In this article we’ll be covering the research surrounding hemp oil for digestive and bowel disorders (IBD) and how hemp’s rich profile of cannabinoids can bring relief to those suffering from gut upsets such as IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s disease and many other gastrointestinal disorders.
Gastrointestinal health is an important component of overall health. The key functions of the gastrointestinal system are absorption and digestion. This is how the body gets its necessary nutrients to function and excretes unneeded materials and toxins. When there are gastrointestinal issues, there can be a lack of proper nutrition and a buildup of toxins.
Three common gastrointestinal issues will be explored next, including possible symptoms and sources. In each section, the benefits and advantages of cannabinoid-rich whole plant or full spectrum hemp oil that apply to each issue will be discussed.
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Any part of the gut can be affected, from the mouth to the anus. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia are all associated symptoms.
The exact cause is unknown, but Crohn's disease appears to stem from an abnormal reaction by the immune system, which seems to attack good bacteria, nutrients and food in error. Increased white blood cells build up in the gut as a result, causing the inflammation.
Cannabinoids are known for their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body by suppressing overactive immune responses. This applies to any inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
The cannabinoids found inside hemp oil such as CBD, are known for their ability to act as an immunosuppressant, which can prevent the immune system from attacking beneficial substances and bacteria, which would stop the build up of white blood cells.
Colitis is the inflammation of the inner lining of the colon. Diarrhea, cramping, and abdominal pain are common symptoms. Fatigue, joint swelling, and inflammation can also occur, depending on the type of colitis.
There are several causes, including infection, decreased blood supply, allergic reactions, or inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
Hemp oil rich in cannabinoids are antimicrobial, fighting off viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Terpenes and cannabinoids work with the immune system to prevent the release of histamines in response to allergens, thereby reducing or preventing allergy symptoms. Cannabinoids can reduce inflammation in the digestive system, which includes the colon.
IBS is a disorder that affects the large intestine. Symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation (or both). Similar to Crohn's disease, there is no definitive answer as to what causes IBS.
Abnormal muscle contractions in the digestive tract, nervous system abnormalities, inflammation in the intestines, severe infection, and change in gut bacteria can be involved in any combination.
Hemp CBD can be used for muscle spasms, which can control the abnormal muscle contractions. As it treats Crohn’s disease and colitis to reduce inflammation, CBD can do the same for the intestines affected by irritable bowel syndrome.
Severe infection can be alleviated by the antimicrobial properties in hemp, which have shown results in treating serious infections like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also called “Staph”).
If you’re wondering if hemp and CBD oil are the same, you would probably like to know this important fact. Hemp typically refers to a whole plant or full spectrum variety of hemp product, meaning, it contains more than just one single isolated cannabinoid, but instead, a wide variety of active plant compounds such as cannabinoids, phytosterols, flavonoids, terpenes and fatty acids.
CBD oil on the other hand, is kinda like hand picking one of those hundreds of beneficial plant compounds, and dropping that into a single oil as a base (such as coconut oil). You can read more about how to buy cbd oil in NZ, what it is and the drawbacks over on this page here. So short answer, no hemp oil and cbd oil are not the same. They are very different, and depending on what result you are wanting, will depend on which product is the right solution.
There is a lot of research surrounding this question, does CBD oil help with IBD. The short answer is, yes, there’s compounding research into the benefits of hemp, CBD, and the other cannabinoids and their impact through working with and through the endocannabinoid system.
In order to understand how CBD oil or hemp works for IBD, IBS and other digestive and bowel disorders, it’s important to learn about what the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is, and how it works.
The endocannabinoid system is an advanced system of physiology inside your body that regulates and controls all the other systems. It is such an ancient part of our DNA that all it’s creation has been seen to begin 8-weeks in gestation. The ECS is present in all living mammals from dogs and cats to dolphins and since it’s discovery in 1990’s, has proven time and time again to be an integral part of healthy functioning in humans and all mammals alike.
The trouble is, the last time most of us had our endocannabinoid system active and fully operational was during early infancy when we were breastfed. If we were not breastfed, the last time would have been in the womb.
The ECS becomes active and ‘online’ when sufficient cannabinoids are present in the body, as these cannabinoids both work through and activate the ECS. When this happens, magic begins to occur inside the body of all mammals, including the two legged kind, like us.
Systems of the body that were ‘out of order’ suddenly begin to upregulate and come back to life. Because the ECS is responsible for maintaining order and balance across all bodily systems, we can begin to experience relief in pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function.
To say that the ECS is important would be an understatement. But what’s more important to understand is that since the ban of cannabis products in 1930, we’ve seen an alarming decline in the health of our populations. Cannabinoids that were once present in our food through pollination, were now devoid. Leaving our ECS starved and dormant.
But since the rise of hemp in recent years, the discovery of the ECS, and the rapidly expanding scientific understanding of this physiological system, we’ve seen a sharp climb in the reported benefits of cannabinoids on human health.
The most widely known cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is but one of over 120 cannabinoids discovered inside the hemp plant and commonly associated with the marijuana variety of cannabis. What most people don’t realize is that THC is the only cannabinoid with psychoactive properties (that give users a ‘high’) and is found in negligible quantities in hemp. Marijuana is specifically bred to contain high levels of THC, but not hemp.
When you use the right hemp product, you get all the cannabinoids without the psychoactive effect, and you activate your all-powerful endocannabinoid system. If you haven’t tried a highly active hemp oil before, now is the time to get started.
We hope this article has helped you understand how hemp oil for digestive and bowel disorders such as IBD and IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s and other Gastrointestinal upsets.
You can find more of the latest research on hemp, cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system related to a variety of conditions and ailments over on our blog. You will also find a list of peer-reviewed medical research on the topic of this article, IBD, IBS etc. in the footnotes below.
As always, prior to making any changes to your treatment plan, consult with your licenced medical professional.