Gallbladder disease (GBD) is a common health concern that affects millions across the world. CBD has been shown to help treat symptoms linked to gallbladder issues by addressing gastrointestinal symptoms, supporting metabolism, & promoting brain health. Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner If you think you have been blocked in error, contact the owner of this site for assistance. If you are a WordPress user with
CBD for Gallbladder: What does the Science Say?
Gallbladder disease (GBD) is a common health concern that affects millions across the world.
According to the NHANES III, “a total of 20.5 million persons in the United States, 6.3 million men and 14.2 million women, aged 20–74 years, were estimated to have GBD”.
CBD addresses the symptoms of gallbladder problems that cause a lot of discomfort in the patients. But does it actually work? Is it even safe to use?
To understand all of this, we have compiled various studies and researches about CBD and its benefits for gallbladder problems. Read on!
What are Gallbladder Problems?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ present under the liver on the upper right section of the abdomen. It stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by the liver. This fluid is released into the small intestine for proper digestion of fats.
Gallstones or cholelithiasis is the most common gallbladder disease. They are hardened deposits of the bile in the gallbladder.
The size may vary from that of sand grain to a golf ball. The patient can develop one-to-many gallstones at the same time.
Gallstones mostly affect women above the age of 40. According to the Mayo Clinic , it may happen due to the following:
High cholesterol in the bile: When the liver produces more cholesterol than the bile can dissolve, the excess cholesterol forms crystals and then gallstones in the gallbladder.
High bilirubin in the bile: Bilirubin is a chemical that breaks down the RBCs in the body. The body produces excess bilirubin in conditions like liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections. This leads to gallstone formation.
Inability to empty the bladder correctly: When your bladder doesn’t get empty correctly, the bile gets concentrated and eventually forms gallstones.
Types of Gallstones
Cholesterol gallstones: These stones are usually yellow in color. This is a more common type of gallstones that are formed due to undissolved cholesterol.
Pigment gallstones : Due to the excess bilirubin content, these gallstones are brown and black in color.
Other types of gallbladder diseases are:
Cholecystitis, Common bile duct infection, common bile duct stones (choledocholithiasis), gallbladder disease without stones, perforated gallbladder, abscess of the gallbladder, and many more.
Symptoms of Gallbladder Disease
Here are a few common symptoms one may experience:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chronic diarrhea
Treatment for gallbladder Problems
Depending upon the type of problem, the treatments may include:
- over-the-counter pain medications, like ibuprofen
- prescription pain medications, like hydrocodone and morphine
- surgery to remove gallstones
- Cholecystectomy: s urgery to remove the whole gallbladder
- lithotripsy, a medical procedure where shock waves are used to break stones in the gallbladder and other organs
Can CBD help with Gallbladder Pain and Inflammation?
Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Extracted from the hemp plant, CBD has several therapeutic and health benefits. Pure CBD products don’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC) intoxicating compound
CBD provides relief in gallbladder problems. It also helps in alleviating gastrointestinal symptoms.
People are resorting to cannabinoids as a natural alternative to usual pain medications. This is because drugs like NSAIDs and prescription medicines can have long-term adverse side effects.
CBD is arising as a potential treatment for gallbladder problems due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is responsible for regulation of pain, sleep, memory, mood, immune response, and other functions in the body.
CBD works to maintain homeostasis (balance) in the body to inhibit the pain sensation, a major symptom of gallbladder diseases.
A 2013 review talked about the role of the endocannabinoid system and the phytocannabinoids in chronic pain management.
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How does CBD help with Gallbladder problems?
According to a 2017 study, “CBD is mostly devoid of adverse psychoactive effects and possesses anticonvulsant, analgesic, anti-anxiety, antiemetic, immune-modulating, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant, and anti-tumorigenic properties”.
As mentioned above, CBD not only aids in gallbladder problems but also takes care of the gastrointestinal issues. It also supports gut health and relieves digestive issues.
It works to protect the intestinal cells and gallbladder from chemical or inflammatory damage and inhibits the development of harmful diseases.
