Updated: Apr 6
If you have ever suffered from a gut disorder, you would know how debilitating it can be. Problems with the gut and digestion have become so common place that as many as 40% of the UK population suffer from at least one symptom of a digestive problem at any one time. This negatively impacts a person’s quality of life and having to reduce food group intake in a futile attempt to find the culprit can be tiresome and frustrating.
Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis have become so common place that they have spurned a entire new food production of alternatives to cater for every intolerance. Full Spectrum hemp oil, which contains a plethora of CBD and Plant terpenes has been shown to provide some relief. Whilst studies are preliminary, the therapeutic potential of CBD is growing.
Some interesting facts about our digestive system
Our digestive track has over 10 trillions cells of bacteria, fungi and other microbes, collectively called the gut microbiome.
Gut bacteria is the key to our overall wellbeing – healthy gut bacteria ( good and bad bacteria kept in constant balance) decreases the risk of developing diabetes, celiac disease, and inflammatory conditions like IBS, Crohn's, and even arthritis.
Researchers have established links between un-healthy gut bacteria levels and psychological conditions such as depression
80% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract and its ability to destroy pathogens, meaning that a healthy gut is integral to achieving optimal health.
Gut health and our own endocannabinoid system
Endo-cannabinoids are molecules made by our bodies. Experts have identified two key endo-cannabinoids so far that keep the bodies internal functions running smoothly. Receptors of endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to the two main cell receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors like a lock and key, triggering a response in the related cell.
CB1 receptors – are found mostly in the central nervous system
CB2 receptors – are found mostly in your peripheral nervous system, especially the immune cells
Examples of this process could include endocannabinoids linking to the CB1 receptors in a spinal nerve to relieve pain. Another process is an EC binding to a CB2 receptor in your immune cells signally that your body’s is experiencing inflammation, which is a common sign of autoimmune disorders such as arthritis or type 1 diabetes.
The ECS contributes to maintaining homeostasis, the body's delicate internal balance. Cannabinoid receptors(CB2) are found on cells throughout the digestive system. Researchers have found that levels of endocannabinoids are unbalanced in patients with intestinal diseases like IBS, celiac disease, and colon cancer.
The role of CBD in this complex system
Endocannabinoids are produced internally, whereas CBD is an exogenous cannabinoid or phyto-cannabinoid( meaning from a plant) that originates outside the body. Although research is preliminary, CBD has been shown to influence the endocannabinoid system positively and help promote gut health.
Many diseases and disorders that affect the gastrointestinal tract generally stem from inflammation. Experts believe that immune system malfunction may be involved in this, so far as the body starts to attack itself believing that some cells are foreign invaders. This results in inflammation of these cells as damage occurs. CBD has been shown in preliminary research to be a immune regulator, namely to reduce intestinal inflammation and help with chronic inflammatory conditions.