What Can CBD Do for People Suffering from Acid Reflux or GERD?
Lots of us get heartburn from time to time, and while it often has to do with something that we ate or eating too fast, sometimes it can be indicative of a more systemic issue such as acid reflux or GERD. Commonly confused with one another, these two distinctive conditions both cause frequent heartburn that can interfere with a person’s quality of life by causing potentially severe pain, especially after eating.
Both of these conditions, thankfully, are treatable and can be managed by making certain adjustments to one’s diet and habits in many instances. Another potential approach could be done in a holistic way with cannabidiol (CBD), a hemp-derived compound that has certainly been getting a lot of attention lately for its many uses and lots of research behind it.
So, can CBD help with the symptoms associated with acid reflux and GERD? Read on to find out.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition that’s more common than GERD, and is localized to the upper digestive tract, pertaining to the esophagus, diaphragm, and stomach. Those who have acid reflux experience stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus, and due to the acidic nature of the substance, it can cause a burning sensation. Acid reflux typically intensifies shortly after a person eats, as well as when they lie down, which can interfere with the flow of the upper digestive system.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is associated with a few different symptoms, and everyone’s case will be unique, which means that a person with acid reflux may have only one of the symptoms below or multiple symptoms:
- Heartburn and pain in the chest
- Difficult swallowing food or saliva
- Loss of appetite
- Regurgitation after eating
- An acidic taste in the mouth
- A feeling of having a lump in one’s throat
Why Does Acid Reflux Occur?
There are many reasons why a person may develop acid reflux, including poor dietary choices and the habit of lying down after eating, or even eating too fast. Smokers and those who consume too much alcohol are more prone to the condition, and certain medications can make the development of acid reflux more likely.
The most common cause of acid reflux is a hiatal hernia, which allows for the stomach to move above the diaphragm, bringing the upper digestive tract out of alignment which enables digestive acids to flow easily from the stomach and into the esophagus. The diaphragm plays a large role in keeping acid inside of the stomach, so if it’s misaligned, this can lead to acid reflux.
It’s also worth noting that pregnant women may develop acid reflux as the fetus puts pressure on the upper digestive tract, and this can be temporary or last after the baby is born.
What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease? (GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a severe form of acid reflux. It simply means that a person has acid reflux episodes at least once a week. GERD is associated with potential complications as the constant flow of stomach acid into the esophagus can lead to corrosion from its high acidic content.
What are GERD’s Symptoms?
The symptoms of GERD are the same as those of acid reflux, including heartburn, difficulty swallowing and pain that intensifies when lying down. For a person to have GERD, they must have a severe episode at least once a week, or a moderate episode at least twice a week, for over a month.
Why Does GERD Occur?
As of now, it is not exactly clear why some instances of acid reflux develop into GERD and some do not. The most likely theory is that prolonged acid reflux episodes cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken. This sphincter is supposed to loosen when a person is eating and tighten when they are not eating. If the sphincter becomes weak, it can never properly close, which can make it easy for stomach acid to pass through and into the esophagus.
How are Acid Reflux and GERD Treated?
A person who is experiencing frequent heartburn or other symptoms described above should schedule an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. In rare cases, these symptoms can be associated with something more serious such as a heart condition or cancer within the digestive tract. Only a trained gastroenterologist can diagnose you and prescribe treatments. Typically, an endoscopy is performed to determine the cause of the issue.
Both of these conditions are typically treated with medication. Usually, the patient is given antacids that neutralize the stomach acid. For more severe cases, H2 blockers may be prescribed which decrease levels of stomach acid, and this is reserved for more serious cases because lowering stomach acid levels can interfere with other digestive functions over time.
There is a surgical procedure that is pretty new to the medical world, which is the installation of a LINX device into the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a metal ring that makes up for the weakened state of the sphincter so that stomach acid cannot flow as easily through the sphincter and reach the esophagus.
Using CBD for Acid Reflux and GERD
CBD is a cannabinoid and it’s also a unique type of compound only found in the cannabis genus. Cannabinoids are fed to cannabinoid receptors found in all systems of the body, including the digestive system, which creates a chemical reaction that allows for regulation of individual bodily processes. The cannabinoid receptors in the body make up the endocannabinoid system that ultimately has the job of keeping the body in a state of homeostasis.
Studies show that cannabinoid receptors in the esophagus and stomach may utilize cannabinoids to regulate the function of the esophageal sphincter and regulate the flow and neutralization of stomach acid. By attaching to these receptors, CBD may help offer relief to symptoms caused by acid reflux by creating an environment in which stomach acid is less likely to enter the esophagus.
