Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a medical condition affecting many people worldwide. While some people have conditions worsened by food, others suffer it regardless of the consumed food. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and opioids are common medications people take to relieve acid reflux. All these come with side effects, which is why many people wonder whether CBD oil may help with acid reflux. Generally, no scientific studies support the use of CBD oil for acid reflux or view it as an effective therapy. Some non-related studies claim that CBD oil may play anti-secretory effects on the acid and help with pain and inflammation that come with acid reflux.
While the hype on CBD oil helping with wellness issues increases daily, some people may not understand what CBD oil is. It is a hemp extract and one of the hundreds of active compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants. Unlike THC, CBD oil is not psychoactive and does not cause the 'high' effect, which is why it is highly popularized for helping with many things, including acid reflux. Acid reflux describes a medical condition, in which acid and food climb up from the stomach into the esophagus, when the lower sphincter muscles of the esophagus remain open after allowing food to pass. It often results in chest pains, bitter regurgitation, burping, bloating, diarrhea, and more. Worse, it results in GERD, which worsens all the mentioned side effects.
Scientific studies do not support the use of CBD oil for relieving acid reflux, GERD, or their symptoms or side effects. Therefore, CBD oil or its products are not recommended for acid reflux. Still, some early but non-related studies hint that CBD oil may help manage acid reflux and its side effects. The studies claim that the cannabinoid may help reduce the pain that comes with acidity, fight inflammation that worsens things, and play anti-secretory roles on the mucoid walls of the stomach, preventing or slowing down the secretion of acid.
It is believed that the human body has a network of receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes, forming the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is perceived to have many roles in the body, including sleep regulation, mood variation, digestion, satiety, stress, pain, perception, temperature regulation, and more. There is a need for further studies to prove that an endocannabinoid system indeed exists in the body and that it has many roles linked to it. Since pain, inflammation, and acid secretion may be influenced by the ECS, it may help with acid reflux.
CBD oil is thought to help with the reduction of stomach acid that worsens the situation. One study conducted by Germanò, et al., (2001) involving animals (rats) established that administering CBD oil to these rodents slowed down the frequency and severity of stomach ulcers. Since the cause of acid ulcers and acid reflux are the same(secretion of stomach acids), it is believed that CBD oil may well help with reduced secretion of stomach acid, reducing acid refluxes. Besides, the stomach is thought to be part of the organs with several receptors and cannabinoids that protect its lining from corrosion and acid secretion. Yet, another study was done by Gotfried, et al., (2017) which suggested that CBD oil has anti-secretory effects that directly control acid secretion, further limiting acid refluxes.
CBD oil is believed to possess anti-inflammatory effects since it is extracted from plants. Some early studies also seem to back up these claims, but scientific evidence does not show that CBD oil fights inflammation. In a 2018 study involving animals, CBD oil was injected on rats with arthritis and compromised backs. The study reported a few inflammatory markers compared to the previous CBD oil administration, suggesting that CBD oil may well help manage inflammation that comes with acid corrosion of the esophageal walls. Still, this single study cannot be used to make assumptions for all other studies. Furthermore, it involved animals, which are not the best indicators in studies since results recorded from animal tests cannot be replicated 100% on human beings.
Acid reflux comes with pain, especially when the esophageal walls get corroded with the acid. Although no scientific studies suggest that CBD oil may help relieve pain that comes with acid reflux,. Another study by Häuser, et al., (2018) recorded that CBD oil may help with just any pain, including acid reflux. It is highly thought that taking CBD capsules or tinctures may help reduce acid reflux. As with other studies herein quoted, this involved animals, and one cannot be 100% sure that these effects will be replicated on human beings.
The digestive system and its organs, such as the stomach and esophagus, are among the many body parts perceived to have ECS receptors. The receptors may interact with CBD oil in the products one takes, slowing down peristalsis. Involuntary muscle movements on the lower esophageal sphincters (LES) are limited, and no more irregular spasms take place. With little peristalsis, no more acids pass through the esophagus. However, no scientific studies can prove that CBD oil may indeed trigger such effects.
CBD oil is one of the active compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plants. Because it does not have the ‘high’ effect linked to THC, it is thought to help with just about anything, including acid reflux. This blog explores this topic, showing that while CBD oil may help with acid secretion, pain, and inflammation related to acid reflux, it cannot treat it. Still, should one decide to take CBD oil for acid reflux, they should first consult a doctor.
Germanò, M. P., D'Angelo, V., Mondello, M. R., Pergolizzi, S., Capasso, F., Capasso, R., ... & De Pasquale, R. (2001). Cannabinoid CB1-Mediated Inhibition Of Stress-Induced Gastric Ulcers In Rats. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives Of Pharmacology, 363(2), 241-244. Gotfried, J., Kataria, R., & Schey, R. (2017). The Role Of Cannabinoids On Esophageal Function—What We Know Thus Far. Cannabis And Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), 252-258. Häuser, W., Petzke, F., & Fitzcharles, M. A. (2018). Efficacy, Tolerability And Safety Of Cannabis‐Based Medicines For Chronic Pain Management–An Overview Of Systematic Reviews. European Journal Of Pain, 22(3), 455-470.
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