powerful anti-inflammatory effects to the body, through its interaction with CB2 receptors, which are cannabinoid receptors that are tasked with regulating our inflammatory response, among other crucial bodily processes. Researchers have found that consuming CBD daily offers a notable reduction in inflammation levels throughout the digestive system, and the less inflamed our digestive system, the healthier our microbiome. Of course, signs of digestive inflammation can also lead to chronic and uncomfortable problems like diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and bloating, and conditions like IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), colitis, Crohn’s, and more. The anti-inflammatory effects that CBD seems to offer to the digestive system have also been found to benefit motility.
CBD for Digestion
CBD may generally improve digestion, aside from its distinctive anti-inflammatory effects. The digestive tract possesses many cannabinoid receptors that serve the purpose of regulating overall digestive function, in a way that could support better digestion of food – in other words, the ability to absorb the proper nutrients from the food we eat, and properly eliminate waste. Taking CBD regularly can therefore allow the body to take in more nutrients, which can impact our overall health. Remember that cannabinoid receptors exist in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys as well, which further allows the body to rid itself of waste and toxins.
CBD Oil for Gastritis
Gastritis is a specific condition that causes the lining of the stomach to become inflamed. This can lead to serious pain, and interfere with the body’s natural digestive process. Gastritis can result from stress, poor diet, or the use of certain medications that are inherently irritating to the stomach lining, including NSAIDs. Once again, we’ve seen that cannabidiol provides anti-inflammatory effects to the digestive tract as a whole, and so consuming CBD regularly could reduce inflammation of the stomach lining, easing gastritis symptoms.
CBD for Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a chronic condition that causes acid produced in the stomach to enter the esophagus, resulting in pain, discomfort, and poor appetite. It can be enormously disruptive due to the pain that it causes, and interfere with a person’s ability to consume the proper amount of food each day. Research has shown us that CBD works with cannabinoid receptors in the esophagus and stomach, in a way that could reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
CBD for Stress/Anxiety
While stress and anxiety are not exactly digestive symptoms, we do know that they can be hugely disruptive to our gut health. When the body is in a sustained state of anxiety or stress, our inflammation levels increase, we secrete high concentrations of hormones that are detrimental to our microbiome, and our general digestive function becomes a low priority within the body. This means that maintaining healthy stress and anxiety levels is enormously important to maintaining good gut health.
CBD has been shown in many studies to improve stress and anxiety symptoms, through its regulatory effect on our stress response. Many people use CBD daily to manage these issues, with very positive results.
CBD for Gas/Bloating
Excessive gas and bloating can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing. And, it can be a big indicator that something is very out of whack with your digestive system. Thankfully, CBD can also address these symptoms, as seen through studies that have produced very promising results.
Is CBD a Safe Choice for Managing Gut Health?
The best part about using CBD for gut health, or any issue for that matter, is that it’s completely nontoxic, and generally gentle on the body. Cannabinoids are not associated with toxicity whatsoever, and have not been found to cause any major side effects. The only side effects associated with CBD, which are more likely to occur if a person takes a very excessive amount, are:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Brain fog
In general, CBD can be consumed daily without any risk of physical dependency. Still, it’s always wise to talk to your doctor about taking CBD for gut health, as they want to know what it is that you’re taking to improve your symptoms. And, they may offer suggestions about how best to take it according to your specific needs and medical history.
What Kinds of CBD Products are Best for the Gut?
CBD comes in a variety of product types, known as delivery methods, with each one determining how the cannabinoid is “delivered” into the body. And, it turns out that some delivery methods are better for gut health than others, based on how much they force the CBD to interact directly with the digestive system. Let’s go over the products that we most recommend for gut health, specifically.
CBD oil is a relatively straightforward product consisting of CBD (hemp) extract and a carrier oil (and sometimes flavoring). Available in a variety of milligram strengths, CBD oil is most often used as a tincture – in other words, a dropper of oil is poured under the tongue to absorb through the sublingual tissue, prior to being swallowed. It can also be used as a food additive. Overall, CBD oil is a fantastic choice for gut health, and a product type that is easy to find on the market.
Then, we have CBD edibles, which come in numerous forms, including gummies, capsules, snacks, beverages, and more. CBD edibles are ingested, which ensures that the cannabidiol is working directly with cannabinoid receptors along the digestive system. CBD edibles are very easy to incorporate into a routine, and can be found in a wide variety of formulations and milligram strengths, so that each user can personalize their daily regimen with the compound.
How to Use CBD for Gut Health
If you’ve been thinking about adding CBD to your daily gut health regimen, allow us to offer some tips that will make sure you get as much out of the cannabinoid as possible. How you take CBD has almost everything to do with how likely you are to get the results you’re aiming for.
Use CBD Consistently
One thing that’s important to note is that cannabidiol is far more effective when it’s taken consistently – ideally, every day – as taking it sporadically may not allow enough CBD to build up in the body to be significantly useful to the endocannabinoid system. So, aim for taking CBD daily to get the best results possible.
Be Mindful of Where You’re Buying Your CBD
Unfortunately, not all CBD is made equally. The market is full of CBD products nowadays, but some of them are produced by companies that are cutting lots of corners, resulting in formulas that are too diluted to deliver results, or made using inferior methods that cause the CBD to break down before it gets a chance to enter the body. Look for a CBD product made by a trusted company, with lots of positive reviews, and third-party lab reports available to show you that the product is potent, pure, and legitimate.
Talk to Your Doctor if You’re on Any Medications
If you’re taking any medications, please talk to your doctor before taking CBD. Many medications are metabolized via an enzyme called CYP3A4, which also plays a role in breaking down CBD in the body. Because of this, taking certain medications along with CBD can interfere with the medications’ ability to metabolize, causing it to instead accumulate in the body, which can potentially lead to toxicity.
Proper Dosing Matters
As you have probably guessed, the amount of CBD you take each day matters. Remember that the body tolerates high doses of CBD very well, so consider the severity of your digestive needs when determining how much you should take. We recommend starting with somewhere between 25-50mg daily depending on your body weight and the symptoms you’re trying to address. After 2 weeks, you can decide to increase the amount you take if you feel that it’s necessary.
Give it Time
We strongly recommend that you don’t base the efficacy of CBD off of your first time taking it. The endocannabinoid system is complex, and it can take up to 2 weeks, give or take, before the CBD’s properties start delivering noticeable results. The body needs time to accumulate the cannabinoid before it can use it to its fullest potential. If, after 2 weeks, you’re still not getting the results that you were hoping for, then you can consider increasing your dosage.
Make Sure You’re Supporting Your Gut Through Other Methods, as Well
Of course, if you’re experiencing signs of poor gut health, you’re going to want to do a lot more than just take CBD each day. CBD can be enormously helpful, but if you’re, say, not looking after your diet, it can only do so much. Here are some things that you can do to improve your overall gut health, while also taking CBD:
- Address dietary issues: The number one cause of poor gut health is a poor diet. Consuming inflammatory foods, like alcohol, sugar, dairy, and gluten can cause the digestive tract to maintain an inflamed state. And, many of us have food sensitivities that we’re unaware of, which can inflame the gut and negatively impact our microbiome. Generally, consider opting for anti-inflammatory foods that support digestive health.
- Improve your stress levels: Stress can cause a surprising amount of damage to gut health. If you’re chronically stressed, we urge you to find ways to manage it. This can mean making changes to your daily routine, turning to mindfulness, or visiting a professional mental healthcare worker regularly, to develop tools that bring stress levels down.
- Get proper sleep: Poor sleep compromises the digestive tract, as the digestive tract does a lot of important work while we’re asleep. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
- Take probiotics: Probiotics are microorganisms that replace the “good” gut bacteria that we can become deficient in due to chronic inflammation, overuse of certain medications, or poor diet. They’re easy to find over the counter, and can play a major role in restoring a healthy microbiome.
- Visit a nutritionist/functional medicine doctor: Nutritionists and functional medicine doctors by and large specialize in gut health, and can use specialized diagnostics to determine the root of your gut issues. They can also determine the changes that you need to make to your daily lifestyle and diet in order to help repair the gut, while recommending the best treatment options.
- Consider medications that you’re taking: You may be taking certain medications that are compromising your gut. If you suspect that this is the case, speak to your doctor about the best course of action.
The Best CBD Products for Gut Health: A Guide
At Kore Original, we offer a wide variety of natural, lab-tested CBD products that can be incorporated into a daily gut health routine. Let’s take a look at the best products specifically for gut wellness.
Kore’s CBD oil is available in a variety of milligram strengths, consisting solely of CBD-rich hemp extract, MCT oil and natural flavoring. A single dropper is a great starting point when building a daily routine, and the product couldn’t be easier to administer.
CBD capsules are easy to take with your daily supplements, providing a gentle, minimal formula that’s easy on the body, and rich in cannabidiol to deliver the perfect day’s worth of the cannabinoid. Each capsule contains 15mg of CBD, but you can take 2 capsules if you want a more potent doage.
CBD Vegan Gummies
Our vegan CBD gummies come in a generous variety of tasty flavors, and each gummy offers 25mg of CBD to the body. They’re delicious, easy to take, and allow the cannabinoid to work directly with the digestive tract. This is a great way to use CBD for stomach ailments of all kinds.
CBD and Gut Health: The Research Speaks for Itself
It’s clear that using CBD edibles or CBD oil for stomach issues can be enormously helpful, as research has shown us time and time again that this natural cannabinoid is rich in properties that directly relate to our gut health. And, we’ve offered advice on how to use CBD oil for stomach problems. If you want to invest in CBD edibles or CBD oil for stomach problems, we strongly recommend exploring the products at Kore Original, which are made with gentle ingredients, potent servings of CBD, and the best extraction methods, to guarantee the best results possible.