Tuesday, July 23, 2024

What You Need To Know About Cannabis And Your Gut

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

It is becoming the rage to learn more about our gut health. The breaks down the foods you eat and absorbs nutrients which support your body’s functions. The medical community is starting to recongize its imporanta ce and increase research. Data indicates the gut microbiome can affect every organ in the body.

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?
Illustration by MEHAU KULYK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

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

Medicine can hurt the gut as well

Another study from the Netherlands reported tdrugs once marked safe could pose a risk to the microbiomes 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 the efficiency and the toxicity of certain drugs are influenced by the bacterial composition of the gastrointestinal tract, and tgut 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 which 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 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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