Millions are turning to cannabis products to improve everything from their skin routines to pain relief for achy joints. Scientific evidence now suggests that cannabis can have a positive impact on digestive health and gut bacteria.
Bacteria in our microbiome influence many essential human functions, including cell production, digestion of foods, and skin repair. Here’s how smoking cannabis or using CBD oil might improve your gut health and probiotic growth.
The Endocannabinoid System and GI Health
There are cannabinoid receptors present throughout the body, including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This long digestive pathway trails from our mouth to our anus. It’s essential for many physiological functions necessary to the survival of humans.
Our GI tract is responsible for:
- Breaking Down Food
- Converting It into Energy
- Storing Calories in Fat for Future Energy
- Getting Rid of Waste
- Absorbing Nutrients
The GI tract covers so much ground that our body relies on cannabinoid receptors to regulate the system. When physiological functions within the GI tract get off balance, cannabinoid receptors report back to the central nervous system.
Our mind interprets these messages. Based on the signal, the messages may manifest in an array of gut-related problems, including bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
How Cannabis Influences Gut Health
Packing your favorite percolator bongs with cannabis can cause a great mind-altering experience. However, it can also influence some metabolic processes going on in your gut. These benefits of cannabis can improve unfavorable symptoms that might impede on your quality of life.
THC Eases Constipation
The body contains CB1 receptors in the colon. When we are constipated, not passing a bowel movement can cause inflammation that disrupts the CB1 receptor. THC in marijuana can activate the CB1 receptor, helping to decrease this immune response.
Once activated, the CB1 receptor regulates sphincter movement and increases mucus production. Together, these reactions make passing stool a smoother experience.
CBD Stops Diarrhea
Smoking too much marijuana can cause the CB1 receptor to go into overdrive. Consequently, we experience the opposite of constipation — diarrhea.
CBD influences CB2 receptors to counteract overactive CB1 receptors. As a result, gut motility slows down. We produce less mucus, and bowel frequency should decrease.
Cannabis Increases Probiotic Bioavailability
Many people are turning to probiotic supplements and foods to increase the ratios of beneficial bacteria in their gut. Unfortunately, many of these live cultures die off before they have the opportunity to colonize the colon.
Fat intake helps improve the bioavailability of probiotics. Dietary lipids soak up probiotics, allowing them to bypass our harsh stomach acids.
Phytocannabinoids are lipid-based plant molecules. By smoking marijuana or using CBD oil, you can improve the vitality of a potential probiotic intervention.
CBD Promotes Weight Loss
Smoking marijuana stimulates CB1 receptors in the brain responsible for appetite. You might counteract some of these cravings by using CBD oil or smoking CBD flower.
CBD sparks a physiological process known as fat-browning. That’s when sticky white adipose tissue littering the gut lining turns brown. Brown tissue is more efficient for our bodies to utilize and burn off.
Losing weight helps control inflammation in the gut. Decreasing inflammation allows your probiotic bacteria the opportunity to repopulate.
Also, harmful bacteria crave sugars found in baked goods and unhealthy fats found in fried foods. By balancing your microbiome with cannabis, it can deter poor dietary cravings.
THC Boosts Mood
The gut and brain remain in constant connection through a complex neural pathway known as the gut-brain-axis. Our gut-brain-axis is regulated by the vagus nerve.
Whenever we feel immense stress, the vagus nerve relays the message to our gut bacteria. That’s why we may experience stomach pains in moments of pressure.
Consequently, an upset stomach may cause mental health episodes. Case in point, we tend to get agitated and whiny when we feel under the weather.
CB1 receptors are abundant throughout the brain. Activating them with a marijuana session can help improve your disposition. Once you feel calm, your stomach problems will settle, too.
Conclusion: Cannabis Helps Gut Health
Whether you’re smoking hemp or a specific marijuana strain, all cannabis types can help regulate your gut health. Improve your mental well-being and bowel movements by using marijuana.
THC stimulates CB1 receptors that calm overexcited neurons in the brain. Without an overactive mind, the vagus nerve will calm. In turn, you are less likely to experience stomach pains and other uncomfortable GI issues.
Meanwhile, CBD’s interaction with CB2 receptors can bring balance to your microbiome. It can help curb your appetite, promote fat-browning, and control diarrhea.
No matter which type of cannabis you prefer, both hemp and marijuana may improve probiotic absorption. With cannabis, you can bring balance back to your microbiome and boost your overall wellness.