How to use CBD for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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Editor choice How to use CBD for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome aka IBS is a group of syndromes affecting the lower GI area. Spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, and spastic colitis are all other terms used for IBS.

IBS is a combination of stomach ache or pain and bowel problems, such as passing a different type of stool (thin, hard, or soft and liquid) or going to the bathroom more or less frequently than usual (diarrhea or constipation).

IBS isn’t life-threatening, and unlike IBD, it doesn’t increase your risk of developing other colon diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer. IBS is frequently confused with IDS. IBS is a gastrointestinal (GI) tract disorder whereas IBD is characterized by inflammation or damage of the intestinal wall, which can result in ulcers and gut constriction.  When compared to IBD, people with IBS are less prone to inflammation.

IBS affects roughly 11% of the global population, depending on the diagnostic criteria used. Patients with IBS are more prone than the general population to have other functional diseases and need surgery. Irritable bowel syndrome affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States alone, according to estimates. 

It can, however, be a long-term issue that alters your lifestyle though it is not consider as life threatening. IBS patients may feel unable to participate in regular activities. It can affect the daily routine of people.

Following a section on IBS, we’ll look at the relationship between CBD and IBS, specifically which qualities of CBD aid in the relief of IBS symptoms.

There are 4 types of IBS conditions:

  1. IBS with constipation (IBS-C).
  2. IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D).
  3. Mixed IBS (IBS-M) alternates between constipation and diarrhea.
  4. Unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U) s for people that does not fall into any of the above mentioned categories.

Symptoms and Signs of IBS

  • CRAMPS AND PAIN, it occurs usually in the lower abdomen area.
  • CONSTIPATION, constipation frequently results in the sensation of an incomplete bowel movement. Unnecessary straining results and which could lead to pain while passing stools.
  • DIARRHEA, IBS is characterized by frequent, loose faeces, which are a sign of the diarrhea-predominant kind. Mucus may be present in the stools.
  • CONSTIPATION WITH ALTERNATING DIARRHEA, IBS patients have phases of diarrhea and constipation that alternate.
  • GAS AND BLOATING, Some of the most common and aggravating symptoms of IBS are gas and bloating.
  • TIREDNESS AND DISTURBED SLEEPS, when compared to people who do not have IBS, people with it are more tired and report less restful sleep. More severe gastrointestinal problems are linked to fatigue and poor sleep quality.
  • FOOD INTOLERANCE, Many persons with IBS has identified certain foods triggering the symptoms. FODMAPs and stimulants like caffeine are the common triggers.
  • DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY, IBS can lead to a vicious cycle in which digestive difficulties cause anxiety, and anxiety causes digestive symptoms to worsen.
  • BOWEL MOVEMENT CHANGES, The length of time stool stays in your intestines is affected by IBS. This alters the amount of water in the stool, resulting in a spectrum of loose, watery, too hard, dry stool.
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Cause of IBS

CAUSES of the IBS are unknown yet. An overly sensitive colon or immune system can be the cause. A past bacterial infection in the gastrointestinal system causes post infectious IBS. According to some research, a GI tract illness, such as food poisoning, might alter the immune system’s response to particular foods, causing it to treat them as if they were germs or viruses. IBS is tough to prevent because of the many possible reasons.

If you experience a chronic change in bowel habits or other indications or symptoms of IBS, such as weight loss, nighttime diarrhea, rectal bleeding, iron deficiency anemia, or unexplained vomiting, you should CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.

DIAGONOSIS of IBS is generally on the basis of signs and symptoms shown by people and for diagnosis, multiple tests can also be performed like;

  • Colonoscopy, entire length of colon is examined.
  • Blood tests, to check for signs of other infections if any.
  • Stool tests, for the examination of bacteria or viruses present.
  • Breath test, to check if there is any overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine.
  • Lactose intolerance test, to check if lactose is digested by lactase enzyme or not.
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Traditional Treatments

These are the treatments other than the use of CBD;

  • MEDICATIONS, which are recommended on the basis of symptoms one is facing like:
  • For controlling constipation, laxatives and fibers supplements are given.
  • For controlling diarrhea, anti-diarrheal medications are given.
  • For bowel cramps, anti-cholinergics are given.
  • For pain or bloating, pregablin can be given.
  • For depression affecting IBS, anti-depressants can be given.
  • MEDICATIONS, specifically for people with IBS:
  • Alosetron, viberzi, rifaximin and linaclotide can be given by knowing the severity of syndromes.
  • DIET CHANGE
  • Food which triggers the symptoms should be avoided like caffeine.
  • Have fiber rich food.
  • Limit your milk or cheese consumption.
  • Use of prebiotics or probiotics
  • Avoid smoking.
  • SWITCH TO HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
  • Exercise and yoga can help in reducing mental stress.
  • Have adequate daily intake of water.
  • Keep record of daily activities.
  • Stay positive.

CBD is booming as a treatment for IBS symptoms such as pain, inflammation, reduced GI motility, and general discomfort. CBD may have a favorable impact on the microbiota. CBD and other phytocannabinoids, in combination with other botanicals that have been demonstrated to help rebuild gut lining, may be able to heal IBS symptoms over time. Before affirming anything, let’s move to the scientific evidences. Let’s see according to them, how much capable CBD is in giving effects for this specific ailment.

