6 Ways CBD Can Improve Gut Health 

by | Jun 15, 2023 | Latest News | 0 comments

As research about cannabidiol continues, we are learning more about the potential CBD has for health benefits and wellness. And one of the surprising reasons you may choose to take a daily supplement may be CBD for gut health.

As we age, our bodies change, and certain processes can become impaired for a variety of reasons. The impact of free radicals can interfere with a healthy digestive system. Free radicals contribute to inflammation-induced intestinal permeability and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Crohn’s disease.

Gut inflammation can cause a variety of symptoms, including tummy pain, fatigue, persistent diarrhea (lasting longer than four weeks), and in some cases, unhealthy weight loss and blood or mucus in bowel movements.

Poor gut health affects approximately 60 million Americans, with diagnoses like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other digestive system diseases. Dietary and lifestyle changes can help improve symptoms, but the powerful anti-inflammatory effect of cannabidiol (CBD) may also help.

Gut Health

Why Does Gut Health Matter?

You are what you eat. Gut health is something we rarely think of until uncomfortable symptoms start to appear. Our gastrointestinal tract has trillions of microorganisms essential to digestion and overall health.

Did you know that many diseases and infections start in the gastrointestinal tract? That is because the gut microbiota also helps fight bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Some studies suggest that up to 70% of your immune system functioning rests with a healthy digestive system.

Here are the key reasons why gut health is so important:

Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients

All the vitamins, proteins, and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy are absorbed through the digestive tract. Foods and beverages are broken down through the complex process of digestion.

What is beneficial is absorbed through the small intestine by millions of finger-shaped fibers called villi. The villus are connected to a network of capillaries, allowing the nutrients to pass into the bloodstream. Inflammation can impair our body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Healthy Cells

Immune System Functioning

Every day, our bodies come into contact with harmful pathogens that can cause infections, allergic reactions (and histamine triggers), as well as autoimmune disorders. A healthy digestive system is able to neutralize almost all pathogens in the digestive system. People with poor gut health have a lower defense against infections.

When you have a balanced and healthy digestive tract, it helps to regulate inflammation not just in that local area but throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is consistent with people who have poor gut health. Unregulated inflammation is linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risks, and some types of cancer.

Mental Health is Connected to the Digestive System

Can poor gut health really cause or exacerbate mental health conditions? Many clinical studies suggest that there is a strong pathway between the gut and the brain. Messaging between your brain and your digestive tract is constant.

When the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in your digestive system is not balanced, it can cause symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other cognitive problems. People with clinical anxiety and depression have a higher rate of poor gut health, according to many studies.

Healthy Lifestyle

Symptoms That May Indicate Poor Gut Health

Some of the symptoms that may lead you to suspect you have digestive health problems are noticeable. They come with some uncomfortable effects that you will want to discuss with your doctor.

However, other symptoms of poor gut health may be less noticeable or easily misdiagnosed as another health problem. Here are some of the most common symptoms that may suggest you have an imbalance in your GI tract:

  • Bloating and gas.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Food intolerances (i.e., lactose or gluten).
  • Unintentional weight changes (gain or loss).
  • Low energy and fatigue.
  • Inflammatory skin conditions (acne, eczema, or rosacea).
  • Mood disorders (anxiety, sadness, or depression).
  • Frequent illnesses or infections (low immune system functioning).

Because the symptoms of poor gut health can be similar to other conditions, it is important to talk to your doctor. There are tests that can be conducted to help diagnose any gastrointestinal condition. And your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan that may help improve your symptoms.

Healthy Diet

How Can You Improve and Balance Your Digestive System?

With the guidance of your primary care provider, you can start to address any imbalance in your GI tract. But many of the best therapies that can help you get your digestive system back on track are lifestyle changes.

If you want to start improving your gut health and reduce intestinal inflammation, you can prioritize these good habits:

  • Eat a balanced diet that includes fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes (beans). Incorporate fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt, which are packed with healthy probiotics and prebiotic bacteria that are good for you.
  • Reduce the number of processed foods and high-glucose (sugar) foods you eat. Sugar encourages the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. Focus meals and snacks around unprocessed foods for a healthier gut.
  • Drink plenty of water. This is essential to help break down foods and for nutrient absorption. Men should be drinking 3.7 liters of plain water per day. Women need a minimum of 2 liters of water for good health.
  • Reduce and manage stress effectively. Stress has a negative impact on gut health. Using techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness exercises may help.
  • Get regular exercise. Modern guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week.
  • Maintain a healthy sleep cycle. Make sure you are getting enough sleep (7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each evening). It helps with gut health and repair.
  • Reduce the use of antibiotics where you are able. While you may need to take antibiotics on the advice of your physician, take them according to instructions. Do not keep leftover antibiotics and take them without the guidance of a physician. Antibiotics kill good gut microbes, leading to imbalance.
  • Reduce or avoid smoking, and watch your alcohol consumption. Both substances have chemical compounds that can strip your digestive tract of healthy gut bacteria.
  • Ask your doctor about taking a high-quality probiotic daily. Supplements with at least one billion CFUs are considered sufficient for most adults.

What works for one person may not work for another. Remember to listen to your body and note any changes or new symptoms, and discuss them with your doctor. Also, consult with your physician about any prescription medications you are taking and whether they may have a negative impact on gut health.

CBD Tincture for Gut Health

CBD For Gut Health: Can it Make a Difference?

If you have already been tested and talked to your doctor about problems with gastrointestinal motility or inflammation in your digestive tract, you may want to try taking a cannabidiol (CBD) supplement.

Global studies of CBD report that cannabidiol can have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. And since problems with gut health and digestion are caused or exacerbated by inflammation, a daily CBD supplement could help.

While more research is needed to understand how cannabidiol works, CBD is well tolerated by most people and not contraindicated with most prescription medications. In fact, there are six ways that CBD can help you improve the performance and health of your digestive tract:

1. Pain Relief

For some people, cannabidiol (CBD) can provide analgesic effects. That may help reduce abdominal discomfort, cramps, or other gut-related pain. As cannabidiol interacts with the human endocannabinoid system, it can relieve pain.

2. Can Help Reduce Inflammation

The primary benefit of CBD, according to many clinical studies, is how it can help moderate inflammation. Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are two digestive disorders that can be caused by inflammation.

CBD Capsules Concentrate

3. May Help Moderate Stress and Anxiety

As mentioned previously, stress and anxiety can severely impact gut health. Cannabidiol has been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties in some clinical studies. By helping to naturally alleviate stress, CBD may help reduce gastrointestinal upset.

4. Can Improve Gut Motility

Some studies have suggested that CBD can help gut motility in two ways. Cannabidiol can help reduce gut motility (slow things down) or stimulate the movement of food through the digestive tract. People who suffer from abnormal bowel movements from conditions like IBS should talk to a doctor about using CBD for gut health.

5. May Promote Balanced Microbiota

New studies suggest that “CBD may have a modulating effect on gut microbiota.” Researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works, but cannabidiol may help balance gut bacteria and improve digestion.

6. Help With Cravings and Appetite

For people who have a suppressed appetite, a daily CBD supplement may help stimulate hunger. People with conditions like cachexia or patients undergoing cancer treatment may find that CBD can help restore their appetite and reduce unintended weight loss.

Physician Consultation CBD

What Types of CBD Are Recommended for Gut Health?

If you have been diagnosed with a gut health issue by your healthcare provider, you can choose to explore CBD supplements. Because sugar can make digestive inflammation worse, gummies may not be the best type of CBD product to take.

Instead, you may want to explore other options, including capsules or tinctures. And make sure you choose the highest quality cannabidiol supplement you can find. Be sure to review the certificate of analysis (COA) and ingredients for any CBD product.

Some physicians suggest a broad-spectrum CBD supplement may be most effective when combating problems with inflammation. Remember to check with your primary care provider if you take prescription medications. Cannabidiol is well tolerated, but it can conflict with some medicines.

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