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.

Let’s get started:

 

What is Acid Reflux?

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)
  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Dry cough, wheezing, or hoarseness

Drinking coffee, taking a hearty meal, or alcohol consumption can cause heartburn in people with acid reflux.

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. 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.

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The Growing CBD 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.

Marijuana’s perceived 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 how CBD can help with 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.

How Does CBD Work for Acid Reflux and GERD?

To help you understand how CBD can help with GERD, let’s look at CBD use benefits for people with acid reflux or GERD.

CBD Helps in 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.

People with GERD experience pain in the chest, throat, or stomach. Certain pain medications can make GERD worse. They include:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Sedatives
  • Opioids

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 will alleviate pain without irritating your stomach and esophagus.

 

Cannabis May Help Inhibit the Secretion of 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.

Marijuana is an Anti-Inflammatory

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

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

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

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

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 capsules for acid reflux or GERD 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

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.

What’s the Right CBD Dosage 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:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Weight
  • 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.

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
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Red eyes
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • 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.

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