CBD for IBS: Does it help?

by Chloe Palmer

According to Guts UK, around 1 in 20 people — that’s around 3.2 million of us — suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), with more women experiencing the affliction compared to men.

Since there is no established cure for IBS, which carries a range of symptoms, more and more people have turned to alternative treatments. One of these is the popular compound cannabidiol (CBD).

However, as with any promising new treatment, we still need more information to know for certain that the compound is truly effective and safe to use in this way. It’s important to remember that CBD is not currently sold as a medical product, but is considered a food supplement. Yet, given that treating IBS often comes down to making various diet and lifestyle changes, it’s worth considering the potential benefits that CBD can have for this condition. In this article, we’ll take a look at the hard facts behind CBD oil for IBS, and how it may provide help to those who need it.

What is IBS? 

IBS is a condition that affects the digestive system, with symptoms including stomach and abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, problems with gastrointestinal motility, and diarrhoea. 

There is not currently a single established cause of this condition, but it is believed to emerge after cases of gastroenteritis, but can also be caused by a virus, stress, early life experiences and genetics. 

Unfortunately, IBS is usually a chronic problem, and those who suffer with it find that it has a big impact on their day-to-day living. While there isn’t a cure, the symptoms can be kept under control through deliberate changes to a person’s diet and lifestyle.

What is CBD? 

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. As a cannabinoid, CBD regulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex system of cells and receptors in the body. The compound interacts with this network and is thought to influence the body’s homeostasis (balance), and give relief from stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and potentially influence some inflammation. The ECS may also support our immune system.

In recent years, consuming CBD has become increasingly popular as part of a wellness routine. Many users have found that it helps reduce stress and allows them to feel calmer throughout the day. It could be taken after a workout, during socialising or when you’re at work, and may help you relax, feel more focused, and let you unwind.

Can CBD help with IBS? 

There is some evidence that CBD can have benefits for patients with bowel inflammation, although there needs to be further studies carried out to determine the use of the compound as a direct relief. Consequently, it may be the case that CBD can help with digestive issues.

Medical professionals have been known to prescribe CBD for IBS relief, but often only for specific symptoms. As it stands, we simply don’t know enough to know for sure — but the promising therapeutic potential of CBD for gastrointestinal conditions is supported by some research.

What CBD dose should I take for IBS? 

Getting the right dose of CBD can be tricky, and often requires some experimenting before you know the amount that works for you. In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends a daily dose of 70mg, depending on which product you are using — whether that’s CBD oil, cream, tinctures, drinks or edibles.

For those using CBD for the first time, it’s suggested that you start small and slowly adjust to the compound. For edibles especially, it can take a lot longer before you start to feel the effects, so wait two hours or so before taking any more.

How long does it take for CBD to start working? 

Usually you can notice the full impact of taking the compound after two to three weeks of regular use. If using CBD for IBS symptoms, you may be waiting around a week at the very least before you start noticing their entire effect. However, this can again be down to individual physiology and other factors, including lifestyle, diet, tolerance and body weight.

How do I get the best results using CBD oil for IBS?

Although some evidence indicates CBD’s therapeutic potential, you should not treat it as a remedy for IBS as it is an incredibly complicated condition that affects numerous organs and other aspects of the body. 

When used in conjunction with other effective forms of treatment, such as changes in your diet and exercise, you may see that CBD helps alleviate IBS symptoms. However, if you use the product in isolation but do not make changes to your lifestyle, physical activity and what you eat and drink, these benefits may be limited.

Is CBD Legal?

Yes, CBD is completely legal in the UK. It is THC, which is the psychoactive compound also found in hemp, that is illegal. TRIP products are all completely THC-free, and third-party tested to verify this. When a CBD product says on the label that it contains broad spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, this means it should not contain THC. However, it’s always good to double check the packaging and do your research to be sure. For more information on the legality of these compounds, have a read of our article on the topic.


To conclude, CBD has been discussed as having the potential to alleviate some IBS symptoms. There is evidence to suggest that CBD’s interaction with the ECS helps reduce inflammation and stomach activity, and more and more users are seeking to use the product for these reasons.

However, we don’t quite know enough about how CBD works to relieve IBS, and it is not considered a medical supplement by the FSA in the UK. For best practice, we’d recommend that you use CBD alongside other treatments recommended by your doctor.

If you want to know more about what CBD is right for you, take a look at our products today, all of which are fully-tested and THC-free.


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