CBD Oil for Celiac Disease: Benefits, Use and Dosage
This article highlights and discusses the benefits, uses, and dosage of CBD oil for celiac disease.
CBD is extracted alongside THC from cannabis yet their effects on the human body are worlds apart. CBD is recognized around the world 1 for its health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties 2 and ability to alleviate pain 3 As a result, it could be considered an effective treatment for health conditions like celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that makes the intestinal wall reactive to gluten 4 .
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a common autoimmune disease that affects a significant portion of the population. The immune reaction occurs when a person ingests gluten in foods like wheat, rye, and barley. When the affected person eats this protein, his or her immune system responds by attacking the intestinal wall. With critical structures such as villi found all over the small intestines, this condition has the potential to affect one’s health greatly.
Once severe damage occurs to the villi, your small intestines become “malfunctional”, thus making it hard for them to take up nutrients from passing food. This can lead to a condition of malnourishment and in some severe cases to loss of bone density, miscarriages, neurological disorders, and infertility. The other symptoms you should look out for include diarrhea, bloating, excess gas, fatigue, weight loss, iron-deficiency anemia, constipation, an itchy rash, and mouth ulcers. In adults, celiac disease is a bit complicated because it may pave way for other health conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, liver disorders, depression, seizures, and dermatitis herpetiformis 5 .
Why CBD Can Be An Effective Treatment For Celiac Disease
CBD is a natural compound obtained from the Cannabis Sativa L. (also known as hemp). CBD’s ability to effectively interact with the human endocannabinoid system is a contributing factor to its effectiveness when treating celiac disease. This system consists of endocannabinoids, as well as CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which regulate body functions like immunity, sleep, appetite, pain, and mood.
CBD triggers the production of CB1 and CB2, boosting the body’s immune system. It can also help relieve celiac disease symptoms such as pain, inflammation, loss of appetite, and irritation that affect the gastrointestinal tract.
Some patients also complain of nausea, which can lead to appetite and weight loss. CBD oil has anti-nausea properties that will help relieve both nausea and appetite loss and boost the metabolism 6
In most cases, patients opt to use gluten-free meals, a diet that is hard to maintain. Back in 2003, a study on Cannabinoid Receptors in Celiac Disease 7 revealed that cannabinoid receptors in the intestinal tract were more widespread in the untreated patients to those who had been following a gluten-free diet for more than a year. This disocvery led researchers to believe that targeting the cannabinoid receptors can help in relieving the symptoms of celiac disease
Scientifically, CBD has been shown to be an inhibitor of FAAH enzyme, also known as Fatty acid amide hydrolase 8 This enzyme will breakdown anandamide that has neuroprotective properties. By inhibiting FAAH enzyme, CBD thus promotes the anti-inflammatory effects within the intestine.
According to studies, Celiac disease can lead to nerve damage 9 . CBD can be a solution for neuropathy pain 10 , as it has neuroprotective 11 and neurodegenerative 12 properties. Taking CBD oil, can therefore, help repair this damage for better nerve function.
How To Use CBD To Treat Celiac Disease
CBD oil can be used in various ways. Patients mostly prefer the sublingual method where they place a drop of CBD oil on the tongue and allow a minute or so before swallowing.
You can also use CBD Vape pens for vaping the oil, thus making absorption quick and the relief of symptoms faster. If vaping or sublingual use is problematic, you can use CBD capsules because they are easier to ingest.
What Medical Research Says About Using CBD For Celiac Disease
While we explore the potential effects of CBD oil in addressing celiac disease, we must admit that only limited studies focus on this subject. Furthermore, most of the research on CBD Oil and celiac disease has ended up in inconclusive results. In 2011, for instance, the scientific journal PLOS One featured a research by Italian scholars who were determined to evaluate the possibility of reducing intestinal inflammation after using CBD for celiac disease 13 .
According to their findings, they concluded that CBD regulates inflammatory reactions in the intestine. As a result, it prevents intestinal damage, a symptom associated with celiac disease.
Research conducted at the University of Teramo also aimed to analyze the specific attributes of the Endocannabinoid System 14 . Although their findings are inconclusive, the researchers proved a significant correlation between the malfunctions of the endocannabinoid system and the pathogenesis of celiac disease.
Nonetheless, more studies should be done to explore the therapeutic effects of CBD towards easing the symptoms of Celiac disease.
How to correctly dose CBD
There are several factors you have to consider before taking CBD oil. These can include the severity/stage of your condition, as well as how well your body tolerates CBD. While side-effects of CBD oil are rare, there are some, which you should be aware of. Read our CBD oil side-effects guide for more detailed information.