Based on the studies and researches available, here’s how CBD can help the patients with Gallbladder and GI issues:
Reduces Inflammation and Pain
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. Chronic inflammation is a common symptom in people suffering from the gallbladder and gastrointestinal issues.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and it works through various receptors, fatty acids, hormones, and cell-signaling proteins to reduce the discomfort in the patient.
Pain is another major symptom of gallbladder disease. The pain can be dull, achy, sharp, or sudden depending on the cause. It affects the abdomen to the lower back.
CBD has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that can decrease discomfort in the patients
A 2004 study revealed that CBD interacts with the vanilloid TRPV1 receptor to produce its anti-hyperalgesic effect . It was used to treat acute inflammation in a rat model.
CBD has antinociceptive effects t hrough which it can prevent the detection of painful signals by the sensory neurons. That’s why its effects last longer than the usual painkillers .
Heals Leaky Gut
Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is a digestive condition that affects the lining of the intestines. Here the bacteria and toxins leak from the intestinal walls into the bloodstream.
The common symptoms of leaky gut are inflammation, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, etc. It can further lead to gallstones and gastrointestinal diseases.
CBD may help in relieving this condition. A 2017 study concluded that CBD can “ restore the intestinal barrier integrity, through the involvement of the CB1 receptor”.
A 2012 study showed that “phytocannabinoids have therapeutic potential for reversing the disordered intestinal permeability associated with inflammation”.
In another 2019 study , it was revealed that CBD when taken with palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) can reduce intestinal hyper-permeability (leaky gut) induced by inflammation. This is also beneficial for people with Irritable bowel syndrome.
The endocannabinoid system also regulates the metabolic function in the body. It is made up of metabolic enzymes that help in energy storage, transportation of nutrients, and insulin sensitivity.
A 2012 study i nvestigated the association between metabolic syndrome and the development of gallstone disease (GSD). It concluded that more the components of metabolic syndrome are there in the body, higher is the prevalence of GSD.
The use of CBD has shown significant development in treating metabolic disorders like diabetes . However, we require specific studies to prove their use for gallstones.
CBD turns the white fat cells into brown to prevent the risk of obesity. This further leads to increased lipolysis, thermogenesis, and reduction of lipogenesis. It, therefore, improves the user’s metabolic health.
Promotes Brain Health
The discomfort in your gut also affects brain function. A 2019 study talks about this gut-brain connection.
The inflammation in the gut usually causes brain fog, lack of concentration, and even anxiety. It also leads to inflammation in the brain which could develop into neurodegenerative disease.
A 2018 review revealed that CBD can attenuate acute autonomic responses induced by stress by activating the 5HT1A (serotonin) receptors.
Also, it concluded that CBD can show neuroprotective effects by activating the adenosine receptors. It can enhance the signaling of adenosine to mediate immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
Pros and Cons of using CBD to Treat Your Gallbladder Problems
Before using CBD for your gallbladder condition, let’s understand its pros and cons:
- CBD helps alleviate pain and inflammation in the gallbladder.
- Helps heal leaky gut and promotes overall health by taking care of metabolism and the brain.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , “CBD is
generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile”.
- The patient cannot develop tolerance or get addicted to CBD. It delivers therapeutic benefits without making them ‘high’.
- Has relatively milder side effects than medication drugs.
- There are limited studies related to CBD’s efficacy for gallbladder problems.
- There’s no standard CBD dosage prescribed for its usage for gallbladder.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate CBD except in the case of epilepsy .
- Due to the lack of regulation and standardization, low quality, mislabelled CBD products are being sold in the market that can be harmful.
CBD and Alternative Treatments for Gallbladder Problems
Many patients go for complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) to relieve gallbladder pain. They can also prevent the further development of gallbladder diseases. This should be done in supervision of a healthcare practitioner. Here’s what all it includes:
Maintain a healthy weight: Being obese puts you at risk for various gallbladder problems. It is important to maintain a healthy weight, reducing your calorie intake, and indulging regular exercise.
CBD also helps in improving your metabolism and reduces the risk of gallbladder diseases related to metabolic syndrome.
