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CBD + Gut Health

Jennifer Adair
June 24, 2020

Do you know what’s going on inside your gut? I didn’t know for a long time, in fact I didn’t really care what was going on inside my body, my body seemed fine and I felt ok too. Until 2011 when I read a book by Alicia Silverstone called The Kind Diet. I couldn’t get enough knowledge and devoured books and documentaries regarding the food we eat. That was about 10 years ago, and a million books later on food and changing the way I thought about food and the things I put inside my body. Even though I understood what happens to your body based on what we put inside it, it taught me to think about where my food comes from, but I don’t think I understood gut health until I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease in 2018.

The gut is the only line of defense protecting the bloodstream from assorted toxins and irritants that wind up in the digestive tract and it’s fragile. Its healthy functioning is absolutely essential to nearly any aspect of human health, including, your mental health. The gut is pretty amazing. In fact it’s been called “the second brain” because there is a direct line of communication from the brain to your gut, the relationship of these two organs is called the brain-gut axis and it is related to the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) because it is believed to be partly controlled by it. 

Keeping your gut healthy is essential to the over-all health of your entire body and it’s organs. The gut lining is only one cell thick and it has a huge job of keeping the “bad” things like toxins and undigested food particles out of your blood stream.

When there is injury to the gut lining we often call that inflammation or leaky gut. It can be caused from a variety of things like intense stress, hormonal imbalances, alcohol, processed food and even the death of a family member. If the “bad” stuff is now entering your bloodstream where they don’t belong, due to a small hole or tear in your gut lining your immune system goes into high alert. It alerts your immune system to intruders and sets out an attack, which in turn leads to symptoms. These symptoms can range from a general un-wellness, the onset of autoimmune symptoms, diarrhea, gas, sugar cravings, bloating, fatigue, brain fog, memory loss, joint pain. arthritis and the list goes on.

For me it started slowly and after several traumatic life events and high stress over a long period of time. I felt bad and I was gaining weight which for me was unusual. It sent me into early menopause and it scared the hell out of me.

So, How Can CBD Help?

Well, let’s remember that gut health and the endocannibinoid system are related because there are both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors throughout the gut. CBD plays an important role in the structure and the function. Let’s look at some of the ways CBD can support gut health:

1. CBD helps suppress the release of TNF-alpha production, one of the major inflammatory compounds released when the gut response is out of whack. CBD helps support a healthy inflammatory response inside your gut.

2. CBD also affects gut mobility because we know that the Endocannibinoid 

System affects gut mobility. When mobility is too fast it results in diarrhea and when it’s too slow it results in constipation. CBD can help your body achieve a just right state which ultimately makes you feel better.

3. Lastly, the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the gut communicate. There is evidence that the trillions of gut microbes that live inside your gut and the ECS talk to each other. A study of humans with sick gut health have found positive results when CBD was added to their treatment regimen. Obviously, there are a number of other factors that should play a role in gut health support and CBD can be an important addition to a supplement regimen.

Obviously, there are lots of factors that play into gut health, stress, lifestyle, diet and disease. I made some huge changes to my diet and lifestyle, and with the support of my naturopath and a regimen of supplements and CBD I have sent my Hashimoto’s into remission, but it took time, a lot of homework and lots of determination. I will always have to keep a close eye on my bloodwork, but it was so worth it. I shed pounds, look and feel better, my skin looks less dry and my fatigue is gone.

So, whether you have an autoimmune issue, poor gut health or experience bloating CBD could be a great addition to your overall health.

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