CBD can alter the human gut, researchers have found, but they don’t yet know if these changes are beneficial or damaging to our long-term health.
The human gut is a complex part of the human body, and researchers are only just starting to uncover how much it affects human health.
Numerous studies, however, have demonstrated that a gut with a diverse variety of bacteria is associated with a healthier heart and lower risk of diseases, including diabetes type 2.
The bacteria in our guts is affected by many variants, including our diet, levels of exercise, even the air we breathe.
But despite CBD’s popularity, a group of researchers from the University of Arkansas say there’s very little research on its safety for long-term human ingestion.
‘Recent product quality surveys imply that CBD exposure from commercially available dosage forms may either be enhanced or lessened due to discrepancies between product label claims and actual CBD content,’ their paper states.
‘In addition, several phytocannabinoids have been shown to possess potent antibacterial properties.
Taken together, these elements prompted us to investigate the effects of prolonged CRCE administration on gut toxicology and ecology.’
The researchers set out to determine how CBD may affect our guts, and in turn, our general health.
They gave doses of CBD-rich cannabis extracts to mice in sesame oil, and found that it affected the mice’s guts.
Specifically, it led to a decline in the bacterial species, A. finegoldii, which is associated with several fermentation processes in the human gut, across all groups of mice.
This raises concerns, the researchers state, for the potential untoward effects CBD might have on the gut microbiome.
This is especially concerning for patients receiving CBD as a treatment, they add, since clinical doses are around four times higher than the doses used in this study.
Reductions in gut bacteria diversity, coupled with significant increases in A. muciniphila, which is considered a probiotic, might have negative repercussions for gut health, they write, as declines in this bacteria have been reported in patients with obesity and diabetes.
The paper, ‘Potential probiotic or trigger of gut inflammation’,published in the new issue of the Journal of Dietary Supplements, titled ‘Cannabidiol and Other Cannabinoids: From Toxicology and Pharmacology to Development of a Regulatory Pathway’, states that CBD causes ‘complex’ responses in the gut microbiome
But these consequences, they add, may be favourable or detrimental.
Increases of A. muciniphila can be considered beneficial, but on the other hand, increases in A. muciniphila are at the expense of other bacterial species.
The researchers also noticed several pro-inflammatory responses in the mice, which they say raises concerns about the potential long-term effects of CBD on human health.
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