I don’t think the term “trust your gut” should be taken lightly anymore. It is easy to ignore. After all, it makes more sense to trust your brain and follow your heart, but “trust your gut?".
Right. Or so I thought.
We are a society that is obsessed with cleanliness. I humor the idea that we have bacteria in our guts, and we need it, yet we are consumed with eliminating all bacteria in our exterior world. As a matter of fact, we are filled with trillions of bacteria, archaea, eukaryotic parasites, and fungi. Together they compose our microbiome, which we need to support our immune system, heart, weight, and many other health aspects.
It is crazy to think of this, but we are more bacteria than human. We are composed of roughly 30 trillion human cells and 40 trillion bacteria. New studies suggest that we are exposed to bacteria as early as inside the womb and through our mother’s birth canal. Throughout our lives, our microbiome diversifies. The more diverse microbiome you have, the healthier your body is. So, it should be to no surprise that we ingest has a huge role in our microbiome’s health. The theories that suggest that our gut is only in charge of digestive chores are long gone. Our guts do much more than that. Home to the largest part of our microbiome, guts are now known to play a key role in our mental health. Research has shown that patients suffering from PTSD report lower levels of gut bacteria. Our gut hosts products to functionally active neurotransmitters in charge of mood and social behavior.
Aside from the food we ingest, the way we choose to heal ourselves may also be promoting gut disease. One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that over the counter medications are 100% safe because, well they are over the counter, so they are automatically deemed safe. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Although they serve a purpose, they shouldn’t be overused. Over the counter medications such as NSAID’s are amongst the most consumed pain relief medicines in the world due to its anti-inflammatorily properties. Every day around 30 million Americans medicate with NSAID’s drugs to treat pain related symptoms. NSAID’s block enzymes and reduces chemicals like prostaglandins in our bodies, in charge to cause the tissue to swell and in turn increase the pain at the time of injury. However, prostaglandins are also in charge of providing the stomach’s lining cells and promote blood clotting. By reducing its production people who often medicate with NSAID’s are shown to be more prone to develop ulcers and bleeding in the stomach.
So, you may be curious by now, how does CBD help with your gut? What does the endocannabinoid system have to do with our stomach? Apparently, a whole lot. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in far more than we ever could have imagined. ECS is composed of cell receptors CB1 & CB2. Research shows these receptors present on every organ system in our body, meaning they are present in our gut and digestive system. CBD works by balancing and supporting the endocannabinoid system by indirectly affecting CB1 & CB2 receptors. It has also shown to affect other receptors such as receptor 5-HT1A to work more effectively by increasing the production of serotonin, which regulates mood and other social behaviors – things that indeed can affect the digestive system (stress anyone?)
ECS and CBD are also involved in gut motility issues. Gut motility refers to the stretching of the stretching and contraction of the muscles in the GI tract. When any nerves or muscles in your GI tract aren’t working with their normal strength, it can lead to symptoms of diarrhea, cramping, bloating or constipation. By stimulating CB1 & CB2 receptors, CBD supports healthy gut motility.
The effects of CBD & gut health is still being studied. However, with this load of information it is safe to say, CBD promotes a healthy gut.
Thanks for reading and remember to take care of your gut!
Have you tried CBD tinctures? What flavor would you like to try and how do you prefer to use it?