October 22, 2021

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not a life-threatening condition, but it may significantly impact the quality of life of people who suffer from it.

Approximately one out of every ten individuals in the industrialized world have symptoms consistent with IBS.

Despite its prevalence, IBS remains poorly understood. As a consequence, apart from symptom management, there are few effective therapeutic options available.

Dietary changes are by far the most effective therapy for IBS. On the other hand, CBD provides a unique alternative for people suffering from IBS and has been gradually increasing in favor of a therapeutic choice for various reasons.

This section will discuss how CBD may help with an IBS diagnosis, how to utilize it, and how to get the most out of it.

Summary: Using CBD to Treat IBS

There are many possible causes of IBS, but most of what causes the disease are unclear. The majority of the reasons lead to a lack of balance in the digestive system. As a result, the delicate balance of digestion, absorption, immunological defense, and excretion is jeopardized.

Cannabidiol (CBD) aids with this issue by acting to “calibrate” various areas of the body. It does this by enhancing cell communication through the endocannabinoid system.

Here are several ways CBD may assist with IBS:

  • Anandamide deficiency is addressed.
  • Inflammation is reduced.
  • Prevents stimulation of digestive muscles and cramps.
  • Reduces appetite

Depending on the kind of IBS, CBD will have a varied effect

Because cannabis reduces muscular contraction in the digestive system, those with IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) are more likely to benefit from CBD.

People with IBS with constipation (IBS-C) may still benefit from CBD owing to the compound’s anti-inflammatory, appetite-suppressant, and immune-stimulant effects.

Later on, we’ll go through the many types of IBS and how CBD may help with each.

Maximizing CBD’s Effects on IBS

CBD should not be used to treat IBS on its own. This disease is very complicated and affects many organ systems.

Other types of therapy, such as dietary modifications and physical exercise, are required. CBD is unlikely to have any impact if these lifestyle modifications are not implemented.

CBD may be compared to a bus driver in that it will take the passengers to their destination, but they will not arrive until the bus is well-maintained and full of gas.

CBD is a tool used to restore the body’s equilibrium after being utilized to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of IBS.

What Kind of CBD Should I Take?

CBD is available in a variety of forms. Oils, tinctures, pills, suppositories, and isolates are all available.

CBD oils and capsules are simple to consume, keep for extended periods of time, and properly dosed when IBS.

Suppositories offer the advantage of immediately delivering CBD to the afflicted region. This is ideal for severe IBS-D (more on that below), but it can also help with other types of IBS.

What dosage of CBD should I take?

CBD dosing may be difficult since it affects everyone differently.

Some individuals need 50 mg of CBD per day, while others require more or less.

The dosage is also determined by the type of CBD used. As previously said, CBD oil and suppositories are the most common treatments for IBS, although the dosage for each type varies considerably.

For IBS, we suggest beginning with low strength and gradually increasing it to observe how you respond to CBD.

It will most likely take two or three weeks of consistent CBD usage before you see any significant improvements for your IBS symptoms.

When using CBD suppositories, it is essential to follow the exact recommendations given on the package by the provider. CBD suppository concentrations may vary from one to the next.

What Is CBD, Exactly?

CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. It is one of the most important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

The majority of CBD oils on the market today are derived from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), a type of cannabis that is naturally low in THC – the main psychoactive cannabinoid.

This implies that the majority of CBD products on the market are not psychotropic.

CBD is utilized as a supplement for a variety of medical problems. Its interaction with the endocannabinoid system accounts for a large part of its capacity to promote health.

The endocannabinoid system maintains bodily equilibrium, often known as homeostasis. Immune, digestive, neurological, musculoskeletal, and integumentary (skin) systems are all included.

What exactly is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) is defined as a syndrome rather than a disease. It is characterized by a collection of symptoms that cannot be attributed to a single cause.

IBS is defined as a “widespread digestive tract disorder.”

Bloating, stomach discomfort, indigestion, and bowel movement alterations are among the symptoms (constipation or diarrhea, which can be severe).

IBS symptoms are quite similar to inflammatory bowel disease symptoms (IBD). The difference is that IBD causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be verified by lab testing and special cameras placed into the digestive system.

If there is no inflammation to validate an IBD diagnosis, an IBS diagnosis is provided instead.

There are certain diagnostic criteria put in place by different specialists throughout this procedure. Still, none of them are definitive, and not all physicians agree on them for an IBS diagnosis.

The Rome III Criterion is the most often used criteria among physicians.

The Rome III Criteria Checklist for IBS Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with IBS, the patient must exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least three days each month for at least three months
  • Symptoms that have at least two of the following characteristics:
  • Symptoms improve with defecation
  • The onset is linked to a shift in stool frequency.
  • The onset is linked to a change in stool shape.

If these criteria are fulfilled, and no alternative explanation for the reason (such as inflammation, traumatic injury, or infectious illness) is found, the patient is diagnosed with IBS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms:
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • “Fullness” feelings
  • Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Mucus in the feces
  • Urge to urinate that is uncontrollable
  • Fatigue
  • Gain/loss of weight

3 Types of IBS and CBD’s Effects

IBS is the most prevalent functional disease of the digestive system, accounting for 20-50 percent of visits to a gastroenterologist.

Gastroenterologists further categorize IBS based on the most common symptoms:

1. IBS with Diarrhea (IBS-D)

This refers to IBS, which is mainly manifested by diarrhea.

The symptoms of IBS-D suggest that the bowels are filling up with water. High salt meals, a weakened gut membrane, and overactive muscular activity in the digestive system are common antecedents.

Water starts to collect in regions containing salty meals due to high sodium diets and poor membrane regulation. This is due to osmosis, a biophysical concept that states that water follows salt. Diarrhea occurs when the intestines flood with water.

Furthermore, many individuals with IBS-D have excessive muscular activity in the intestine. Cramping, stomach discomfort, and bloating are all symptoms of spastic muscles. Food is pushed through the digestive system too fast without being adequately broken down and absorbed. On the other hand, unabsorbed meals begin to ferment in the large intestine, producing severe bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.

CBD is beneficial for this form of IBS because it reduces spastic muscle activity in the stomach, enabling it to digest and absorb nutrients correctly. Combining CBD with a low-sodium diet and a good supply of soluble fiber for this kind of IBS is recommended.

2. IBS with constipation as the primary symptom (IBS-C)

IBS-C is an abbreviation for IBS that is primarily accompanied by constipation.

This form of IBS is characterized by a lack of activity in the digestive system. Pancreatic enzymes, bile, and stomach acid are in short supply. These enzymes aid in the breakdown of food and the stimulation of the smooth muscle lining our intestines. This stimulation stimulates the muscles to contract and expand, causing food to move through the digestive system.

Constipation occurs when there is difficulty with digestive enzymes or muscular action in the intestinal system.

This may be excruciatingly painful, resulting in severe bloating, sensations of fullness, nausea, tiredness, and actual belly distention.

Although nothing will provide the same relief as a dietary adjustment, CBD provides some distinct advantages to this kind of IBS.

CBD boosts anandamide, a naturally occurring endocannabinoid that is important for slowing bowel movements, combating inflammation, and regulating microbiota diversity.

3. IBS-C

Alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation characterize this kind of IBS.

The possible causes of this kind of IBS are much more varied and may include both aspects. The patient may have continuous diarrhea for many months, followed by severe constipation for several months. Changes in bowel activity may be caused by nutritional, neurological, or immunological causes, making the reason difficult to identify and treat.

CBD is beneficial for this kind of IBS since it does not influence the digestive system in any way. Instead, it enhances the body’s capacity to maintain homeostasis. The body has a greater chance of recovering to a higher level of health on its own when combined with additional treatments to control symptoms.

What Is the Cause of IBS?

The precise etiology of IBS is unknown, although there are several widely recognized hypotheses in the medical world.

The following are some of the possible causes of IBS:

1. Dietary Guidelines

Western nations with the greatest incidence of IBS include Canada, the United States, and Sweden. IBS affects approximately one out of every ten individuals in the United States.

These countries’ diets are often rich in processed goods. Highly processed foods have low nutritional value (in terms of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals) and are high in calories (in fat or sugar).

Because of the absence of fiber and mass, these meals tend to travel slowly through our digestive system when we consume them.

