Research Studies on CBD & IBS

Research Studies on CBD & IBS

As research on hemp compounds continues to expand, scientists have suggested that CBD may benefit those struggling with IBS. Given that IBS affects up to 15% of the population, such discoveries have attracted the attention of both scientists and customers seeking natural options for relief. 

But what do scientists have to say about CBD for IBS? How is CBD suggested to benefit IBS, and what products could help you embrace these benefits? Read on to learn everything you need to know about CBD for IBS related pain, stress, and more.

How CBD Helps IBS: The Endocannabinoid System

CBD produces its benefits by regulating the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a vast network of neurotransmitters and receptors that spreads throughout the body and brain, and it’s responsible for regulating a variety of bodily functions, including GI health.

CBD works by binding with cannabinoid receptors in the ECS, where it  interacts with CB2 receptors located in the immune system and digestive tract. By interacting with these receptors, CBD helps to regulate processes involved in digestion, pain, inflammation, gut motility, stress, and more. CBD works with the ECS to balance these processes, and in doing so, it could help IBS patients manage their symptoms in a variety of ways. 

Read on to learn more about how these benefits manifest themselves, according to researchers and cutting-edge scientific studies.

Could Cannabinoid Deficiency Contribute to IBS?

Our body produces its own, naturally-occurring cannabinoids--known as endocannabinoids--that have the same molecular structure as phytocannabinoids such as CBD. These endocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in order to regulate the body’s various physiological processes, including GI health. 

When ingested, CBD interacts with these receptors to reinforce balance and restore proper function. In fact, some researchers have suggested that symptoms of IBS could be exacerbated by a deficiency in the body’s own naturally-occurring endocannabinoids due to factors such as stress, diet, and sleeping habits. 
Luckily, CBD can replenish the body’s supply, fulfilling the function of endocannabinoids when our body’s natural store is running low. By replenishing our cannabinoid levels, CBD may provide benefits for IBS, studies suggest.


Studies suggest that CBD’s benefits for IBS could derive from its anti-inflammatory properties, with researchers stating that its ability to reduce inflammation could help it target underlying causes of IBS and associated symptoms.

Gut Motility

Studies have also suggested that CBD could help with key symptoms of IBS such as diarrhea and other forms of digestive dysfunction or discomfort. In the same 2011 study, researchers found that CBD may also influence colonic motility. Another, similar 2013 study reinforced these findings, suggesting CBD influenced colonic motility and gut transit by binding with CB receptors in the GI tract. At the study’s end, researchers found that CBD improved IBS symptoms after 24 hours, though results varied based on the genetic makeup of study participants.

CBD for IBS Pain

Other studies have found that CBD may help with symptoms related to IBS such as pain. Researchers in these studies have turned to the importance of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in modulating GI function. Since CBD interacts with and reinforces the health of the ECS, researchers suggest it has especially promising potential for aiding in the management of undesirable GI symptoms.

Mediating the Relationship Between IBS and Stress

Many studies suggest that stress can be a contributing factor to IBS, with the World Journal of Gastroenterology reporting that an estimated 40-60% of individuals with IBS struggle with stress (2014). According to studies on the subject, stress may trigger IBS symptoms, while inversely, IBS symptoms can be a source of stress for those afflicted.

CBD may indirectly benefit those with IBS by reducing stress, with many studies showing that when ingested, CBD and other cannabinoids can curb stress and anxiety.

What CBD Products Can Help with IBS?  Exploring CBD and CBG for Gut Health

Studies on the benefits of CBD for IBS have focused on ingestible forms of CBD. This means that if you’re looking for help managing related symptoms, your best bet may be using CBD tinctures or gummies that work by traveling through the digestive tract. 

Full spectrum CBD products, which contain trace, non-intoxicating amounts of THC, may be especially helpful for those with IBS. This is because THC is thought to interact with CB2 receptors in the GI tract especially powerfully, and because together, CBD and THC produce enhanced benefits known as the “entourage effect.” 

Whether or not you choose to use full spectrum CBD, you might also consider adding CBG gummies to your gut health routine. Recent studies have shown that CBG--another hemp-derived cannabinoid offered by Proleve--may have promising benefits for those struggling with inflammatory GI conditions. 

Though research on CBD and IBS is still in its early stages, results so far have been promising. And if you’re looking for an all-natural way to strengthen your gut, Proleve is here with a wide variety of products that harness the benefits of hemp for digestive health. Ready to take control of your GI health? Shop our line of all-natural tinctures, gummies, and other CBD and CBG products for digestive health.