IBS is a common ailment that affects between 10-15% of Americans. It causes pain and discomfort, but cannabis can help. Read to learn about the best strains for IBS.
Best Strains for IBS
IBS is also known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the large intestine. IBS is quite common and affects women more than men. The cause for this disorder is unknown, however, anxiety can make the symptoms worse. For some people, it’s a simple annoyance. For others, it comes with cramping, pain, and alternating diarrhea with constipation. This can take a toll on people emotionally and physically. It can even lead to disability.
Fortunately, cannabis offers a natural way to treat IBS. In this article, we explain how cannabis treats IBS and detail the top 5 strains for IBS.
How Does Cannabis Treat IBS?
Although researchers have not made cannabis an official treatment for IBS, studies have shown its efficacy. Researchers interviewed a group of 319 very ill IBS patients. Some were recently hospitalized for their disease. They reported a 91% improvement in symptoms with cannabis. Additionally, these patients stated that it improved their general quality of life. (Gastroenterolgy).
The worse the IBS symptoms are, the more likely people are to use cannabis. Cannabis treats IBS symptoms in a few different ways. The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, plays an important role. It regulates important functions in the body, such as sleep, immune responses, appetite, and pain control. The receptors in the brain work with the ECS to control vital functions in the body.
There are 2 main receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 is primarily found in the central nervous system. As a result, these receptors are mostly found in the brain. They regulate important brain functions. These receptors are also known as “THC receptors” because they regulate our “feel good” hormones. Some of them include serotonin and dopamine, and they provide euphoric effects. Consequently, CB1 receptors are excellent for providing pain relief. They also increase appetite, which can be helpful for IBS patients.
Conversely, CB2 receptors are mostly responsible for the immune system. They help the body stay in homeostasis, which is necessary for life. Cannabis stops inflammatory signaling in CB2, which helps soothe the body and stop IBS flares.
Together, cannabis signals CB1 and CB2 change the pathways for pain, decrease inflammation, and increase appetite. This helps people with IBS find respite from their symptoms.
Top 5 Strains for IBS
The best strains for IBS typically have CBD. CBD soothes inflammation, which decreases flare-ups. Other strains have high levels of THC to lessen pain. Here are our top picks:
This strain was named for the famous rock band, and it has unique effects. It is an award-winning medicinal CBD dominant strain. It is a preferred strain for autoimmune diseases. ACDC is derived from Cannatonic and contains 6% THC and 20% CBD. As a result, this sativa dominant strain provides a clear-headed, non-intoxicating high. Many people even report an increase in productivity. At the same time, ACDC delivers therapeutic results. ACDC alleviates cramping, chronic pain, anxiety, and muscle spasms. In addition, many people enjoy the uplifting effects and overall feeling of well-being. Other uses of ACDC include neuropathic pain, depression, inflammation, and insomnia. Try this strain for a clear-headed high that eases pain and discomfort.
This is one of the best CBD strains, and very useful for IBS. Cannatonic was created by crossing MK Ultra and G13 Haze. Together, they created a strain that is 12% CBD and 6% THC, a perfect hybrid. This strain provides a less intoxicating, calm, and uplifting high. Although it is rather short-lived, it has many medicinal benefits. Consumers love this strain for its ability to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and muscle spasms. After use, most people feel extremely relaxed and happy. If stress is making IBS worse, or you are dealing with cramping and pain, this strain can help.
Gorilla Glue has several names, including Original Glue, GG4, or Gorilla Glue #4. It is a sativa hybrid strain but acts like an indica strain. Gorilla Glue contains 20-25% THC and low CBD. This award-winning strain was made from Sour Dubble, Chocolate Diesel, and Chem’s Sister. After using this strain, people immediately experience a cerebral and body high. It envelopes consumers into deep relaxation and sometimes, couch-lock. Many people also develop an increase in appetite, so be sure to have snacks handy. It also helps with pain, depression and anxiety, and insomnia. Gorilla Glue is a very strong medical strain and not for novice users. For those suffering from a lack of appetite and those needing a potent strain, Gorilla Glue might be a good choice.
Pennywise received its name from the Stephen King novel, IT. However, it provides the opposite effects of the notorious clown in the book. Pennywise is a strain high in CBD, and many people experience deep relaxation, euphoria, and sleepiness. This indica-dominant strain has equal amounts of CBD vs THC. It typically contains 7% but can reach up to 14%. IBS sufferers enjoy this strain for its ability to treat inflammation, anxiety, and chronic pain. Similarly, Pennywise is excellent for insomnia. This strain is fantastic for relaxing the mind and body while soothing pain.
Medicine Man received its name for its healing effects. It is a popular indica-dominant strain with high THC levels. It varies between 20-24% and contains low CBD. Consequently, this is a strain for experienced users as it is very potent. This strain is similar to White Rhino but should not be mistaken for it. Its parent strains are South American, Afghani, and South Indian strains. Most users experience euphoria, relaxation, a tingly body high, and sleepiness. Also, it helps treat PTSD, depression, and pain. Other consumers use it for insomnia, migraines, and nausea. Medicine Man will soothe your symptoms and give you a slightly focused high.
There are many beneficial strains for IBS. Some honorable mentions include Hogs Breath and Harlequin.
Have any questions about the best strains for IBS? Please reach out to us with any questions.
JANE Dispensary has two California dispensaries that can help you with all your cannabis needs. We have a Cotati Dispensary and a Santa Rosa Dispensary. Shop our online dispensary with in-store pickup and delivery options. Find out how to get a medical marijuana card, here.
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Sources:Gastroenterology, GI, Harvard, Leafly, Way of Leaf, Weedmaps