A number of articles are springing up to discuss the interest in CBD from an irritable bowel syndrome point of view and I was curious about this due to my own experiences in this regard, which I will relate below. The reason why cannabis is theorised to be a new and appropriate means for tackling IBS symptoms is summarised in the article “IBS symptoms for females versus males: can CBD help?”
“The endocannabinoid system is not fully researched, but we know it consists of cannabinoid receptors. The receptors are found throughout our central and peripheral nervous systems and a large number of them are found within our digestive system.
The very first researcher to connect marijuana and IBS was Ethan B. Russo. In 2003, Russo theorized IBS and other health conditions were the result of deficiency in the body’s cannabinoid chemicals. Novel research has given hard support to Russo’s theories. In animals, cannabinoids are shown to affect gut motility and visceral hypersensitivity, both of which have been highlight as contributing factors of IBS.”
The reason I went off in search of this and similar articles today is that I noticed how CBD has vastly improved my own IBS symptoms, which I have had for years; always fairly severely yet, last year, something changed. Even as recently as two years ago, I was running round getting food intolerance tests and expert opinions of some reasonably invasive stomach issues and yet, last year, they settled down to such a high degree that I no longer considered myself to have IBS by the end of the summer and was able to relax the way I ate and, indeed, the way I live my life in general. The main difference in my lifestyle, apart from becoming fully (instead of occasionally) vegan last year was that I was using CBD daily from early June, initially at some pretty high doses, to manage nerve pain.
Yet lately, my IBS symptoms have made a bit of a reappearance…the only difference, this time, being that my use of CBD had been reduced again. So succesful had it been in the management of my pain symptoms, I had recently found that I only needed it occasionally; typically first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night. My body seemed to be managing acute pain better all on its own and I was, I will admit, trying to economise on the use of CBD, which can be quite the premium product when you use it daily.
This is how regular CBD use seems to work, so I read; encouraging our own endocannidinoid system (all mammals have one) to remember how to do its innate job, something it seems to have forgotten how to do since the industrial revolution messed with all of our sleep-work-stress habits. Regular use encourages the body’s own ability to generate cannabinoids, and this appears to be true for me, to the degree I decided to cut back on how much CBD I was using during the day, using it rarely and mostly in the case of acute pain. Yet when I reintroduce CBD during the daytime, for these pain episodes, I do notice how symptoms of IBS also abate. I already knew that CBD has many successful applications but, I now realised, it was time I considered it as a method for treating stomach issues in their own right, as well as those to do with the nervous system, which is what sent me off on my reading mission today.
To separate these two functions is really a mistake, in any case, since the vagus nerve (as I have written about before) has a complicated and, as yet, not fully understood degree of influence over the entire digestive tract. Given this, it’s a no-brainer that CBD would have an impact upon the digestive process. In fact, typical nerve pains that I have been using CBD to manage are what I would describe as nerve sensitivities in the lining of the gut (visceral hypersensitivity) which can become supersensitive during the night, especially during geomagnetic storms, to which I am hypersensitive. To cease using CBD during the day, when I expect my stomach to function normally during and in-between meals and when exposed to even more electro-sensitivity triggers, was an oversight on my part; I see that now.
So why the recent resurgence in my IBS symptoms, apart from cutting back on CBD dosage? One reason that seems pretty likely to me is that I am well into the process of menopause, causing a drop in hormones that have a significant effect on the stomach, amongst other things. This leads me to hypothesise that not only is CBD useful for IBS but also for women experiencing the kind of stomach issues that are strongly associated with menopause. I’m not the only one as there are many articles starting to appear about the positive effect of using CBD for all the various symptoms of menopause, from memory loss and sleep issues to osteoporosis and more (check out the article by Dr Genevieve R. Moore below for quite a number of them). I know that I can count increased arthritis pains and sleep issues amongst those that CBD is helping me with already.
In fact, CBD has changed my life really, allowing me to feel in control of the kind of pain that used to make life unpredictable since, when it happened, I used to have to completely abort what I was doing or about to do, whereas now I can mitigate and even continue on with my day, most of the time. This means I can say “yes” to so many more things, as long as I have my CBD oil in my bag; which has been a game changer. Only the other day, I successfully managed a pain episode that would normally have meant bed rest and drawn curtains; so successfully that I was upright and doing normal things after two quick doses over the space of half an hour. Its prompt use relaxes what is about to go sharp or tense or addresses any tension that has already occured in the body; contraction being the very nemesis of nerve pain. When I can’t relax my discomfort enough to sleep, then my mind starts going around like a hamster on a wheel, I can squirt some under my tongue and am generally able to float down stream in no time. Conversely, when I am out in crowds or driving, it sharpens my vision and clears my head so much that my resilience and concentration are actually better and I no longer feel triggered by all the peripheral distractions. Its uses, for me, have been so multi-faceted that I consider it to be like a master key to the human body and I look forward to these kinds of anecdote being used to inspire more studies in the years to come.
I would say that your reaction to CBD is likely to be quite personal and depend on quality and dosage; and you may need to persist for a while to reach the desired effect though, for some, it is instant. In my case, I tried several different suppliers, using reviews and careful reading into their harvesting and extraction processes, to chose which before sticking with a favourite brand (some products are far supperior to others). I also use an oil that takes advantage of the “entourage effect” by combining a cocktail of legal cannabis strains, chosen for their diverse cannabinoid content. This is because it has been found that combining different types of cannabis grown in different climates can maximise the potency and potential of the CBD product.
I will attach a number of related articles to this topic below and, for lighthearted curiosity factor, this article which discusses speculation that Queen Victoria may have been prescribed cannabis for menopause symptoms since the royal physician was a hearty enthusiast of it (which only goes to show how valued it was for this purpose at the time, before big pharma got its hands on “women’s issues” and took us a different route).
8 Menopause symptoms CBD could help Genevieve R. Moore PhD
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