According to findings published in 2018, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are super common among Americans. And bloating was reported by over 20% of the more than 70 thousand respondents surveyed. These findings are based on a survey focused on determining the prevalence and predictors of GI symptoms among the general population. Other commonly reported issues included heartburn/reflux (30.9%), abdominal pain (24.8%) and diarrhea (20.2%). Fortunately, CBD may provide relief for those suffering from GI issues, including bloating. To better understand how, let’s first look at what bloating is and what causes it. Then we’ll see how products like CBD drops can help.
What Is Bloating? And What Causes It?
Bloating involves your GI tract, which starts at your mouth and ends at, well … the other end. It also includes everything in between involved in the digestive process, including your stomach and intestines, so a lot is going on. When parts of the GI tract become filled with air or gas, it can lead to your abdominal area feeling swollen or tight. The results may be a distended abdomen that feels hard and painful. Other common issues associated with bloating include excessive gas, frequent burping, or abdominal groans and gurgles.
Not pleasant! There are quite a few causes of bloating. Some controllable ones include eating and drinking too fast, which can trap excess air in your GI tract. And then there’s also things like chewing gum, smoking and carbonated beverages.
There are also medical issues that can cause bloating when gas is created internally. These include food intolerance, giardiasis and functional GI disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Weight gain and hormonal fluxes may also be at play. Now that we understand bloating a little better, let’s take a look at how CBD might help!
Reduce Gastrointestinal Inflammation
While CBD won’t cure any of the medical issues mentioned above, it may help relieve symptoms associated with them. This is because when we’re talking about bad stuff happening in your gut, we’re usually looking at inflammation issues. Several investigations have looked at the role CBD can play in the reduction of GI inflammation. In fact, some of the most recent research conducted on the benefits of CBD reports that it could prove helpful in helping people who suffer from IBS. This is amazing because, up until now, not a whole lot has been found to provide relief.
This is all thanks to the connection between your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and your GI tract. According to findings published in 2016, the ECS influences various gastrointestinal physiological and pathophysiological processes. This leads to the potential of CBD to reduce inflammation, as well as other GI issues like mucosal lesions and hemorrhage when it interacts with the ECS. And if you’re unfamiliar with the ECS, you may want to brush up on your knowledge because it’s definitely worth knowing more about.
Promote Better Digestive Health During Stressful Times
For digestion to properly occur and for food not to sit around in your gut, you need blood flow to and through your intestines and the rest of your GI tract. Unfortunately, if you’re stressed, this may not be happening correctly.
That’s because when you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol moves blood away from the digestive tract and pushes it to your brain, large muscles, and limbs. This can wreak havoc on digestive health. In research conducted on the connection between CBD and anxiety, investigators discovered that CBD could lower cortisol levels in patients. While more research is still needed in this area, it’s promising, and we’re looking forward to what folks report on next.
Regulate Appetite and Food Intake
Sometimes bloating and other GI issues are caused by eating too much, too frequently. Your digestive system isn’t given a chance to work through the last meal before you give it another. Poor thing just needs a break! CBD may be able to help with this in a few ways. As we just mentioned, CBD has been investigated for its potential benefits in dealing with various anxiety disorders, some of which may lead to overeating. By treating the cause of the problem, the symptom may disappear.
Additionally, other investigations examine how CBD interacts with other cannabinoids within the ECS, related explicitly to hyperphagia. That last word refers to an abnormally increased appetite and the feeling that you need to just eat and eat. Researchers are hoping to find connections to substantiate theories that CBD may play a role in helping people feel full and dull that urge to constantly eat.
When and How to Take CBD
When dealing with gut health and bloating, you have two options as far as CBD goes. One is to take it when you start to feel discomfort mounting and bloating sets in. If you wait until this point, it may be too late, and the benefits are probably not as obvious, though some people still report relief.
A better way would be taking CBD on a consistent, daily basis to promote better overall homeostasis, including improved gut health that will reduce bloating. You have a couple of options here for how to take your CBD. The first is sublingually by using CBD drops. This just means placing a dropper full of your favorite flavor of CBD drops under your tongue, waiting 15 to 30 seconds, and then carrying on with the rest of your daily routine. This is a quick and effective way of getting CBD into your system.
You can also eat your CBD. This can be done by adding CBD drops to drinks or food. Or you can opt for other ingestible methods like CBD capsules and CBD gummies. These will deliver the CBD directly to your digestive system where it is most needed before sending it throughout the rest of your body. And if you’re wondering “How much CBD should I take?” you’re not alone. It will take a bit of research, and you’ll need to adjust for individual factors. But starting with a lower daily serving and slowly increasing it after about a week is always a good approach. The name of the game is consistency and listening to your body.