Can CBD Help With IBS?

Amanda Russell

We know that everybody poops (yes, we said that), but more people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome than you may think. Many struggle with IBS and simultaneously it is one of the least understood disorders. In fact, IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States and is estimated to affect 10-15% of the population worldwide. The cause of IBS is unknown and is different from person to person. Due to this, there is a wide variety of treatment plans but this is trial and error from person to person and can lead to frustration.

As those that suffer from this disorder continue to exhaust all forms of treatment, CBD for IBS has emerged as another way to help treat symptoms associated with this disorder. Like all forms of treatment for IBS, there is no true “cure” and it may include multiple changes to your diet and regimen.

For our IBS sufferers, we have provided a Special Coupon! Use Coupon Code: IBS20 for 20% off your entire order!

What is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is technically defined as “a common disorder that affects the large intestine. Signs and symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, constipation, or both. This is a chronic condition that needs to be managed long-term.”

IBS diagram - what it affects

What Causes IBS?

No one knows the exact cause of IBS. However, we can consider some factors. First being inflammation in the intestines. Depending on the type of IBS that you suffer from (more on that later), you may be experiencing an increased number of immune-system cells in your intestines. Another factor could be muscle contractions in the intestine. If your contractions are stronger and last longer than normal it can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea. On the other hand, weak contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools. If the bacteria in your gut has changed, that could also cause IBS.

Another potential cause would be an abnormality in the nervous and digestive system. If the signals from the brain to the intestine are not coordinated, it can cause the body to overreact which will lead to these changes and symptoms associated with IBS. Finally, any type of bacterial or viral infection could also be a factor of IBS. However, as we said, there is not a known precise cause. These are all speculated factors as everyone tries to learn more about this disorder.

What Are the Types of IBS and Symptoms?

Depending on the main bowel problem that you suffer from, there are three types of IBS conditions. These are IBS-D (diarrhea), IBS-C (constipation), and IBS-M (mixed type). Although some symptoms occur across the board with each type of IBS, the types of bowel movements link to the type of IBS that you suffer from. 

Symptoms of IBS can range from mild to severe from person to person. Most IBS sufferers experience irregular bowel movements, abdominal pain and cramping, gas and bloating food intolerance and sensitivities, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and headache, and backache.

Common Forms of Treatment For IBS

So, if IBS is so common why isn’t there a cure? This is the tricky part. Treatment for IBS is different from person to person dependent on the type of problems they are experiencing and the severity of symptoms. However, the first step in helping to treat IBS starts with dietary and lifestyle changes. 

  • Diet & Lifestyle Changes - A healthy diet is essential to seeing improved relief of symptoms. Depending on the severity of symptoms, there are changes in the diet that can be made. The common diet linked to helping with this disorder is the FODMAP diet. By eliminating processed and sugary foods, it can help to improve gut health and promote healthy stools. Some also recommend to avoid high-gas foods and gluten. Additionally, having a daily routine and life balance can greatly improve your overall health. Incorporating a daily exercise can help with the digestive tract and be a great stress-reliever.
  • Medications - Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend different medicinal alternatives. This will be dependent on the types of symptoms you experience as well. For constipation, you may be directed to fiber supplements, laxatives, and other pain medications. On the other hand, if you experience diarrhea, a doctor may prescribe anti-diarrheal medication or anticholinergic medication. If your IBS is extremely severe, you could be prescribed medication specifically for IBS.
  • Alternative Medicine - There are many different types of alternative forms of medicine that some people attempt. This includes anything from hypnosis and acupuncture, to probiotics and forms of stress reduction.

CBD & The Endocannabinoid System

Now, where does CBD fit in to help treat IBS? First, we’d like to say that there is no silver bullet in the treatment of IBS. CBD has promising components to help to relieve symptoms, but as there is no cure, it is important to recognize that CBD will need to couple with proper diet and lifestyle changes to effectively see a difference. Before explaining how CBD may help with IBS, it’s important to understand the science behind why it can help. This all starts by learning more about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the human body and how CBD works in conjunction. 

Every human body has an Endocannabinoid System. This system helps to regulate the body and contains two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the nervous system and other organs, while CB2 receptors are in the immune system bones and other organs. Your body naturally produces cannabinoids that help to keep this system operating smoothly. However, naturally, due to stress and diet change, the ECS system can get thrown out of whack.


Taking additional cannabinoids in the form of CBD can help to keep things balanced and running smoothly. This is where everything ties together in how CBD can help to relieve symptoms that may occur from issues with the intestinal or nervous system. Learn more about the ECS system and CBD in our education guide. As research begins on the link between CBD and IBS, results suggest that people with IBS have an endocannabinoid deficiency. CBD in the body adds more cannabinoids and can help to even out these levels, therefore helping to relieve associated symptoms.

CBD is an anti-inflammatory which would be able to provide relief for those who suffer from constipation. Additionally, CBD slows muscle contraction in the digestive tract which is likely to help those who suffer from IBS-D. In a 2011 study on rats, it was found that cannabidiol reduced intestinal inflammation.

Additionally, many of those that suffer from IBS further worsen symptoms by stress or anxiety directly caused by issues going to the bathroom. Studies show that CBD can help to manage anxiety symptoms, therefore helping to ultimately worsen IBS symptoms.

CBD for IBS Testimonial

While there are many sharing their successes of CBD as a form of treatment for IBS, there is one testimony in particular that we’d like to share. Jody, a registered dietician nutritionist, provides nutritional counseling to her clients but discovered CBD when looking to find treatment for her son. When Jody’s teenage son suffered from a concussion from playing hockey, he began to develop digestive symptoms and was experiencing inflammation and damage to his esophagus and lungs. He had experimented and was unsuccessful with various medications until they considered the opportunity to try CBD oil. “Within a couple of weeks, Jody noticed her son’s appetite surge and he wasn’t vomiting anymore. He slowly transitioned to the kid he was before the concussion.”

Ways to Use CBD

Before diving into some of the recommended ways to take CBD to help with IBS symptoms, it’s important to note that if you’re currently on any medications to treat these symptoms you talk to your doctor before switching to CBD. The most popular options of CBD products are oils, capsules, and suppositories. To learn more about proper dosage, refer to this helpful dosage guide.

Product Recommendations

For our IBS sufferers, we have provided a Special Coupon! Use Coupon Code: IBS20 for 20% off your entire order!


If you are someone that suffers from IBS, don’t feel alone. Now’s the time to take control of your symptoms and find a treatment plan that fits your needs. If you ever have any questions about CBD use for IBS, product recommendations, or questions about CBD in general — give us a shout! Our team is always eager to help with any of your needs.

Can CBD Help With IBS?
CBD for IBS is a potential treatment to help the millions suffering from IBS. Learn and shop for relief at The Green Dragon CBD.
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Can CBD Help With IBS?
September 11, 2023
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