CBD’s helpful with a lot of health issues, but can it help with heartburn? Have you ever experienced that burning sensation after eating, especially after having something spicy? Been there, done that. We’re not alone in this. According to statistics, 1 in 5 Americans experiences heartburn, also known as acid reflux. Most people tackle acid reflux with over-the-counter medications, but to no avail. Relief is only short-term, not to mention an array of unpleasant side-effects if you take these meds regularly. It’s no wonder that people are looking for a healthier alternative to treat acid reflux, one that could address the problem properly, and without taking a toll on their health.
You may be wondering if CBD products can treat acid reflux. After all, CBD has a long list of science-backed benefits; support for the gastrointestinal system is one of them. CBD oil can be an effective treatment for many digestive problems, including acid reflux disease. In this article, we’ll cover the potential benefits, explain how CBD works in the body to relieve heartburn and talk about CBD’s safety profile.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux can have many causes, but most commonly it occurs when the muscles that control the tube between the stomach and esophagus fail to entirely close, allowing acids and food to flow back in the stomach. This can damage the tissue around that area.
How Could CBD Help With Acid Reflux?
CBD can act on our gastroesophageal tract, but if you want to understand how this mechanism works, you need to take a closer look at the role of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in our well-being. The ECS and its cannabinoid receptors regulate a vast range of biological functions, including the gastric function. A properly functioning endocannabinoid system ensures homeostasis — the state of balance between all processes that take place within your body.
Studies have shown that there are high concentrations of cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. Cannabinoids produced by the body, as well as those derived from cannabis plants, can regulate gastrointestinal motility, immunity and inflammation, gastric and intestinal acid secretion, emesis pathways, and nociception (2). Below we go deeper into the two main areas of acid reflux that CBD can help with.
CBD Is an Anti-Inflammatory
While more clinical trials are needed to determine if CBD is a viable option for treating acid reflux. Some studies suggest that CBD may play an important role in dealing with the symptoms of the condition. Increasing the endocannabinoid system’s ability to combat inflammation and repair mucosal damage.
CBD attaches to cannabinoid receptors located in the soft muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal system to calm involuntary muscle movements (peristalsis) that move food and waste. It also controls the secretion of hydrochloric acid, reduces the chances of it going back into the esophagus. Also, CBD can curb inflammation and burn in the lining of the esophagus.
CBD Helps Relieve Pain
In a 2017 study conducted in Sweden by scientists from AstraZeneca, the research team suggested that medical cannabis, including CBD, may help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD because “activation of cannabinoid receptors CB1, CB2 produces analgesic [or pain relieving] effects in several experimental pain models, including visceral pain arising from the gastrointestinal tract.” (3) Since pain is a major problem with GERD, CBD’s painkilling properties have sparked attention in the medical community. An earlier study conducted in 2009 has highlighted the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of CBD and its role in the modulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors.