Have you ever experienced heartburn after finishing a meal or eating spicy food? Have you ever felt heartburn or chest pain at all? Currently, 1 in 10 Americans experience GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), which is most closely linked to the symptoms of heartburn. GERD and its symptoms, such as heartburn, can be painful and uncomfortable. Although pharmaceutical drugs are often used to treat GERD, cannabidiol is slowly emerging as a way to help treat this disease safely and effectively.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease refers to the stomach and esophagus and the return of the contents back up to the esophagus. In normal digestion, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. GERD, then, occurs when the LES is weak or inappropriately relaxes allowing the contents of the stomach to flow up into the esophagus. The “heartburn” is the discomfort experienced by the reflux of stomach content to the esophagus. Normally, the treatment is prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs. However, many prescriptions cause adverse side effects. Fortunately, CBD and cannabinoids can be used to combat GERD symptoms.
CBD Oil for GERD & Acid Reflux
Just as everybody has a lower esophageal sphincter, and potential to experience GERD, each body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has many known functions including memory, sensations, pain perception, anti-secretory effects, etc. One of the most particular symptoms that CBD helps to regulate is the secretion of gastric acids to the esophagus. By reacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD has the power to greatly reduce the secretion of the acids that cause the actual burn when it comes to the heartburn symptoms of GERD. Beyond this, CBD and the ECS help to mitigate inflammation and mucosal damage in GERD, as well as lower esophageal relaxation, helping to prevent the severity of GERD, or stop it before effects begin to take place.
These are just a few examples of how CBD reacts to the gastric acid and intestinal secretions when it comes to GERD. CBD also has positive effects on other factors of the body that contribute to acid reflux and heartburn. CBD has the power to act as an anti-inflammatory to reduce esophageal discomfort and decreases the motility, or the ability for fluids to move around, in the esophagus and the gut which is the direct cause of the acid reflux. With decreased mobility and the reduction in inflammation, the main discomforting symptoms of GERD are treated.
If you experience heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD, try observing the foods you eat because they may be worsening GERD symptoms, especially caffeine and alcohol. However, above all else, CBD plays an essential role in treating GERD and its symptoms. If you’re interested in trying CBD, it’s suggested to consume it orally or sublingually with capsules or tinctures to prevent further irritation from occuring.