How to Use CBD Properly for These Conditions
Because there is enough research showing that cannabidiol may play a role in managing acid reflux, we can cover the proper methods for using it to get the best results possible. With an array of products on the market, and many methods for taking it, this information can make a big difference when it comes to finding relief.
Talk with Your Medical Healthcare Provider and a Specialist
You must see a specialist about your condition, and during this time, you can ask them about using CBD for potential relief. It is important that you discuss medications you are taking, as some medications may interact with cannabidiol due to suppression of the CYP3A4 enzyme that must be abundant in the body to break down specific types of drugs.
Use an Oral Form of CBD
We suggest using an oral form of CBD such as a tincture or an edible, which maintains direct contact with the upper digestive system to truly interact with the cannabinoid receptors that are involved in functions pertaining to acid reflux and GERD. If you can, take these products daily to manage symptoms as best as possible.
A Potential Holistic Method For Treating Acid Reflux or GERD Has Arrived!
Both acid reflux and GERD can cause enormous discomfort and make us dread eating our favorite meals. If you’re dealing with heartburn, it is important to get a diagnosis and consider starting a routine with CBD. This gentle and natural product is becoming immensely popular among sufferers of these conditions now that medical researchers are discovering what it can do for our body’s digestion.
CBD for Acid Reflux and GERD – Is It Effective?
If you are reading this post, you (or someone you know) likely experience a burning sensation in the chest or throat, especially after eating spicy food.
You have tried the traditional treatments of acid reflux or GERD and have not seen the expected results. It’s also possible you have heard about the benefits of CBD use and are wondering whether it can help with your acid reflux symptoms.
Luckily you have found this post. Here we look at everything you need to know about CBD for acid reflux and GERD. We will also learn how using CBD oil for acid reflux provides relief from its symptoms.
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
How is Acid Reflux Caused? Is CBD for Acid Reflux Beneficial?
The gastrointestinal system is a sensitive organ in your body. When your digestive network is interfered with, it may lead to acid reflux (the acid stomach backflow).
Acid reflux happens when the stomach acid moves into your esophagus when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is supposed to close when food passes through, fails to close or opens more often.
As such, the acid produced by your stomach moves up into the esophagus leading to unpleasant symptoms, including:
- Heartburn (burning chest discomfort)
- Dry cough, wheezing, or hoarseness
Drinking coffee, taking a hearty meal, or alcohol consumption can cause heartburn in people with acid reflux. Many people commonly experience acid reflux in the morning that causes lots of discomforts.
What’s the Difference Between Acid Reflux and GERD?
Although acid reflux and gastroesophageal disease are related, the terms mean different things.
As earlier stated, acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. Usually, this occurs after taking spicy meals or drinking coffee or alcohol.
GERD occurs when you have a more severe form of reflux with symptoms of severe acid reflux . Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD (more than two times a week). Other GERD symptoms include difficulty swallowing, chest pain. Regurgitation of sour liquid, and coughing.
As you can see, acid reflux and GERD exhibit the same symptoms, but the symptoms occur more than twice a week in people with GERD.
CBD Reflux Benefits – Demand in the Global Market
As of 2019, the global cannabis legal market was valued at 17.7 billion U.S. dollars. It is expected that the market will be worth 73.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.
Gerd and Marijuana health benefits and the continued legalization in various countries are the major drivers of this vast market.
We have seen the emergence of many CBD brands to cater to the increasing cannabis demand. If you plan to invest in the CBD industry, it is imperative to work with a reputable CBD marketing agency .
The best CBD marketing agency understands the industry trends and will use their expertise to put your business before your target market without being at loggerheads with authorities.
CBD for Acid Reflux and GERD
Before we look at the benefits of CBD for GERD , let’s take a closer look at the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and its role in our bodies.
The ECS plays a vital role in your wellbeing and regulates many biological functions including, sensations, memory, anti-secretory effects, and pain perception.
Cannabinoids (found in the cannabis plant and those found in the body) play a vital role in gastric and intestinal acid secretion and regulate gastrointestinal motility.
CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid system and may reduce the acid secretion that causes heartburn in GERD patients.
CBD and ECS will prevent or reduce the severity of GERD by reducing inflammation and mucosal damage. Besides, it may help lower esophageal relaxation.
CBD for Pain Management
Pain is a common problem for GERD patients. CBD is known to activate CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to produce analgesic effects that help relieve pain, including pain from the gastrointestinal tract.
Compared to conventional pain medications, CBD oil for pain relief is a safer alternative for acid reflux patients. Many people suffering from acid reflux are aware of CBD and pain management benefits and are using CBD to derive its positive health benefits.
