CBD for IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Efficacy, Tolerability, and Safety of Cannabinoids


If you are fortunate enough to have never experienced it, there’s a condition you’ve probably heard of: irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, a type of gut malady that affects up to 45 million individuals in the United States.

This chronic disease causes abdominal pain, discomfort, and bloating. There’s the additional danger of unpredictable looseness of the bowels.

Today, we’re going to be taking a deeper look at a potentially progressive approach for minimizing the effects of irritable bowel syndrome: CBD oil for IBS. This product is groundbreaking for treating gut inflammation. Let’s put it under a magnifying glass.


Background: The medical use of cannabis is discussed in gastroenterology for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and chronic pancreatitis.

Materials and methods: A systematic literature search until March 2015 was performed in the databases Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, www.cannabis-med.org , and clinicaltrials.gov. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) investigating herbal cannabis and/or pharmaceutical cannabinoids in IBD, IBS, or chronic pancreatitis with a study duration of ≥ 4 weeks and a sample size of at least n = 10 per study arm were identified. Clinical outcomes comprised efficacy (pain, nausea, appetite/weight, diarrhea, health-related quality of life, and remission rates for IBD), tolerability (drop-out rate due to side effects), and safety (severe side effects). Methodology quality of RCTs was evaluated with the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.

Results: Only one RCT treating 21 patients with Crohn’s disease and herbal cannabis was identified. The study revealed no significant differences of remission rate because of low statistical power. However, there was a clear tendency for less abdominal pain and improved appetite with medical cannabis. The methodological risk of the study was high. Furthermore, results of two RCTs investigating synthetic cannabis in IBD and chronic pancreatitis, respectively, have not yet been released. No RCT for IBS was found. Several case reports described cannabis-induced acute pancreatitis.

Conclusions: Cannabis may be useful for symptom relief in Crohn’s disease such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. However, studies with high methodological quality, sufficient sample size, and study duration are mandatory to determine potential therapeutic effects and risks of cannabis in gastroenterology. Currently, use of tetrahydrocannabinol to alleviate symptoms such as pain and appetite loss in Crohn’s disease should only be considered in individual patients after failure of established medical therapies and only after careful risk-benefit assessment.

Keywords: Cannabis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Irritable bowel syndrome; Pancreatitis, chronic; Randomized controlled trials.


CBD For IBS: Fewer Spasmodic Episodes


For all the studies on IBS and the individuals living with this condition, medical professionals still don’t concur on the one reason behind IBS. In a few cases, it may be completely dietary. In others, it may be stress-related. Most cases see some combination of the two.

While we don’t have one single explanation as a cause, the side effects of IBS are all-inclusive: bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. It’s these symptoms that cause the most difficulty for individuals suffering from this condition.

When patients use CBD oils or concentrate to alleviate their IBS,  we see something fascinating. Cannabidiol for IBS interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the GI tract, relaxing the tissue. This prompts far fewer spasmodic episodes and far less discomfort.


Stimulating Appetite


As a medical condition, IBS is particularly diabolical in that it reduces your appetite by making you nauseated. This prompts patients to stop eating periodically, and when they do get their appetite back, they tend to overeat. The second they gorge, their IBS will generally erupt again.


It’s an endless cycle, and with no plan of action to stop it, many people live with these symptoms consistently. You can attempt to relieve the effects of something like this with over-the-counter meds, yet these will generally be ineffectual. Nausea medications don’t normally do a lot to promote a healthy appetite. What’s more, forcing yourself to overeat is an inexact science that regularly circles directly back around to causing IBS flare-ups.

In clinical trials on the link between CBD oil and IBS, the oils are demonstrated to be effective at suppressing nausea and promoting a solid appetite. This makes it an invaluable weapon in the battle against your IBS symptoms.


Assists With Managing Pain


IBS is an incredibly uncomfortable condition to live with. It’s something that can develop from bad eating habits, yet the effect of these habits is often underestimated. We make mistakes with our eating regimen – then we go excessively far in one direction or the other to try and correct it; afterward, we’re left to deal with bloating, pain, and discomfort.

What can help is knowing you have a dependable pain reliever close by to help you when symptoms flare up. CBD is well-known for its pain-relieving properties in numerous other pharmaceuticals. Alongside alleviating nausea, CBD serves to reduce inflammation and uncomfortable bloating.

Reducing these symptoms in IBS patients gives them back their daily lives, meaning that when pain erupts, they have a way to relieve it. The moment they feel uncomfortable, they can do something about it.