Dietary changes: To lower the plasma insulin levels, it is important to make significant changes in your diet. Eliminate fatty foods and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
Try having unrefined carbs like whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.
Like CBD, these foods will help in reducing inflammation as they get digested slowly and ensure a steady dosage of sugar in your body.
Herbal medicine: You can also rely on turmeric, bupleurum, Oregon grape, and coin grass to reduce the painful inflammation caused by the gallbladder diseases. It may also relieve liver congestion.
CBD is also a herbal compound that comes from plants and treats the health ailments naturally. You can easily add it to your wellness routine.
How to take CBD for Gallbladder?
CBD is available in many forms in the market for you to choose from. Take a look:
The most common way to take Cannabidiol is in the form of oil tincture. As oils are molecular carriers, they hold more cannabinoids than other CBD products. They easily get absorbed into the bloodstream to show desired effects.
How to use : The best way to take CBD oil is sublingually. You need to put it under the tongue and let it sit for 90 seconds and then swallow it. The effects will appear in 15 to 45 minutes.
You can also have CBD oil in the form of capsules, edibles like gummies, baked goods.
Another way to use CBD is through CBD topicals. This includes ointments, lotions, and salves. These topicals get absorbed in the skin to provide relief in the affected areas.
How to use: Apply the cream generously on the upper abdomen or back area at the site of the pain. You can reapply it after 30-60 minutes until the pain reduces.
Pro tip: Always check the ingredients of the topical to check if you are not allergic to any of them.
CBD Dosage for Gallbladder Problems
Unfortunately, there is no recommended dosage of CBD for gallbladder diseases. It may depend on your weight, metabolism, cause of the pain, and its severity.
Finding the right dosage is a process of trials and experimentation.
You can either follow the instructions on the package or start with the lowest dosage.
Increase the dosage as required. Once you get the desired effects, stick to that dosage.
For further assistance, consult your doctor.
Side Effects of CBD
Although you cannot develop a tolerance or addiction towards CBD, it is important you do not overindulge in it.
It may cause some mild side-effects, like:
- Dry mouth
If the side effects become too severe, we advise you to discontinue the use.
Conclusion: Should you try?
Although there is a long way to go for CBD as a potential gallbladder treatment, the present researches spark a promising light of hope. It may become a natural alternative to the drugs currently being used.
As CBD can be procured without any proper prescription, the risk of its side effects also increases. It may even interact with your over the counter (OTC) medications.
Therefore, we recommend you to consult your healthcare provider before taking CBD for any gallbladder problem. They shall let you know if it is safe for you to use given your medical state.
We hope we helped you understand the efficacy of CBD for gallbladder problems. Stay healthy, stay fit!
CBD Oil for Gallbladder – August 2022
How CBD May Affect the Gallbladder: Can CBD Help With Gallbladder Problems?
CBD has been shown to help relieve pain (9) , alleviate the effects of metabolic syndrome (10) , and restore the integrity of the intestinal wall (11) . These properties may help symptoms of gallbladder disorder.
CBD’s interaction with the body’s ECS (endocannabinoid system) may explain how the compound induces its purported therapeutic effects, working with the ECS as the system regulates bodily functions (12) .
The ECS comprises cannabinoid receptors like CB1 and CB2, enzymes, and cannabinoids ( 13) .
Pain perception, mood, sleep, hunger, memory, and motor control are all influenced by CB1 (cannabinoid receptors 1). Meanwhile, activated CB2 receptors on immune system cells provide an anti-inflammatory response to lessen pain and tissue damage .
According to a study, the activation of cannabinoid receptors suggests several beneficial approaches linked to metabolic syndrome (14) .
The researchers believe that endogenous cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids lessen the impact of metabolic disorders (15) .
CBD for Leaky Gut
A study showed that cannabinoids may help restore the integrity of the intestinal wall (16) .
Bloating, inflammation, gas, stomach discomfort, and fatigue are symptoms of a leaky gut (17) . T hese symptoms may also lead to common bile duct stones ( CBD stones) , GI disorders (18) , and jaundice ( 19) .
No pain-relieving medicine may quickly fix a leaky gut. However, reducing stress (20) and avoiding things that may cause allergic reactions ( 21) may help alleviate symptoms.
