Can the Use of CBD Products Help Alleviate IBS Symptoms?

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People are now more comfortable using CBD to treat various health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This condition is a long-term gastrointestinal disorder that can cause persistent discomfort to the patient. 

CBD and its effects on IBS as a possible remedy show promise. However, research has not yet proven that it is safe and effective, and it is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating IBS.

The following paragraphs explore CBD and check whether or not it can ease symptoms of IBS.

CBD Explained

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, and it is one of around 540 phytochemicals found in the Cannabis sativa (C. sativa) plant. Today, it is gaining popularity as a remedy for various health issues. The FDA does not currently regulate products, so it’s up to people to check the effectiveness of a particular CBD brand. Here are some of the guidelines.

Per the Agriculture Improvement Act, CBD products should contain no more than 0.3 percent THC. They should have proof of third-party testing by an ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratory and must pass tests for pesticides, heavy metals, mold, and microbes. They must also pass product potency evaluations and safety testing.

CBD products should come from a company that can provide certificates of analysis for all their products. People should be wary of companies with an FDA warning letter.

When customers look into a brand, they should check its CBD potency, price, retailer and manufacturer reputation, and customer reviews.

Risks and Side Effects

While people generally tolerate CBD well, they may experience common side effects of the substance, which may be dose-dependent. The side effects include dry mouth, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight.

CBD is often criticized for the lack of information regarding long-term use and potential side effects. According to a 2020 study, people generally tolerate CBD well with short- to medium-term use with only mild side effects. People who take prescription medicines should consult their doctor before taking CBD products since they may interact with certain medications.

A 2018 commentary indicates that there is a need for both further study and regulation of CBD products.

Can CBD Help with IBS?

Recent studies show that CBD can have effective applications for IBS. Although findings aren’t final, evidence found by the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health discovered the role of CBD in providing modest benefits for treatment.

Currently, limited studies are looking at this phenomenon, but researchers investigating the substance’s properties suggest that it may benefit in treating the condition. Generally, there are mixed perspectives about the usefulness of CBD in managing IBS.

It’s also helpful to note this: The FDA proclaims that products containing CBD with claims to treat IBS and its symptoms are both misleading and false. The government agency currently does not approve any CBD product for IBS. Appropriate dosages are actively open to interpretation, so people should speak to a doctor first.

The main ingredient being watched here is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that causes the high that people associate with cannabis. Under several states, hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3 percent THC are legal federally. However, some states are more lenient with this ruling.

Since the legal status of CBD in the United States is complex, people are advised to check local legislation, especially when traveling with it. 


CBD’s effectiveness in treating IBS still needs more research, but people can look into alternative treatment options. Some of them are the following:

  • Certain probiotics that balance the microbes in the gut (though it needs additional research)
  • Peppermint oil that decreases stomach discomfort, pain, and bloating in people with IBS
  • Several natural substances like aloe vera, curcuma, fumaria officinalis, and hypericum perforatum

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