People with GERD experience pain in the chest, throat, or stomach. Certain pain medications can make GERD worse. They include:
This is where marijuana comes in. CBD can help reduce pain, meaning you do not have to take pain medications that can worsen GERD. Marijuana is better than medicine for acid reflux and will alleviate pain without irritating your stomach and esophagus.
Cannabis for acid reflux Relieves Stomach Acid
Although clinical trials on the effects of cannabis on stomach acid secretion are yet to be conducted, some preclinical studies suggest that cannabinoids may help inhibit gastric acid production.
In a study involving rats, cannabinoids were found to reduce stress-induced ulcers. That being the case, researchers believe that cannabis may help inhibit gastric acid secretion in humans.
Some cannabinoids are known to protect the stomach lining, meaning cannabis may be useful for GERD patients. So CBD can be one of the best acid reflux natural remedies for people chronically suffering from GERD.
Marijuana for GERD Reduces Inflammation
Is CBD good for GERD ? Although more research is required to determine if marijuana is a useful option for treating GERD, available studies suggest that cannabis may help boost endocannabinoid’s ability to reduce inflammation.
In turn, this might help combat GERD symptoms and repair mucosal damage. CBD also binds to cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal system to prevent peristalsis (involuntary muscle movements), thus reducing the chances of the stomach acid going back into the esophagus.
CBD Decreases Stress
Can stress cause acid reflux ? Yes, stress and anxiety are known to trigger GERD symptoms. Luckily, medical cannabis may help you feel less anxious and overwhelmed. In the end, this might reduce stress-related ailments like stomach pain and nausea.
Your mental health is closely related to gastrointestinal health (GI). Conversely, stress and GERD are linked.
Taking medical marijuana may help calm your mind. However, talk to your doctor about the right dosage, as taking a higher THC dose can hurt you.
What’s the Best Way to Take CBD for Acid Reflux?
Having that you have read to this point, it’s likely you want to try CBD for GERD and are wondering how to take it. Here’s how to take CBD for acid reflux :
CBD Oil for Acid Reflux Benefits
To get the best benefits of CBD for acid reflux , you should know about CBD oil for GERD dosage . As the name suggests, CBD oil comes in a liquid form. Taking CBD oil for acid reflux is straightforward – measure an appropriate dose using a glass dropper and place it under the tongue.
Hold it in your mouth for about one minute before swallowing it. You will start feeling the effects of CBD oil within fifteen to thirty minutes of use and last up to six hours.
CBD Vapes – Best Medicine for Acid Reflux
If you are looking for the fastest and effective way of taking CBD for GERD , vaping is the way to go. Vaping has the highest bioavailability than tinctures and oral CBD products, as it gets into the bloodstream within three to five minutes of inhalation.
However, compared to CBD oils, CBD vape effects last for a few hours, meaning it might not be the best option if you need long-lasting effects from GERD symptoms.
CBD Capsules – For Heartburn and Acid Reflux Relief
CBD capsules may be ideal for you if you want to take CBD on the go. CBD capsules offer a discreet way to use CBD in your workplace.
However, taking CBD for acid reflux or GERD in the form of capsules will have a slower onset (between 40 and 90 minutes) than CBD oils and vapes. CBD capsules need to pass through your digestive system to feel the effect.
CBD Edibles and Acid Reflux Benefits
CBD edibles come in different flavors, making it a more enjoyable way to take CBD. However, when taking CBD gummies for GERD, keep in mind that the effects delay as they will have to pass through the liver.
How much CBD to Take for Acid Reflux?
Since the FDA does not control many CBD products, there is no standard recommendation of CBD dosage for acid reflux.
The right CBD dosage for you will depend on various factors, including:
- The severity of the symptoms
- Unique body chemistry
- Prior CBD experience
As a rule of thumb, start small (about 1 – 6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds) and increase slowly until you get your ideal dosage. Keep a record of how each dose affects your GERD symptoms.
If taken in the right dosage, CBD is the best medicine for acid reflux and can relieve your symptoms to a great extent.
CBD for Acid Reflux Side Effects
As with any other medication, cannabis use may have side effects. Talk to your doctor about the best CBD/THC levels for you and the best method of use to reduce the risk of side effects.
Depending on the cannabis strain that you take, dose, and your CBD experience , you may experience any of the following side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Impaired balance
So, Should You Take CBD for Acid Reflux ?
Although much research is needed, CBD has been shown to help with acid reflux and GERD. Marijuana interacts with the endocannabinoid system to soften the gastrointestinal muscles and protect the lining from damage.
That way, it leads to improved peristalsis, thus preventing stomach content’s backflow in the esophagus .
Talk to your doctor before taking CBD for acid reflux or GERD, especially if you take other medications.