Supplements like crucial minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) may help the lining of the body heal and promote blood flow (22) .
Studies suggest that CBD may protect enterocytes (intestinal lining cells) against inflammatory damage, restoring intestinal mucosa integrity (23) .
The researchers also believe that natural and synthetic cannabinoids may help with GI function and intestinal barrier disorders (24) .
Intestinal barrier dysfunction is linked to the formation of gallstones ( 25) , solidified deposits of the digestive fluid in the gallbladder.
CBD for Metabolic Syndrome
Heart disease, including diabetes and stroke, are increased risks in those with metabolic syndrome (26) .
In 2012, the World Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology study showed that metabolic syndrome is linked to gallstone disease (27) .
In addition, researchers’ findings noted how CBD may aid in metabolic syndrome induced by lifestyle changes (28) .
Key targets for tissue damage involved in metabolic syndrome include the cardiovascular system, pancreas, and liver (29) .
The liver makes bile, a digestive juice. The bile then passes the concentrates to the gallbladder, storing the digestive juice for later use (30) .
CBD for Inflammation and Pain
CBD, the non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa L ., has been studied for its analgesic properties. CBD reduces pain and improves the quality of life in epilepsy patients (31) .
The most common gallbladder symptom is biliary colic (32) . The condition may induce intermittent abdominal pain and upper back pain (33) .
A natural chemical in Cannabis sativa, cannabidiol (34) is derived from Cannabaceae plants (hemp family) . There is less than 0.3% THC in the hemp plant.
THC is found in high concentrations in marijuana plants. High-THC marijuana is known to cause hallucinations and euphoria when smoked or drunk, and acute changes in blood flow and pressure (35) .
The ECS has cannabinoid receptors that interact with CBD (36) . CB1 receptors govern pain perception, whereas CB2 receptors control anti-inflammatory responses.
A study published in the European Journal of Pain showed that cannabidiol may alleviate pain and inflammation without side effects (37) .
Another study suggested that CBD may relieve pain and inflammation with its anti-inflammatory properties (38) .
Through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD may alleviate the symptoms of leaky gut, pain sensation , and inflammation-related gastrointestinal syndrome (39) .
However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) currently only approves cannabis use to treat patients with epilepsy caused by two rare forms of seizure (40) .
Benefits of Using CBD to Help With Gallbladder Problems
The gut microbiome affects overall health. It regulates bacterial growth and development in the body (41) .
Studies show that CBD may help reduce pain ( 42) , regulate metabolic disorders ( 43) , and restore the integrity of the intestinal barrier (44) . CBD may also help reduce inflammation (45) , easing gallbladder pain-related symptoms.
Note that orally administered CBD products allow the compound to pass through the intestinal wall. Active compounds like CBD travel to the liver before being transported to their target site via the bloodstream.
Consult a healthcare expert before using CBD products like CBD oil to treat medical conditions like gallbladder discomfort.
How to Take CBD for Gallbladder Problems
One way to take CBD oil for gallbladder-related issues is under the tongue, immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.
Due to the absence of published clinical guidelines for CBD dosage, dosing will be done progressively titrating until pain relie f is achieved.
On the other hand, CBD topicals frequently include other helpful substances to boost their effectiveness in delivering pain relief (46) to target areas of the body.
CBD Dosage for Gallbladder Problems
There is no standard CBD dosage to ease gallbladder discomfort. Weight, pain intensity, metabolism, and genetics may affect dosing.
Still, research suggests that 1,500mg of CBD per day may be well tolerated in people (47) .
A CBD dose for gallbladder disease is not FDA-authorized. It is suggested to begin with low dosages of the best CBD oil and gradually raise the dose to get the desired impact.
Side Effects of Using CBD for Gallbladder Problems
There is no direct study of particular side effects of CBD for gallbladder issues. However, moderate side effects from CBD include dry mouth, nausea, lethargy, and headache (48) .
Cannabinoids may have a dose-dependent effect on body temperature, which may cause hypothermia or hyperthermia ( 49) . Nevertheless, CBD has not been linked to fatalities, and most people may use it without life-threatening side effects.
