IBS, Gastrointestinal Disorders and CBD
Do you suffer from IBS? Studies suggest 12% of people in the US live with the condition. With IBS, having a bad day of symptoms can feel debilitating, painful, and even embarrassing.
You may be searching for a natural solution to help mitigate your symptoms so you can focus on the things that count, such as enjoying your family, friends, and passions without the distraction of IBS symptoms.
If you are looking for an overview of what IBS is and how CBD may help based on recent studies, you’re in the right place. Although what we know around cannabidiol (CBD) is still the subject of much research, CBD has shown promise in several studies for mitigating gastrointestinal issues.
What is IBS, and how can CBD possibly help, though? We’ll tell you what we know so far below.
What is IBS?
IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a lifelong condition made up of many symptoms. IBS has three main subtypes: IBS with constipation, IBS with diarrhea, and IBS with mixed bowel habits, which alternates between the two. These are called; IBS-C, IBS-D, and IBS-M.
The type of IBS can change in an individual over time, and this tendency makes IBS difficult to prescribe medication for, as the issues that need to be managed can change suddenly. The symptoms may seem random to the person experiencing IBS symptoms.
The symptoms can include alternating diarrhea and constipation, pain, heartburn, bloating, nausea, fatigue, early feelings of fullness, a feeling of urgency to find the bathroom, and a feeling of incomplete emptying after using the restroom.
According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders website, “The key sign or symptom of IBS is pain or discomfort in the abdomen. The abdomen is the area below your chest and above your hips.” IBS pain can feel like cramping, sharp, stabbing pain, and can be across the entire stomach area or just in the lower or upper abdomen.
People with IBS have constant or frequent pain, and some experience different symptoms or types of pain on different days. In addition to the pain, some of the difficulties that come with IBS include limiting your diet and frequent and sudden trips to the bathroom. Each of these particular symptoms can impair social functioning at times, interrupting important family and business events.
Stress and IBS
Everyone knows more stress, anxiety, and depression in our modern world has been cropping up amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, stress can affect health in multiple systems of the body.
The impact of stress on the gastrointestinal system is particularly significant, especially for those who already have Irritable Bowel Syndrome or other related disorders. Although stress does not cause IBS, it may increase the flare-ups of symptoms. Sleep issues are also common for those with IBS, which can contribute to more stress.
In 2019, a study was published around IBS and adult stress. In the survey of over 200 subjects, the study “associated more-negatively perceived events during adulthood with an increased risk for IBS, worse symptom severity and quality of life, and a dysregulated stress response.”
This simple graphic from the American Psychological Association illustrates how stress can affect the Esophagus, Stomach, and Bowel in ways that can lead to bodily discomfort. Some of the effects include heartburn, bloating, pain, and discomfort in the bowels.
You may be asking yourself what traditional and alternative treatment options are available to address IBS’s frequent issues. More on that below.
Common Alternatives, Traditional and Natural Treatments for IBS
Treatments for IBS can include:
- Making dietary changes
- Probiotics and Prebiotics
- Stress Management
- Medication prescribed by a gastroenterologist
There are many treatment options for IBS that can be effective in treating the condition. In addition to the treatments listed above, journalling IBS symptoms over time, and doing yoga or other self-care practices is a great start.
Some have found alternative therapies such as Chinese Medicine, and Acupuncture help alleviate symptoms. Biofeedback and gut-directed hypnosis have also been used to help manage IBS. In addition, relaxation/mindfulness techniques have shown significant improvements in IBS symptoms and anxiety related to IBS in this study.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy may help with the stress that can increase IBS flare-ups. Herbal remedies, including the use of cannabidiol (CBD), may also relieve IBS symptoms. We’ll explore more about CBD and IBS below.
What is Hemp CBD Oil?
Hemp CBD Oil is hemp extract made from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Hemp contains low to no percentages of THC and is CBD-rich. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and shows potential for helping with a wide variety of conditions.
With so many CBD products on the market, it’s important to look into the quality of CBD Oil you are buying. For peace of mind, Strength of Hope includes our third-party testing results at the bottom of every product page.
Is CBD Safe?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated in humans, and no physical dependence effects have been reported. Much more research is needed into the long-term side effects of CBD. If you would like more information about CBD, possible side effects, and medication interactions, please visit the FDA’s website, or speak to your doctor.
Can CBD Help with IBS?
Endocannabinoids are cannabinoids that our body produces naturally. You may have heard of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a body system that maintains homeostasis. Many of the body’s natural processes, such as digestion, are aided by the endocannabinoid system.
The cannabinoids and compounds in CBD oil are thought to interact with receptors of the ECS along the digestive tract. It is believed that certain cannabinoids, including CBD, may help regulate the endocannabinoid system and the body’s natural processes such as digestion in this way.
Things can go wrong if the endocannabinoid system is not operating normally. According to this study, “dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system might play a role in intestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as obesity.”
Historically and anecdotally, cannabinoids have been used for many years for nausea and other gastrointestinal conditions. One clinical study using a selective rat model of nausea “has revealed that cannabinoids have great promise as treatments for nausea.”
So does CBD help with IBS? The answer is complicated, and the science for exactly how CBD may help nausea, inflammation, and other symptoms of IBS needs some time to catch up. Overall though, CBD shows promise for helping with gastrointestinal issues.
You might be wondering what to try if you are looking to see how CBD might help you. For gastrointestinal concerns, we recommend trying our full-body CBD Oil tincture and CBD mints.
Strength of Hope® CBD Oil Tincture
Our CBD Oil comes in three strengths; 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg CBD for your dosing needs. Our premium CBD oil is blended with MCT coconut oil and a vanilla/stevia flavoring that pairs well with smoothies, tea, and even coffee.
CBD Oil may help with some IBS symptoms, especially when used as part of a self-care regimen to promote relaxation and improve mood.
Strength of Hope CBD Oil can be taken directly by mouth or mixed into food or beverages such as smoothies and tea. We recommend starting low and slow to begin. Check out more information and dosing guidelines on our CBD oil page.
Strength of Hope® CBD Mints
Strength of Hope CBD Mints come in three strengths; 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg CBD, with 28 mints per tin. CBD mints also come in two different, delicious flavors; peppermint and cinnamon.
Our CBD Mints are a spectacular choice for those looking for an even more compact, on-the-go dose of our CBD oil. The tins these mints come in are great for stashing in a purse, pocket, or even the glove compartment of your car.
CBD mints are easy to dose, as starting is as simple as placing a mint in your mouth and allowing it to dissolve slowly. For maximum results, try not to chew the mints. CBD mints may help with IBS symptoms when used in combination with a healthy lifestyle and advice from your doctor. Want to learn more about our mints? Check out our in-depth blog here.
Talk to Your Doctor
Our CBD products are best used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and communication with your doctor. We always recommend our customers speak with their doctor before using CBD products.