Cannabidiol and Other Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids for Prevention and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Disorders: Useful Nutraceuticals?

Vicente Martínez 1,2 , Amaia Iriondo De-Hond, Francesca Borrelli, Raffaele Capasso, María Dolores del Castillo & Raquel Abalo. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2020, 21, 3067; doi:10.3390/ijms21093067

Cannabinoids and Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Three weeks ago, we learnt about the condition Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD), which is when a low functioning endocannabinoid system (ECS) manifests as disease. The three most common CECD diseases are migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). All CECD conditions have been shown to respond positively to treatment with cannabis. This week, we’re going to look more closely at IBS.

Cannabinoid receptors are highly expressed in the gastrointestinal tract. These receptors are involved in regulating many activities, including appetite, gut motility, and the microbiome. Targeting these cannabinoid receptors with phytocannabinoids like CBD may be useful in the treatment of gut related disorders such as IBS.

Although clinical research using CBD to treat IBS is limited, a recently published review article described a potential role for CBD in managing IBS symptoms. There are three aspects of IBS pathology that are specifically cited: (1) IBS-associated dysmotility, especially for the diarrhea predominant form of disease; (2) inflammation, which is a hallmark of IBS of all forms; and (3) abdominal pain, which is associated with sensory processing along the gut-brain axis. It is thought that the actions of CBD on IBS symptoms are primarily mediated via effects on the ECS.

Fringe Commentary:
As a modulator of the ECS, CBD may reduce symptoms of IBS, as described by this recent review article. Water soluble Fringe Mana or Henko CBD is rapidly absorbed and highly bioavailable, allowing for fast distribution of CBD throughout the body. The improved bioavailability of water-soluble CBD might be especially important in the treatment of gut disorders, which often impair the absorption of nutrients. Clinical research is needed to better understand how CBD can be used by IBS patients. It is recommended that patients start low, track their symptoms, and increase their doses gradually if needed.


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