Can CBD Oil Help People Without Gallbladders?
Data from clinical investigations show that up to 20% of patients who undergo cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) may develop diarrhea ( 50) .
Bloating or diarrhea after surgery usually improves within a few weeks (51) . However, blood clots may also occur after a gallbladder removal surgery.
Meanwhile, CBD may cause side effects, like diarrhea and reduced appetite, although these are often well tolerated (52) . CBD may also interact with other medications, like blood thinners.
To avoid increased risks of side effects, it is important to ask your doctor before using CBD, especially after a medical procedure like having your gallbladder removed.
What Is a Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located on the right side of the abdomen, beneath the liver. The bile ducts are a drainage system for the liver (53) .
The bile duct stores and moves bile from the gallbladder to the small intestine (54) . The gallbladder releases bile in response to neurohormonal signals (55) .
After eating, the gallbladder contracts, releasing bile into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
Common Causes of Gallbladder Pain
Many conditions may cause pain in the gallbladder. One of the most common causes is blockage of the gallbladder ducts (56) .
Gallstones may form if the gallbladder is not emptying properly. Obesity and specific diets are risk factors for common bile duct stones (57) .
What Are Gallbladder Problems?
A common gallbladder condition is the formation of gallstones or cholelithiasis (58) . Gallstones are bile deposits that have solidified in the gallbladder .
The size may range from a grain of sand (sludge) to a golf ball. The patient may develop multiple gallstones concurrently (59) .
Gallstones have a higher incidence in women over 40 (60) . Women produce estrogen and progesterone more readily than men. Estrogen raises the level of cholesterol in bile, leading to the formation of gallstones.
Types of Gallstones
Cholesterol and pigment stones are two gallstones classified according to their risk factors and epidemiology (61) .
Around 80% of gallstones are cholesterol stones, commonly associated with blockage and inflammation. They account for almost 80% of gallstones and are related to obstruction and inflammatory gallstones or intrahepatic bile duct stone prevalence (62)
Common Symptoms of Gallbladder Problems
The patient may feel chronic pain radiating to the upper back ( 63) . This condition is known as acute cholecystitis (64) .
Symptoms of stones in the common bile include nausea, vomiting, bloody urine, stomach discomfort, and low blood pressure (65) .
Sludge forms in the gallbladder as cholesterol, calcium, bilirubin and other chemicals accumulate. No treatment is needed if the gallbladder sludge causes no symptoms (66) .
Often, the sludge is gone when the root cause is solved, like managing the symptoms of gallbladder problems.
Gallbladder Problem Treatments
Gallbladder discomfort causes severe abdominal pain that lasts for about five hours. If it worsens, doctors may consider other issues ( 67) .
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or narcotic pain medications may be used to control the pain of acute biliary colic (68) .
Oral probiotics are also available. Dietary probiotics are bacteria that are similar to gut bacteria (69) . Studies show that oral probiotics may reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body (70) .
Doctors may suggest ursodiol or chenodiol dissolve gallstones (71) . However, individuals should consult a doctor about the best treatment for gallbladder problems.
Physicians may also recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder (72) . After surgery, bile passes straight from the liver into the small intestine (73) .
If patients have small stones in the gallbladder (choledocholithiasis) (74) , these stones may block the cystic duct and result in severe pain and inflammation of the gallbladder (75) .
A scending cholangitis (bile duct inflammation) may spread through the duct. Doctors may suggest another gallbladder stone therapy or cholecystectomy if needed (76) . Nonsurgical options may include endoscopic (77) and interventional radiology ( 78) .
Clinical practice to diagnose gallbladder problems includes CT scan (79) , X-ray (80) , endoscopy (81) , laparoscopic cholecystectomy (82) , lithotripsy (83) , and ultrasonography (84) .
Through e ndoscopic r etrograde c holangiopancreatography (ERCP ) (85) , m agnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) (86) , endoscopic sphincterotomy, or intraoperative cholangiography (IOC) (87) , doctors may make a systematic review of diagnoses to help with follow-up care of patients with various conditions (88) .
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