This article will explore how cannabidiol interacts with your gut’s microbiome. In this way, CBD not only provides potential benefits for the digestive system and all-round gut health, but also helps with wider health issues such as stress and anxiety through this very interaction.
The Gut Microbiome
The gut microbiome consists of various forms of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). This internal environment has recently undergone some extensive research, and it has been recognised to affect the body’s responses to disease, influence mental health, and expedite general recovery.
In the past, people have viewed their bodies as consisting of compartmentalized systems which discretely performed specific functions. The way in which these internal groupings respond to external and internal stimuli was seen as relatively unconnected to wider bodily functions. As more and more work has been done to analyse the interconnectivity and the shared functions of the body, it has been discovered that the gut’s microbiome is a key engine in regulating your mood, digestive and immune systems, and also in affecting your skin’s response to stress and toxins.
How CBD affects your microbiome
An imbalanced gut microbiome has a direct impact on your overall health, and can contribute to various problems around the body such as a weakened immune system as well as worsening skin condition. Poor gut health and a microbiome deficient in probiotics can allow food particles and toxins to seep into our bloodstream and thus trigger an inflammatory response.
Since 70-80% of our immune system is housed in the gut, any imbalance or disruption to our gut’s microbiome can cause a variety of problems: skin issues like acne and eczema; hormone imbalances; thyroid dysfunction; joint pain; and brain fog.
CBD has been suggested to act as an incredibly powerful agent to modulate and negate the systemic inflammation of your gut. Cannabidiol prevents the production of cytokines and interleukins which act as signals for our gut to produce an inflammatory response; this therefore can help palliate some of the adverse effects of those suffering with IBS, colitis, gas, and damage to the gut lining.
How CBD can positively affect other aspects of health
CBD and nootropics contain probiotics found in natural foods and supplements, which means they have live bacteria that can produce an array of benefits for their users. It is therefore crucial that we make sure to keep these levels of probiotics consistently high throughout the day to counter any problems associated with our gut.
CBD and its effect on digestive health
CBD can also be beneficial for digestive health because it lowers cortisol levels, the hormone also concerned with contributing to stress and anxiety. Cortisol is also a catabolic hormone which means it breaks down tissues in the body and can ravage the gastro-intestinal tract.
Any natural compound that helps to reduce inflammation and stress are known as adaptogens, and these adaptogens also contribute to reducing gut inflammation connected with IBS and other gut problems. CBD is being seen more and more as an aid to assisting your body maintain its homeostasis wholesale: it is not just restricted to being a compound that regulates your endocannabinoid system (ECS) but one which can support the wellness of our digestive system too.
Combining CBD with other natural ingredients
CBD can be used as a supplement alongside other natural ingredients to promote the growth of a healthy microbiome within the body. There are various combinations out there which could elevate the efficacy of CBD to a whole other level, and to more completely support its palliative effects within the body.
Licorice root may have potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial effects. This ingredient could work in tandem with the our highest grade CBD oil to help create a stable and healthy environment for your microbiome, and help facilitate the corollary benefits of having such an internal balance. Early research suggests that this combination may help ease upper respiratory infections, treat ulcers, and aid digestion.
Peppermint is a natural anti-spasmodic and is ideal for easing bloating and tension in the digestive tract. In this way, if paired with CBD, peppermint can reduce the effects of an unbalanced microbiome and reduce the negative feelings associated with IBS and colitis. Furthermore, peppermint has a calming effect on the digestive tract and also helps prevent flatulence, whilst simultaneously helping ease passage of food through the intestine.
Ultimately, for CBD to have its suggested beneficial effects on the mind and body, there can be no obstructions. An unhealthy gut will promote an inflammatory response which will in turn negate the effects of CBD’s role as an adaptogen in the body (that is, maintaining a balanced homeostatic environment). By combining whole plant foods that are high in fibre, antioxidants, micronutrients, with adaptogens such as CBD, the result may be a novel and effective way to ensure optimal gut health.