In this Article we are going to be talking about CBD and how it could potentially help with IBS. Or as it’s otherwise known as irritable bowel syndrome. The information we are going to be sharing with you comes from our research and reading of a very famous paper by Dr. Russo. There’s three versions of it. The original one he did back in 2004. Then he did an updated version in 2011. And then in 2016 he did another update. The most recent version which we’ll link for you below is called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency reconsidered.
Current research supports the theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel and other treatment resistance syndromes. So you can check the paper out. Some of it is a little pretty high level. But most of it we can get across to you pretty simply. In regard to we’re gonna focus on IBS for this Article. Anyway, the theory of endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome is, that like other medical problems that people have, where there’s a certain deficiency of something, for instance like parkinson’s disease or other brain disorders like alzheimer’s disease where there’s affecting acetylcholine, dopamine in parkinson’s disease, and serotonin and norepinephrine in depression. So certain systems that aren’t working correctly.
The Theory of Endocannabinoid Deficiency as a cause
The theory is that with treatment-resistant conditions like IBS, Fibromyalgia, Migraines and conditions that sometimes have been written off almost as psychosomatic. Like it’s all in your head. But for the people suffering that’s really not good enough. The theory is, that perhaps it is a deficiency of endocannabinoid system function.
Now in regard to IBS, according to this paper, the endocannabinoid system plays a very important role in gut function and gut comfort. So the theory goes, that for someone that might have this deficiency, supplementing with an external source of cannabinoids like CBD or other cannabinoids like THC, can perhaps provide relief and treat this condition.
CBD inhibits the breakdown of Anandamide
To take it a little bit further. We’ve mentioned before, that when CBD is taken, one of the ways that CBD works although it’s still a mystery and we’re learning more about how it actually works, because it works in a few different ways. It’s kind of a trickster in that sense. But one of the ways that CBD works is, it inhibits the enzyme that normally breaks down anandamide.
Anandamide or AEA is one of our endocannabinoids and it has been studied that a lack of this cannabinoid can cause problems. In some cases it’s also been seen that, when someone is having health issues, there’s an overabundance of anandamide. And the theory there is, that the body is trying to compensate by producing more of it.
One of the ways that CBD is thought to work is, that it inhibits (stops) the breakdown of anandamide, thus allowing the body to increase its levels of anandamide. And that’s one of the ways that it’s thought to work.
CBD desensitize the TRPV1 Receptor
The other one is, CBD is thought to desensitize the TRPV1 receptor. And this receptor is interesting because it’s also connected to Capsaicin (CPS), the compound that makes pepper spicy. And this is where part of that theory comes from.
But basically it’s that, if you desensitize this receptor it becomes less sensitive to pain.
And all of these conditions, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and migraines, they’re all a condition of hypersensitivity to pain.
So the theory is, that if we can treat the person in such a way or have the person take something to make them less sensitive to pain (since they are oversensitive to pain), this can perhaps bring relief.
The Theory needs more research
Now, again this is all a theory. Dr. Russo admits in the paper that they’re much more studies are needed. Unfortunately we just don’t have the evidence yet to make a determination. But the anecdotal evidence is always important.
And we can say from our personal experience that cannabis is helping people not be nauseous. We are not sure yet if THC or CBD or a combination of them is the best for nausea.
But we can tell you from our personal experience that for stomachaches and for nausea we had definitely success using different Cannabis Strains. Both in high CBD and low THC and Low CBD and high THC Strains.
Cannabidiol might be able to help IBS through two channels
Anyway though. We think, obviously since not everyone has access to THC and based off what Dr. Russo is saying in this paper of how Cannabidiol might be able to help IBS through those two channels:
- Number one being stopping the breakdown of anandamide and thus increasing its levels in the body.
- Number two desensitizing the TRPV1 receptor.
These are perhaps two ways that CBD can help with IBS. Now we can’t make claims anyway even if we want to do. We don’t want to get in trouble with the DEA or FDA for that, because of how sensitive they are about that. But the point is CBD is it’s worth a try. If you have IBS and you’re not getting relief from other things you’ve tried, we think CBD is definitely worth a try. Because you don’t have a lot to lose and you have a lot to gain.
As we know CBD is for most people pretty much side-effect free. It’s very safe. It’s reasonably easy to get from a CBD hemp oil. So we think overall as for IBS it’s it’s worth a try.
To Recap the Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED)
The endocannabinoids system is involved in a lot of functions in the body and of maintaining homeostasis in our body in many different areas. And one of those happens to be in the gut. There’s a good amount of data that has shown endocannabinoid system function and importance in the gut. The theory of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CED) is, that if your system isn’t working correct if you don’t have the right levels of endocannabinoids you may be over sensitive to pain and experiencing other problems like IBS or Fibromyalgia.
In this paper Dr.Russo explains how a lot of times these three can go together, Migraines Fibromyalgia and IBS. A lot of people have either overlapping of two or all of them. So there’s that comorbidities. This is something to consider. We think, if you’re dealing with this problem we would consider trying CBD because like we said, it’s something you have a lot to gain from and not too much to lose. Of course it’s not going to work for everybody. It it just may not but we think it’s worth a try.
We’d love to hear about other people’s experiences because we learned so much from you on how you’re using CBD. So if you found it helpful for IBS or for stomachaches or anything gut related, we’d love to hear about that in our Review Section or on our Facebook Page. Also if you have questions for us let us know.
Sources: Here you can find the link to the paper by Dr. Russo: