Research suggests CBD oil can alleviate symptoms of IBS-C & IBS-D. View the best CBD oils for IBS & how to find a safe & effective dose. Can CBD support anxiety? How does it work? What are the best CBD oil options for stress and anxiety? Read on to have all your questions answered. A study in 2016 suggested that CBD might help in the treatment of symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Learn more.
CBD for IBS: Everything You Need to Know
IBS is frustrating. There are few effective treatments for the condition, which can make it hard to live your life to the fullest.
Here’s how CBD might be able to help.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is not life-threatening, but it can severely disrupt the quality of life for those affected.
Roughly 1 out of 10 people in the developed world have symptoms consistent with IBS .
Despite how common the condition is, IBS is not well understood. As a result, there are few effective treatment options available aside from managing symptoms.
Here we’ll go over how CBD may be used to support an IBS diagnosis, how to use it, what its limitations are, and how to get the most out of it with other diet and lifestyld modifications.
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
Updated on November 14, 2021
Table of Contents
$49 – $229
Royal CBD Oil 30 mL
5 / 5
|Total CBD:||500 – 2500 mg|
|Potency:||16.6 – 83.3 mg/mL|
|Cost per mg CBD:||$0.12 – $0.18|
Best CBD Oils For IBS
- Royal CBD Oil— Best CBD Oil For IBS Overall
- Gold Bee CBD Oil— Best Organic CBD Oil
- Phoria CBD Oil With Curcumin— CBD & Turmeric
The Benefits of CBD Oil For IBS
There are many potential causes for IBS, but much of what triggers the condition remains unknown. Most of the causes point to a loss of equilibrium in the digestive tract. So the carefully orchestrated balance involved with digestion, absorption, immune defense, and excretion is compromised.
Cannabidiol (CBD) helps with this problem because it serves as a way to “calibrate” different parts of the body. It does this by improving the communication between cells through the endocannabinoid system.
The benefits of CBD oil for IBS Include:
- Addresses anandamide deficiencies 
- Reduces inflammation [7, 8]
- Inhibits digestive muscle hyperactivity and cramping [5, 6]
- Decreases appetite 
CBD will affect the condition differently depending on the form of IBS.
People who have IBS with diarrhea (IBS-D) are likely to experience the most benefit from CBD because cannabis slows muscle contraction in the digestive tract.
But people who have IBS with constipation (IBS-C) can still find benefit from CBD due to the anti-inflammatory, appetite-suppressant, and immune-stimulating properties of the compound.
We’ll get into the different forms of IBS and how CBD is used to support them later on.
What Form of CBD Should I Use?
CBD comes in all different forms. You can buy oils, capsules and concentrates.
When it comes to IBS, the most popular options are oils, capsules, and suppositories.
CBD oils and capsules are easy to take, to store for long periods of time, and can be accurately dosed.
Suppositories have the benefit of delivering the CBD directly to the affected area. This is best for severe IBS-D (more on this below) but can benefit other forms of IBS as well.
What’s The Dose of CBD Oil For IBS?
Dosing CBD can be a challenge because it affects everybody differently.
Some people take 50 mg of CBD per day, while others need more or less.
The dose also depends on the form of CBD you’re taking. As we mentioned, CBD oil and suppositories are the most popular for people with IBS, but the dose for each form varies significantly.
If using oils or capsules, the best way to find a good starting dose it to read through our CBD oil dosing guide.
CBD Dosage Calculator
Embed this map on your site
Copy and paste the code below
For IBS, we recommend starting at the low strength and working your way up slowly to see how you react to CBD.
It will likely take about two or three weeks of regular CBD use before you start noticing any real benefits for your IBS symptoms.
If using CBD suppositories, it’s best to follow the specific instructions listed by the supplier on the packaging. Concentrations can vary from one CBD suppository to the next.
How to Get the Most Out of CBD Oil for IBS
CBD shouldn’t be used alone to treat IBS. This condition is highly complex and involves multiple organ systems.
Other forms of treatment, including dietary changes and physical activity, are essential. If these lifestyle changes aren’t addressed, CBD is not likely to have any effect at all.
You can think of CBD as a bus driver — it will drive the occupants towards a destination, but they can’t arrive without a well-maintained bus filled with gas.
CBD is a tool to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms of IBS and is used to bring the body back to balance.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of the primary cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.
Most CBD oils on the market today come from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), which is a strain of cannabis naturally low on THC — the primary psychoactive cannabinoid.
This means that most CBD products on the market have no psychoactive effects.
CBD is used as a health supplement for a wide range of medical conditions. It owes much of its ability to support health to its involvement with the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system regulates balance in the body, otherwise known as homeostasis. This includes the immune, digestive, neurological, musculoskeletal, and integumentary (skin) systems.
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) is classified as a syndrome, rather than a disease because it’s a set of symptoms that can’t be linked to a particular cause.
IBS can be summarized as a “widespread dysfunction of the digestive tract.”
Symptoms involve bloating, abdominal pain, indigestion, and changes in bowel movements (constipation or diarrhea, which can be severe).
The symptoms of IBS are very similar to those of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The difference is that IBD has inflammation present in the gastrointestinal tract, confirmed by Lab tests and special cameras inserted in the digestive system.
If no inflammation is present to confirm a diagnosis of IBD, an IBS diagnosis is given instead.
In this process, there are some diagnostic criteria put in place by various experts, but none of them are conclusive and not all doctors agree on them for a diagnosis of IBS.
The most popular criteria doctors tend to use is something called the Rome III Criteria.
IBS Diagnosis: The Rome III Criteria Checklist
In order to meet a diagnosis of IBS, the patient must have the following symptoms:
- Recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort at least 3 days per month over 3 months
- Symptoms involving at least two of the following characteristics:
- Improvement of symptoms with defecation
- Onset associated with a change in stool frequency
- Onset associated with a change in stool form
If these criteria are met and there is no other explanation for a cause (such as inflammation, traumatic damage, or infectious disease) the patient is diagnosed with IBS.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
3 Types of IBS & the Effects of CBD
20-50% of visits to a gastroenterologist end in a diagnosis of IBS , making it the most common functional disorder of the digestive system.
Gastroenterologists further classify IBS according to the most predominant symptoms:
1. Diarrhea-Dominant IBS (IBS-D)
This refers to IBS presented primarily with diarrhea.
IBS-D symptoms indicate that the bowels are filling with water. Common precursors for this include high sodium foods, a poor gut membrane, and hyperactive muscle activity in the digestive tract.
