5 Ways Cannabis Keeps Your Gut Healthy

The wonderful world of weed has given us access to a myriad of benefits for our health and wellness. From pain relief to better sleep, the benefits of weed are currently being explored to establish more ways of helping people with various medical conditions. One such benefit that you may not know is good gut health, primarily through adequate inflammation management and the regulation of bacterial levels in the gut microbiome. Such advantages are particularly helpful for those experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, particularly Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis (UC), and other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).

So if you or someone you know is experiencing regular GI discomfort, it may be a good idea to consult your doctor or contact a trusted dispensary for an alternative form of treatment. If you’re still weighing your thoughts on the matter, here’s what you should know about weed’s contribution to gut health. Who knows, your next CBD or THC delivery could be the reason why your digestion and bowel activity has turned noticeably better.

Helps Regulate Your GI Tract

Your GI tract is the passageway through which all of the food and liquids you consume travel. The GI tract encompasses all of the organs necessary for digestion, including your esophagus, stomach, intestines, anus, and rectum. Your gut contains multitudes of viruses, fungi, and bacteria, which should live in symbiosis with your body. Generally, this microbiome helps break down food, synthesize amino acids and vitamins, and fortify the gut barrier by preventing harmful bacteria and pathogens from entering your body.

However, there may be an imbalance in your gut’s microbe levels. This occurrence, known as gut dysbiosis, is caused by factors such as consuming produce with traces of pesticides, drinking too much alcohol, and eating excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Gut dysbiosis is typically the cause of GI disorders such as IBD and Crohn’s disease.

As preliminary research shows, cannabis helps regulate your gut’s microbiome by binding to your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS plays a big role in balancing your gut’s microbiome and helps manage vital functions of the gut, including motility or the movement of food through your GI tract. Consuming weed signals your ECS to stimulate endocannabinoid release, which aids in the management of gut activity and prevents imbalances in microbe levels.

Strengthens Gut Barrier

As mentioned previously, a fortified gut barrier is important because pathogens need to be kept away from the rest of your body. High gut permeability strengthens the chances of getting a “leaky gut”, in which bacteria, waste products, and food products directly enter your bloodstream.

According to early research, the presence of cannabis may improve the signaling between the gut and the brain, triggering the fortification of your gut barrier. THC, in particular, is said to increase the production of bacterial species responsible for strengthened gut-brain signaling, as well as fat storage and the metabolism of adipose tissue. Thus, signaling the strengthening of your gut barrier helps protect your GI tract as well as your entire body from harmful, disease-causing pathogens.

Reduces Inflammation

Unhealthy microbiome levels in the gut trigger the body’s immunity responses, including inflammatory responses that are largely controlled by the ECS. Moreover, changes in ECS might cause disruptions in the body’s inflammatory response, which leads to various types of IBD.

With weed’s capacity to bind with your body’s ECS, you can experience reduced symptoms of IBDs and minimize inflammation in your GI tract. In one study conducted in Israel, 10 out of 11 patients with Crohn’s disease reported that their symptoms decreased in severity after using THC-rich cannabis. The subjects also noted that cannabis use decreased their abdominal pain, properly managed their bowel movements, and improved their capacity to walk. While further research is needed to establish weed’s role in mitigating inflammation-driven GI conditions, it’s safe to say that cannabis could play a big role in relieving the symptoms as well as preventing the onset of GI disorders.

Boosts Metabolism

Obesity is largely interlinked with bowel diseases and gut health. For one, there is evidence that people with excess weight have different microbiota compared to those with a leaner build. It’s also suggested that obese people have less diverse gut microbes and may contain fewer amounts of “good” bacteria. Similarly, an unhealthy microbiome can affect food absorption and digestion, which may worsen obesity.

Cannabis is known to boost metabolism thanks to its impact on the body’s ECS. With this, people who aim to lose weight can use cannabis to influence metabolism and potentially prevent obesity along with potential gut-related issues.

Mitigates Stress and Alcohol Consumption

When you are stressed, your brain triggers physiological responses that can sometimes be unpleasant. For instance, your body releases cortisol when in stressful situations, sending signals such as various changes in your digestive functions. As a result, digestion is slowed down, acidity is reduced, and mucus production for the gut barrier is halted. On top of that, stress can cause muscle spasms and visceral hypersensitivity, which makes any form of pain feel more intense.

To prevent chronic stress from affecting your gut, you can take advantage of cannabis’ relaxing properties. Depending on the strain and your dosage tolerance, you can feel calmer through weed and thus prevent stress from pressuring your gut. In addition, having these peaceful feelings may help you cut back on alcohol, which is the common catalyst of leaky gut.

Aside from gut permeability, excessive alcohol in your system could decrease gut absorption and ramp up bile production in your liver, triggering diarrhea. Through weed, you can eliminate stress and anxiety as well as the need to drink alcohol, further preventing catastrophes involving your gut.

Happy Highs and Healthy Guts

Medicinal marijuana is often associated with relieving aches and pains, boosting mental wellness, and increasing one’s appetite. That said, it should be noted that cannabis can also be instrumental in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Research is ongoing on how cannabis helps treat different diseases, including those involving the gut. Still, using cannabis to manage and prevent bowel issues is worth a shot. Just remember to consult a professional first and talk to your trusty dispensary for a smooth weed experience—and smoother gut activity along with it.

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