CBD affects so many other things in the body – why not the gut, right?
Some people actually use CBD as part of their own custom supplement program for healthy gut functioning. What is the gut exactly? When we say “gut,” we mean the gastrointestinal system, AKA the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system. It’s made up of organs including (in descending order) your mouth, esophageal tract, your stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and finally, yes, the ol’ rectum.
So with that cleared up, the next question becomes, Why is gut health so essential?
Ever heard doctors say things like, Health begins in the gut? Well, they’re right. Sometimes, the gut is actually called the “second brain” due to a direct line of communication between it and your brain. Serotonin, one of the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals that we humans produce, is largely made in the gut. The relationship between gut & brain is called the gut-brain axis, and it may be controlled in part by the endocannabinoid system (hint: the system in your body that deals with CBD!)
In a sense, the gut features your body’s biggest interface between you and your surroundings. The cell wall lining your gut protects your bloodstream from a bunch of different toxic junk that shows up to party in your digestive tract. Anytime you consume something you shouldn’t have, the gut is your bodyguard. Healthy gut lining is like a close-knit layer that prevents crap like undigested food particles from hitching a ride into your bloodstream.
So when your gut lining sustains an injury or becomes inflamed, it’s like a jailbreak – all the bad stuff escapes!
You might have heard of this before – it’s known as leaky gut syndrome. Once those unwelcome particles find their way into the bloodstream—where they don’t belong—your immune system quickly goes on red alert and begins defending your body against foreign invaders.
Alright, enough with the medical lesson.
What’s all this got to do with hemp and CBD? Well, CBD actually plays a pretty important role in gut structure and function. Throughout your gut there are CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, and this suggests involvement of the endocannabinoid system. Want some more specifics? Here are a few ways that CBD can support the health of your gut.
#1 CBD Affects TNF-Alpha Production
CBD has been demonstrated to help suppress something called “TNF-Alpha,” which is a powerful inflammatory compound that your body can decide to release for one reason or another. So when this happens, due to the potency of this compound, leaky gut syndrome can ensue. And by reducing the presence of that TNF-Alpha, CBD supports a much healthier gut inflammation response.
#2 CBD Impacts Gut Motility
Studies indicate that the endocannabinoid system affects gut motility. When gut motility is too rapid, it’s not pretty – diarrhea will typically follow. And when gut motility is too slow, it’s not a whole lot better… You get constipated. CBD supports healthy gut motility, working your body toward something called the “Goldilocks effect” when it comes to digestion. You can probably guess what this means: digestion that’s not too fast and not too slow. It’s just right.
#3 The Gut’s Microbiome and the Endocannabinoid System
Between the trillions of microbes that live in your gut and the endocannabinoid system, there’s a good deal of communication. A number of animal studies have demonstrated that CBD led to gut-related health benefits for the animal subjects. And it’s not just animals either – human studies have also noted the positive impact of CBD on human gut health. One study showed that participants who didn’t supplement with CBD suffered greater gastrointestinal issues. Some physicians’ subjective impressions were that participants who supplemented with CBD saw better quality-of-life outcomes.