With high sodium foods and poor membrane control, water begins to accumulate in the areas filled with salty foods. This happens because of a principle in biophysics called osmosis: the water goes where the salt is. As the intestines fill up with water, it causes diarrhea.
Additionally, many people with IBS-D experience hyperactive muscle activity in the intestinal tract. When the muscles become spastic, they experience cramping, abdominal pain, and bloating. The digestive tract pushes food through too quickly without properly breaking it down and absorbing it. Instead, unabsorbed foods begin to ferment in the large intestine, causing severe bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.
CBD is useful for this type of IBS because it can reduce spastic muscle activity in the gut, allowing it to properly digest and absorb nutrients. For this type of IBS, it’s best to combine CBD with a low-sodium diet and a good source of soluble fiber.
2. Constipation-Dominant IBS (IBS-C)
IBS-C stands for IBS presented predominantly with constipation.
This type of IBS indicates low activity in the digestive tract. Pancreatic enzymes, bile, and stomach acid are scant. These enzymes help break down our food and stimulate the smooth muscle lining our intestines. This stimulation causes the muscles to expand and contract, moving food along the digestive tract.
If there is a problem with the secretion of digestive enzymes or muscle movement in the intestinal tract, we become constipated.
This can be extremely uncomfortable, causing symptoms such as severe bloating, feelings of fullness, nausea, fatigue, and physical belly distention.
Although nothing will produce the same level of benefit as a change in the diet, CBD does offer some unique benefits to this form of IBS.
CBD increases anandamide — a naturally occurring endocannabinoid responsible for slowing bowel movement, fighting inflammation, and controlling microbiome diversity.
3. Alternating IBS (IBS-A) or Mixed-type IBS (IBS-M)
This form of IBS involves alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
The potential causes of this type of IBS are far more variable and can involve factors of both. For several months, the patient may suffer from constant diarrhea, followed by several months of severe constipation. The sudden changes in bowel activity can be due to dietary, neurological, or immunological factors — making the cause hard to isolate and treat.
CBD is useful for this type of IBS because it doesn’t push the digestive function in any specific direction. Instead, it improves the body’s ability to regulate homeostasis. Along with other therapies to manage symptoms, the body has a better chance of returning to a higher state of health on its own.
What Causes IBS?
The exact cause of IBS is not yet understood — but there are some well-accepted theories in the medical community.
Suspected Causes of IBS Include:
Western countries including Canada, The United States, and Sweden have the highest rates of IBS in the world [11, 12]. In the United States, roughly 1 in 10 people suffer from IBS.
These nations often consume diets high in processed foods. Foods that have been highly processed tend to have poor nutritional content (in terms of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals) and are high in calories (in the form of fat or sugar).
When we eat these foods, they tend to move slowly through our digestive tract due to the lack of fiber and bulk of the food.
The slow movement and high sugar content cause this food to ferment in the digestive tract by bacteria living there. Fermentation in this context is bad for our digestive functioning — it causes bloating, pain, and changes in bowel movements.
One of the main dietary treatments for IBS is called a low FODMAPS diet, which substitutes highly processed foods for high-fiber, low sugar ones.
Frequent fermentation of processed sugars can damage the structural integrity of the digestive lining over time — leading to accumulation of fluid and diarrhea (IBS-D) or lack of movement in the muscles in the small and large intestines causing constipation (IBS-C).
2. Viral Infection
Viral infections can cause a lot of damage to the body. Many people report their IBS symptoms started shortly after getting a stomach bug overseas. After a few days of illness, they seemed to be getting better, but their gut never fully recovered.
Viruses disrupt normal cellular function, hijacking our cells to manufacture more viruses and preventing them from their job. They can wreak havoc on an entire organ in a short amount of time.
The digestive lining is home to a complex ecosystem of bacteria and fungal species called the microbiome. The microbiome is heavily involved with digestion and absorption in the digestive tract. When we fall ill with a virus, this can cause dramatic changes to the microbiome, leaving us with long-lasting side-effects, such as IBS.
3. Neurological Dysfunction
The movement of the intestinal tract (called peristalsis) is a complex orchestra of muscle contractions working together to move food through the intestinal tract. This involves careful innervation both locally and in collaboration with the brain.
Many people find that when they drink coffee, it stimulates a bowel movement. This is a good visualization of how the nervous system affects the digestive tract.
If our nervous system is in a state of constant stimulation, we are likely to develop diarrhea (IBS-D).
If we experience the opposite (insufficient stimulation), we are likely to end up with constipation (IBS-C).
Based on neurological activity, we can compare IBS types with other side-effects that often affect IBS patients at the same time.
Neurological Characteristics of IBS and Related Side-Effects:
|IBS type||Nervous System Activity||Related Side-Effects|
|IBS-D||Too stimulated||Anxiety Panic disorders Insomnia Heart palpitations|
|IBS-C||Not stimulated enough||Fatigue Depression|
|IBS-A||Either too stimulated or not enough||Anxiety Panic disorders Insomnia Heart palpitations Fatigue Depression Immune deficiencies|
Although IBS by definition does not require visible or detectable inflammation, numerous studies have shown that IBS sufferers have low-grade inflammation of the gut wall . This inflammation may be too subtle to be picked up by blood tests or visual inspection with colonoscopies/endoscopies.
Common Medications Used to Treat IBS
Lifestyle and diet changes will have the most impact on treating IBS. Besides the low FODMAP diet, it can help to reduce stress and get more exercise.
In some cases, medications can be prescribed to help reduce the symptoms of IBS. For diarrhea, drugs like loperamide, rifaximin, or eluxadoline may help. Fiber supplements, laxatives, lubiprostone, or linaclotide can be used to treat constipation. Abdominal pain can be relieved with antispasmodics. Sometimes antidepressants are prescribed for those with more extreme cases.
The Endocannabinoid System & IBS
The endocannabinoid system is thought to play a major role in IBS .
The CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors are used to regulate different processes in the human body — many of which are present in the digestive tract.
CBD for Other Functional Disorders
IBS is considered a functional disorder, suggesting there’s a clear problem with the function of the organ without an apparent cause.
Other conditions that fit this category are fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome — both of which are also improved with regular CBD use. The mysterious nature of these conditions makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly why CBD is so useful for treating them, but the likely explanation is the role CBD plays in homeostasis.
Homeostasis is the state of balance in the body. It penetrates virtually every aspect of life — from body temperature to digestive enzyme secretion. Any issues with homeostasis can negatively affect our health.
CBD serves as a useful tool for regulating homeostasis, which is why this compound has so many different benefits.
