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CBD For Gerd & Acid Reflux 2024 – Does CBD Help With Heartburn?

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Are you familiar with heartburn? It is one of the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. The most common way to treat it is by buying over-the-counter medications. However, these medications come with certain unbearable side effects. This is where the role of CBD comes in.

CBD is a compound found in a Cannabis plant. It is often confused with Marijuana despite its clear distinction.CBD oil is known for its positive effects, such as improved mood, reduced pain, better sleep, and reduced stress. It can also regulate your appetite or food cravings. But in today’s article, we found research to show there is such a thing as CBD for GERD and acid reflux.

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Can CBD Help With Acid Reflux And GERD?

The answer is yes. So how does CBD help with GERD? There are three ways CBD helps with symptoms of GERD, which are;

  • CBD role of the Endocannabinoid System. CBD helps by engaging with the ECS and CBRs[1] in the body (cannabinoid receptors). CBRs influence gastrointestinal immunity and movement motility gastrointestinal acid secretion, nociception and emesis pathways, and appetite regulation.
  • Pain-relieving effect. According to Swedish researchers, specific CBRs create pain-relieving effects[2] in the gastrointestinal tract when they are stimulated.
  • CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties[3] also help regulate intestinal propulsions’ movement and volatility. CBD engages with the soft muscles surrounding the gastrointestinal system, causing the muscles to relax.
  • Manage the secretion of gastric acid. CB1 receptors in the stomach suppress gastric acid secretion.[4] CBD reduces esophageal lining inflammation and reduces the danger of overburdening the gastroesophageal space.

Benefits Of CBD For GERD & Acid Reflux

IF GERD can get benefits from CBD, so can acid reflux since they are essentially the same condition. Many studies suggest that CBD intake may help manage acid reflux symptoms, especially the burning sensation. Here’s how.

As soon as gastric acid from your stomach starts to flow back to the esophagus due to the irregular movement of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), humans may normally feel a burning sensation. The constant flow back of the gastric acid may cause inflammation. These inflammations are usually the cause of acid reflux, leading to GERD.

According to one study, CBD oil carries anti-inflammatory effects that can prevent heartburn or manage symptoms of acid reflux. Furthermore, some studies showed a link to how CBD works with the human endocannabinoid system’s receptors to bring out surprising effects. As such, it promotes the regulation of gastric acid production. To support the idea, a review of a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Medicine stated that cannabis extracts or CBD can be the means to protect a Muna from mucosal damage.

Is It Safe For Acid Reflux?

The use of CBD in both acid reflux and GERD is still being studied. However, research in the past already showed that it has positive effects to control its progression.

With that, taking CBD may reduce the symptoms or occurrence of both acid reflux and GERD. As long as the CBD, whether it be full-spectrum CBD, CBD isolate, or broad-spectrum, only contains less than 0.3%, it will be safe for any human who consumes it.

How Does CBD Work For GERD?

Technically, CBD is different from marijuana even though they are closely related. Both have CBD (cannabidiol cannabinoid) in them as they belong to the classification under cannabis. However, CBD does not contain high levels of THC ((tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is the most famous compound among all cannabinoids because of its ability to make a person feel high.

Specifically, the CBD that is derived from hemp is not considered psychotropic as the full-spectrum CBD only contains less than 0.3% THC. Despite this, Yu-Fung Lin associate professor of physiology at Davis School of Medicine made a statement saying that CBD still has positive effects on our nervous system.

Now, what can CBD offer for people experiencing acid reflux or even with GERD? All of us have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our endocannabinoid system is responsible for many things in our body including perception, sensation, memory, pain, muscle function, and emotion.

Another thing it does is prevent the secretion of stomach acid/gastric acid secretion. It also has an anti-inflammatory property, treating or hindering certain types of swelling. In addition to that, our endocannabinoid system also has the capability of keeping the mucous membranes from being damaged.

At this point, the role of cannabinoids in our body’s cannabinoid receptors can be seen. For instance, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) can reduce gastric acid secretion if CBD reaches certain types of receptors. If these receptors are activated, a person may be less likely to experience heartburn as well as other GERD symptoms.

To further understand the function of CBD in our endocannabinoid system, we must keep in mind that ECS consists of cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) along with endogenous ligands and enzymes. These cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) can be classified into two forms called CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor is focused on the central and peripheral nervous system, while the CB2 receptor is focused on the immune system and inflammatory cells as well as the peripheral nervous system, also part of the enteric nervous system ((ENS).

Now, science tells us that the distribution of activation of cannabinoid receptors throughout both the ENS and gastrointestinal (GI) tract can do a lot for GERD. Having said that, the proper distribution of CBRs plays a significant role in gastrointestinal motility and inflammation.

