STOMACH Bloating is a familiar complaint in the UK. There are many dietary adjustments people can make to beat the bloat. Growing evidence suggests a popular natural remedy may help. Numerous things can lead to bloating. The relief provided by CBD may lead to better gut health that will save you from pain and discomfort.
Stomach bloating: Could this popular natural remedy improve your gut health?
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Stomach bloating describes that uncomfortable sensation that typically follows a blowout meal and an overindulgence in fizzy drinks. The symptoms can be a nuisance – an overwhelming feeling like the belly is on the brink of bursting is a commonly reported complaint. Cutting out the known offenders is usually recommended course of treatment. Growing evidence suggests a popular natural remedy may alleviate symptoms.
CBD oil has garnered much publicity for its potential health benefits.
The chemical compound sourced from hemp plants been touted as a potential medication for a wide-range of conditions such as depression, pain management, cancer and skin flare-ups.
Evidence also suggests it may help to soothe tummy swelling and other symptoms associated with poor gut health.
Commenting on the potential benefits of CBD oil on gut health, a review published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid said: “Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries to treat a variety of disorders, including those associated with the gastrointestinal tract.”
The authors add that the endocannabinoid system participates significantly in the normal physiology of gastrointestinal function, displaying involvement in motility, gut-brain-mediated fat intake and hunger signalling, inflammation and gut permeability, and dynamic interactions with gut microbiota.
Stomach bloating: Evidence suggests CBD oil may help to improve gut health (Image: Getty Images )
It’s been shown to help heal ulcers and decrease acid reflux
Dr. Kenneth Brown
Reflecting on the potential of CHB oil in this area, Dr. Kenneth Brown, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and doctor of internal medicine in Plano, Texas said: “It’s been shown to help heal ulcers and decrease acid reflux.
“When the CBD binds to the CB1 receptor, it decreases excessive gastric acid, helps the lower esophagus prevent reflux, and increases blood flow to the lining of the stomach to help it heal quicker.”
Conversely, some people do encounter gastrointestinal issues with CBD. Dr Brown posits an explanation: “In my practice, when someone has gastrointestinal issues with CBD, we start with the product, because many times that may be a reason they are feeling sick. Just like all other health supplements, the quality and the source of CBD oil make all the difference.”
Another potential issue people face relates to the “carrier” of the oil, according to Dr. Michele Ross, PhD, CEO of Infused Health and a leading cannabinoid medicine researcher.
A carrier oil, also known as a base oil, is a plant-derived oil which is used to “carry” essential oils and plant supplements – supplements such as CBD, absorb better with the help of carrier oil.
Gut health: Cutting out gassy culprits such as beans can help to curb the bloat (Image: Getty Images )
Stomach bloating: A sensitivity to the “carrier” oil may create gut issues for some (Image: Getty Images)
Dr Ross said: “If you are experiencing gastrointestinal distress symptoms or an upset stomach, you may have a sensitivity, especially to coconut/MCT oil, which is the most common carrier I’ve seen. Many people can experience abdominal cramping and stomach pain, especially when consuming large quantities.”
If people are experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Ross suggested that they stop taking CBD oil for a day or two to identify that it’s the supplement and not some other issue (your diet, stress) that is causing their discomfort.
Then, try taking the CBD oil again at half the dose they were taking before.
If it’s still bothering them, they should experiment with a CBD oil that uses a different carrier, or perhaps an entirely different method that’s applied to the skin, rather than through the stomach, he advised.
According to the NHS, other more common ways to banish the bloat include cutting down on on foods known to cause wind and bloating, such as:
“But make sure you still eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” said the health body.
The NHS also recommends keeping a food diary for a couple of weeks, noting everything that you eat and drink and when bloating troubles you most, to determine whether the bloating is being caused by a food intolerance.
What Causes Bloating? And 3 Ways CBD Can Help
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.
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.
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.