Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cannabis And The Gut: What You Should Know

CBD has been shown to promote stress resilience and decrease anxiety, adding to its powerful role in gut function.

It seems in today’s health news, everything comes back to the gut. What we eat and the enzymes our body produces to break-down our food play an important role in an individual’s health.

From probiotics to diets specifically for health issues, more attention is being paid to the stomach (and its contents) than ever before. And CBD is starting to get attention for its benefits in gut health. 

The CBD-Gut Link

Dr. Aimée Gould Shunney, a naturopathic physician believes in the power of a good gut bacteria and thinks CBD offers benefits not yet completely understood. During a recent interview she shared, “CBD is an immune modulator and a potent anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, it helps to balance the ECS (endo-cannabinoid system), and therefore has tremendous potential to positively impact a variety of digestive complaints.” 

RELATED: Cannabis And Gut Health: Does It Boost Your Gut Bacteria?

Taking it one step further, Dr. Shunney demonstrated the link between stress, anxiety and the body’s digestive system, citing, “stress exacerbates our gut, and managing stress is crucial to keeping symptoms at bay. CBD has been shown to promote stress resilience and decrease anxiety, adding to its powerful role in gut function.” 

Cannabis And Gut Health Does It Boost Your Gut Bacteria?

Studies back up Dr. Shunney’s claims, including 2017 research by the U.S. National Library of Medicine that looked into the often misunderstood condition of inflammatory bowel disease and the potential of cannabinoids. The study found that cannabinoids held promise in fighting bowel diseases (such as IBS and Crohn’s,) and that more research was needed. 

Medicine can hurt the gut as well

Another recent study from the Netherlands reported that drugs once marked safe could pose a risk to the microbiomes that live in the gut, eliminating good bacterial and posing the potential to allow for infections and obesity to occur. 

Lead researcher Arnau Vich Vila shared, “We already know that the efficiency and the toxicity of certain drugs are influenced by the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract, and that the gut microbiota has been related to multiple health conditions.” Vich Vila continued, “Our work highlights the importance of considering the role of the gut microbiota when designing treatments and also points to new hypotheses that could explain certain side effects associated with medication use.”

RELATED: How Effective Is Marijuana In Treating IBS?

In fact, the study published in October and presented at UGE Week in Spain, found that over half of commonly-used drugs affected the gut and posed a risk. The list of drugs posing the greatest risk included: 

  • Metformin, which is used for diabetes
  • Antibiotics often used for bacterial infections
  • Laxatives to treat constipation
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) used for dyspepsia

(See a full list of the study’s results here.)

With gut health often dictating the wellness of the human body as a whole, there’s an interesting discussion to be had if cannabis or CBD oil could help the body from the effects of other medicines. While more research is needed to understand the role of cannabinoids on the body and its effects on specific medicines, it’s something to certainly talk to your care team about.



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