Key Takeaways: Using CBD for IBS
Although IBS isn’t well understood, it likely involves a combined dysfunction of multiple organ systems, lifestyle habits, and diet — CBD offers broad benefits towards different variations of the condition.
It’s best to use CBD in the form of an oil, capsule, or suppository for optimal results. It’s also important to take CBD oil for long periods of time to exert its full effects. CBD can take a while to start providing benefits for this condition because there are many factors involved.
Through persistent CBD supplementation, dietary and lifestyle changes, and patience, IBS symptoms can be forced into remission for long periods of time.
Best CBD Oil for Anxiety: How CBD Helps with Stress & Depression
We all experience anxiety at one point or another.
Roughly 40 million Americans are diagnosed with clinical anxiety disorders every year, and countless others experience some form of anxiety on a daily or weekly basis. This anxiety can take a toll on our lives — affecting our relationships, performance at work or school, and our overall health and wellbeing.
One of the most popular alternative support options among anxiety sufferers is cannabidiol (CBD) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the hemp plant. This compound works through two main systems to promote a feeling of calmness and relaxation.
In this article, we’ll explain how CBD is suggested to support anxiety, what the research says, and offer some of the best hemp oil options for anxiety.
- Rated #1 for overall anxiety and depression relief
- Highest quality hemp oil on our list
- 100% organic, free of pesticides, and artificial ingredients
- Established brand with 24/7 customer support
- 30-day 100% money-back guarantee
- Good customer support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
10 Best CBD Oils for Anxiety (Top Quality Brands of 2022)
- Best Overall Pick: Royal CBD
- Best Organic Formula: Gold Bee
- Runner Up: CBD Pure
- Good Customer Support: Hemp Bombs
- Veteran Brand: CBDistillery
- Most Socially Responsible: NuLeaf Naturals
The CBD market hasn’t yet matured — which means there are a ton of brands offering inferior quality products. They’re managing to remain in business on hype alone. As the market matures, these companies won’t last — leaving only the best brands in the wake.
At this early stage in the market, it’s important that customers understand how to spot a good CBD manufacturer, and which companies to avoid.
To make things easier for you, I’ve compiled a shortlist of the best CBD oils I’ve come across for anxiety. Let’s cover each one in more detail before we go on to discuss exactly how CBD is reported to help with anxiety.
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
|Total CBD Content||250 – 2500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Berry, Vanilla, Mint, Natural|
|Potency||8.3 – 83.3 mg/mL|
What We Like About Royal CBD Oil:
Royal CBD is a California-based CBD brand with a growing collection of reviews from both regular users and industry experts.
Unlike many of its competitors, Royal CBD doesn’t rely on far-fetched claims in their marketing. The company also doesn’t specialize in gimmicky product types like we’ve seen from numerous other brands recently. The Royal CBD assortment is all about the classics. They keep it simple, focusing on full-spectrum CBD oil, THC-free CBD gummies, capsules, and CBD-infused topicals.
Royal CBD uses organically-grown hemp from the finest farms in California and Colorado. The company makes this CBD oil by first making a full-spectrum hemp extract using supercritical CO2. The extract is then dissolved in high-grade MCT oil and some flavorings to make the oil more enjoyable to use.
This CBD oil comes in 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg – with the option of berry, mint, or other natural flavors.
I personally use Royal CBD’s 1000 mg full-spectrum CBD oil for my general anxiety disorder (GAD) & social anxiety. I should note that I tried 27 other brands before finding the one I liked!
With a 90-day, no-questions money-back guarantee – the only thing you have to lose your anxiety.
- Extremely potent (83mg of CBD per serving for 2500 mg bottle)
- Contains the full spectrum of phytocannabinoids
- Made from 100% natural ingredients
- Third-party tested for potency & purity
- 90-day 100% money-back guarantee
- No CBD vape oils available from the company
- Only comes in a full-spectrum extract
2. Gold Bee – Best Organic Formula
|Total CBD Content||1200 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Kiwi-Honey|
Gold Bee specializes in full-spectrum CBD oil that combines organic hemp with honey sourced from the Brazillian Rainforest. If not for the lack of high-potency oils, we would place this brand on the very top of our ranking due to the quality of ingredients it offers.
The full-spectrum extract is suspended in hemp seed oil to boost its bioavailability and keep everything in the cannabis family. Every product from Gold Bee’s line up is rigorously tested in third-party laboratories for their CBD content and purity. Unlike competitor brands, Gold Bee doesn’t use artificial flavorings and sweeteners in its products. The kiwi version of the oil is flavored with the said honey.
I use CBD oils for my morning anxiety when I can’t get my mind wrapped around my daily duties, and I’ve never been calmer since then. The 1200 mg potency also provides a nice dose of CBD before bed; I take it to unwind after spending most of the day in front of a computer screen, and I noticed a big difference in how rested I wake up the next day.
- Premium Colorado-grown hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Contains full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious kiwi flavor
- Sweetened with organic honey
- Lab-tested for potency and purity
3. CBDPure (Runner Up)
|Total CBD Content||100 – 600 mg|
What We Like About CBDPure CBD Oil:
Similar to the other brands in our ranking, CBDPure sells full-spectrum CBD oil that has been sourced from domestically grown hemp and extracted with supercritical CO2.
If you’re looking for the highest potency, though, you might end up a little bit disappointed, as the maximum strength offered by their products is 600 mg of CBD per bottle, which is equal to 20 mg of CBD per mL. Our first choice, Royal CBD, has 30% higher potency than the strongest option available for this brand.
The good news is that these are full-spectrum extracts, so you need less CBD to find relief from anxiety than you would with CBD isolate. Each batch of CBDPure products is tested in a certified laboratory for the entire cannabinoid profile, terpenes, and flavonoids, as well as for potential contaminants.
If you’re not satisfied with this CBD oil for your anxiety, CBDPure has a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed program, which allows you to get a full refund if you send the order back within 90 days after the purchase.
- Extracted with supercritical CO2
- Extensively tested in 3rd-party laboratories
- You can get a full refund within 90 days if you’re not satisfied with the product
- Only available as oil drops or soft gel capsules
- Low potency (20 mg of CBD/mL maximum)
- No flavored options
- They don’t ship to Arkansas, Louisiana, Indiana, and Kansas
4. Hemp Bombs
|Total CBD Content||300 – 4000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Peppermint & watermelon|
|Potency||10 – 133.3 mg/mL|
What We Like About Hemp Bombs CBD Oil:
Hemp Bombs is an American company specializing in the production of 99% pure CBD isolates. These products are available as standard tinctures, vape oils, capsules, or gummies.
Hemp Bombs CBD oil comes in five different potency options ranging from 300 mg to as much as 4000 mg of CBD per bottle. The CBD has been sourced from certified organic hemp plants from Europe and extracted with supercritical CO2 for the highest purity level.
This CBD oil option is made from CBD isolate — which means there’s nothing but pure CBD inside this oil. No THC or other cannabinoids, terpenes, or any other phytochemicals from the hemp plant. This offers a big advantage in that there’s guaranteed to be no THC in the bottle.
Isolate-based CBD oils are very versatile — you use them on their own, make DIY CBD infusions (e.g. creams and balms), add it to E-liquid for an extra punch, or use it in cooking delicious food. They’re also preferred for people who are using CBD alongside other supplements because there are fewer compounds that can potentially interact with the other health supplements.
Keep in mind that CBD isolate is purged from any cannabinoids other than CBD — so if you’re looking to take advantage of the entourage effect, you’re better off going for a full-spectrum CBD oil such as Royal CBD.
- Sourced from 100% certified organic hemp from European farmers
- Extracted with CO2
- Lab-tested for purity and potency
- Available in 5 potency options
- Less expensive than full-spectrum extracts
- Not certified organic
- No entourage effect from other cannabinoids
- The ultra-high potency options are overkill for most users
|Total CBD Content||250 – 5000 mg|
|Potency||8.3 – 166 mg/mL|
What We Like About CBDistillery CBD Oil:
CBDistillery is an industry veteran, but make no mistake, the brand hasn’t rested on its laurels. On the contrary, CBDistillery continues to set high standards for its competitors, both in terms of the quality of ingredients and the potency of its products.
CBDistillery’s CBD oil is available in five different potencies, starting from 250 mg up to 5000 mg of full-spectrum CBD. The 2500 mg and 5000 mg options come in 30 mL bottles, which breaks down to 83–166 mg per serving — that’s enough CBD to keep you supplied for weeks or months.
What I love about CBDistillery’s assortment is that its products are sold at very reasonable prices. The 250 mg CBD oil costs around $20, so you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself a high-quality health supplement.
Users can choose between full-spectrum CBD oil and THC-free (broad-spectrum) oil, which is a nice move towards those who want to keep any traces of THC away from their system without losing the benefits offered by the entourage effect.
- Sourced from non-GMO, pesticide-free hemp
- Available as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (THC-free)
- Lab-tested for the cannabinoid content and purity levels
- Available in 5 different potency options
- Good price/quality ratio
- Not certified organic
- No flavored options
6. NuLeaf Naturals
|Total CBD Content||240 – 4850 mg|
What We Like About NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil:
NuLeaf Naturals is another veteran brand that’s been selling CBD oil for over 5 years now. While they don’t have the broadest range of CBD products — only oil drops for humans and pets — this company definitely knows how to make an all-natural CBD oil.
All Nuleaf Naturals oils are sourced from domestic hemp and extracted with CO2. NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil has a beautiful amber-gold color, which is a good indicator of its quality. The oil is then filtered to remove any remaining plant matter.
NuLeaf sells its products in five different volumes — all in the same potency of 48 mg.mL CBD:
- 5 mL — 240 mg of CBD total
- 15 mL — 725 mg of CBD total
- 30 mL — 1450 mg of CBD total
- 50 mL — 2425 mg of CBD total
- 100 mL — 4850 mg of CBD total
- Made from 100% organic, Colorado-grown hemp
- Extracted with a combination of subcritical and supercritical CO2
- Lab-tested for potency and over 200 common contaminants
- Full-spectrum extracts
- Available for both humans and pets
- Narrow product range
- More expensive than much of the competition
7. Charlotte’s Web
|Total CBD Content||200 – 1800 mg|
|Available Flavors||Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, Olive Oil|
|Potency||7 – 60 mg/mL|
About Charlotte’s Web:
Charlotte’s Web is one of the oldest CBD companies in the United States. Founded by the Stanley Brothers, the brand has earned its reputation for helping now late Charlotte Figi with her intractable epilepsy. Despite several controversies about the health claims they made in the past, Charlotte’s Web didn’t lower its standards and still produce some of the best hemp extracts on the market.
Charlotte’s Web CBD oil is available in several concentrations: 200 mg, 500 mg, 1500 mg, and 1800 mg of total CBD. The highest potency provides 60 mg of full-spectrum CBD in every milliliter. You can choose between two bottle sizes (30 mL and 100 mL); Charlotte’s Web also offers flavored versions of its CBD oil, such as Mint Chocolate, Lemon Twist, Orange Blossom, and Olive Oil.
The company uses ethanol for extraction instead of the standard CO2 technology, which may leave a distinct aftertaste upon swallowing.
- One of the most reputable brands on the market
- Full-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavored versions
- Up to 1800 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available in two sizes: 30 mL and 100 mL
- Third-party tested for potency and purity
- Non-organic hemp
- Ethanol extraction
- Suspension in olive oil (bitter taste)
- The company received a warning letter from the FDA in the past due to inappropriate health claims
|Total CBD Content||300 – 7500 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Berry, Orange, Mint|
|Potency||10 – 250 mg/mL|
cbdMD is a North Carolina-based company that offers a wide range of CBD products, including tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals, bath bombs, sleep aids, and pet products.
The company boasts a broad selection of pure CBD oils. The potency of these extracts ranges between 300 and 7500 mg of CBD per bottle; the highest concentration packs a healthy dose of 200 mg of pure CBD isolate suspended in MCT oil for improved absorption. cbdMD also offers four flavor options: natural, berry, orange, and mint.
On the one hand, it could be challenging to find another company with such concentrated products; but on the other hand, these CBD oils are based on a broad-spectrum extract, which doesn’t evoke the full entourage effect. Therefore, higher potency may not translate into better results.
Transparency-wise, cbdMD provides up-to-date certificates of analysis from a third-party laboratory. They are available on the company’s website; you can find them by entering the product’s batch.
- US-grown, non-GMO hemp
- CO2 extraction
- Up to 7500 mg of CBD per bottle
- Batch-specific certificates of analysis
- Limited entourage effect due to the lack of THC
- Most people don’t need such high doses of CBD in their routine
|Total CBD Content||500 – 3000 mg|
|Available Flavors||Natural, Citrus, Mint Chocolate|
|Potency||16 – 100 mg/mL|
Medterra is a small California-based company that offers premium CBD extracts in different spectra: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. The potency of these oils ranges between 500 mg and 3000 mg of CBD per bottle, which is a standard range. Aside from the unflavored version, there are two flavored options: Citrus and Mint Chocolate.
