As a health provider, you already know the importance of gut health and the role of bacteria and enzymes in the gut but have you ever considered how this relates to cannabis? What should you know about probiotics and cannabis? Is there a collaborative process with cannabis and probiotics? Can cannabis improve your patient’s digestive experience?
These questions are crucial for every healthcare provider because of the evolutionary stages of the healthcare sector. At first and for the longest time, we relied on traditional medicine and then evolved into new drug forms, but now the future is tilting towards plants and herbs, of which cannabis is at the core of the discovery.
Cannabis is on the rise, and with various products released from the same plant backed by animal-based research, health providers are beginning to see the possibilities it holds. There is a new mindset with healthcare providers towards more traditional yet effective antibiotic treatments for gut health, and it is all because of the effectiveness of cannabis.
To understand the role of cannabis, we must first consider the organisms in the gut area. Microbiomes are organisms in the gut that improve its health, and there are different collections of microorganisms within the gut’s inner walls. There are also two types of good bacteria:
The first type is prebiotics with basis on the health benefits of plant fiber. This first category acts as an enabler that stimulates bacteria’s growth, which supports digestion in the gut.
The second type is probiotics, which are live bacteria or yeasts from fermented food. Probiotics are different from prebiotics because they contain live organisms (lots of bacterial microorganisms that help create a balance for the healthy microbes. Yogurt is the most common probiotic food with active cultures as it is fermented milk with different types of bacteria. There are also other fermented foods, such as the famous Korean Kimchi. Probiotics is the focus here.
Healthcare companies manufacture probiotics as supplements, but before recommending them to patients, two things are crucial. The first is the fact that there are numerous probiotic supplements available in the pharmaceutical space, and secondly, the concentration levels for the supplements are quite complex. More so, probiotics are not a ‘Quick” fix for a gastrointestinal condition, so health workers must recommend the most suitable probiotic for the patient’s gastrointestinal problem.
According to research, a gut-endocannabinoid axis exists, and it functions as the intersection between the gut barrier and intestinal permeability, which improves with the addition of probiotic bacteria. The reaction in the gut-endocannabinoid happens because of the increase in some endocannabinoid concomitant while others decrease.
So the interactions between the microorganisms in the gut and the endocannabinoids determine the gut area’s health. If this interaction is compromised, the integrity of the gut barrier will be in question, resulting in poor health. This point is where cannabis comes in as it connects the gut microbiome and endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis can boost both gut barrier and intestinal function, thus improving probiotic bacteria’s addition: the right cannabis dose can improve gut health. As countries legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use, the research explores the potentials of the therapeutic effects of cannabis on diseases like gastrointestinal health challenges.
The evidence from research shows that cannabis is useful for gastrointestinal disorders, and how do we know this? The presence of endogenous cannabinoids, synthetic and degradative enzymes, and receptors in the gut makes it easy for cannabis to be effective. These gut aspects comprise the endocannabinoid system with a central function; to control the tissue homeostasis, nausea, hunger, and even intestinal motor.
Therefore, it is possible to use cannabinoid-derived pharmaceutical substances (like cannabis) to treat gut-related pathologies. Probiotics work effectively when cannabis is introduced to work with the gut microbiome and the endocannabinoid system. The psychoactive component of cannabis offers a therapeutic and preventive measure against developing a weak gut microbiome.
Through clinical studies, we know that some average over the counter probiotic supplement doesn’t improve the gut’s diversity. Still, with cannabis, probiotics can positively aid probiotic colonization, thereby increasing a healthy gut regimen.
How to help patients choose the right cannabis product to supplement probiotics for gut health
When ready to use CBD with probiotics for the gut, please ensure to encourage patients to purchase cannabis products that are the right fit for their wellness goals. For example, full-spectrum CBD oil contains THC. THC has CB1 receptors, thus making it ideal for improving gut challenges like constipation. If you have been experiencing diarrhea or weight gain issues, you will need to reduce the CB1 receptors and get THC-free products.
How to help patients choose the right probiotics to collaborate with cannabis for gut health
As a health provider, you should encourage and help patients choose their probiotics as every microbiome is peculiar. Many patients don’t need the bacteria strain through over-the-counter probiotics. So what you can do is ensure that you personalize each person’s gut diagnosis so that you know how to recommend food and probiotics. Some microbiome testing companies have added a technological feature in their testing kit that enables health providers to figure out the problematic bacteria in the gut and develop the right kind of probiotic-rich food for the patient.
CBD and probiotics make it possible for an individual to achieve excellent gut health, especially as the future of health evolves. You, the health providers, are at the center of this evolution. Everybody’s gut biome is different, and it is the job of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors to communicate gut issues. So when patients work with CBD and probiotics, they create a gut biome that collaborates with healthy bacteria in the gut.
However, health providers must be mindful of how they prescribe cannabis to patients to boost gut health even as the patients take probiotics. Simply put, probiotics and cannabis seek to do the same thing: to strengthen gut health, but if the cannabis dosage is not right, it can ruin probiotics’ efforts in improving gut health.