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Everything You Need to Know About CBD and IBS

Posted on June 11th, 2020

There’s lots of research focusing on the relation between CBD and IBS. Specifically, scientists from all corners of the world focus on understanding how CBD can be used to affect people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a poorly understood health condition, and it can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life. While we don’t know what causes IBS, we do know that some conditions, such as stress, anxiety, and inflammation are all closely linked to its symptoms. Therefore, researchers believe that addressing these factors could also help those with IBS find some relief.

And here’s the good news: findings from pre-clinical studies demonstrate that CBD may reduce inflammation, anxiety, and stress in your body. So, as research progresses, we may prove that CBD could effectively target IBS symptoms as well.

Ready to learn more? Just read on below to find out everything you need to know about CBD and IBS.

What Is IBS?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic health condition affecting the digestive tract. IBS mostly affects your small and large intestines, and the condition triggers seemingly random episodes of discomfort and bowel pain. Millions of people, of all ages, suffer from this frustrating condition, struggling to find relief.

There are so many obstacles to treatment, the first of which is that IBS is hard to diagnose. Why? IBS sufferers generally changes how your digestive system works, whereas conditions such as Crohn’s disease cause digestive tract abnormalities. Still, symptoms often look the same, so it can take numerous visits to the doctor’s office before your IBS is properly diagnosed.

IBS Symptoms

In addition to causing random bursts of pain and discomfort along your digestive tract, IBS is also linked with a few other symptoms. These include everything from bloating, gas, cramps, constipation, and diarrhea, to abdominal pain and even weight loss. Fatigue, incontinence, and nausea may also be part of your IBS experience.

Typically, IBS is classified as being diarrhea or constipation dominant; but some patients swing from one dominance to the other. During periods of stress and anxiety, or just after eating, these symptoms usually worsen.

While there is no cure for IBS, various therapies have been developed in a bid to help relieve painful symptoms, thus improving the quality of life for IBS sufferers.

Causes of IBS

It is important to note that researchers have yet to identify the main cause of IBS. However, some medical experts believe that bacteria in the digestive system, nerves involved in the control of the digestive tract, and changes in intestinal motility resulting in food passing too slowly or too quickly through the digestive tract may be to blame.

Various foods as well as hormonal changes are also thought to trigger IBS. Individuals suffering from mental conditions, like anxiety and depression, are also more likely to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. As previously stated, stress may cause IBS symptoms to become worse.

Traditional IBS Treatments

Over the years, medical practitioners have explored a number of treatments to treat the main symptoms of IBS.

Stress reduction therapies, such as exercise, counseling, and meditation, are commonly used to treat IBS symptoms. In most cases, medical experts start by trying to reduce anxiety and stress levels in patients.

Diet changes are another approach physicians use to treat IBS. Here, medical practitioners usually identify problematic foods, such as those known to cause digestion issues or gas, before advising patients to avoid them as much as possible.

Various medications may also be used to treat IBS. Probiotics and antibiotics may be used to alter the flora along your digestive tract. Medications that alter the intestinal motility may also be prescribed. It is also common for physicians to prescribe antidepressants to help relieve IBS symptoms. Even peppermint has been identified as an option with over the counter solutions.

While the above treatment approaches are conventional methods of addressing IBS symptoms, it is important to note their efficacy is not guaranteed; many treatments may work for some people and fail for others. Fortunately, medical experts have shifted their focus towards CBD and IBS, as they search for better treatments that effectively address the underlying IBS triggers. Plus, when the end-user says CBD helps their IBS and they convey this information to their doctor, it becomes obvious that something positive is going on in the digestive tract.

What We Know About IBS From the Latest Research Findings

Now that you have a clear idea of what IBS is, as well as its symptoms and potential causes or triggers, you can better understand how CBD can help. But you should also familiarize yourself with some of the important facts about IBS that years of research have uncovered.

First, studies show that IBS sufferers are more likely to experience inflammation along the digestive tract because they have more inflammatory cells in the digestive tract. Symptoms, such as abdominal pain and bloating, come about as inflammation sets in.

Scientists have also discovered that IBS sufferers have reduced serotonin levels. Initially, this may lead to stronger feelings of anxiety and fear, in addition to enhancing your gut’s sensitivity to pain. More importantly, serotonin in your gut influences intestinal motility, which can lead to faster movement (i.e. diarrhea,) or slower movement (i.e. constipation). When you factor in diet and lifestyle it is difficult to find a happy place with regard to IBS symptoms.

Lastly, the onset of IBS is often linked to anxiety or depression . As previously mentioned, increased stress may lead to worsening IBS symptoms. So, now we know more about IBS, let’s see why CBD is becoming popular for IBS sufferers when dealing with IBS symptoms.

What Is CBD?

We obtain Cannabidiol (CBD) from the industrial hemp plant; this cannabinoid is the main active ingredient in CBD products. Tanasi products have a patent-pending University developed formula on the extract formula that is a one-to-one concentration of CBD and the precursor, or preprocessed CBD that is Cannabidiolic-acid (CBDA). In addition to Tanasi products are all full spectrum extracts that do contain other cannabinoids, and are legal by federal guidelines.

Before you proceed, it’s important to note that CBD can not get you high, and is very different from THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) that can get you high in larger dosage even though they both come from cannabis plants. That’s because industrial-hemp varieties of cannabis plants don’t have the THC levels that can induce a high feeling. In fact, legal CBD products usually have very low THC levels, below 0.03% in full spectrum extract form. The already-low THC levels in hemp plants are further reduced during the cannabinoid extraction and refinement process. As a result, using CBD does not come with the risk of getting high.

CBD extracts are available in a variety of delivery forms, including edibles, topicals, and concentrates, each designed to suit its use in addressing various reasons why they are consumed.

How Does CBD Work for IBS Symptoms?

While CBD has a variety of effects on the human body, it is believed to work in the following ways when it comes to IBS symptoms.

The balancing of inflammation, emotion, and pain levels in our bodies is managed, in part, by the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has been identified to regulate the organs and help synergies with the immune system. The ECS is just now being rediscovered as information about the ECS was not taught in medical schools or included in medical textbooks since the 1940s. It was a strong prohibition against the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. This system consists of receptors found all over our brains and bodies. Now, this system is important because IBS sufferers are more likely to suffer from increased mental health issues, as well as pain, and inflammation due to an endocannabinoid deficiency , according to recent research findings.

To help address inflammation, pain, and anxiety in the gut, full-spectrum CBD products also have a variety of cannabinoids and anandamide (also referred to as the “bliss molecule”) which attach to the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS, which are located along the digestive tract.

CBD Dosage

To ensure that you get the best outcome when using CBD to address IBS symptoms, first consult your healthcare provider. These medical professionals can offer detailed advice on dosage and directions of use when combining CBD with other medications. The conflicts arise with anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed as taking CBD products on top of prescription anti-inflammatory is not good.

As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you start out with a low CBD dosage level before increasing it gradually, after a few days, where necessary to achieve your desired results. Many people prefer splitting daily doses in half, one to be taken in the morning and the other before you go to sleep, at night. But others take it all in one go, so experiment with the routine that works for you. Taking over 100mg in one day is about the maximum you should take, as any more is just waste because the body can only process so much CBD.

To ensure that you have the best chance of finding the right form of CBD to address your IBS symptoms, Tanasi offers a wide selection of products. Here’s a breakdown of our patent-pending University developed hemp extract CBD products, accompanied by recommended directions for use.

  • You can take our Hemp Extract Full Spectrum Gel Capsule as desired.
  • The Hemp Extract Full Spectrum Salve is designed to be applied topically. For best results, you should not wipe the salve off your hands after a few minutes have elapsed. Just rub it in until it is no longer greasy as it is an oil-based salve.
  • Place the desired amount of the Hemp Extract Full Spectrum Oil Tincture under the tongue and only swallow after two minutes have elapsed. A desired amount might be 40mg, and that is 1mL (full dropper) of our 1200mg bottle. As an example, just take the total milligrams on the bottle, 1200mg, and divide by 30 days (1200/30 = 40).
  • Add the Water Soluble Hemp Extract Drink concentrate on your chosen drink and enjoy it. Remember to shake the concentrate well before use. The Tanasi drink concentrate products come in two sizes, 2mg per drop and 4mg per drop versions.
  • A single pump of the Hemp extract Full Spectrum Lotion should be applied over the area you desire. Our 1200mg Tanasi CBDA/CBD lotion bottle has 10mg per pump.