The full-spectrum CBD oil is also infused with 2 mg of THC per bottle, which the company claims to be the true full spectrum of cannabinoids. However, the problem with this version of Medterra’s CBD oil is that they aren’t legal in all 50 states because they contain more than 0.3% of THC.
So, if you want to buy Medterra’s products in all 50 states, your options are limited to broad-spectrum extracts and isolates. These come in higher potencies, upwards of 1000 mg of CBD per bottle.
All of Medterra’s CBD oils are tested in a third-party laboratory for potency and purity, including the results for pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents.
- Premium-grade CBD oils
- Up to 3000 mg of CBD per bottle
- Available as full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and isolates
- Lab tested for potency and purity
- The “real” full-spectrum CBD oil isn’t available in all states
- Some of the lab reports indicate higher CBD levels than stated on the bottle
- No discounts for returning customers
10. Joy Organics
|Total CBD Content||450 – 900 mg|
|Available Flavors||Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, Summer Lemon|
|Potency||15 – 30 mg/mL|
About Joy Organics:
Joy Organics is one of the most reputable CBD vendors in this space. The brand was founded by a woman named Joy Smith, who has been exploring the benefits of CBD oil for her problems with pain and sleep.
Joy Organics offers a range of broad-spectrum CBD extracts sourced from certified organic hemp. The company has plenty of positive reviews all over the internet. They also haven’t received any warning letters from the FDA yet.
The Joy Organics CBD oil is formulated with broad-spectrum CBD in a modest potency range, from 450 to 900 mg of CBD per bottle. These oils are available in three refreshing flavors: Tranquil Mint, Fresh Lime, and Summer Lemon. The highest potency provides 30 mg of CBD in every milliliter, which is a standard dose for most people in terms of daily supplementation.
In 2018, one of the company’s citrus tincture was found to contain a fungicide that is commonly used on citrus fruit during independent testing. Fortunately, Joy Organics recalled the product immediately following this and implemented a new third-party testing system.
- Non-GMO, US-grown hemp
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
- Broad-spectrum CBD
- Delicious flavors
- A bit expensive
- No high-strength oils
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients in the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). This includes both industrial hemp plants, and marijuana.
CBD is the modulator to the endocannabinoid system — a complex neurochemical network responsible for controlling various vital functions in the human body and brain. The endocannabinoid system regulates processes such as:
- Cognitive performance
- Body temperature
- Immune function
- Mood and emotion
- Hunger and satiety
CBD helps the endocannabinoid system maintain chemical balance within the body — also known as “homeostasis” or “equilibrium.” If homeostasis isn’t maintained, we become sick. Depending on which aspect of homeostasis is out of balance — the effects on the body will be very different. If our nervous system is affected, it can lead to symptoms of anxiety, stress, and emotional instability.
CBD has other effects on the body as well — the most relevant in the context of this article are its effects on a neurotransmitter called GABA — which is responsible for slowing us down when we become overstimulated. We’ll get into how this works in more detail later.
There are many different ways to use CBD — it’s added to capsules, infused in topical salves and creams, mixed into gummy candies, and added to vape oils. But by far the most popular form of the supplement is in the form of an oil. CBD oils are made by mixing the fat-soluble hemp extracts rich in CBD and other cannabinoids with an oil base — in most cases MCT oil or hemp seed oil.
Using CBD in the form of oil makes it easier to measure doses since you simply have to count the number of drops or measure the oil with the built-in dropper. Compare this to pure hemp extracts which require scales and a lot of experience to accurately measure the right dose.
Additionally, the oil content of CBD oils significantly improves the absorption rate in the digestive tract. This helps make the CBD more efficient — allowing you to use less CBD for the same level of benefits.
What Causes Anxiety?
Anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” It’s a natural process developed over the course of human evolution to protect us from environmental threats like changes in our environment, exposure to predators, or other dangers. Feeling anxious helps us identify and avoid dangers that pose a threat to our health and wellbeing.
Anxiety can also become pathological — leading us to feel excessive stress and worry in situations that are not life-threatening. Modern stresses like work deadlines, relationship problems, or social expectations can all cause us to feel anxious. If this happens too often or in excessive amounts, it can cause us more harm than good.
There are many forms and levels of intensity of anxiety symptoms — including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, insomnia, and many different phobias.
It’s wise to speak with your doctor if you experience severe anxiety attacks, or if your anxiety begins affecting your ability to live your life. There are many underlying causes for anxiety, so it’s best if a medical professional can explore some of these options to help you find the best form of treatment.
Why Are Pharmaceutical Anxiety Medications Dangerous To Our Health?
The most common form of drug treatment for anxiety is a class known as benzodiazepines. These medications bind to the GABA receptors in the brain to force electrical activity to slow down — thus alleviating the most common signs of anxiety. This works in a similar way to CBD, but is significantly stronger and more specific.
The main problem with conventional anti-anxiety medications is that they can become highly addictive — often leading to a worsening of symptoms over time as tolerance to the medications begins to form.
Here’s the problem…
You take benzodiazepines to fight anxiety and for a time it works. However, the body quickly forms a tolerance to the medication to resist its effects by removing some of the GABA receptors. Once these receptors are gone, we need more of the medication to produce the same effect. This process continues until we’ve reached the maximum dose for the drug. If the drug starts to wear off, we no longer have enough GABA receptor activity to keep our nervous system from going into hyperdrive — forcing us into a state of extreme anxiety.
The body will eventually reach a point where we require the drug just to not have an anxiety attack.
Benzodiazepines aren’t the only option, but they’re the most common. Other classes of medications used for treating anxiety have similar effects long-term.
Some examples of anti-anxiety medications include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants
Side-effects to these medications are common and can range in severity. Most of the drug classes on the list will cause tolerance in the body, as described above.
Here are some of the most severe side effects of prescription anti-anxiety medications:
- Cardiac disease
- Blurred vision
- Weight gain
With all these negatives, it’s no wonder why CBD has become such a popular alternative treatment option for anxiety and related conditions. You can check our post to know more about the risk of taking CBD with Xanax — a prescription drug that belongs to benzodiazepines medications.
Potential Benefits of CBD Oil For Anxiety
At the very beginning of the article, we mentioned that the endocannabinoid system regulates our response to fear, among many other functions.
Unlike conventional anti-anxiety treatments, CBD oil doesn’t just mitigate the symptoms of anxiety — it gets down to the root of the problem by regulating endocrine disruptions as well as the amount of anandamide in our brains — a compound aptly named the “bliss molecule.”
CBD has been shown to help with anxiety in a few different ways. While the majority of research describing how CBD works for this disorder is either preclinical or based on animal studies, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of testimonies from people who have found relief in CBD oil after failing with the conventional treatment. There are also a handful of randomized, double-blind, clinical trials conducted on the interaction as well. These are considered to be the highest form of clinical research available.
Let’s cover the mechanisms of action CBD oil uses to support anxiety levels and what the research says about this incredibly useful molecule.
1. Serotonin Receptors & Brain Activity
CBD has been shown to stimulate the 5HT1 serotonin receptors. In simple terms, this cannabinoid increases serotonin activity in the brain — which affects the transmission of electrical activity as well as mood, concentration, and sleep.
Studies have shown a direct link between the activity of serotonin as the 5HT1 and 5HT2 serotonin receptors in the central nervous system and anxiety disorders.
2. Anandamide Production — The Bliss Molecule
The next anti-anxiety effect of CBD is linked to its ability to increase the amount of the body’s natural endocannabinoids — anandamide and 2-AG. This effect is particularly prominent for anandamide in particular.
Anandamide has almost the same chemical structure as THC, the cannabinoid responsible for triggering euphoric and psychoactive effects in cannabis users.
Anandamide doesn’t cause psychoactive effects like THC, but it is closely correlated with feelings of bliss, joy, and euphoria. In contrast, lower anandamide levels are thought to result in a low mood or “overreaction” to stress and anxiety triggers.
CBD has been shown to enhance the activity of anandamide by preventing its breakdown and metabolism — ultimately leading to elevated levels of the bliss molecule in the brain.
3. Hippocampal Neurogenesis — Homeostasis & Anxiety
The hippocampus is a critical brain region tasked with controlling homeostasis in both the brain and body.
Brains scans of patients struggling with anxiety and depression often exhibit changes in the hippocampus, and successful anxiety treatment is associated with the production of new neurons (neurogenesis) in this area. Some research has shown.
It appears that CBD may stimulate the hippocampus to regenerate neurons, which could be groundbreaking for anxiety patients (5).
Current evidence suggests that severely damaged neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior — so, regenerating neurons in the hippocampus is thought to reduce the chances of depressive behavior.
4. GABA Receptors — The Brake Pedals for the Brain
Earlier, we spoke about the interaction CBD has with our GABA receptors. Let’s dig into this a little more and discuss exactly how this works and how it relates to anxiety.
GABA essentially acts as the brake pedal for the nervous system. It’s used to keep our speed in check when we become agitated. If GABA isn’t doing its job effectively, we can quickly begin to speed out of control — resulting in symptoms commonly referred to as anxiety.
CBD binds to the GABA receptors in the nerve cells and makes them more sensitive to GABA. This would be like changing the brake pads on your car, so you don’t have to hit the pedal as hard to begin slowing down.
Research has shown that insufficient GABA activity is closely involved in the development of anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to interact with the GABAa receptors in the neurons, offering a precise mechanism for its anti-anxiety benefits. Other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant have also been shown to support this process through GABA and other chemical pathways in the brain.
The Best CBD Oil For Anxiety: What to Look For
The hemp industry has proven to be a lucrative market for many companies. Still, as with so many emerging businesses, it’s a tantalizing sector for sketchy companies trying to cash in on unaware customers.
You want to steer clear of inferior CBD supplements as much as possible. Such products are often made from low-quality hemp, extracted with toxic solvents, and promise a lot more than CBD oil is capable of.
When searching for the best CBD products for anxiety online or in local stores near you, keep an eye out for the following details:
1. Hemp Source — Opt For Domestic
Hemp is an effective bio-accumulator, meaning it absorbs everything from the soil it grows in. When grown in polluted soil, the plant may accumulate heavy metals and other harmful toxins, resulting in a poor end product. Hemp grown in places like China or India is especially high in these toxic elements because of high soil contamination in the region.
If you want a high-quality CBD oil to help you deal with anxiety, look for products that have been sourced from domestically grown hemp. US farmers are subject to strict quality control standards, and the growing competition prevents them from cutting corners in their cultivation practices.
Plus, many US growers use organic growing methods even if their CBD oil is not certified organic, mainly due to the high cost of these certifications. Always ask your potential vendor how they source their plants to ensure you’re not throwing your money down the drain.
2. Extraction Method — Look For CO2 Extraction
The majority of high-quality CBD oils are extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide. This method produces a pure and highly potent product, leaving you with pure extracts free of any toxic solvent residue.
CBD tinctures, which are a bit different than CBD oil, are extracted with high-proof alcohol. Some less common extraction methods call for using olive oil, but when a company isn’t open about how it obtains its CBD extracts, that should raise a red flag because that means they probably applied some toxic solvents in the process. And what’s worse, there’s a risk these solvents weren’t completely removed after extraction.
3. Full-Spectrum Hemp vs. CBD Isolate
What do you want to achieve with your CBD oil aside from anxiety relief?
Are you aiming at maximizing your CBD dose per serving?
Or is the whole-plant synergy more important than the potency of cannabidiol?
If you want a versatile product and high doses of CBD — isolate-based CBD oil will be your best bet. On the other hand, full-spectrum extracts offer one perk that isolates users cannot achieve with their products — the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the synergistic effect achieved by all active compounds in cannabis plants. Researchers suggest each of these compounds work in unison to amplify the benefits of one another, resulting in a greater therapeutic potential.
The cannabis community appears to support this concept; the Internet is full of testimonies from people who switched from isolates to full-spectrum CBD oil for anxiety because they needed lower doses to get relief.
4. Additional Ingredients
High-quality CBD oil contains two main ingredients — CBD extract and carrier oil in which the CBD is dissolved.
Additionally, CBD oil can have some natural flavorings added to mask the hemp aftertaste. Some products are infused with supplementary herbs and organic compounds to amplify the stress-relieving properties of cannabidiol — such as chamomile or melatonin.
In general, a complex formula involving hemp extract and other herbs and nutrients formulated for a specific application is going to be better overall.
5. Laboratory Testing Results
3rd-party lab testing is the ultimate way to verify the credibility of your CBD vendor.
Not only do such tests check for the potency of CBD in the final product, but they also list the entire cannabinoid profile and can detect any impurities that could compromise its quality.
If the brand actually uses premium ingredients in its CBD oil (as they claim), they should be open about their lab testing reports and list the results publicly on the company website. If these tests aren’t available, we suggest you move on to look elsewhere for a company that does this.
CBD Oil For Anxiety: Key Takeaways
As scientists conduct more research on the health benefits of CBD, we’re beginning to unlock new applications of this incredible plant-extract. One of the hottest areas in research at the moment is for the use of CBD with anxiety.
CBD oil works by interacting with the endocannabinoid to support homeostasis (balance), modulate GABA activity, and support serotonin and anandamide levels — all of which play a key role in the process of stress and anxiety.
The greatest challenge lies in finding the best CBD oil for anxiety out of the sea of fly-by-night CBD brands. As long as you know what characteristics make for an excellent CBD brand and what the red flags are for scam or poor-quality products — you should be able to find a product that suits your individual needs.
If you’re not sure where to start, I highly recommend you go with Royal CBD as your CBD oil of choice. The 1000 mg option offers the best value for money, and high-grade full-spectrum extract has served me well with my anxiety in the past.
Have you tried using CBD for anxiety? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments!
- Beesdo, K., Knappe, S., & Pine, D. S. (2009). Anxiety and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: developmental issues and implications for DSM-V. The Psychiatric clinics of North America, 32(3), 483–524.
- Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.
- Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B., and Parker, K.K. (2005). Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochemical Research, 30(8), 1037-1043.
- Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., … Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry, 2(3), e94.
- Beale, C., Broyd, S. J., Chye, Y., Suo, C., Schira, M., Galettis, P., … Solowij, N. (2018). Prolonged Cannabidiol Treatment Effects on Hippocampal Subfield Volumes in Current Cannabis Users. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 3(1), 94–107.
- Wenzel, A., Haugen, E. N., Jackson, L. C., & Brendle, J. R. (2005). Anxiety symptoms and disorders at eight weeks postpartum. Journal of anxiety disorders, 19(3), 295-311.
- Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
- A World Health Organizadon Demonstration Project. (1994). A phase II study of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for appetite stimulation in cancer-associated anorexia. Journal of palliative care, 10(1), 14-18.
- Charney, D. S., Woods, S. W., Goodman, W. K., & Heninger, G. R. (1987). Serotonin function in anxiety. Psychopharmacology, 92(1), 14-24.
- Bannerman, D. M., Rawlins, J. N. P., McHugh, S. B., Deacon, R. M. J., Yee, B. K., Bast, T., … & Feldon, J. (2004). Regional dissociations within the hippocampus—memory and anxiety. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 28(3), 273-283.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
CBD for IBS – August 2022
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, there is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (5 ) .
IBS is a chronic condition that largely affects the large intestine (6 ) . Treatments, such as stress management and lifestyle changes, can help alleviate its symptoms.
However, after a period of improvement, these symptoms may suddenly reappear (7 ) . Hence, IBS patients are turning to alternative therapies or complementary treatments (8 ) .
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant, might be one of these treatments.
Some studies suggested CBD’s promising effects on symptoms associated with IBS. However, further research is still needed regarding CBD’s potential as a treatment for IBS. Regardless, symptom augmentation would be a valuable property of CBD.
CBD for Pain
A 2016 research conducted in rodents reported that CBD might reduce inflammation and pain-related behaviors associated with arthritis (9 ) . In the study, the transdermal administration of CBD did not cause adverse effects in the test subjects.
Pain, particularly in the abdomen, is one of the most common symptoms of IBS (10 ) .
Another study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology outlined the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in treating gastroparesis-related abdominal pain (11 ) .
Gastroparesis, a distinct entity from IBS, is a condition that happens when stomach muscles do not function correctly, resulting in the slow or total lack of movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine (12 ) . The disorder is also known as delayed gastric emptying.
The primary cannabinoids that the authors observed were CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Cannabinoids are compounds that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help it regulate several functions, like pain perception, appetite, mood, and memory (13 ) .
THC and CBD are phytocannabinoids that come from the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike CBD, THC is psychoactive (14 ) .
CBD for Motility
According to John Hopkins Medicine, the causes of IBS have not been determined entirely. However, intestinal motility is believed to be one of the syndrome’s primary features (15 ) .
Motility is defined as food’s movement from the mouth, through the digestive organs, and out of the body (16 ) .
A 2016 study that was published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology observed the effects of CBD in rodent test subjects.
The research revealed that the administration of a Cannabis sativa extract with high CBD contents reduced chemically-induced hypermotility and intestinal inflammation in the test subjects (17 ) .
However, the authors discovered that CBD was more effective when combined with Cannabis sativa constituents. In the research, pure CBD alone did not exhibit beneficial effects on the inflamed gut.
CBD for Nausea
The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders says that nausea is a common symptom observed in IBS patients (18 ) .
A study in 2011 outlined CBD’s antiemetic properties in mice test subjects (19 ) . Researchers suggested that these therapeutic effects might be caused by CBD’s indirect activation of the 5-HT1A receptors located in the brain’s dorsal raphe nucleus.
According to the study’s authors, this activation of the 5-HT1A receptors reduce d the release of 5-HT or serotonin in the brain, resulting in CBD’s antiemetic effects.
Serotonin is a hormone involved in several bodily functions, such as nausea, mood, sleep, bowel movements, and blood-clotting (20 ) .
It is also a neurotransmitter found in the central nervous system and other regions of the body (21 ) .
How CBD Oil Works to Alleviate Symptoms of IBS
A 2020 study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience concluded that manipulating the ECS might help treat IBS (22 ) .
The authors reported that targeting ECS receptors cannabinoid (CB) receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2 receptors , might be therapeutic for IBS patients.
According to the researchers, CB1 receptor activation reduced small and large bowel muscle tone and inhibited gastrointestinal motility.
Muscle tone is the amount of tension in a muscle. It helps keep the body in a particular posture (23 ) .
The study also reported that the activation of CB1 receptor attenuated intestinal peristalsis.
Peristalsis is defined as a series of muscle contractions that enable food to move to several processing stations in the digestive tract (24 ) .
The researchers of the 2020 study also found that CB2 receptor activation slowed down gut transit and decreased inflammation by reducing cytokine and chemokine production in activated immune cells (25 ) .
Cytokines and chemokines are signaling proteins that have an essential role in inflammation (26 ) .
A 2014 study suggested that IBS was highly linked to stress. The researchers concluded that IBS treatment should include stress management strategies (27 ) .
In the study, researchers observed that IBS was strongly correlated with psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety. They reported that IBS symptoms might aggravate these psychological conditions (28 ) .
Studies have found that CBD might have promising effects in the treatment of anxiety and depression. This may be a mechanism by which CBD aids IBS patients.
In a 2015 study, researchers reported that CBD might contribute to the alleviation of several anxiety disorders. These conditions include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (29 ) .
Another study conducted in animals found that CBD had anxiety-reducing and antidepressant effects in the test subjects (30 ) .
