Like most people, you probably take digestion for granted. Until something goes wrong. But, did you know that digestion is a good indicator of overall health? Well-known in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, it’s becoming more apparent to Western medicine that digestion is often a harbinger of other conditions that might be lurking.
But before we talk about gut health in general, let’s talk about what happens during the more common situations such as indigestion or heartburn. They tend to show up if you’ve overindulged in rich, heavy foods or after you’ve eaten too much. The symptoms include bloating, gas, belching, burning sensation, or abdominal pain and nausea.
Do you just grab a pill and then forget about it until the next time? You may want to reconsider that option.
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration sent out a warning that it had found low levels of a cancer-causing chemical in samples of the popular heartburn medication Zantac. The chemical, a type of nitrosamine, has been shown to cause tumors in lab animals’ livers and other organs. It’s also believed to be a carcinogen for humans. As a result, it’s being pulled from the shelves of many large pharmacies, including Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS.
Now what? Thanks for asking.
Gut health and your health
The occasional bout of indigestion or heartburn is uncomfortable, but not unduly worrisome. But, if it becomes a regular occurrence, it’s time to take note. Sometimes indigestion can be a symptom of:
· Inflammation of the stomach (gastritis)
· Peptic ulcers
· Celiac disease
· Pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis)
· Stomach cancer
· Intestinal blockage
· Reduced blood flow in the intestine (intestinal ischemia)
The common ground among all these conditions seems to be inflammation.
CBD for inflammation
As an anti-inflammatory, CBD rules. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound that occurs naturally in cannabis. For millennia, CBD oil has been used treat a variety of conditions. In the 1990s, scientists learned that every body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) already up and running. This system is what maintains homeostasis, or balance, throughout our bodies with the help of CB1 and CB2 receptors. Ideally, these receptors patrol everything—skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal, muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract—to ensure smooth operation.
But we don’t live in an ideal world and environmental factors, stress, poor diet, not enough exercise or rest and other factors can create imbalance. Enter CBD oil.
Researchers are finding that CBD can be quite effective in taking the fire out of inflammation. Used as a supplement it may help protect the entire digestive system. A 2011 Israeli study conducted on 30 patients with irritable bowel syndrome, which is caused by inflammation, noted that 21 of the participants showed significant improvements after being treated with cannabis
How does CBD help your gut?
Your ECS is an avid champion of smooth digestion and works to help keep things flowing harmoniously. The ECS can become deficient for many reasons: poor nutrition, pollution, stress and other external factors. Supporting your digestive system with a plant-based diet, fresh air and exercise, loving and caring relationships and natural stress relievers can help keep it healthy. Adding CBD as a supplement in addition gives the ECS that extra boost to help maintain balance and keep inflammation at bay. Clinical studies have begun to show that CBD and other cannabinoids can help reduce temporary gut inflammation, overactive motility, bloating, abdominal discomfort, unsettled tummy and poor appetite.
It stands to reason that if you’d like to stay as healthy as possible, a good place to start would be diet and supplementing that whole-food diet with a high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil. Why full-spectrum?
Full-spectrum hemp oil (FSHO) contains all the cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant. In addition, it contains many essential vitamins and minerals, fatty acids, proteins, chlorophyll, fiber, flavonoids and terpenes. FSHO contains dozens of cannabinoids. The most abundant is CBD, which makes up 90% of this full-spectrum oil. Other cannabinoids contained in hemp oil are CBD, CBG, CBN and trace levels of THC (under .2%).
Extracted FSHO also contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as B complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. In addition, it’s a source of vitamins not sufficiently present in many diets including beta-carotene. As stated above, this FSHO includes numerous minerals, fatty acids, proteins and a host of other components, which further enhance the healthful benefits of this unique oil.
In a nutshell, here’s to your gut health.