Marijuana does it all. Well, pretty much.
Think about it. This plant is like magic: consuming it can get you high, relax or energize you, affect your mood, and soothe your ailments. You can smoke it as flower, eat it in gummy bear edibles, or even vape CBD oil. Have a problem? Simply choose a strain.
In addition to helping everything from inflammation to depression, cannabis also has another not-so-hidden secret. This delightful plant, perhaps to no one's surprise, can also aid the tummy.
Does weed help digestion? Yes, most definitely. Continue reading to find out more.
There are several types of digestive issues and disorders that weed can help with. Digestive problems are exactly what they sound like: an issue with the body's digestive system, which reaches from the mouth to the rectum – a far reaching and large system that works both to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.
On a smaller scale, smoking marijuana can help with a tummy ache or cramps. Too much food? A joint can help to reverse the damage – or at least alleviate some of the discomfort.
On a larger scale, gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – including the likes of both Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – affect millions of people and can be crippling. Both conditions come with severe side effects and symptoms.
IBS is specifically rooted in the intestines, and brings forward bloating, excessive gassiness, abdomen cramping, stomach pain, and constipation or diarrhea. Without a known cause or cure, patients can only look for products that can help to subside the symptoms and reduce the pain.
IBD, which includes both Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, has to do with inflammation in the large and small intestines. The symptoms, which commonly include abdomen pain, diarrhea, weight loss, rectal bleeding, fever, intense blockage, loss of appetite, joint pain, liver problems, and swelling of the eyes, indicate its origins as an autoimmune disorder.
Traditional treatment for digestive problems takes the usual shape: pharmaceutical medicines that come with their own baggage – namely a hefty list of additional side effects and serious risks. Patients with IBS use everything from laxatives to anti-diarrheal medications like Imodium or Bentyl. Crohn's Disease is paired with anti-inflammatory meds, like corticosteroids and Oral 5-aminosalicylates. Marijuana has become a popular and natural alternative that greatly takes the edge off of these with no clear cure in sight.
Weed as a Solution
Over the years, research has suggested that marijuana is an effective means of alleviating the symptoms of digestive issues – even the heavier types, like IBS and IBD.
Long story short: the cannabinoids in the plant interact with the endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the body's digestive tract. This connection provides relief in the problem areas: calming spasms, dissipating pain, and knocking out inflammation upon contact.
Good Gut Health
People like to say that good health starts in the gut. And they're right – it does. Weed happens to thrive in the gut, acting less like a drug and more like a supplement that is absorbed and used throughout the body.
When talking about IBS and IBD and issues in the digestive tract and intestines, we're using medical terminology to describe the gut. Inside this area, which also includes the stomach, there is a large ecosystem of microbes. The job of the microbes is to help digest food and complete other biological tasks, like dispose waste. This area is also full of CB1 and CB2 receptors; these are the cannabinoid hot spots that can bind with the receptors in the marijuana, also connecting to the receptors in the brain.
Smoking weed equals good gut health, which leads to good digestion.
In the Medical Community
Smoking weed has helped digestion issues for centuries in eastern medicine, with westernized medicine slowly catching up within the past 100 years. Clinical studies and laboratory research are on the rise, and have led to discoveries like the abundance of cannabinoid receptors located throughout both the small and large intestines. THC has been linked to improving appetite and decreasing nausea within studies, and relax contractions located within the intestinal tract.
As it turns out, weed and digestive issues seem to be a natural pairing, and is widely recognized as an effective method of treatment. The Institute of Medicine has credited marijuana's anti-emetic and analgesic properties. They wrote, "For patients who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad-spectrum relief not found in any other single medication."
Cannabis also makes an appealing case for itself since it can address a wide range of symptoms and issues in a single broad stroke, with minimal side effects of its own. It's considered low risk.
The research has led to some promising results regarding the endocannabinoid connection between weed and our bodies. According to Americans for Safe Access, "Research has also shown that in the case of intestinal inflammation, the body will increase the number of cannabinoid receptors in the area in an attempt to regulate the inflammation by processing more cannabinoids."
Best Weed Strains to Help with Digestion
Now that we have answered the question, "does weed help digestion?" we can move onto the next important item on the agenda: which strains work best? Smoked, eaten, or applied as a topical, each of these strains will help to kick digestion issues down the gutter.
Named for its main purpose, Chemo was created purely to counteract the adverse effects of chemotherapy. This makes it the top strain for digestive issues like nausea, loss of appetite, or cramping in the stomach. It is intensely potent and will lead to an indica slumber, but Chemo sure is an effective gut helper.
Also known as "Trash Kush," Trash is an indica-dominant hybrid. This strain is meant to boost appetite – perfect for people who suffer with anxiety around eating – and comes with a euphoric head rush and sensation of arousal. At a 19 percent THC potency, Trash is quite strong.
Strain: White Cheese
White Cheese is a 50/50 hybrid, crossed between Afghani, Cheese, and Super Skunk strains. It has both THC and CBD, which leaves patients with a reduced high and leads to a deep sleep. Its ability to ease digestive tract pain is what makes White Cheese a go-to for anyone experiencing unease or discomfort in the gut.
Strain: Hustler Kush
With a reputation as a lethargic strain, Hustler Kush is an indica-dominant strain that is potent, efficient, and fast-acting. The effects, which include anti-inflammatory properties, last for hours; that's what makes Hustler Kush ideal for digestion help.
This hybrid is a powerhouse strain that can "knock any uncomfortable indigestion out solid," and comes with a sleepy aftertaste. It's minty and delicious, and packs a large (comforting) punch to the intestines.
Strain: Bay Dream
A mix of Blue Dream and Bay 11 creates Bay Dream, a sativa-dominant strain that works to settle the stomach. Instead of putting patients to sleep, Bay Dream will first ease and soothe the tummy, and then also give a burst of euphoria. It is also known to boost creative energies as well.
For more information on strains, deals, and the medicinal qualities of marijuana, head to Leafbuyer. And remember, when pondering, “does weed help digestion?” know that yes, weed can in fact help with digestion.