IBS is characterized by the following symptoms (31 ) :
- Abdominal pain, cramping , or bloating
- Excessive gas
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Stool mucus
Its causes are unknown, but several factors have been identified to contribute to the development of IBS. These include (32 ) :
- Muscle contractions in the intestine
- Abnormalities in the nervous system
- Inflamed intestines
- Severe infection
- Gut bacteria changes
IBS vs. IBD
According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, IBS and inflammatory bowel disease ( IBD ) are distinct (33 ) .
IBS is classified as a syndrome, a group of symptoms, while IBD is a disease.
IBS does not cause inflammation. Meanwhile, IBD can result in inflammation that may destroy and harm the intestines permanently, and even cause cancer .
During a colon examination, signs of IBS cannot be diagnosed instantly. Meanwhile, IBD signs can be observed during diagnostic imaging.
IBS sufferers are not prone to developing colon cancer or IBD. Meanwhile, those who have IBD have higher risks of having colon cancer.
The types of IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (34 ) .
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for IBS
- Human and animal studies have discovered CBD’s therapeutic effects on the symptoms of IBS .
- CBD is regarded as generally safe to use (35 ) . Its safety profile is more favorable than the safety profile of some conventional medications prescribed for IBS treatment.
Among these traditionally prescribed IBS drugs are antidepressants, which have serious side effects , including dizziness, erectile dysfunction, heart rhythm problems, and insomnia (36 ) .
- It is suggested that CBD is non-addictive. Currently, no case of CBD dependence has been reported in humans (37 )
- Aside from CBD’s apparent benefits on IBS symptoms, CBD may have promising effects on mental health and related medical conditions , like anxiety and depression.
- More research needs to be done on whether CBD helps treat IBS. To date, studies are limited to CBD’s suggested benefits on IBS symptoms, such as pain relief .
- Despite the reported therapeutic effects of CBD , it is essential to note that CBD has side effects, like diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in weight or appetite (38 ) .
- The US FDA has not approved the use of medical marijuana and even CBD in the treatment of disorders and diseases except for epilepsy.
- There is a proliferation of mislabeled CBD products in the market due to the lack of FDA regulation (39 ) . Hence, patients with IBS are encouraged to seek the medical advice of medical professionals before adding CBD to their medication regimen.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for IBS
Treatments prescribed for IBS include dietary changes and traditional medications, like antidepressants and pain medications (40 ) .
Harvard Medical School says that IBS patients are exploring alternative treatments for their condition (41 ) . Treatment through probiotics (live microorganisms) and prebiotics are seen as promising alternative treatments for ailments associated with the gastrointestinal tract (gi tract) .
Other alternatives include relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation, as these treatments relax muscles and reduce activity in the nervous system (42 ) .
Compared to these alternative treatments, CBD may also protect gut health due to its purported contribution to reduced intestinal inflammation in human test subjects (43 ) .
Like yoga and meditation, CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety, as supported by a clinical study done in humans (44 ) .
Compared with these treatments, CBD has other reported therapeutic uses. These purported benefits range from neuroprotective properties (45 ) to pain-reducing effects that may help treat conditions like chronic pain (46 ) .
How to Choose the Right CBD for IBS
CBD oil types can be classified as full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, or CBD isolate.
A full-spectrum oil is believed to be a more effective treatment than broad-spectrum oils and CBD isolates.
Full-spectrum oils make use of all the ingredients of a cannabis plant , including less than 0.30% THC, flavonoids, fatty acids, terpenes, and essential oils.
Cannabis sativa’s components are believed to synergize for maximum therapeutic effect. This phenomenon is called the entourage effect.
The downside of using full-spectrum oils is that they contain THC.
Some drug tests may detect THC. Select individuals may also experience mild psychoactive effects, even if THC amounts in a full-spectrum oil are minimal.
Those who want to avoid THC consumption may go for broad-spectrum CBD. It has all the ingredients of a full-spectrum oil, except for THC.
Individuals who prefer to use CBD purely may purchase isolated cannabidiol . However, as reported in a 2016 study, pure CBD might not be useful in the treatment of some IBS symptoms, like intestinal inflammation (47 ) .
Before using any CBD product, patients should check CBD’s legality according to their state laws.
The US FDA states that CBD and other products that contain less than 0.30%
THC are no longer controlled substances under federal law (48 ) .
CBD Dosage for IBS
Because the US FDA does not regulate CBD, there is no standard dosing chart for CBD. However, patients are encouraged to start low and slow.
Begin with small amounts of CBD. If there are no adverse effects, the dosage may be increased until the patient finds the right CBD dose.
Once the dosage appropriate for users has been found, IBS patients should use CBD consistently. Effects should be observed in two or three weeks as long as intake is regular.
Patients are encouraged to document their bodies’ reactions to the use of CBD through a journal. Before taking CBD, IBS patients should consult with their doctor first.
How to Take CBD for IBS
CBD has various formats that allow patients to use it for IBS in several ways. These include:
- CBD oils and tinctures (drops) – CBD may be applied under the tongue for more efficacy. More experienced users prefer this type of administration because they have control over their CBD dosage.
- CBD capsules, gel caps, gummies, or edibles – CBD may be mixed with food or beverages. This approach is helpful for those who dislike the grassy taste of CBD.
- CBD vape pens – Effects are instantaneous when CBD is inhaled. However, vaping may cause lung damage (49 ) . IBS patients who also take CBD via vape pens have no way of determining the amount of CBD they take for each draw.
- CBD topicals – These CBD formats include salves, balms, lotions, and creams. IBS patients may apply CBD topically during massages to help alleviate abdominal pain . However, it is challenging to apply consistent doses of CBD when an individual uses CBD topicals.
The use of medical cannabis and CBD may be helpful in the alleviation of IBS symptoms. However, THC may get users high.
Currently, no treatment can cure IBS entirely. For this reason, more IBS patients are exploring alternative therapies that may help with their gastrointestinal system conditions.
Conventional approaches include dietary and lifestyle changes . IBS patients are also prescribed pain medications and antidepressants.
Popular alternative remedies for IBS include treatment through probiotics and prebiotics, yoga, and meditation.
Compared with these treatments, CBD may have promising therapeutic effects on the relief of pain, motility, and nausea. These conditions are some of the most common symptoms of IBS.
It is suggested that the interaction of cannabinoids, like CBD, with the ECS cannabinoid receptors might help treat IBS.
Currently, studies that have been done are limited to CBD’s benefits on the symptoms of IBS. Further research should be done on CBD’s benefits on IBS alone.
Before using CBD in the treatment of IBS flare-ups , patients should seek professional counsel from their doctors first.