The medical and health communities are all abuzz about the gut microbiome. What of its effect on your cannabis delivery? According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the gut microbiome weighs a whopping six pounds. It comprises trillions of microbes, viruses, and bacteria all thriving inside your stomach. These organisms influence bodily functions and are now the subject of research worldwide.
Understanding the Gut Microbiome
With the gut microbiome proving crucial for health, its relationship to cannabinoids, another medical breakthrough, comes under the scope. The gut refers to the gastrointestinal tract, an area starting at the esophagus and ending at your rear end. It is home to trillions of organisms, from fungi to bacteria, viruses, and everything else between, even neurons. Your gut microbiome is an ecosystem all its own.
When balanced, the relationship between these microbes is symbiotic, all working together to aid each other. According to Harvard, together they regulate immune health, break down toxins, synthesize nutrients, and more. They also strengthen the gut barrier, a semi-permeable membrane that absorbs nutrients and prevents pathogens from entering.
However, where there are imbalances, there can be problems. Gut dysbiosis refers to an unhappy microbiome, often caused by low fiber diets high in sugar, fat, alcohol and residual pesticides. Unchecked, this dysbiosis can lead to severe gastrointestinal issues, such as inflammatory bowel or Crohn’s diseases. From there, it just gets worse.
As explained in the British Medical Journal, when microbial diversity is low in the gut, the risk for obesity rises. An imbalanced microbiome can also cause chronic anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. It could even play a role in the development of autism. However, a healthy microbiome supports improved behavior, cognition, brain development, and it promotes sound mental health.
Role of the Gut Microbiome
With the gut microbiome housing hundreds of millions of neurons too, even a nerve direct to the brain and other organs, its role in health is proving immense. Its effects are not limited to the stomach, but influence its surroundings significantly. It exerts enormous influence on brain processes. Vice versa too, the bidirectional flow of which is, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the gut-brain axis.
This two-way communication is fundamental to a variety of diverse functions. It plays huge roles in making decisions, emotions, thinking, and gastrointestinal health. For example, that nervous feeling before a big presentation, performance or event is due that gut-brain connection. It is the butterflies in your tummy, your loss of appetite when upset. It is so much more than that too, science is now learning.
The Gut Microbiome and the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system is an important system of the body with responsibility for regulating a variety of bodily responses, such as pain, mood, stress, emotion, appetite, and more. Endocannabinoids occur naturally, with specific receptors and enzymes throughout the body. They are central to balancing the gut microbiome and regulating crucial gut processes. In this way, they keep the microbiome healthy.
However, the gut microbiome also affects the endocannabinoid system. A 2020 mouse study published in Nature found a dysbiotic gut unbalancing the endocannabinoid system. The mice began displaying depressive behaviors. Because the endocannabinoid system also regulates the brain-gut axis, they can keep each other healthy. A balanced gut boosts healthy endocannabinoid function and improved mood.
Effect of Cannabis on Gut Microbiome
Evidence is growing to support the role of cannabis in boosting a healthy gut environment, communication to and from the brain, and gut health overall. Cannabinoids in cannabis interact with endocannabinoid receptors in much the same way as endocannabinoids do. For centuries, it has been a popular treatment for gastrointestinal issues, from diarrhea to nausea, cramps, vomiting, and pain.
Furthermore, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, protects against obesity by manipulating the gut microbiome. After receiving THC, obese mice in a study retained a balanced microbiome. None became obese. THC also lowered obesity symptoms, such as gut permeability, or leakage into the bloodstream, and gut inflammation. The microbiome of a cannabis user has fewer obesity-related bacteria.
As Science Direct says, this could explain why weed lovers have a lower likelihood of obesity, despite THC invoking severe “munchies,” where one can eat in one sitting enough for days. Cannabis might also treat substance abuse disorders, such as alcoholism, that seriously harm the gut microbiome. Alcohol inflames the gut, suppresses immune cells, and stimulates the overgrowth of dangerous bacteria.
All of this harm can also contribute to gut permeability, the dreaded “leaky gut,” on a large scale too. In these cases, bacteria and other gut organisms seep into the bloodstream, along with waste toxins and, in severe cases, even food. Authors of the study concluded that cannabidiol, or CBD, and cannabis overall, effectively reduces gut inflammation, improves gut permeability, and regulates gut bacteria.
What the Science Says
In one study, a preclinical mouse trial, scientists administered a combination of THC and CBD to a group of mice. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, results show these cannabinoids promoting both a healthy gut microbiome and increased levels of immune- and metabolism-boosting fatty acids in the large intestine, as well as better brain-gut communication and a healthy central nervous system.
Weed also contributes to the health of gut and brain in other ways. In one study, it found cannabinoids stabilizing the blood-brain barrier, as well as lowering both neuro- and gut inflammation. Inflammation in either gut or brain can notably affect both brain function and health, and in adverse ways too. The role of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system and the gut microbiome is complex. Still under study.
It is likely that other cannabinoids, minor ones such as cannabigerol and others, might enter the conversation in the very near future. Terpenes too. Both have profound effects on the endocannabinoid and gut microbiome systems. These compounds support homeostasis by providing immune support and regulating stress and inflammatory responses.
As cannabis delivery grows ever more popular because of such findings, it is important to learn cannabinoids. How to make use of them. Search Google for “weed delivery near me” or “weed delivery Los Angeles” to learn more. You can order a variety of strains and products with differing cannabinoids and levels of them. Experimenting with the buzz promises much adventure too.