3 Minute Read
Allie Murphy - October 26, 2020
CBD & Gut Health? What’s the Connection?
Gut health is a mainstream topic these days. And there’s a growing interest to eat foods and take supplements specific to our gut’s needs. One way people are taking proactive steps is by taking CBD and probiotics together.
Others are including bone broth, kombucha, sauerkraut, and dark leafy greens into their diet to provide good bacteria and diversify the microbiome in the gut. These actions are necessary because of the growing number of digestive disorders and autoimmune diseases. Even if these two situations don’t affect you now, it’s still important to take preventative health measures to boost your immunity.
Refresher on CBD
The name cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp go hand in hand. That’s because CBD is a major part of the hemp plant. In particular, this cannabinoid produces large concentrations in the flower buds and sugar leaves of the plant.
Furthermore, hemp is a member of the cannabis family but doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so it doesn’t cause a ‘head high’. However, it can have several benefits for the body and mind through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. We’ll get more into that in a bit.
CBD & the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a recent scientific discovery, but also one of the most profound discoveries in modern history. It’s not as obvious as say, the skeletal system or cardiovascular system, that’s why it took some time for researchers to find it. Rather, it’s an intricate collection of enzymes, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2.
Its job is to maintain homeostasis or internal balance. One way it does this is by keeping pH levels in check. The ECS also regulates many of the major physiological processes responsible for keeping us alive. And they impact functions like sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and immune function. In sum, it’s a vital system for our overall well-being, and critical in our day to day lives.
If we’re not sleeping well, we get cranky. And if our mood’s off, we can get sad, angry, or frustrated and take it out on those closest to us. Plus, our immune system can become depressed or weak when our ECS isn’t strong and healthy.
For this article, we’re only focusing on cannabidiol, but these other compounds also play an important part in the overall equation of ECS health. More specifically, we want to talk about the connection between CBD and your gut. And also the immune system, because 70 to 80 percent of your gut lives in your immune system. Fascinating stuff, right?
What is the link between CBD & gut health?
To understand this link we need to explain something first. Those cannabinoid receptors we mentioned earlier, CB1 and CB2, are important to this explanation. Well, CB2 more so than CB1. You see, the CB2 receptors are found in many areas of the body, but concentrate in the gut, immune system, liver, and pancreas.
As you take CBD oil, gummies, or any product with large amounts of cannabidiol you indirectly impact this system, organ, and gland. Let’s use the example of taking a Vitamin D supplement to better your bone health.
In a similar way, you give your CBD to activate the CB2 receptors and strengthen the areas (i.e. gut, immune system, liver, pancreas) where these receptors live.
Fortunately, many of these receptors are within the critical components of the digestive system. When you have a strong, healthy digestive system — this improves your gut. And a strong gut leads to a happy, vibrant immune system.
See how this all works together for the common good? Who knew CBD played a role in this? Well, now you know!
Take this information and the resources we provided to further expand your knowledge of the connection between CBD and gut health.
How Good Gut Health Can Boost Your Immune System
Think Twice: How the Gut's "Second Brain" Influences Mood and Well-Being
Endocannabinoids in the Gut
The gut microbiome in health and in disease