If you ate your feelings during the weirdest holiday season ever, congrats – you’re human. And you’re not alone. Now, though, we’re all paying the price for all of those rich treats – and the seconds (and, ahem, thirds). If you’re dealing with digestive issues, you don’t have to just power through. Here’s how cannabis helps heartburn and digestion.
FIRST, THE MEDICAL CONDITION
“Digestive issues” is a catch-all that describes a few different and uncomfortable conditions. First is indigestion, which is that too-full feeling with a side of abdominal pain and sometimes cramping. Other symptoms may include nausea, bloating, a sensation of burning, and general discomfort.
Then there’s heartburn, which is a particular burning feeling in the chest that usually gets worse after we eat and creates a telltale bitter taste in the mouth. Heartburn is the unhappy result of stomach acid that moves through the esophagus into the touch, and it’s often caused by specific foods and drinks — think dishes high in fat, chocolate, citrus, alcohol, and peppermints. In other words, your typical holiday fare. On the plus side, while both indigestion and heartburn are no fun, they aren’t necessarily a five-alarm fire. You don’t need to panic, but you should take steps to make yourself feel better.
And that’s where cannabis comes in.
UNDERSTANDING THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM
The body has an amazing endocannabinoid system — it’s a complex neurotransmitter network designed to help maintain balance and wellness. Throughout the body, cannabinoid receptors work diligently to maintain multiple systems in the body, and spoiler — many of them are found in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies in 2016 and 2017 took a close look at the distribution of these receptors, along with their role on the regulation of inflammatory responses. The cannabis plant has always been considered a viable therapeutic treatment for pain in the abdomen, along with general gut issues, and it’s all down to those anti-inflammatory properties. Still, it’s important to remember that when it comes to cannabis, effects are just as personal as dosing.
A good budtender can help you get started, and you can kick things off by figuring out your preferred method of consumption and the point of all this. Are you angling for a mild buzz to knock down some anxiety and head off stomach issues, or do you just want to banish the bellyache? Be clear with your budtender and expect a few options so you can see what works best for you.