Because of its sluggish motility and high sugar content, this meal ferments in the digestive system by bacteria that live there. Fermentation in this context is harmful to our digestive system, causing bloating, discomfort, and changes in bowel motions.

A low FODMAPS diet replaces highly processed foods with high-fiber, low-sugar ones, one of the most common dietary therapies for IBS.

Frequent fermentation of processed carbohydrates may cause damage to the structural integrity of the digestive lining over time, resulting in fluid buildup and diarrhea (IBS-D) or a lack of action in the muscles of the small and large intestines, producing constipation (IBS-C).

2. Infection with a virus

Viral infections may be very harmful to the body. Many individuals claim that their IBS symptoms began soon after contracting a stomach illness while traveling abroad. They seemed to be getting well after a few days of sickness, but their stomach never completely healed.

Viruses disturb normal cellular function by hijacking our cells, causing them to produce more viruses and preventing them from doing their job. They have the ability to wreak havoc on a whole organ in a short period of time.

The microbiome is a complex ecology of bacteria and fungi that lives in the stomach lining. The microbiome plays an important role in digestion and absorption in the digestive system. When we get sick with a virus, the microbiome undergoes significant changes, leaving us with long-term side effects such as IBS.

3. Dysfunction of the Nervous System

The movement of the intestine (known as peristalsis) is a complicated symphony of muscle contractions that work together to transport food through the intestine. This requires meticulous innervation, both locally and in cooperation with the brain.

Many individuals find that drinking coffee causes them to have bowel movements. This is an excellent illustration of how the neurological system influences the digestive tract.

We are more prone to get diarrhea if our neurological system is constantly stimulated (IBS-D).

Constipation is more probable if we feel the reverse (insufficient excitement) (IBS-C).

We may compare IBS kinds based on neurological activity to other side-effects that often afflict IBS patients at the same time.

4. Irritation

Although IBS does not need obvious or detectable inflammation, many investigations have revealed that patients with low-grade gut wall inflammation. This inflammation may be too mild to be detected by blood testing or visual examination during colonoscopies/endoscopies.

Using CBD to Treat IBS

CBD has been proven in many trials to be helpful in the treatment of IBS.

CBD treats the symptoms and underlying causes of IBS by modulating activities such as gut motility, digestive enzyme secretions, pain signals, inflammation, microbiome health, and neurological or psychosocial problems.

IBS and the Endocannabinoid System

It is believed that the endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in IBS.

The CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors control various activities in the human body, many of which are found in the digestive system.

CBD for the Treatment of Other Functional Disorders

IBS is classified as a functional disorder, which means a demonstrable issue with the organ’s function that has no evident explanation.

Other diseases that fall into this group include fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which benefit from frequent CBD usage. The enigmatic nature of these diseases makes it difficult to identify why CBD is so effective in treating them. Still, the function CBD plays in homeostasis is the most probable explanation.

The condition of equilibrium in the body is known as homeostasis. It affects almost every element of life, from body temperature to the production of digestive enzymes. Any disruptions in homeostasis may have a detrimental impact on our health.

CBD is a great tool for controlling homeostasis, which is why it has so many diverse advantages.

Conclusion: CBD Use for IBS

Although the cause of IBS is unknown, it is thought to be a combination of various organ systems, lifestyle choices, and food – CBD has a wide range of advantages for different types of IBS.

For optimum effects, take CBD in the form of an oil, pill, or suppository. It is also necessary to consume CBD oil for extended periods of time to feel its full benefits. Because there are many variables at play, CBD may take some time to begin delivering benefits for this disease.

IBS symptoms may be put into remission for extended periods of time with consistent CBD administration, dietary and lifestyle modifications, and patience.

With a disease like irritable bowel syndrome that is resistant to therapy, many IBS sufferers turn to alternative treatments like CBD (cannabidiol). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects about 20% of American adults at some time in their life, and many individuals go untreated.

IBS symptoms are difficult to control and maybe a major impediment to working and completing daily tasks. CBD for IBS is an alternate therapy option that some individuals have found to relieve their symptoms effectively.

If you have IBS, you may believe that your life is at the mercy of your digestive system. It may be a continuous source of stomach problems, making you feel as if you need to be close to a toilet at all times. Continue reading to discover more about irritable bowel syndrome and how CBD may help.