CBD Side Effects

CBD extract does not have many side effects that can harm you, this is why they have become federally legal. However, its use especially in higher than recommended doses might result in appetite changes, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and other mild to moderate side effects in some people. Again, taking more than 100mg per day is not recommended as it is just wasteful.

Conclusion

IBS is a common condition affecting millions of people across the globe. While a number of conventional treatments for addressing the frustrating symptoms of the condition do exist, their efficacy is limited.

Many medical experts, and patients alike, are starting to see the promise that CBD holds when it comes to addressing IBS symptoms in an easy and natural way, thanks to the mounting evidence from the many ongoing CBD and IBS studies. If you have IBS and want to try CBD as a solution to your ongoing battle with IBS we hope you choose Tanasi’s patent-pending University developed hemp extract formula of CBDA and CBD. We have identified that our formula is better than taking CBD alone.

There’s lots of research focusing on the relation between CBD and IBS. Specifically, focusing on how CBD can be used to affect people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

CBD for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

CBD Oil for irritable bowel syndrome

What is irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects roughly between 6–18% of people worldwide. The condition affects the digestive system, causing changes in the frequency and/or consistency of bowel movements that are often accompanied by lower abdominal pain. IBS is a lifelong problem that can negatively impact almost every aspect of everyday life, making it difficult to live with.

The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but theories include things like food passing through the gut too quickly or too slowly, oversensitive nerves in the gut, stress and a family history of IBS. Symptoms can be sparked by poor diet, certain foods, stress, poor sleep and changes in gut bacteria, however, each person has different triggers, making it difficult to generalize, and name specific foods, habits and stressors that prompt symptoms to appear.

Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

IBS symptoms vary between individuals Symptoms often get worse after meals, with a tendency to come and go over time, and lasting anywhere from a few days, to weeks or even months at a time. Primary symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • Changes in bowel movements such as slow-moving stool, hard stool and mucous or blood int he stool
  • Gas and bloating of the abdomen
  • Food intolerances
  • Nausea

However, in severe cases IBS can affect different parts of the body and can sometimes resemble other diseases and conditions, for instance:

  • Fatigue and difficulties sleeping
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Backache
  • Problems urinating such as needing to urinate often, sudden urges to urinate, and feeling an inability to fully empty the bladder
  • Halitosis, or bad breath
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Pain during sex in women
  • Irregular menses in women

Irritable bowel syndrome Medications & Treatment

There is currently no cure for IBS and treatment focusses on symptom management with changes in diet and certain medications helping control symptoms.

Pharmaceutical Interventions

In addition to dietary changes, medications are often recommended to help manage symptoms and IBS flare-ups. These include antispasmodic medications that reduce abdominal cramping and pain by relaxing the muscles in the gut. To help relieve constipation, bulk-forming laxatives are recommended while anti-motility medications reduce diarrhea symptoms. In severe cases, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are prescribed as they can help reduce abdominal pain and cramping.

IBS specific medications include and eluxadoline for severe diarrhea-predominant IBS and alosetron in women only, lubiprostone for constipation-predominant IBS in women only, and the antibiotic rifaximin to reduce diarrhea in people with IBS. However, these medications are usually a last line of defense as their side-effects can be severe. For instance, symptoms can worsen and result in bloody stools, while side-effects like nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, fever and dizziness are also common.

Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

Usually, the first treatment intervention is to keep a food diary to identify specific foods that trigger individual symptoms. In addition, general dietary changes are also recommended to avoid the triggering of IBS symptoms, involving the elimination of certain foods such as beans, chocolate, milk, and alcohol as these are known to cause either constipation or diarrhea. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions that can help ease, reduce and manage IBS symptoms are:

Managing fiber intake – While some people with IBS need to decrease their fiber intake, others will have to increase it, often having to supplement with fiber such as psyllium husks. In addition, a diet of both water soluble and insoluble fiber can help promote healthy digestion.

Probiotic supplements: People with IBS often have poor gut flora and supplementing with probiotics (beneficial bacteria that support gut health) can help heal gut flora and reduce symptoms.

