When mentioning digestive problems, most of us probably automatically think of complaints such as stomach ache, diarrhea, and constipation. While these are all genuine issues, they are sadly only a few of the many symptoms of digestive problems.
There are several debilitating and severe digestive issues that some of us don’t know about. From irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, gastrointestinal disorders can be serious. They can also have a massive impact on the lives of those who suffer from them.
This often leads to individuals becoming reclusive and isolated; in some cases, it can even lead to mortality. This informative post will discuss the different types of digestive problems and how CBD can potentially help alleviate common symptoms.
What Are Digestive Problems?
Approximately 40% of people have at least one symptom of a digestive issue at any one time. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that many over-the-counter medications claim to treat these common digestive issues. Known as functional disorders, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and bloating are common and usually temporary digestive problems.
A typical long-term gastric issue is IBS, which affects the large intestine. While many medications can treat IBS, symptoms can be uncomfortable and range from cramping and bloating to gassiness, constipation, and diarrhea.
An even more severe digestive problem is Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While it is more severe than IBS, it is no less common. Statistics show that approximately 700,000 people in the US have the disease.
If symptoms are severe enough, it is unlikely that the sufferer would want to leave the house for work or to socialize.
IBD causes inflammation of the digestive tract, leading to a variety of symptoms. These can range in severity from abdominal pain, tenderness, and discomfort to persistent vomiting, high fever, or even abscesses.
Not only are these symptoms damaging physically, but the side effects can also interfere with an individual’s daily life and mental health. If symptoms are severe enough, it is unlikely that the sufferer would want to leave the house for work or to socialize.
However, what causes these issues? Gastric problems can stem from something as small as a change in diet or increased stress levels. They can also arise from things like lack of exercise, medication use, or pregnancy.
What Are the Current Treatments Available for Digestive Problems?
Depending on the problem one has, there are a variety of things they can buy to help. However, this can become expensive, and the long-term side effects of taking the medication regularly can be damaging.
An over-the-counter antiemetic can relieve nausea and vomiting if they have a common and less severe digestive issue. There are also antacids, which will help relieve indigestion. There is also a wide range of aminosalicylate drugs for long-term intestinal inflammation and antidiarrheal drugs to relieve severe symptoms of diarrhea.
For more severe conditions such as Crohn’s, patients can look at a whole host of different medications prescribed to control the disease. These include antibiotics, steroids, and immune modifiers, which suppress the body’s natural immune response.
As you can probably imagine, the side effects of taking such a range of medications could result in new problems from weight gain to a lack of immunity and thinning of the bones. It is not uncommon for patients to seek alternative treatment to avoid these nasty side effects.
Every condition of the body, including those affecting the digestive system, can be helped through dietary modification and proper supplementation. CBD is one of those potentially essential supplements.
Living with Digestive Problems
A staggering 20 million Americans suffer from chronic digestive diseases. As such, it is no shock that this type of disease is one of the most expensive to treat in the US. With hundreds of prescription medications on the market, it can be a costly and overwhelming thing to treat for long-term sufferers.
The common side effects that most treatments have on the body can cause further physical issues for the user and ultimately impact mental health.
Why Choose CBD for Digestive Problems?
There is a growing trend towards the use of CBD for a variety of digestive issues. This cannabinoid influences human health by interacting with something known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS comprises chemicals called endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors such as CB1 and CB2. They trigger various responses that help maintain a state of balance throughout the body, and CBD influences the activity of the ECS and other various receptors.
There is a high concentration of cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system. Therefore, CBD could have a significant impact on digestive health. One of the primary ways in which it does this is by reducing inflammation. It achieves this by preventing the production of interleukins and cytokines. These are proteins that give our immune system the signal to begin an inflammatory response.
CBD could also lower cortisol, which is a catabolic hormone. Cortisol breaks down tissues in the body and has a destructive impact on the lining of our GI tract. Keeping cortisol levels in check is a key factor in maintaining a properly functioning digestive system.
Now, let’s look at the studies that show CBD has a positive effect on stomach problems.
CBD for Stomach Issues
Research into CBD’s digestive system benefits goes back over a decade. While studies involving human subjects are limited, with mainly small sample sizes, the results are promising.
An Israeli study published in 2012 involved 292 patients receiving treatment for IBD. Around half of them used cannabis in the past or were using it at the time of the study. Overall, 32% of MMJ users said they tried it for poor appetite, diarrhea, and nausea. The researchers found that the current cannabis users reported a significant improvement in those symptoms.
A 2016 review of studies looked into the role of cannabinoids in inflammation and gastrointestinal mucosal defense. The researchers wrote that direct activation of CB1 receptors by cannabinoids helped reduce gastric acid secretion and gastric motor activity. The process also decreased the formation of gastric mucosal lesions induced by alcohol, stress, and NSAIDs.
The researchers concluded that the ECS represented a promising target in the treatment of IBDs. They also said preliminary clinical studies confirmed the assumption.
One of the most recent relevant reviews was published in 2020. It looked into CBD products and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids for the prevention and treatment of GI disorders. The researchers concluded that CBD, particularly, was potentially useful for helping with different conditions and diseases of the GI tract. However, more research is required to confirm the link.
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CBD Oil for Digestion
Another reason to consider CBD for digestion is its apparent capacity to regulate appetite. This is extremely helpful if you eat too frequently or too much and suffer from bloating as a result. Ideally, you will leave a minimum of 3-4 hours between meals and snacks for optimal digestion.
In general, CBD could lead to weight loss as it reduces appetite. This was the finding of a 2012 study published in Psychopharmacology (Berlin). The researchers found that CBD usage led to a significant reduction in food intake amongst rats compared to CBG and CBN.
Does CBD Oil Help with Constipation?
Certain gastrointestinal issues impact the frequency of bowel movements, known as motility. A study from 2005 found that CBD could potentially help regulate GI motility. However, it depends on an individual’s specific symptoms. This is positive news if you suffer from constipation.
There is evidence that CBD could also alleviate symptoms of constipation, such as a stomach ache, nausea, and bloating. For example, this 2011 study found that cannabinoids could regulate nausea and vomiting.
There are many forms of CBD worth considering for digestive problems. CBD oils and gummies are among the most popular. However, there is an age-old remedy for stomach issues that could provide extra relief when infused with CBD.
Peppermint Tea for Digestive Problems
Peppermint is an herb that people frequently use for digestive problems. It is a plant that is native to Europe and North America, and humans have used it therapeutically for centuries.
Peppermint is rich in active compounds such as flavonoids, rosmarinic acid, and menthol, among others. Therefore, it has a variety of potential benefits.
People often apply it topically to relieve symptoms like headaches and muscle aches. However, the most famous medicinal use of peppermint is as a digestive aid. It has anti-spasmodic actions, and research has shown that it can be useful for relieving IBS symptoms.
Most of the studies on peppermint for IBS have focused on its essential oil in the form of enteric-coated capsules. Results suggest that peppermint oil can alleviate abdominal pain and improve global IBS symptoms too.
It does not seem to cause any side effects, but high doses of peppermint oil can be toxic. Therefore, it is essential to take peppermint oil capsules according to a physician’s instructions and not exceed the maximum recommended amount.
Another popular way of consuming peppermint, which we turn to now, is as an herbal tea.
CBD Peppermint Tea Benefits
CBD peppermint tea combines all the benefits of the two herbs into one tasty and refreshing beverage. It is convenient and enjoyable to use and is an ideal solution for people with busy schedules.
Many people choose CBD peppermint tea with the hope of soothing digestive discomfort, but it has other potential benefits too.
While many people choose CBD peppermint tea with the hope of soothing digestive discomfort, it has other potential benefits. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, peppermint is known as a cooling herb. Therefore, it is ideal for drinking on hot summer days.
Other traditional uses include alleviating pain, regulating the immune system, and relieving colds. However, there is little clinical evidence to back up these claims.
CBD also has plenty of benefits outside of the digestive system. The most common reasons why people use it include chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. However, peppermint CBD tea may not be the best way to experience these effects. Let’s take a look at why.
Disadvantages of Peppermint CBD Tea
The main downside of CBD peppermint tea is that it generally contains only small amounts of CBD. So, while it makes a delicious beverage, it might be better viewed as a CBD top-up rather than a primary consumption method.
Consumers will get a far higher CBD dosage using oil tinctures, capsules, edibles, or similar. One solution is to add a few drops of CBD oil to peppermint tea to create a homemade infusion. However, the oil will separate from the drink, and some may find the taste unpleasant.
Furthermore, CBD is fat-soluble and needs a little fat to help the body utilize it fully. Therefore, unless consumers add something fatty to their tea, they will derive little benefit. Adding some coconut oil or full-fat milk will help, but it may also make the tea less enjoyable.
Some CBD manufacturers are starting to recognize this problem and produce water-soluble CBD. However, these items are often harder-to-come-by and more expensive than regular CBD products. Therefore, it is necessary to research to find the best and most effective peppermint CBD tea.
Does CBD Settle Your Stomach?
The data available so far suggests that the answer is ‘yes.’ There is a clear connection between the ECS and the GI tract. Endocannabinoids work with CB receptors all over the body, including the stomach. While CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the brain, CB2 receptors are mainly in the gut. When any digestive system organ gets swollen, these receptors bind with cannabinoids such as CBD to slowly reduce inflammation.
There are now dozens of studies that suggest CBD can help with gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, and constipation. The antiemetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties of CBD could help alleviate various digestive issues.
Final Thoughts on the Use of CBD for Digestive Issues
Clinical trials are still ongoing. We have yet to see breakthrough results to show that CBD can fully eradicate the symptoms of digestive diseases. Nonetheless, there has been a great deal of promising work relating to how CBD works on the body. Also, a growing number of individuals who use CBD for GI issues claim that it is effective.
While we understand the thought of moving to something such as CBD can be daunting, the results speak for themselves. Many positive testimonials suggest that CBD does offer digestive benefits with limited risks. This is an advantage that you can’t get from prescription medications.