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5 min | Nick T
5 min | Nick T
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    An Osteopath’s Thoughts On CBD Oil For Gut Health

    5 min

    CBD oil, otherwise known as Cannabis oil (with the technical name of cannabidiol) is an extract of the cannabis plant.

    It is a very popular food supplement that has become available across the world in the last three or four years. In the UK it is now widely available and there are many people using it.

    Here at CBD One we became aware that there are many very low-grade poor quality CBD oils out there so we decided to set up a business that would be able to locate the finest CBD manufactured in the world and offer people support and advice when buying it.

    To my knowledge, we are still the only CBD company in Great Britain that is run and owned by a health professional.

    I get lots of people asking me about CBD and gut health, and since this is a very common area where people have problems, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at how it may or may not be of use.

    What Affects Our Gut Health?

    There are a myriad of factors involved in good health and your gut has a profound influence on your entire state of health, from your immune system to your mental well-being. 

    It is a critical factor, so looking after digestive function is very important.

    When thinking about your digestive system it is important to be aware that it can be very easily upset. 

    Modern life, high stress and modern pharmaceutical preparations such as antibiotics can cause chaos in your digestive system, as can refined and processed foods that come with high calorie counts but very little nutritional worth. 

    So when we address the issue of CBD being good for your gut we have to address the whole issue from all angles.

    If we think about stress and our digestive system it is a simple survival mechanism that can upset your gut.

    When we are under stress our body goes into survival mode, this is very primitive and perceives any stress as a threat to our life, so our body prepares us to attack the threat or run away from the threat. 

    In other words, it is preparing us for physical activity. 

    Unfortunately, in modern life, our stresses don't tend to need us to attack them or run away. Bills landing on our doorstep, threats of losing our job or fear of invisible viruses, all these things cause the same stress response in our body.

    It prepares us to attack or run by shunting blood to our muscles to make us active  and to our brain to make us alert but that blood must come from somewhere and it comes from, in the main, our digestive system. 

    So, in a nutshell, our digestive system under high stress effectively shuts down to move blood to where it is needed to fight or flight.

    If we do something physical, such as attack or run away or the more appropriate modern response of doing exercise, this helps to dissipate the stress hormones that are alerting us to the fight or flight response. 

    As hormones are dissipated our body returns to equilibrium and our digestion works again. 

    Unfortunately for many of us we do not attack or run or do exercise because we have created a modern world that is very sedentary, so under high stress we sit and we take it and we start to develop gut problems because it has shutdown from chronic stress.

    This is the classic type of problem that causes irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. 

    This prolonged, steady stress that we are not reacting to with a healthy response can cause bizarre symptoms and IBS is one of those. Therefore, the number one thing to do if you know you are under stress is to exercise. In addition you can calm stress with breathing exercises and meditation so I strongly recommend you do that.

    When our gut functions properly our mental health will be more settled and our immune system will also work more effectively. 

    We now know there are more emotional neurones in our digestive system than there are in our brain, hence the term gut instinct or gut feeling.

    I am sure many of you have experienced during a period of worry or shock that you get stomach cramps or digestive pains just below the rib cage. This is merely our body reflecting our anxieties and fears.

    Other important aspects of gut health are to regularly eat fermented foods and take a good quality probiotic and prebiotic. 

    Modern life is quite sterile and we over clean everything and (especially now with the media’s obsession with COVID scaremongering) live in fear of bacteria and germs when we should embrace them. 

    We do not know how much bacteria is on and in the human body, in fact, there is so much we cannot count it and yet we think bacteria are our enemies!

    When everything is in balance bacteria, without a doubt, are our friends, in fact, they are the essence of life. Fearing the very essence of life is insane. I recommend people not to use antibacterial spray since this is an antibiotic in your home, just use soap and water for cleaning things.

    I would also suggest eating fermented foods. You can make these yourself or you can buy them from good health shops. Commonly available ones are sauerkraut and kimchi. They help to put back all the healthy bacteria in your gut.

    There are lots of reasons why the bacteria in your gut go out of balance and so constantly putting good bacteria back in will help your digestive system function well.

    Can You Use CBD Oil For Gut Health?

    One of the first things we need to point out when talking about CBD oil’s qualities is that we're not able to make any health claims, and any CBD company doing so is not acting with integrity or honesty.

    What we can say is that the cannabis plant has been shown to have an abundance of healthy compounds, so it's easy to see why many people use it when trying to promote a healthy lifestyle.

