Don’t you just hate falling sick! Health and wellness are words that have taken over human minds drastically, especially in the last decade or so. With the ongoing pandemic showing us a real picture of how healthy we are, these two words have made a considerably larger impact than any other. Exercises, yoga, eating right, sleeping well are among the few things that people are attempting while striving to stay safe and healthy.
Then, there are those who are willing to undertake newer aspects of staying fit such as CBD. CBD comes in many forms such as oil, tinctures, capsules, creams or lotions, even gummy bears. CBD is causing a revolution among people aiming to search for natural means of living a healthy lifestyle. And while research on CBD is ongoing, it is believed that cannabidiol has numerous benefits on your body and mind. Through this article, you will have a better understanding of how CBD works and if it can genuinely support a healthy gut.
So, What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a type of phytocannabinoid found in cannabis or hemp plants. This component of the hemp plant has been used for generations for medicinal purposes. The usages of cannabis plants can be dated back to 10,000 years ago. The Chinese initially used hemp seeds in their food and slowly discovered that it had therapeutic benefits too. The only problem was that our ancestors could not filter CBD and THC. THC is the primary reason why the cannabis family of plants was banned by almost the entire world.
THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the phytocannabinoid that gives you a ‘high.’ With today’s cutting-edge technology, the hemp plant is subjected to a safe filtration process that eliminates traces of THC and CBD is left in the residual matter. The ban on hemp plants has been lifted by several nations owing to its medicinal value. With the advanced processes, CBD is now considered safe to use for therapeutic needs.
The Gut Feeling
Besides being a metaphor for bravery and instincts, the gut comprises the entire intestinal system. The gut is considered the only defense mechanism your body has against external threats. This means that the intestinal tract has a lining that protects any toxins or pests from entering the bloodstream through the digestive tract. So, you see, protecting your gut and ensuring its smooth functioning is tremendously critical for your health.
Now, your gut is probably the second most crucial part of your body after the brain and is also often referred to as ‘the second brain.’. Its primary function is, seemingly, to help the digestion process, but it, in fact, also ensures an effortless performance of numerous physiological processes. These processes include functions such as regulation of hormones, combating bacteria and viruses, eradicating toxic material, regular cell regeneration, and more.
Additionally, your gut contains microbes or what we often call good and bad bacteria. The gut flora plays a vital role in your well-being. The gut is said to have a direct link to your brain. Your body has something called serotonin, which is like the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter of your body. Your gut produces about 90% of this serotonin to tell your brain that your body is running smoothly without any glitches.
What Happens When The Gut Is In Trouble?
Your body is in equilibrium when there is a healthy balance maintained between the good and bad bacteria in your gut. If the gut is injured or inflamed, then it can leak the toxins into your bloodstream. This is known as ‘intestinal permeability’ or ‘leaky gut syndrome.’ With irritants in your bloodstream, your immune system goes into combat mode and starts attacking the problem. This results in symptoms that you then medicate for relief.
Suppose there is an imbalance in the gut microbiome. In that case, you will face problems such as IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Furthermore, the bad bacteria can result in the development of a chemical called TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide), which increases cholesterol levels in your body.
An unhealthy gut can also cause problems in the functioning of your kidney. It can also result in autoimmune disorders such as thyroid problems, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Not to mention common health issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and heartburns. So, your gut needs special attention when it comes to your health.
CBD And ECS Connection
Before moving further to understand the CBD and Gut connection, you must first understand the CBD-ECS Connection. In researching CBD and its effect on the human body, scientists discovered the ECS. ECS stands for the endocannabinoid system, which is a system in your body that controls several neurological, psychological, and physical functions. ECS comprises three components, namely, molecules or cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors, and enzymes.
Your body has a mechanism that produces molecules to fight problems. These molecules have properties similar to cannabinoids. CB1 and CB2 receptors carry signals throughout your body. The receptors bind with endocannabinoids and prompt the ECS to take action whenever an issue is detected. Once the endocannabinoids have done their job, some enzymes break them down.
CBD is known to give a boost to your body’s ECS, resulting in a quicker and more effective action in the problem area. For instance, if you have inflammation in some parts of the body, CBD will enhance ECS’s performance and reduce inflammation faster than usual.
The CBD And Gut Connection
Research has shown that the axis between the brain and gut may be partly operated by the ECS. CB1 and CB2 receptors can be found even in your gut. Besides, the good and bad bacteria and endocannabinoids have a cross-talk between them for healthy performance. Therefore, CBD can play a crucial role in supporting a healthy gut.
Your gut motility is what ensures an effortless bowel movement. If the motility is too slow, you feel constipated, and if it is too fast, then you suffer from loose motions. CBD can help in regulating your gut motility, so your digestive system works just right.
Additionally, CBD is known for its efficient inflammatory response. When your gut suffers from inflammation, it releases a compound called TNF-alpha. CBD can suppress the release of this compound and reduce gut inflammation.
As mentioned before, if the gut leaks out toxins, your immune system begins to overwork itself. CBD can boost your immune system and help fight this leak effectively. Overall, CBD has shown several positive effects when it comes to gut health. It can support good bacteria and an efficiently functioning digestive system. CBD can nourish the ECS, which, in turn, can ensure that your gut remains healthy and fit.
Scientists are still being baffled as newer discoveries about CBD constantly come to light. Although there is no clarity on the exact reason behind CBD’s effectiveness on your body, it is believed that studies will soon uncover the mystery. Meanwhile, you need to give more attention to your gut, your second-brain, than you have before. If you are looking for a natural way to maintain a healthy gut flora, try CBD.