Cannabis, or marijuana, is the most common use federally illegal plant in the United States. Americans increasingly favor the legalization of Cannabis. According to a 2018 study by Gallup, two-thirds of Americans now say the drug should be legal. That number has to have jumped throughout this pandemic. Cannabis Microbiome may help!
Medicinal use of Cannabis has been on record since ancient times. For example, we find mentions in a Chinese book dating from around 2737 BC. Since then, it is in use as an analgesic and appetite stimulant throughout history. Medical Cannabis remains one of the 50 Fundamental Herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Now let’s talk Cannabis Microbiome.
Cannabis and the Microbiome
There were very few studies about its effects on human health until recently. However, new research suggests that Cannabis may have significant implications for human microbiome composition and diversity. Researchers at University College Cork in Ireland conducted a study to identify the potential of using cannabis compounds. These compounds affect the gut microbiota beneficially. The team aimed to determine whether ingestion of cannabinoids affected the composition and diversity of healthy (control) vs. diseased (Crohn’s disease) microbiome. They fed mice with Crohn’s disease water or water with Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol for ten days, then collected their feces.
When they analyzed stool samples from each group, they found significantly different results among them. According to their data, Crohn’s disease is responsible for lower concentrations of Akkermansia muciniphila. They are known as ‘good bacteria in terms of metabolic health benefits. Suggests that THC has an indirect effect on microbiota by modulating systemic inflammation.
How Does Cannabis Help Change The Microbiome?
There are many examples of how Cannabis use may improve gut microbiome diversity and metabolism. However, further studies are in need to understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for these effects. Also their clinical implications in humans. Cannabis use has a link with the disruption of human gut homeostasis. It should not be of use as a treatment option alone. Until we know more about its effect on our microbiome.
Cannabis Microbiome contains many compounds which can impact your gut bacteria. These include:
Fiber – a diet high in fiber promotes the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Cannabis is naturally very high in fiber. One study found that people who consumed it every day had higher levels of beneficial bacteria in their intestines.
Cannabinoids – phytocannabinoids stimulate receptors located on the walls of your gastrointestinal tract. This process triggers a response from microflora that encourages the growth of good microbes. While killing off bad ones, creating a more favorable environment for beneficial bacteria.
Terpenes – Terpenes are the aromatic compounds in Cannabis that give it its distinctive smell and taste. Many of these have antimicrobial properties that can help kill off unfriendly organisms. (8) In fact, one study demonstrates specific terpene profiles are similar with positive outcomes in the gut.
The endocannabinoid system is how it interacts with the body’s internal network of neurotransmitters. Its one of the fascinating parts of Cannabis and its relationship to the gut microbiome. The endocannabinoid system regulates appetite, mood, memory, and many other essential bodily functions. It is also found in the gut and helps to promote the growth of good bacteria.
Cannabis Promotes Healthy Bacteria By Improving Digestion And Absorption.
One of the main ways that Cannabis impacts your microbiome is through its impact on digestion. If you’re not absorbing food properly, there’s a good chance some of it isn’t making it to your intestines and digesting.
And if good bacteria aren’t making it down there, they’re not going to be able to perform their duties and keep you healthy. For example, researchers have found that Cannabis can combat the disruptive side effects of antibiotics on gut health by improving digestion.
Most of the benefits concerning gut health found through animal and lab studies have come from ingesting Cannabis orally. The gastrointestinal tract is line with a single layer of cells that absorb nutrients from food and keep other compounds out. These cells keep your body separated from everything else in your gut and prevent harmful bacteria from traveling into other areas.
Unfortunately, when the cells that line your intestines are expose to antibiotics, they decrease in number, disrupting this critical barrier. Antibiotics also kill off good bacteria, making it harder for you to absorb nutrients and keep a healthy microbiome. The gut disruption can be effectively turn around by patients using Cannabis to effectively treat gut microbiome.
Cannabis and Cannabinoids
Luckily, Cannabis contains compounds called Cannabinoids which help restore and maintain the integrity of your intestinal lining. Cannabinoids are significant for those who take chronic or heavy doses of antibiotics. One study even suggested that consuming high-THC strains has an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut lining, making it more resistant to injury from harmful bacteria infections.
A slight correlation between Cannabis use and slight obesity is propaganda. The chemical from the plant may mess with the human endocannabinoid system, responsible for metabolic processes, including appetite regulation. THC binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, where it stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, producing a ‘high.’.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine discovered that those who smoked both Cannabis and tobacco had higher circulating leptin levels. This is in comparison to those who only smoke or those who never use any drugs at all. Leptin is a hormone that regulates appetite by informing us when we have obtained enough nutrients. This means long-term consumption may alter body weight homeostasis. However, further studies are essential to better understand the relationship between leptin and cannabis use.
In conclusion, more research is essential to understand the effects of cannabis use on the gut microbiome and metabolism. However, early studies suggest a positive impact in certain conditions. It is a suitable fact, the plant might be a good treatment for obesity. However, there are negative implications link with THC that may affect brain function when used long-term.