To find the perfect dose of CBD for your specific case, you may have to experiment a bit and look for signs of improvement. A great guide to CBD dosage is the step-up method, developed by L einow & Birnbaum in their book “CBD: A patient’s guide to Medical Cannabis” 15 . The authors recommend starting with a lower dose and slowly increasing it until symptoms improve.
You can find a detailed explanation of the step-up method in our CBD dosage guide.
Benefits of CBD oil for Celiac Disease – Summary
- Fights inflammation
- Relieves (neuropathy ) pain
- Improves appetite
- Calms irritation in the gastrointestinal tract.
Based on the various studies available, it is clear that the relation between CBD oil and celiac disease exists. CBD oil can relieve inflammation in the nervous and immune system in addition to eliminating other symptoms like pain. This will also improve the quality of sleep while improving appetite.
Despite the numerous fruitful benefits of treating celiac disease with CBD oil, it is wise to wait for additional scientific studies to test if the oil can be a reliable relief for celiac disease. Nonetheless, you can manage celiac disease by maintaining a gluten-free diet plan.
CBD for celiac disease
Celiac /coeliac disease is a common autoimmune disease that affects about one in every hundred individuals worldwide. It has the potential to cause severe long-term complications.
If you’ve been wondering whether cannabis and CBD could help treat coeliac disease, here’s everything you need to know.
What is celiac disease?
Also known as celiac sprue, non-tropical sprue, and gluten sensitive enteropathy, this autoimmune disease is based in the small intestine. It causes the body to react to the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley.
How does it affect the body?
When celiac disease isn’t treated it can lead to symptoms such as weight-loss and diarrhea, and in some cases other long-term health problems. Babies growth may be stunted, and pregnant women may find that their baby’s birth weight is lower than average.
When it affects older children and adults, it can cause “brain fog” and a general lack of energy. Celiac can also affect bones, making them weak. This can lead to osteoporosis or even fractures after minor falls or injuries. It can also lead to cancer such as intestinal lymphoma but this is much rarer than most other celiac-related issues.
Untreated patients can be at risk from malnutrition due to the low absorption of nutrients through food. Treating celiac disease right away is therefore very important before any more damage occurs.
Celiac disease symptoms include:
- general malaise
- abdominal pain
- stomach cramps
- Itchy rash
- weight loss
Celiac disease symptoms are often mistaken for other gastrointestinal tract issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. These symptoms are not limited to intestinal abnormalities but also cause neurological problems that include ataxia or weakness of the arms or legs, peripheral neuropathy leading to tingling feelings in the hands and feet, numbness of the legs and arms, headaches, tinnitus or ringing in ears, difficulty with balance and slurred speech.
It is worth mentioning that celiac patients also have a 50% chance of passing on the genetic mutation to their offspring.
Celiac disease can normally be diagnosed with a blood test
How to diagnose celiac disease
Celiac disease can be diagnosed with an antibody blood test, or through a genetic blood test looking for mutations in the genes. In extreme cases a biopsy of the small intestine may be necessary.
Conventional treatments for celiac disease
Conventional treatments for celiac disease are typically aimed at modifying diet. Patients are instructed to avoid eating gluten and carbohydrates that can be converted into gluten. Celiacs need to remain on a gluten-free diet, in order for the symptoms to diminish or disappear.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid that comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. It has no psychoactive effects and does not give users a “high” feeling, which makes it attractive to many consumers who want therapeutic effects but don’t care for the mind-altering side effects that come from THC consumption.
How does CBD work?
CBD works with the body’s endocannabinoid system. When we take CBD oil it affects certain receptors within this system leading to improved well being.
The endocannabinoid system
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors in the brain, immune system, and other parts of the body. It is responsible for regulating a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, hormones, mood and memory. It works through a system of receptors and neurotransmitters
CBD works primarily by interacting with two types of ECS receptor in the brain and body: cannabinoid type I (CB1) and II (CB2).
This interaction helps the ECS to function more effectively, breaking down the neurotransmitters less quickly. As well as this CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and will promote healthy cell growth throughout your body by reducing inflammation while increasing healthy digestive function.
Studies on CBD and cannabis for celiac disease
There are few celiac disease studies that have examined treatment with cannabis or CBD, but the scientific community has produced some encouraging results.
The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology published a study investagating cannabis usage among celiacs.
Over 59% of the survey’s participants said they had used cannabis. Of these, 46% of those without celiac disease reported using it on a regular basis compared to just 6% of diagnosed celiac patients.
However, around 66% of undiagnosed celiacs utilized cannabis on a regular basis, as well as another 51% of non-celiac individuals who avoided gluten.