CBD for irritable bowel syndrome

Research & Scientific Evidence

Researchers are aware of the role that the endocannabinoids system (ECS) plays in the protection of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from, for example inflammation and abnormally high gastric and enteric secretion. This makes the ECS a new and promising therapeutic target against different GI disorders prompting several investigations into cannabinoids for the treatment of IBS. However, to date, the vast majority of the research investigated either Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on its own, or a combination of THC and CBD with only a handful investigating only CBD for IBS.

In a 2010 study published in Pharmacology & Therapeutics reviewed scientific literature related to the ECS and the specific cannabinoid receptors, molecular targets and mechanisms underlying the efficacy of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD in the treatment of inflammatory disease of the GI tract such as IBS.

The investigators concluded that CBD affects several mechanisms underlying IBS. For instance, CBD has been shown to inhibit acetylcholine- induced contractions in the ileum, suggesting a direct action the smooth muscle of the gut. Similarly, data from the literature showed that CBD is a prostaglandin inhibitor that reduces gut inflammation and inflammation-induced hypermotility. CBD also inhibited intestinal transit and inhibited FAAH expression in inflamed intestine. They also found that studies on intestinal epithelial cells suggest that CBD prevents oxidative stress, an underlying factor that leads to mucosal protection.

The authors concluded that CBD has been the most thoroughly investigated of all the cannabinoids and also show the greatest potential as an effective treatment option for inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases by reducing oxidative stress and counteracting hypermotility and mucosal inflammation.

Through histological, biochemical and immunohistochemical analysis they found that CBD controlled both inflammatory response during intestinal inflammation, and enteric glial cells (EGC) activation. EGCs are thought to maintain the integrity of gut mucosa and act as a component of immune system cells that fight against infections. In addition, they also found that CBD is capable of modulating the immune system’s response to inflammation by controlling the cells responsible for the inflammatory response.

They concluded that the results from their two experiments show that CBD should be considered as a promising therapeutic agent that modulates the neuro-immune axis which is a target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders such as IBS.

Anecdotal Evidence

The anecdotal evidence for cannabinoids as an effective symptom management tool for IBS is numerous. Medical practitioners report that patients who suffer from IBS with symptoms ranging from mild to severe find relief in cannabinoid based medicines. However, they do find that symptom relief is better with cannabis extracts or CBD oils that are derived from cannabis and contain higher amounts of THC. However, there are reports of people who use hemp-derived CBD oil to manage their IBS symptoms effectively.

CBD as a complementary treatment

Scientists know that ECS plays an integral role in the pathophysiology and treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. And although CBD for treating the symptoms of IBS is limited, we do know that CBD acts on the ECS either directly or indirectly via the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, although there are limited researcher pertaining to CBD and IBS directly, the implication is that CBD can help manage and reduce the severity of various IBS symptoms by CBD activating and modulating both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

So, for instance, CBD can:

  • Regulate gastric secretion, gastric emptying and intestinal motility by modulating the CB1 receptor
  • Limit visceral sensitivity and pain by activating the CB2 receptors
  • Reduce GI inflammation associated with IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders by activating the CB2 receptors
  • Reduce in spasmodic episodes in IBS patients by regulating TRPV1 activity

CBD can help in other ways as well. Nausea and a loss of appetite are symptoms often associated with both IBS and side-effects of IBS medications. CBD can help reduce the symptoms of nausea, and for some people also increase appetite. Similarly, CBD in addition to reducing inflammation and abdominal spasms, it also reduce pain by blocking pain signals. CBD can also aid in relieving feelings of depression and help improve sleep, another two symptoms that IBS patients suffer from.

Bottom Line: Can CBD Oil help for IBS?

For some IBS can be bothersome while for others, it is something that affects almost every aspect of their lives. CBD has the potential to help relieve and manage many of the symptoms of IBS, but more research is needed. Until then, CBD’s role in the treatment of IBS is primarily as an adjunct or complementary therapy that should be used with dietary and lifestyle changes and/or medications. Always consult a medical practitioner before using CBD. Your physician can monitor dosage, symptom severity, contraindications, and other clinical parameters to ensure that your CBD treatment is both safe and effective.

We do know that CBD acts on the ECS either directly or indirectly via the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal tract. That way in can also influence Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) ]]>