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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful and uncomfortable disorder that affects many people. Could CBD oil be the IBS treatment you’ve been looking for?

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be a debilitating, crippling condition, and traditional treatments are often frustratingly ineffective. Many people suffering with symptoms of IBS are turning to all-natural alternatives.

The good news? Multiple scientific studies are pointing to the use of CBD for irritable bowel syndrome relief.

IBS can cause incredible disruption to the lives of those who have it. Symptoms can include: abdominal pain and cramping, excessive gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and an urgent need to have a bowel movement.

Keep in mind, the information presented on this page is intended to serve only as an informational guide and should not be interpreted as medical advice.

Effectiveness of Using CBD Oil to Help with IBS

Using CBD oil for irritable bowel syndrome can be incredibly helpful to all sufferers, but particularly to those who’ve had a difficult time finding relief through the traditional methods mentioned above.

In a 2008 review, neurologist Ethan Russo, suggested that irritable bowel syndrome is the result of clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD). Individuals with CECD produce fewer amounts of cannabinoids than is considered necessary for healthy functioning; the endocannabinoid system plays a role in appetite, digestion, immune regulation, mood, sleep, and pain regulation. The endocannabinoid system relies on the presence of cannabinoids to function properly.

When external cannabinoids like CBD are introduced to someone with CECD via products like CBD oil, they can stimulate the endocannabinoid receptors and help return the digestive tract to a state of homeostasis. This ultimately aids in reducing the abdominal pain and intestinal inflammation associated with conditions like IBS.

A 2007 scientific review demonstrated how highly impactful cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the gastrointestinal tract can be when it comes to regulating intestinal inflammation. Certain cannabis-derived products can help activate these cannabinoid receptors in the GI tract, in turn reducing or putting a stop to gastrointestinal inflammation. CBD oil has been proven to have an indirect effect on the activation of both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

Note that the above review is about IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) not IBS. While inflammation plays a role in both conditions, they are not the same and should not be confused.

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Finally, a 2011 study found CBD to be an effective agent in helping to reduce intestinal inflammation caused by the presence of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), which are found in high levels in people who have diarrhea caused by IBD. So, if you’re suffering from irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), you might consider trying CBD oil to mitigate your symptoms.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil to Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Substantial lifestyle changes, like adjustments to eating habits and diet, are the most common recommendations for IBS sufferers. In many instances these recommendations provide relief but it could be limited, as people may stray away from their prescribed diets. When dietary recommendations fail to help or just aren’t practical, medical professionals often turn to medications like antispasmodics, laxatives, antimotility medications, and even low-dose antidepressants to reduce gastrointestinal pain and cramping.

Unfortunately, you can experience any number of side effects including nausea, bloating, or even difficulty breathing when using a more traditional treatment method for your IBS. And because the exact causes of IBS are unknown and its severity ranges widely amongst those diagnosed with the condition, it can be difficult to find one catch-all treatment option to help relieve the inflammatory symptoms associated with IBS.  

The need for a safer, more effective, and natural treatment has never been stronger for people with irritable bowel syndrome. Enter CBD oil.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. The most commonly known and discussed cannabinoids are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is most commonly associated with the “high” sensation people get after smoking or consuming marijuana products. CBD, on the other hand, does not have any intoxicating effects, meaning it delivers a range of health benefits without leaving the user with decreased mental and physical abilities.

CBD works indirectly on endocannabinoid receptors in the body, producing positive results for the treatment of pain, inflammation, anxiety, and some especially hard-to-treat ailments like multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When it comes to IBS, CBD oil may be useful in conjunction with medications you’re already taking however you should always speak with your doctor because CBD has been shown to interact with certain prescription medications, including antidepressants.

How to Take CBD Oil for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

When taking CBD oil for IBS, it’s best to use an oral delivery method but the exact one you choose is up to you. Whether you choose drops, edibles (e.g. gummies), shatter, or capsules, for example, will come down to your personal preferences. Drops and shatter will typically be the most potent form of CBD you can take, but may also have a different effect on your body than a less-potent CBD gummy bear. It’s best to try out a few different types of CBD-infused edibles so you can best decide which method is best for you.

Before taking CBD, or deciding which delivery method is best for you, consult your physician. If you have questions that cannot be answered by your regular healthcare professional, consider consulting a cannabis doctor to learn more about potential drug interactions and dosing.

It is important to understand that there is no standard dose for CBD oil. Because all people are different, there will be some variation in the amount needed to find relief. For more information about CBD dosing, you can check out our dosing page.

As a starting point, we here at CBD Oil Review have analyzed hundreds of products and come up with a standard serving suggestion:

The CBD Oil Review Serving Standard is 25mg of CBD, taken twice daily.

If you are not getting your desired results from this amount, we recommend increasing the serving size by 25mg every 3-4 weeks until you find relief.

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+ 8 sources


  1. Ethan B Russo Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions? - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18404144/
  2. K L Wright et al. (2007) Cannabinoid CB2 receptors in the gastrointestinal tract: a regulatory system in states of inflammation - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2219529/
  3. Daniele De Filippis et al. (2011) Cannabidiol Reduces Intestinal Inflammation through the Control of Neuroimmune Axis - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232190/
  4. A Dlugosz et al. (2015) Increased serum levels of lipopolysaccharide and antiflagellin antibodies in patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome - National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26387872/
  5. Anita Annaházi et al. (2014) Role of antispasmodics in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4033443/
  6. 8Pharmacological interventions - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK51963/
  7. R E Clouse Antidepressants for irritable bowel syndrome - National Center for Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1773590/
  8. (2020) Irritable bowel syndrome - Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016

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