IBS can be debilitating. Numerous patients resign themselves to live with pain and discomfort their whole lives since they haven’t found anything that works. With a properly measured CBD dose for IBS, the appropriate response is quantifiable and effective.


Reduced Intestinal Inflammation


As already mentioned, CBD oils and CBD gummies help counteract painful intestinal inflammation.

Gut inflammation, for reasons unknown, is directed by two significant processes. The first triggers an autoimmune reaction in the gut to kill destructive microorganisms. This process, while necessary for protecting you against toxins, can harm your intestinal lining. It makes your immune cells assault indiscriminately, working against your body instead of for it.

In the second process, the inflammation reaction is shut down through uncommon particles in movement over the gut’s epithelial. This reaction utilizes a naturally-produced atom known as endocannabinoids, which you may have heard about in connection to CBD.

When patients with IBS use CBD oils, endocannabinoids calm gut inflammation. This is similar to using cannabis for IBS, with the added benefit of CBD being completely non-psychoactive.


Improved Intestinal Motility


As referenced at the beginning of this article, IBS is a condition with numerous causes. No two individuals ever experience it the same way. Physical components can come into play in different combinations. One factor playing a major role in the symptoms of numerous individuals’ IBS is the issue of stress.

Stress can trigger an overexpression of acetylcholine in the vagus nerve. This can result from basic stress, and may frequently prompt hypermotility, where food moves excessively fast through the patient’s GI tract. This leads to IBS flare-ups in many individuals and can cause dehydration, poor digestion, and impaired supplement absorption.

Elevating your body’s cannabinoid intake has been shown to inhibit these hypermotility states, which brings us back to CBD. By consistent using products like this, patients may increase endocannabinoid levels in the gut. This increases acetylcholine by activating the CB1 receptor. This helps ease the body back into the proper process of digesting food slowly, halting loose bowels.


There is currently no cure for IBS, attempts are made to try to manage the symptoms, usually in the form of dietary changes.

Research suggests that the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD), the powerful, non-intoxicating compound from the cannabis plant may offer a safe, natural remedy to help manage the symptoms of IBS.

What Amount Of CBD Oil Would Be Good For Me To Take For IBS?

Some people take 50 mg of CBD per day, while others need more or less. The dose also depends on the form of CBD you’re taking. As we mentioned, CBD oil and suppositories are the most popular for people with IBS, but the dose for each form varies significantly.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work For IBS?

These conditions include fibromyalgia, IBS, PTSD, chronic pain, anxiety, Parkinson’s, and sleep disorders. The answer to this question is simple, yet complex; many users report feeling immediate benefits to their condition after dosing – in as little as 15-20 minutes.

What Form Of CBD Should I Use?

CBD comes in many forms. You can purchase oils, tinctures, capsules, suppositories, and isolates.

When it comes to IBS, the most well-known forms of CBD to use are oils, capsules, and suppositories.

CBD oils and capsules are very easy to take, store well for long periods of time, and can be precisely dosed.

Suppositories have the benefit of delivering the CBD directly to the affected region. This is best for extreme IBS-D (more on this below); however, it can also provide benefits for different types of IBS.


What Amount Of CBD Should I Take?


Dosing CBD can be done by trial and error since it influences everyone differently.

Some people take 50 mg of CBD every day, while others need more.

The dosage also depends on the type of CBD you’re taking. As we mentioned, CBD oil and suppositories are most commonly used for individuals with IBS, yet the dosage for each type varies.

Peruse our CBD dosing chart to find an ideal starting dose for oils or capsules.


Here’s a chart according to weight, desired quality, and mg of CBD:

Weight (lbs) High Strength Medium Strength Low Strength
100 lbs 60 mg 30 mg 10 mg
125 lbs 75 mg 38 mg 13 mg
150 lbs 90 mg 45 mg 15 mg
175 lbs 105 mg 52 mg 17 mg
200 lbs nat mg 60 mg 20 mg
225 lbs 135 mg 67 mg 22 mg
250 lbs 150 mg 75 mg 25 mg




It will likely take about two or three weeks of regular CBD use before you start noticing any real benefits for your IBS symptoms.

If using CBD suppositories, it’s best to follow the specific instructions listed by the supplier on the packaging. Concentrations can vary from one CBD suppository to the next.

that makes individuals high – and CBD.that makes individuals high – and CBD.

Azriel Adelberg
About Azriel Adelberg

MSc Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley An Israeli born organic chemist and PROUD University of California, Berkeley graduate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *