Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS)
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What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine, or colon. It is characterized by a group of symptoms, including abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, and changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a functional disorder, meaning that there is no underlying physical damage or disease in the digestive tract.
What causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
The exact cause of IBS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of factors, including
Abnormal muscle contractions in the colon
Hypersensitivity to certain foods or substances
Changes in the gut microbiome.
Certain factors such as stress, hormonal changes, and certain medications may also trigger or worsen symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Abdominal pain or cramping
Bloating and gas
Diarrhea or constipation, or alternating between the two
Mucus in the stool
Feeling of incomplete bowel movement
Urgency to have a bowel movement
Nausea and/or vomiting
Anxiety or depression
How does cannabis medicine work for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Cannabis medicine directly works by regulating the Endocannabinoid system in the body. ECS regulates a range of processes in the body, mainly mood, appetite, sleep, pain sensation, and immune function. ECS comprises three main parts, endocannabinoids( naturally occurring in the body), enzymes ( used to break down endocannabinoids) and receptors( attachment sites). When our endocannabinoids default in function or are unregulated, discomfort in the form of diseases, pain, and inflammation occurs. Cannabis medicine works by bringing this system back into regulation.CBD, in particular, has been found to have potential therapeutic effects for IBS. It may help to reduce abdominal pain and bloating and improve bowel habits. THC may also be helpful in reducing abdominal pain and improving appetite
Potential Benefits of cannabis medicine for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Pain Relief: The pain-relieving properties of CBD(a compound in the Cannabis plant) are well-known. CBD is anti-inflammatory in nature and works to reduce inflammation throughout the body, significantly decreasing pain.
Reducing Inflammation: CBD acts as an antioxidant and decreases oxidative stress and systematic inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the root cause of most pain. By decreasing inflammation in the body, CBD reduces the intensity of pain. CBD can also reduce neuropathic pain by countering hyperalgesia (an abnormally heightened pain response in the body).
Regulating Immune Response: Whenever our body experiences an injury, the body’s innate immune response to it with an inflammatory response that activates the pain pathways. CBD can modulate this immune response by decreasing the levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines thus decreasing discomfort.
Regularizing bowel movements: THC, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating the digestive system. THC may help to stimulate the digestive tract, leading to increased contractions and a reduction in the time it takes for food to move through the intestines.