    Although CBD oil has been deemed safe and non-toxic, it's not something used “for” gut health.

    Put simply, CBD is an incredibly healthy food supplement, so if you were dealing with any gut health issues I would say there is no harm taking it.

    Does CBD Oil Have The Same Effect As Probiotics? 

    Probiotics and CBD oil are two very different products. 

    Probiotics are capsules or powders that have lots of good bacteria within them. You can drink them or swallow them and they help repopulate your digestive system with the right kind of bacteria.

    CBD oil, on the other hand, is full of cannabinoids that work with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

    This is a system of receptors which is in your central nervous system and peripheral nervous system, in many of your organs and in the digestive tract. There is potential for CBD to influence your digestive tract through the cannabinoid receptors that are inside your gut.

    This means CBD and probiotics will have different effects and different benefits.

    Is CBD Oil Hard On Your Stomach?

    The wonderful thing about CBD is that it is very non-toxic and extremely safe so it will not cause you any harm. This is the most important aspect of deciding whether you want to use CBD or not.

    If you look at many modern pharmaceutical preparations they come with a long list of potential side-effects. Fortunately this is not the case with CBD, so you have everything to gain by trying it and nothing to lose.

    One small note of caution is that if you take too much CBD oil too quickly it may give you loose bowels. This is not because it's causing you any harm but you're just taking it too fast. The simple answer if this occurs is to lower your dose and allow your body to acclimatise to the CBD. 

    Is CBD Oil Good For Stomach Inflammation?

    There are lots of interesting studies that can be looked up through search engines for scientific data, on sites like PubMed, and there is some research evidence to do with CBD helping to dampen down inflammation in your gut. 

    That research is one thing, but can we apply that to our CBD? 

    We simply cannot as this will have used pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol.

    What we can say, however, is that CBD Oil is safe for human consumption, and will cause you no harm.

    Can CBD Oil Help With IBS?

    Having already talked about how stress affects your gut and can contribute to IBS, your focus should be on reducing your stress levels as much as possible.

    One thing I can guarantee is that if your stress levels dampen down your IBS will not be as bad.

    Do not forget that calming down stress involves a myriad of factors from good nutrition (including CBD), regular exercise, meditation and deep breathing, a calm environment that you work and live in and, of course, positive social relationships.

    Can CBD Oil Help With Leaky Gut?

    The number one cause of leaky gut in my opinion is poor nutrition. So step one is to look at what you are eating and make sure you remove processed foods.

    I have seen talk of fast foods such as McDonald's causing very rapid degeneration in your gut so please remove such trashy Frankenstein foods from your diet.

    Make your food from scratch with whole foods that do not come with a list of ingredients. You must stop eating processed foods. To continue such unhealthy food consumption whilst looking for a magic pill or product to help you makes no sense.

    Therefore, to deal with leaky gut, feed your body healthful nutrition. I would class CBD as part of that healthful nutrition.

    Can CBD Oil Cause Diarrhoea? 

    If you take too much CBD too soon when you are not used to it, it may well cause loose bowels. 

    It certainly did with me when I took our strongest CBD oil, but it must be noted that I took a full dose of this product on day one, when I should perhaps have had one or two drops. 

    CBD can be potent stuff, but as long as you are sensible and are using it steadily and carefully this should not be a problem.

    There are some people who like the effect of the loosening of their bowels because they suffer from constipation so it can be seen as a positive!

    To Summarise

    In the end, trying CBD comes with very low risk and, therefore, is worth trying.

    If you have a sensitive stomach or particular digestive problems I would recommend you start with a low dose.

    Maybe one drop twice a day of one of our CBD oils, either our Life Edition or Signature Blend Number One. Do not rush to make changes to your body by taking too much too soon and allow nature to take its course.

    Some people see rapid change, some require 8 to 12 weeks to see a difference and, of course, there are a few for whom CBD appears to do nothing. I have yet to stumble across any product or therapy that works every time for every person.

    If you have any questions about CBD and are not sure where to start look through our blog or go to our Info page and our health advice section where you can message me. I am here to help as a fully qualified osteopath with 15 years experience in natural health.

    I am used to handing out advice and support for all kinds of people with all kinds of problems. Whilst we are forbidden from making medical claims around CBD because it is classed as a food supplement, as an osteopath I can give advice and support that is qualified.

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