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Scientific Evidences /Research on CBD and IBS

  • According to the study cited in this paper, the Endocannabinoid system contains a potent pain-blocking mechanism that can help IBS sufferers manage their pain by using cannabinoids in animal clinical trials.
  • In a recent animal study, they show that CBD can moderate the inflammatory situation and consequent intestinal apoptosis by restoring the disrupted glia-immune equilibrium during intestinal inflammation. According to them CBD is thus seen as a promising therapeutic drug that affects the neuro-immune axis, which has been identified as a new target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
  • In other study, Cannabis extract with high CBD content, namely CBD BDS, can reduce the extent of damage and counteract intestinal hypermotility in experimental models of intestinal inflammation when given intraperitoneally and orally. It is also demonstrated that pure CBD lags behind in giving anti-inflammatory properties with respect to intestinal inflammation in specific models.
  • As there is impact of stress on IBS and it is proven that CBD works well in alleviating stress related issue. Thereby it may help in alleviating IBS symptoms associated with stress.

Though there is very less evidence that CBD alone gave effective results particular to IBS. It may help in alleviating some of the IBS symptoms with the help of its therapeutic properties. An animal clinical trial reveals that Cannabis extract with high amount of CBD can help in easing the intestinal inflammation. Still more research is required to claim the benefits of CBD for IBS.

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How CBD works for IBS?

Working of CBD revolves around the interaction with ECS. By interacting with endocannabinoid system it helps in alleviating the symptoms of IBS.

CBD therapies operate by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body (ECS). CB1 and CB2 are the two main endocannabinoid receptors found in this biological system. CB1 receptors are largely found in the brain while CB2 receptors, which are largely present in the immune system. By acting on these receptors CBD helps in marinating the homeostasis of the body.

In a study it is revealed that targeting ECS’s Cannabinoid (CB) receptors, especially CB1 and CB2, may be therapeutic for IBS patients.

CB1 receptor activation slowed gastrointestinal motility and lowered small and large bowel muscle tone. The activation of the CB1 receptor also reduced intestinal peristalsis, according to the study. Researchers discovered that activating the CB2 receptor reduced cytokine and chemokine production in activated immune cells, which slowed gastrointestinal transit and reduced inflammation.

Moreover CBD shown promising effects in benefitting people with stress, anxiety and depression related issues. As stress is considered as the risk factor of IBS, so by acting on stress it can stop the triggers by stress.

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How to use CBD for IBS?

As stated earlier that isolate or pure CBD doesn’t help you with your IBS symptoms. It is recommended to use full spectrum CBD. If you don’t want the effect of THC then you can go for broad spectrum CBD.

There are various forms in which you can use CBD for alleviating the symptoms of IBS. This includes:

  • In the form of pills or tinctures or oil, this mode is the most effective way without having many side effects if administered in proper or required dosage.
  • In the form of vaping or smoking, this also considered as the best way of administering CBD into your system. The only drawback of this is, prolonged smoking can lead some respiratory problems.
  • In the form of edibles, these can be used if you are unable to take CBD in the above mentioned form at the time, when it is required then this is the easy way of administering CBD and enjoying its therapeutic benefits.
  • In the form of drinks and beverages
  • In the form of topical, these are considered best to use for alleviating chronic or mild body pains.
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Recommeded Dosage

DOSAGE of CBD is not standardized for IBS. There is a recommendation to start taking CBD at a low dose because full and broad spectrum CBD is useful for IBS, thus it is critical to keep the dosage modest.

As its effects vary from person to person so you can check the dosage for yourself by hit and trial method. Start with small quantities of CBD. If there are no negative side effects, you can gradually raise the amount until you reach the perfect CBD dose for you.

IBS patients should consume CBD on a regular basis once they’ve identified the right dosage for them. As long as you take it on a regular basis, the results will be determined by how your body reacts to it. Please consult your doctor for particular dosage advice before starting CBD for IBS.

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Benefits of CBD for IBS

  • Anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of CBD help in alleviating IBS symptoms including abdominal cramps or intestinal inflammation.
  • CBD have antimetic properties. These properties occur when the 5-HT1A receptors were activated by CBD, which lowered the release of 5-HT or serotonin in the brain. It may help in suppressing nausea related problems in IBS patients.
  • Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it may help in gastroparesis related abdominal pain.
  • CBD can reduce the extent of damage and counteract intestinal hypermotility of intestinal inflammation as stated earlier.
  • CBD helps to relieve IBS symptoms by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, which helps to reshape the gut microbiota.
  • IBS symptoms are trigger by stress and CBD is having positive impact in relieving stress which means it will eventually help in alleviating IBS symptoms.
  • CBD help in increasing the overall quality of the life with its therapeutic benefits.
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Side Effects of CBD for IBS

There is very little information on the direct link between CBD and IBS. Because there are so few human clinical trials, determining long-term side effects is difficult. But still the research on the topic is on, so it is possible that in the future there will be appropriate evidences available for it.

CBD is well tolerable by the majority of humans. At larger doses, adverse symptoms such as dry mouth, decreased appetite, mild fatigue, and diarrhea have been noted. Moreover, it has the potential to interact with blood thinners, increase the negative effects of NSAIDs, and diminish the effects of other drugs. So, before using CBD consult your doctor if you are taking any drugs.

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PROS AND CONS

Pros
  • Animal studies have shown therapeutic benefits of CBD for IBS.
  • CBD give less severe side effects as compare to the conventional treatments.
  • CBD may have positive impacts on mental health and related physical disorders, such as anxiety and depression, in addition to its apparent advantages for IBS symptoms. This eventually will help in reduction of IBS triggers.
  • CBD’s anti-inflammatory, antimetic and analgesic properties helps in alleviating the IBS symptoms.
  • It increases the overall well being of people.

Cons
  • Less human trials are available, so concluding side effects specific to IBS is difficult.
  • As full spectrum CBD is used for treating IBS, it may cause you little high.
  • More research is needed to determine the exact benefits and dosages that are useful in this situation.
  • Availability of unregulated products by some money minded firms is one of its demerits.

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