Can hemp flower help with digestive problems? Some experts believe it might, while many patients insist that it does. CBD has shown an ability to target several common digestive disorders and their symptoms. And anti-inflammatory CBG (cannabigerol) is also showing some potential.
Cannabinoids in Hemp Flower
When it comes to cannabis and hemp, you’ve probably been hearing a lot of new three- and four-letter abbreviations like CBG, CBC, THCV, etc. You might even be familiar with which cannabinoids these are and their associated therapeutic effects. If not, feel free to get up to speed in our post about the best known cannabinoids in hemp.
We say “best known” because there are still so many (an estimated 100 or so) cannabinoids about which little is known. Experts suspect there are still many undiscovered. And while gobs of these cannabinoids exist in tiny amounts in cannabis and hemp, scientists suspect that they have nuanced but beneficial contributions to the overall effect of hemp flower. We call this the entourage or ensemble effect. This is when the whole effect is greater than the sum of its parts.
In this article, we are going to review the evidence (scientific and anecdotal via patients and doctors) suggesting that CBD and CBG hemp flower is a safe and effective way to treat digestive disorder symptoms and conditions.
Then we’ll give you the skinny in on the Stardust Hemp strains that have the digestive issue-specific effects you might be looking for!
The ECS and the Human Body
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a master regulatory system that is always on-call (ideally) to maintain your homeostasis—your physical and mental balance and well-being. It does this through a network of:
- receptors—CB1 and CB2, as well as serotonin, GABA, dopamine, opioid, etc.
- endocannabinoids like anandamide (AEA) and 2-AG, which phytocannabinoids from cannabis (hemp is a cannabis plant) mimic.
- enzymes that produce and bread down the endocannabinoids
Your body is designed to constantly monitor, respond, and adjust. Cannabinoid receptors are found in all the systems of the body—the immune system, the central nervous system (CNS), the reproductive system, your skin and many other organs too. CB1 is primarily expressed in the CNS, the brain, but is in the body as well. While CB2 receptors are mostly found in the body, and moderate inflammation.
THC mostly deals with the CB1 receptor. But CBD and CBG help balance the body through the many receptors in the ECS network. That’s why CBD is known to have so many therapeutic benefits—and why CBG has been called the new CBD.
Gut Health and Why It Matters
For some time, we’ve known that gut health plays a huge role in our overall health—one might say your homeostasis. It used to be different. There was a time when doctors thought that the gut was simply meant to process food. We digest food, we get nutrition, right?
This is true, but we now know there’s a lot more to gut health than digestion. A lot lives and happens in the gut. Trillions of organisms live in there—bacteria, parasites, etc. As it turns out, if those organisms are healthy, we’re happy and healthy too.
Then there’s “the gut feeling.” Some experts call this the second brain. And why not? We know there is a major connection between digestive issues and mental health. When we have stress and anxiety, where do we often feel it? Yup. In the gut!
The ECS and The Gut
Seventy percent of the immune system is located in the GI tract. It contains CB1 and CB2 receptors. Consuming hemp flower activates these cannabinoid receptors, which can assist us in mobility, hunger signaling, inflammation, and stomach permeability.
How CBD and Other Cannabinoids Can Help the Gut
CBD is an immune modulator and a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Also, it seeks to keep the ECS in balance, and therefore has huge potential to impact the well-being of the gut by treating many digestive complaints.
CBD and Gut Motility
Gut motility is the stretching and contractions of the muscles in the GI tract, which helps to move food through the digestive process. When nerves or muscles in any portion of the gut don’t function at their normal level, you can develop symptoms like diarrhea, constipation (or both), cramping, bloating, etc. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and to some degree inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are motility issues. The ECS plays an important role in controlling contractility in the intestine. CBD can help regulate motility by dampening overstimulation at the CB1 receptors and indirectly interacting with CB2 receptors, creating better balance in the ECS. Furthermore, CBD impacts the enteric nervous system (“the brain below”) through serotonin receptors that are key mediators of motility, secretion, and pain sensation. CBD has been shown in studies to reduce chemical-induced hypermotility in mice.
CBD and Inflammation of the Gut
The ECS in the gut health also regulates inflammation. There have already been some successful preclinical studies using mice with IBD that involve treating them with substances that inhibit endocannabinoid breakdown. The enzymes involved in the ECS are constantly producing and breaking down our natural endocannabinoids. It’s easy to see that if this balance is off, issues can arise. CBD is a safe, effective way to help bring ECS balance to the gut.
CBD and Leaky Gut
Throughout the small intestine, cannabinoid receptors have been shown to regulate the presence of tight junctions that are in part responsible for maintaining gut integrity. Moreover, there is crosstalk between the ECS and the gut microbiota which impacts leaky gut. Treatment with certain probiotic strains has been known to increase the expression of CB2 receptors along the small intestine, which can support healthy gut function. Also, it’s been discovered that CBD and other plant cannabinoids support a healthy inflammatory response that is essential to heal leaky gut.
CBG and Gut Health
Not only is CBG a powerful neuroprotectant, an anti-cancer agent, an antidepressant, and more … It has also had some success with treating IBD because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Similarly, to CBD, CBG also brings balance back to the ECS by inhibiting FAAH, the enzyme that breaks down our natural endocannabinoid, anandamide.
Stardust CBD and CBG Hemp Flower
Stardust Hemp has several CBD strains and a couple of CBG strains for you to choose from according to effects and their characteristics, like aroma and flavor. Hemp flower is legal because it contains less than .3% THC, an amount that can not get you high.
Vaping or smoking the whole plant compounds, such as cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, fatty acids, etc., in hemp flower is like activating many anti-inflammatories, rather than just one you would get with a cannabinoid isolate—one that is not full spectrum.
Don’t Want to Smoke or Vape?
If you can’t or prefer not to smoke, vape, or cook with cannabinoids, there are other options for getting the whole plant benefits of hemp flower. Full spectrum CBD extracts or liposomal CBD are available. The Hemp Haus only offers hand-picked CBD brands like Ananda Hemp Full Spectrum CBD Softgels and Tinctures, as well as the amazing power and efficiency of Puffin Hemp Liposomal CBD.