Cannabis for IBS – How Cannabis Works For Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Nearly 25 million to 45 million individuals are affected by IBS or irritable bowel Syndrome, which is about 12% of the population. Certain factors make you potentially vulnerable to developing the condition. Symptoms of irritable bowel disease may widely vary among patients.
Using natural remedies like cannabis for IBS has been unbelievably effective, opening a new chapter in the arena of healthcare science. The cannabis plant possesses multiple terpenes and cannabinoids that can effectively interact with the endocannabinoid system to improve gut function. The good part is that it cuts down the need to use excessive medications for symptoms like anxiety and depression that are indirectly associated with IBS. Stick around to learn more.
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, more commonly termed IBS, is a common gastrointestinal disease that tends to cause uncontrollable muscle spasms in your colon. Generally, symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and cramps are associated with IBS.
Management of symptoms can get hectic in the long run. Using cannabis for IBS may reduce the need to go through this hectic treatment by substantially reducing the symptoms and making them less excruciating.
How Is IBS caused?
Although the exact causes of IBS aren’t known, the following factors seem to play an essential role in causing IBS:
- Abnormalities In The Nervous System:
Structural and functional abnormalities in the nervous system can make the abdominal stretch from stool and gas even worse. You might experience pain and discomfort to a greater degree. These abnormalities affect the coordination of nerve signals between the brain and the intestines. This makes your digestive system quite vulnerable, and even the normal phenomena of the digestive system may result in pain, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Muscle Contractions
Your intestine walls are all lined with muscle layers that move the food all the way down through your digestive tract as they contract. Sometimes these contractions are stronger than usual. Also, these contractions can last longer. In this situation, you may experience medical discomforts such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. In case these intestinal contractions are weaker, it might get hard to pass on the food, which ultimately makes your stools hard.
Gastroenteritis is caused by a bacteria or virus, which can be followed by IBS.
- Gut microbes
Microbes like bacteria, fungi, and viruses live in your intestinal region and play a crucial role in maintaining gut health. Any change in these microbes may lead to IBS.
Risk Factors For IBS:
Well, IBS can affect anyone regardless of any factors; however, some factors make you more vulnerable to developing the condition.
Gender can directly impact your chances of developing IBS. Research brings forth that women are 50% more vulnerable to developing IBS. Although health sciences still lack formal research on the causes of the greater vulnerability of women, several experts explain it as hormonal imbalances that may occur at different stages of the menstrual cycle.
- Genetic Factors:
Genetic factors can play a huge role in deciding how vulnerable you are. It’s been observed that people having a family history of IBS are more likely to develop it.
- Emotional Stress
Traumatic events like sexual abuse can lead to mental disorders that can make you vulnerable to developing IBS. It’s not yet clear whether stress is by IBS or IBS is caused by stress. However, both of them have a link somehow.
- Food sensitivity:
People with certain food sensitivities might be more vulnerable to developing IBS than others. However, there’s no formal evidence on whether these food sensitivities can cause IBS.
Symptoms of IBS:
Almost all patients with IBS experience similar symptoms, which makes them more easily diagnosable. Following is a list of the most commonly reported symptoms of IBS:
Abnormal pain is generally the first key symptom noticed by the patients that take them to the doctor and helps with the diagnosis. If the signals between the brain and intestine are distorted, the muscles go through painful tension, leading to cramping in the abdominal muscles. This pain mostly occurs in the lower part of the abdomen.
Diarrhea is a key symptom of Diarrhea predominant IBS. This type of IBS is characterized by accelerated bowel transit. You may feel a sudden urge to pass a stool due to an abnormal bowel movement. This may also lead to the stress of being in public, where it might be hard to find a restroom immediately.
IBS Might be characterized by constipation sometimes. However, it solely depends on what type of IBS you are going through
- Changed Bowel Movements
If your intestine makes prompt stool movements, there will be hardly any time left for the absorption of water. As a result of this poor absorption of water, your stool gets loose, and this leads to diarrhea. IBS may also lead to the accumulation of mucous in stool in some. Disruptive movements of the bowel lead to constipation or diarrhea.
Well, most patients report being bloated consistently. It is one of the most nagging symptoms of IBS. Experts explain that this bloating is altered digestion, which leads to increased gas production in the gut.
- Sleeplessness and fatigue
More than 50% of IBS patients report having fatigue and tiredness throughout the day. They tend to have lower stamina for normal routine activities and social interaction.
In addition, the patients find it hard to fall asleep, depriving them of enough sleep, which is required to fight this fatigue.
- Anxiety and Depression
IBS tends to increase your chances of having anxiety, depression, and other mental disorder up to at least 50-70% in both men and women.
What are the different types of IBS?
Different patients with IBS experience different types of bowel movements. Thus, experts categorize them based on the kind of bowel movement particularly associated with it. The way you treat the condition highly depends on the type of IBS you’re going through, which explains why it’s important to learn about the IBS type you’re going through. Following are the three main types of IBS:
- IBS with Constipation: This type of IBS is characterized by hard and lumpy stool, which is hard to pass out.
- IBS with diarrhea: The stool has a watery and loose consistency in this type of IBS
- IBS with Mixed Bowel Movements: This type of IBS leads to both kinds of bowel movements, which means that you might have both hard and watery stools on the same day.
What Are The Benefits of Using Cannabis For IBS?
The wonders of the Cannabis plant are still under research, making more room for the medical application of the said plant. It helps regulate different body functions by interacting with the Endocannabinoid and nervous systems. Using cannabis for IBS can help you enjoy the following health benefits:
Improved Gut Function
- Cannabis is known to have significant effects on the working of the colon. Cannabinoids are capable of regulating colon contraction. Cannabis can help with Diarrhea predominant IBS by slowing down sudden and fast transit of colon movements.
- The endocannabinoid system regulates secretions, inflammation, and gastrointestinal propulsion. Endocannabinoid deficiency is generally a prime cause of IBS, which explains how cannabis can effectively improve the working of the endocannabinoid system.
- The major cannabinoids of the cannabis plant, CBD and THC, are widely known for being capable of binding with the receptors in the alimentary canal. In turn, the cannabis plant helps improve gut health.
- A few cannabis strains can help improve appetite, which is quite helpful for IBS patients.
Management of Sleep
Sleep management is quite complicated for IBS patients. The Cannabinoids of the cannabis plant can interact with the anandamide receptors to help you feel sleepy. Also, their interaction with adenosine receptors helps induce sleep naturally without making you feel groggy.
Fighting Off Anxiety And Depression
Most patients report feeling depressed or anxious due to their bowel disease, which worsens the situation. Cannabis proves to be an effective antidepressant and anxiolytic agent.
Cannabis for IBS; Research and Findings
Intrigued by the desire to find more about the curative wonders of the cannabis plant, the experts have been on their toes. Here’s a list of some studies that reveal the marvelous capabilities of the cannabis plant to address the symptoms of IBS:
- Recent research supports the incredible abilities of the cannabis plant to facilitate improved colon movements. 
- Several clinical trials confirm that the cannabis plant is an absolute powerhouse of different cannabinoids and terpenes that can reduce anxiety and stress, a common symptom of IBS. 
Using cannabis for IBS treatment can do wonders in multiple ways as it has a huge plethora of health benefits that go hand in hand with the symptoms of IBS. Make sure to consult your health care professional before using cannabis for any health condition.
Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.
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