The control and coordination of all activities in our body happen in the brain. The signals to the brain come from different parts of the body and every organ contributes significantly to the overall mechanism our body works. The gut has an important place in the discussions about the biological working mechanism of our body controlled by the brain. In fact, it is called ‘second brain’ because it is home to trillions of microbes that fundamentally influence several aspects of our health including that of the brain.
In this session, we are primarily focusing on finding out the relation between CBD and gut health.
Why Gut Is Called The Second Brain?
The direct line of communication that exists between the gut and brain is the primary reason for the gut being called the second brain. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter in our body that plays a crucial role in deciding our overall mood and mental health. It would be surprising at least for some to know that almost ninety percent of the serotonin production takes place in our gut. The interaction between the brain and the gut is partly controlled by the endocannabinoid system. Now you know how CBD becomes relevant here.
Intestinal Permeability /Leaky Gut Syndrome
Gut inflammation or injury causes the contents of the gut to leak into the bloodstream. The state is referred to as leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability. When unwanted particles enter the bloodstream, the immune system starts responding by attacking the foreign particles. The attack generates wide-ranging symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, disrupted gut motility, and even the activation of autoimmune symptoms.
How Does ECS Affect The Digestive System?
The endocannabinoid system influences the functions of the digestive system in the following ways.
Modulation Of Inflammation
The ECS has an important role in protecting the gut from inflammation. Both of its receptors CB1 and CB2 modulate the inflammatory response in the gut when they are stimulated by cannabinoids. Inflammation and permeability in the gut can lead to inflammation in the brain and blood-brain barrier. Hence reducing the inflammation in the gut can contribute to overall improvements in mental power and nutrient absorption.
ECS plays a significant role in regulating gut motility. Stimulation of CB1 receptor improves nutrient absorption, slows stomach emptying, checks the overproduction of stomach acids, and handles nausea. The ECS also has significant influence in determining gut motility.
Bridges Communication With The Brain
The ECS acts as a two-way bridge between the gut and the brain. Stress registered in the brain affects gut function (for example nervous belly) similar to inflammation an imbalance in the gut affects our emotional balance.
How Does CBD Contribute To Gut Health?
CBD impacts various body functions and offers relief from various medical conditions by influencing the activity of the endocannabinoid system. The system has two main receptors, CB1 and CB2 that can be indirectly influenced by CBD.
Here are some of the ways in which CBD supports gut health.
It Affects Gut Motility
Gut motility refers to the speed with which food moves in the digestive tract. Too fast gut motility causes diarrhea while too slow motility leads to constipation. CBD contributes to healthy gut motility and helps your body achieve a pace of digestion that is not too slow or too fast.
It Affects TNF-Alpha Production
TNF-alpha is one of the major inflammatory compounds that are released during the inflammatory response of the gut. Studies have suggested that CBD has the ability to suppress the production of TNF-alpha, thereby supporting a healthy inflammation response in the gut.
The Gut Microbiome And Endocannabinoid System Interacts With Each Other
As mentioned already, the gut is home to trillions of microbes. There exists a cross-talk between the gut microbiome and the endocannabinoid system. Several animal studies have confirmed that administering CBD products offered several gut-related health benefits to the test subjects. Human studies also found that CBD offered relief to people sick with gut issues.
The gut contains the largest interface of a person with his external environment. The cell walls of the gut lining act as the only barriers that separate the bloodstream from toxins and irritants that may be present in the digestive tract. The entry of toxins into the bloodstream leads to numerous serious medical conditions. This is reason enough for the importance given to gut health.
Nourishing our gut and supporting the ECS contributes to finding the right balance between body and mind. In fact, the ECS receptors are mainly concentrated in the gut, brain, and pelvis, all of them working together to maintain homeostasis in our body. As CBDs working mechanism in our body is connected closely connected to the ECS, using CBD for gut health offers several benefits.