This implies that individuals may be using marijuana to treat celiac disease before receiving an official diagnosis. However, when people begin to avoid gluten more strictly, the need to medicate may lessen.
Study results suggest that individuals may be using marijuana to treat celiac disease before receiving an official diagnosis
In 2011 an Italian researcher published a study in the scientific journal PLOS assessing the prospect of reducing intestinal inflammation with CBD therapy.
They concluded that CBD inhibits inflammatory responses in the intestine, and protects against intestinal damage, one of the symptoms of celiac disease.
However, more research into the therapeutic potential of CBD in reducing the symptoms of gluten intolerance is definitely needed.
How to use CBD with celiac disease
Many sufferers use CBD to provide relief and manage celiac disease symptoms.
CBD can be ingested in a number of ways, including through capsules, vaping or oil taken under the tongue.
This makes it easy to take CBD alongside celiac medications.
CBD oil capsules are small and easily swallowed, unlike other forms of the product which can be difficult for people with celiac disease who find swallowing difficult or uncomfortable.
Vaping is another way to use CBD, as heating the product turns it into a vapor that can be inhaled using an e-cigarette device. This method may also help reduce any digestive issues associated with ingesting CBD orally.
CBD oil comes in many different strengths, and forms such as Full Spectrum and Broad Spectrum. It is best taken sublingually (under the tongue) as it enters the blood stream more quickly via the mucous membranes we have there.
The advantage of CBD oil is that it remains in the system for some 6-8 hours, meaning that taking 3 times a day can give 24 hour relief.
If you have celiac disease please always speak to your doctor first before taking these CBD products/methods mentioned in this post.
The benefits of using CBD for celiac with a gluten free diet
Using CBD for celiac disease along with a gluten free diet appears to offer many great benefits:
- improved mood
- reduction in symptoms
- increase of appetite
- relief of celiac pain
- increase in energy levels
Obviously a reduction in symptoms is going to put you in a better mood because your body isn’t dealing with the physical stress of the celiac diseases’ onslaught on your stomach’s lining.
Using CBD along with a gluten free diet may result in a reduction of symptoms and improved mood
There are no studies on the correct dosage for celiac so it’s best to take small doses at first, observe how your body responds, then gradually increase until you find what works best.
Some people find relief with as little as 5mg a day, so start low and increase it until you find the minimum effective dose.
There is no clear maximum dose, in fact many studies have involved participants taking 300 – 500 mg a day, but it is always best to aim for maximum effect from minimum dosage.
Other ways CBD can help people suffering from gluten intolerance or other autoimmune disorders
CBD can also help celiacs by reducing:
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
For some celiac sufferers who experience neuropathy or nerve damage, the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis can be especially helpful.
Side effects of CBD
CBD has generally been found to be a safe and beneficial supplement for celiac patients who are following a celiac diet. However there are certain side effects that it is good to be aware of.
The most common include:
Other ways to treat celiac disease – diet, medication, and surgery
The best way to control celiac is through diet. This will help to maintain it in remission and prevent any flare-ups. The ideal diet needs to be gluten free, low in lactose, high in fibre, and include enough calories. The goal is to get patients to eat as much varied food as possible while avoiding the foods they cannot eat.
A gluten-free diet does not work for everyone with celiac disease. Some people have symptoms even when they eat gluten free or stick to their “safe” foods list.
Alternative ways of treating celiac might include medication such as anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress immunity in your intestines so it can start making healthy tissue again without getting attacked by your body’s antibodies.
Surgery for celiac disease is an option when medications are no longer effective, or if they cannot be used. It can help both children and adults who have severe symptoms despite following a strict gluten-free diet.
How long should you use CBD before seeing results and how much should you take each day?
Many celiac patients report that cannabis helps ease the symptoms of celiac disease. But before you can understand how long it will take for CBD to work, and what dose is right for your body, you might need a little bit more information about celiac disease itself.
How long will It take?
The effects of most medicines are not immediate because they involve chemical processes in our bodies—including ones we know very little about. For example, scientists still don’t completely understand all the ways THC (the psychoactive part of marijuana) affects us; but studies show that some people feel its anti-nausea benefits almost immediately while others do not experience any effect until several hours later, or even after several doses have been tried over time.
How can I find out if CBD is right for me, or my loved one with celiac disease?
It is always a good idea to talk to a medical professional before taking CBD oil for celiac disease, or any issue involving the intestinal tract, digestive system, or the body’s immune system. They can advise you of dosage and also ensure that there could be no issue with your current medical regime.
Eat a healthy balanced diet, high in fibre and low in processed foods and gluten
Ways to reduce the risk of developing celiac disease
There are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of celiac disease. These include: