Can CBD Provide Relief from IBS?

Woman suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) clutching stomach because of abdominal pain.

If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you know how uncomfortable it is. You’re probably dealing with frequent trips to the bathroom (or infrequent trips if you have constipation), stomach cramps, and excess gas. It’s a lousy condition that can be frustrating to deal with.

Millions of Americans suffer from IBS as it is an extremely common disorder. The condition is caused by issues in bowel function, and symptoms usually include constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, and more.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS. Current recommendations for dealing with the symptoms include medications and certain diet changes. Although those options can certainly be helpful, there is another safe and all-natural option that you may want to consider as well: CBD.

If you’re not familiar, CBD (short for cannabidiol) is a natural compound that has a variety of different health benefits. And while more research must be done on CBD and IBS, the information that we do have is looking promising. Scientists believe that CBD may be an effective and healthy supplement that can provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.

To learn more about CBD oil and IBS, and how it may help you feel better, keep reading!

What exactly is IBS?

Before we dive into the interaction between CBD and IBS, let’s go over the basics of IBS.

Irritable bowel syndrome is a very common gastrointestinal disorder. In fact, the American College of Gastroenterology claims that about 10% to 15% of the U.S. population deals with IBS.

IBS is a disorder of bowel function and is not caused by any anatomic abnormalities. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, those who suffer from IBS typically have the following symptoms:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Rectal urgency with diarrhea

Plus, the condition may also cause a slew of other uncomfortable non-intestinal issues as well. These symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Urinary discomfort or urgency
  • Back pain
  • Low libido
  • Pain during intercourse

Did you know? Although IBS affects both men and women, studies have shown that about twice as many women suffer from the disorder than men. The reason for this isn’t completely understood, although it seems to stem from differences in how men and women process the sensations in their intestines.

Although it can be very uncomfortable, IBS is not associated with any serious medical consequences. It does not increase your chances of other diseases or colon cancer, and it does not put extra stress on other organs in your body. The biggest issue with IBS is that the symptoms can affect your overall quality of life.

CBD oil used for IBS. Close up of tincture dropping CBD droplet into small jar.

What is CBD?

Fortunately, if you suffer from IBS there are things you can do to help manage your symptoms. Taking CBD regularly is one option that may provide you with some relief.

But wait, what even is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is a natural compound called a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis plants. CBD is just one of the over one hundred different cannabinoids found in cannabis.

Another cannabinoid that you may be familiar with is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It’s the main psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and it’s the compound responsible for producing a high sensation. Although both CBD and THC are cannabinoids, they work very differently in your body. CBD is completely non-psychoactive and will not cause you to feel high.

CBD has a variety of different benefits. There is scientific evidence that shows CBD may be effective in treating epilepsy, reducing pain and inflammation, managing anxiety, promoting better sleep, and much more.

CBD and IBS – How does it help?

CBD can provide so many great benefits to the body because of its interaction with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

The ECS is an important system found in your body that helps to promote balance among your body’s other systems. The ECS has cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that are connected to every organ system in your body. When CBD interacts with those receptors, it helps support your overall health.

CBD and Digestion

The ECS is linked to your gastrointestinal (GI) system and is also known to impact your gut. This 2013 study stated that the ECS may be involved in the treatment of certain functional GI diseases.

Researchers in a study on the ECS and IBS said, “The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of numerous gastrointestinal functions including motility, sensation and secretion under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions.” They also stated that substances that influence the ECS can reduce inflammation and potentially treat IBS.

Although more research needs to be done in order to completely understand how CBD can influence the ECS, and therefore your GI, it’s believed that it has the potential to positively impact your digestion.

Woman using CBD oil for IBS treatment by taking CBD orally with tincture.

CBD and Inflammation

Lots of research has been done showing that CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory agent.

This is great news for anyone suffering from IBS because scientists have discovered that if you have IBS, it may be influenced by some low-grade inflammation. Because CBD can help to reduce inflammation in the body, it may be able to reduce some of the inflammation that can aggravate IBS symptoms. 

CBD and Mental Health

Our bodies and minds are deeply connected. When either one experiences trauma or disease, it greatly impacts the other.

In the case of IBS, many people have found that their symptoms began or worsened after a traumatic event or after experiencing more stress. This is because stress is known to have an impact on your digestive health, leading to the digestion issues that characterize IBS.

Anxiety and depression have also been shown to worsen IBS in some individuals. Stress and mood can both have a big impact on the severity of the symptoms. Because of this, taking measures to reduce stress and improve your mental health may potentially help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by IBS.

Because CBD can help you feel more relaxed, and because it is known to also help reduce anxiety and improve mood, CBD may help reduce your IBS symptoms.

To experience the best effects of CBD, it’s important to take a high-quality CBD oil supplement on a regular basis. After you have taken CBD regularly for a few days, you may begin to notice an improvement in your overall mood and health, and potentially an improvement in any IBS symptoms you have.

If you’re wondering what the best CBD oil for anxiety and IBS is, check out our selection of Wellness Garden Medicinals CBD oil tinctures.

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