Using CBD for IBS – Guide
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that causes mild to very severe distress in the gastrointestinal system. More women than men have IBS, and symptoms usually first appear in early adulthood. The symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, gas, nausea, diarrhoea and/or constipation. IBS is a chronic condition with no known cure, meaning that people who have it need help to manage their symptoms long-term.
IBS is also strongly linked to fibromyalgia, another disorder that involves chronic pain. Up to 60% of people with IBS also have fibromyalgia, while up to 90% of people with fibromyalgia have symptoms of IBS. You can read more about using CBD Oil for fibromyalgia here.
Is CBD good for IBS symptoms?
The cannabis plant has been used for centuries to treat a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, inflammation in the bowels and intestinal pain.
Recent research has shown that cannabinoids naturally produced in the body have an important role in regulating the gastrointestinal system, which is full of receptors that help these cannabinoids function – receptors that may also help ingested cannabinoids, such as CBD, to have a direct impact on the health of the gastrointestinal system, and on conditions such as IBS.
IBS symptoms and how CBD can help
- Bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhoea: CBD may help to relax the tissues in the GI tract, which can lead to fewer spasmodic episodes. These episodes are among the worst symptoms experienced by most people with IBS.
- Nausea and lack of appetite: Nausea is a common symptom of IBS, which makes it difficult for sufferers to eat regularly. This, in turn, can lead IBS symptoms to flare up again when a person finally eats after a long period
- Pain and inflammation: CBD may help reduce pain and inflammation in the digestive system, reducing both the symptoms of IBS and the discomfort associated with them.
- Intestinal hypermotility: Some IBS sufferers deal with intestinal hypermotility, where food moves too quickly through the digestive system, causing dehydration, poor digestion, and impaired absorption of nutrients. Hypermotility is often caused by anxiety, which may be improved by using CBD.
Suggested CBD dosage for IBS sufferers?
If you are new to CBD we recommend you start on a low dose, building up to a stronger dose only if it feels necessary. Our 4% Full Spectrum CBD Oil is a good option for beginners.
If you feel the need to increase your dose, or if you are already a CBD user and know you need a higher dose, we also stock 8% CBD Oil and 15% CBD Oil.
To take CBD oil orally, we recommend you take 1 to 3 drops under the tongue twice per day. Keep the drops under your tongue for a minimum of one minute before swallowing. This enables the CBD to get into your bloodstream faster so it can more rapidly begin to take effect.
If this is not your preferred way to enjoy the potential benefits of CBD, you may like to try our CBD Capsules which also contain tumeric and black pepper and they have no taste.
How to take CBD for IBS symptoms?
For IBS symptoms, most people find that taking CBD oil at a regular time each morning has the best overall positive effect. CBD does not have drowsiness as a side-effect, and it does not contain the psychoactive element of cannabis, THC. This means that CBD does not produce a ‘high,’ and should not reduce your ability to go about your daily activities.
Research into using CBD for IBS
Recent research has found that CBD is effective at reducing inflammation in the gut and resulting intestinal damage.
Cannabinoids (such as CBD) have also demonstrated the ability to block gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in IBS and related disorders.
Still more research has revealed the important role of the body’s endocannabinoid system in the control of a variety of gastrointestinal functions, including motility, gut–brain-mediated fat intake and hunger signaling, inflammation and gut permeability, and dynamic interactions with gut microbiota, suggesting more possible uses for CBD in treating gastrointestinal disorders.
Things to check before using CBD to tackle IBS symptoms
The World Health Organisation has established that Cannabidiol (CBD) ‘does not appear to have abuse potential or cause any harm.’ CBD is not a psychoactive compound, and does not get you high. Most users will not experience any adverse side effects, although it’s possible to feel slighlty lightheaded but this varies from person to person.
Before using CBD for IBS, you should ask your doctor if you’re taking any other medications or supplements (prescription or otherwise), especially medications for pain.
CBD interacts with and could slow down the liver enzymes which break down some prescription medications, making it a good idea to get medical advice before using CBD for IBS.
If you’re tired of the discomfort, pain and oftentimes embarrassing symptoms of IBS, it may be time to consider trying CBD oil to relieve your IBS symptoms.
CBD Oil is a natural, plant-based product that many users have found effective for improving their IBS symptoms, from bloating and gas to diarrhea, nausea, and pain.
If you found this guide helpful and want to research other related guides to CBD, you might find our other articles useful, including:
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Are you considering using CBD for IBS Symptoms and Pain? Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a common and currently non-curable chronic condition, but research shows CBD can help
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Research suggests that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects about 12 percent of people in the United States. The digestive symptoms can vary from person to person, but they can be seriously uncomfortable regardless of the individual.
There are a number of home remedies and medications that can help manage IBS symptoms like cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Some research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may also help.
Keep reading to learn about the basics of CBD and how it may help treat the gastrointestinal symptoms of IBS.
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its close cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t produce a “high” feeling. It also has fewer potential unpleasant side effects than THC, even if taken in large doses.
There are three different types of CBD:
- full-spectrum CBD, which contains all the plant’s cannabinoids, including THC
- broad-spectrum CBD, which contains most cannabinoids but no THC
- CBD isolate, which is pure CBD only
THC in CBD products
Even though broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate have had the THC removed, there’s a chance that any CBD product you take may have trace amounts of THC.
If you want to avoid THC altogether, or if you get drug tested, it may be best to avoid using CBD products.
While an IBS-friendly diet and stress relief can help reduce IBS symptoms, some people may want to try additional treatments — especially during flare-ups.
Doctors sometimes prescribe medications for IBS, but some of these only target specific symptoms and may have undesirable side effects. If you’re looking for something natural that might help with IBS, you may wonder about CBD.
Because there are cannabinoid receptors all over our body, including our stomachs, it’s possible that ingesting cannabis-derived products, like CBD, may help with digestive symptoms.
Studies have also shown that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory qualities, something that might make them good at treating gastrointestinal disorders like IBS. However, studies from 2011 and 2012 on cannabinoids and IBS have specifically looked at the effect of dronabinol, a synthetic cannabis product that mainly contains THC.
One review from 2020 suggests that CBD may also have potential therapeutic benefits for conditions like IBS. However, more research is needed to confirm the link. Right now, there’s just not enough evidence to firmly declare that CBD can help with IBS.
There’s no specific research about which type of CBD is best for IBS. That said, research suggests that taking THC and CBD together might be more effective than taking either alone — this is called the entourage effect.
Because of this, full-spectrum CBD products might be better at easing symptoms than broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate.
As for product type, topicals won’t be particularly helpful for IBS symptoms. Ingesting edibles like gummies and oils might be a better bet.
When shopping for CBD, whether for IBS or another concern, consider the following:
Buy from a company that’s open and honest about where they source their hemp.
A quality product should come with an up-to-date, detailed certificate of analysis (COA) from a reputable third-party lab.
A COA lets you know whether the product’s potency actually matches what’s on the label. It’s also best to look for a COA that contains information about contaminant testing. That way, you can be sure the product has been tested for potentially harmful substances like heavy metals and mold.
Avoid companies that promise you the moon. It’s not OK for companies to make claims that their CBD products cure ailments -— not only because there isn’t enough research to support this, but it’s also against Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules.
In fact, the FDA sends warning letters to companies that make false health claims. Checking the warning letter database can be a good way to steer clear of brands that have a poor reputation.
Full-spectrum products are thought to be more effective than other types, but they do contain small amounts of THC (no more than 0.3 percent).
If you prefer to avoid THC, opt for a product made with CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. But keep in mind that any CBD product may contain trace amounts of THC.
Dosing varies a lot across CBD products, so always check the label to learn more about the potency. A higher potency might be the reason for a higher price tag — but not always.
CBD has many health benefits, but can it help IBS? We dive into the research and explain how to find a quality product.