While Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, may not be life-threatening, it can turn out a significant health challenge.
Stats show one in ten people across developed countries has IBS-related symptoms.
Although IBS is a common ailment, researchers do not entirely understand its origin. For this, there are only a handful of pharmaceutical prescriptions, mostly designed to alleviate the symptoms.
Reading on, we’ll discuss the meaning of IBS, causes, symptoms, and how CBD may help alleviate the symptoms. We’ll also go over CBD’s effects, possible adverse reactions, and its legality in the US.
What is IBS?
IBS is an acronym for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a digestive tract disorder.
This health concern is best termed a syndrome than a disease, as the causes of the collection of symptoms are untraceable.
Common IBS symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, irregular bowel movements, and indigestion. While these signs are commonly mild, some cases can turn out severe.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) has similar symptoms as Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD). Except that IBS involves inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Where IBD diagnosis does not detect an inflammation, IBS diagnosis is typically the next consideration.
What Causes IBS?
As mentioned, this isn’t entirely known yet. However, researchers link the conditions to several factors, including:
- Intestinal contraction – the intestine walls consist of muscle layers, which contract during food digestion. Severe and longer-lasting contractions cause bloating, farting, and diarrhea.
On the other hand, weaker contractions may inhibit food passage and cause hard stools.
- Anomalies in the nervous system
An abnormality in the digestive tract may lead to increase discomfort during digestion. Irregular signals between the intestines and brain may lead to your body’s overreaction to changes that happen during digestion and may cause pain, constipation, or/and diarrhea.
Severe diarrhea, caused by viruses or bacteria, is another likely culprit. Experts link surplus intestinal bacteria growth to IBS.
- Childhood exposure to stress
IBS symptoms may be expected in people who got exposed to early life stress.
- Changes in gut microbes
The intestines contain fungi, bacteria, and viruses, all of which help promote digestion and overall health. Studies show people with IBS may have microbes different from those found in healthy people.
How to Use CBD for Treating IBS?
Although CBD research is currently in its infancy, stats reveal an increasing acceptance of CBD as an alternative medication for a range of concerns – from pain relief to anti-cancer.
CBD comes from the controversial cannabis plant. Among over a hundred cannabinoids, chemicals found in cannabis, CBD, and THC are the most famous.
CBD is widely celebrated for its therapeutic potentials and relatively safe profile. While THC may have similar potential health gains, it’s famous for its head-hits and couch-lock effects. Plus, many THC users say they feel anxiety, paranoia, and mental fatigue – to mention but a few.
CBD for IBS hasn’t garnered enough research, hence the limited data. However, early reports from ongoing research support increasing user testimonies which place CBD in good lights.
Again, there is yet no substantial evidence to make any conclusive therapeutic statements on CBD for IBS. Besides, the FDA does not yet recognize CBD for IBS treatment.
Here are some research angles:
The National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health show that CBD may deliver useful anti-IBS effects.
While CBD for IBS studies is limited, other CBD-based research suggests the compound may help manage IBS symptoms.
A Molecules‘ publication reviewed CBD’s useful in managing inflammations and pain – two widely sought-after effects by IBS patients.
A recent review discusses CBD’s potential benefits for alleviating inflammation and chronic pain.
The Journal of Experiment Medicine published a study that supports these results. A 2020 review of CBD’s biological effects suggests the compound may come in handy for inflammation management.
However, the FDA insists CBD is no cure for any condition (save Epidiolex for two forms of epilepsy. The agency warns against misleading health claims.
Is CBD safe to manage IBS?
Most evidence suggests CBD is safe and widely tolerated – even with large doses. Yet, some studies and a handful of users’ experience suggest CBD may leave minor cases of:
- Dry mouth
- Change in appetite
Indicators show a possible drug-to-drug interaction when CBD is consumed alongside other medications.
Again, being a relatively new niche, researchers may need some time to explore the compound’s possible long-term effects. While we await more studies and FDA’s approval, more regulations may be necessary to keep the industry in check, particularly quality-wise.
How much CBD should I take for IBS?
CBD isn’t recognized as a drug, hence no such thing as a universal dosage. However, research is ongoing to verify the safety claims and possibly develop a standard dosage recommendation for the different potential treatments.
For now, dose but with caution. The rule of thumb says to start with low amounts and gradually increase until you find the most suitable dosage for your IBS symptoms.
Although CBD shouldn’t hurt with caution, it’s best practice to discuss with a CBD-knowledgeable health expert. Better still, our staffs are licensed and experienced to guide you through practical and safety guidelines when using CBD for IBS.
Federally, CBD is legal, but state laws differ.
The 2018 Farm Bill passage into law decriminalized hemp and its products, including CBD.
The bill legalizes all hemp products with no more than .3 percent THC concentration. Any substance with above the .3 percent legal benchmark is considered marijuana, hence, a schedule one controlled drug.
However, every state has its individual cannabis laws. See what your state’s say.
Although more research is needed to validate the CBD for IBS claims, early research reports look promising. Besides, increasing anecdotal reports suggest CBD may be a more effective, safer and more-natural remedy for IBS than the increasing number of flawed pharmaceuticals in drug stores.
That said, note that with the poorly regulated industry, most CBD products on the market contain overstated (or understated) label claims. This makes selection somewhat tricky.
For a guide, here are useful tips to help you make a well-informed purchase decision:
- Check labels – the less THC%, the better
- Third-party lab test matters – check Certificate of Analysis(CoA). Must be issued by an ISO/IEC 17025-approved lab
- Buy Organic CBD
- Avoid brands issued FDA’s warning letter
- Investigate brand’s reputation
- check customer review
- beware of too-cheap offers – CBD isn’t cheap.
- Check up our premium-grade CBD products and pick one among the lots.