How Do CBD Supplements Help Manage Gut Health and Digestion?

The endocannabinoid system has been shown to play a role in many bodily functions and physiology. It is comprised of cell receptor sites found all throughout the body. So far the main receptors found are CB1 and CB2, both have been found on cells within the gut and digestive system. A dysfunctional system may play a role with intestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Our bodies naturally produce endocannabinoids (see post on how to jumpstart the endocannabinoid system). But when that system is out of balance due to lifestyle causes, we may need external help. If you are trying to avoid pharmaceuticals, phytocannabinoids are often used as an alternative. CBD and THC are both phytocannabinoids that bind or influence CB1 and CB2 receptors due to their molecular similarity to endogenous cannabinoids, a phenomenon known as biomimicry. THC is known to bind directly to the CB1 receptors, whereas CBD is known to have an indirect effect upon both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.

CBD and Leaky Gut

The gut is lined by a barrier of epithelial cells that are linked together by tight junction proteins and they allow nutrients to pass through, while preventing harmful substances from breaching the gut. When that barrier become increasingly permeable and allow harmful substances as bacterial and pathogens to pass through, this can initiate an inflammatory cascade.

A paper (1) published in 2017 looked at CBD as a potential therapeutics in preventing imbalances of the gut microbiota.  The author noted that “CBD has been shown to restore endothelial membrane permeability directly..”

In addition, CBD has also been shown to counteract intestinal inflammation directly and has demonstrated beneficial effects on the inflamed gut.

CBD and Irritable Bowel Disease

Irritable Bowel Disease is a condition that affects the large intestine of the digestive system, resulting in symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, constipation and stomach cramps. Current treatment for IBD include dietary changes, probiotics, and certain medications. A paper (2) published in 2012 talked about CBD as a promising therapeutic agent as it’s anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects on IBS symptoms like pain and inflammation. The authors concluded CBD to possess an extraordinary range of beneficial effects that may slow the course of IBS and ameliorate symptoms.

Another paper (3) published in 2011 suggested that CBD may reduce intestinal inflammation severity through the control of what is known as the neuro-immune axis.

As a supplement to dietary and lifestyle change, adding CBD to your daily regiment can help manage symptoms of IBS by balancing endocannabinoid system and restore gut health. To start, I recommend the Double Strength CBD as a daily dose of 0.5ml, or 15mg of CBD in the morning.

  1. Preventing Negative Shifts in Gut Microbiota with Cannabis Therapy: Implications for Colorectal Cancer

  1. Cannabidiol in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Brief Overview

  1. Cannabidiol Reduces Intestinal Inflammation through the Control of Neuroimmune Axis

Love and light,

Mimi May


This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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