What is the role of cannabinoids and CBD here? CBD might constantly interact with soft muscle tissues found in our gastrointestinal system through our ECS. One of its effects is the calming or soothing of the peristalsis (the one responsible for bowel movement and digestion). At the same time, CBD’s interaction with soft muscle tissues may also help to modulate the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), regulating its function to reduce spasms or muscle contraction.

What Is Acid Reflux?

Before we dive into the main question, it is also important to define these two terms – Acid Reflux and GERD.[5]

If you experience heartburn at least once in your life, there is a probability that you also experience acid reflux. Acid reflux may be common to people in this generation; however, experiencing the symptoms over time may be more serious.

Acid Reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when there is a condition called hiatal hernia.[6] It happens when the acid from the stomach flows backward to the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

The common cause of this is eating foods or heavy meals late at night, lying down right after eating, taking alcoholic drinks, and even soft drinks. Sometimes, it is also accompanied by chest pain.

This is different from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) GERD is a chronic version of acid reflux. Therefore, a person having GERD had acid reflux in the past.

Common symptoms of GERD are not limited to heartburn. It also includes other signs such as Regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, and coughing.

Marijuana And Acid Reflux

Marijuana, sometimes called Marijuana CBD is a product made from marijuana plants. It contains two general components namely CBD and THC. The CBD component is known to carry various health benefits for our body including our immune system and mental health. THC on the other hand is a compound that significantly affects mood. It can make any human feel high, but the intensity will depend on its amount.

In the case of marijuana, its content has lower CBD than THC. As for the CBD products available in the market, they should contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered safe for almost everyone. Will it also work with acid reflux?

Some studies showed that marijuana has a potentially positive effect[7] on acid reflux. Not only that, it also helps other types of gastrointestinal system disorders including but not limited to poor appetite and nausea. However, doctors always advise every human to proceed with caution.

For instance, only take medical marijuana or hemp from cannabis. This means allowing your doctor to prescribe medical marijuana for you. On top of everything, recreational marijuana is only legal in certain states.

Another consideration you may think of is that improper use of marijuana could lead you to experience adverse side effects, especially since it contains a higher amount of THC. On the other side, the doctor may prescribe you the right dosage, keeping you away from harm.

Marijuana And Gerd

Acid Reflux can cause GERD. If Marijuana may help acid reflux, will it also help GERD? The answer is yes.

Marijuana brings similar effects in treating acid reflux and treating GERD. For instance, both CBD and marijuana can relieve chronic pain and reduce inflammation in the human body. Furthermore, you can start controlling acid reflux to keep you away from developing GERD.

CBD Dosage & How To Take CBD For GERD & Acid Reflux

The how, when, and how much CBD oil for Acid Reflux and GERD you should take have no absolute answer. For instance, your tolerance may depend on your body weight, age, and genetics.

Generally, we suggest that CBD should be taken in a lower dose at first. Then, you can gradually increase it. That way, you will know how much CBD works for you the best.

We also advise you to go to your GP or (General Practitioner) before taking any supplement. It is better if you can go to doctors with a specialization in Cannabis, especially if you have other health conditions.

In addition, there is also no standard time on when to take CBD. Some take it in the morning, while some take it before bedtime. Aside from that, you also have to consider the forms of CBD products.

There are many CBD products available in the market. They are made in various forms. Some of the popular forms include CBD oil or CBD oil tinctures/drops, CBD gummies, CBD capsules, and CBD soft gels.

CBD oil is taken in a sublingual way. You can place it under your tongue and take it after a few seconds. The other forms on the other hand can be taken orally. 

CBD can also be taken through smoking. However, it is not recommended for those who are suffering from either Acid Reflux or GERD.

Out of all forms of CBD, CBD oil is the most recommended. It has the fastest effectiveness without sacrificing other areas of your body such as your lungs, which can be damaged when you practice smoking.

How To Choose The Best CBD For GERD?

In the previous section, we’ve learned that the most recommended form of CBD for those who are suffering from acid reflux or GERD is CBD oil. Now, the concern is how you can get the best CBD oil for such conditions.

In any form of CBD, we have different formulas in general. These are full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD Isolate.

In full-spectrum, a CBD product contains all the compounds including less than 0.3% HTC, CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBN. All these compounds can be found in hemp. If this is used, an individual will experience an entourage effect.

On the other hand, Broad-spectrum CBD contains all the components mentioned above except for less than 0.3% THC. As for the CBD isolate, only the CBD is left.

The best formula that works with acid reflux and GERD is full-spectrum. This is because of the THC content that completes the efficacy of the hemp extract. When choosing the right brand, however, you must look for the third-party lab test results and the reputation of the company.

Potential Side Effects Of CBD Acid Reflux 

If using CBD might help to treat your acid reflux, heartburn, and even GERD, does it also have side effects? Fortunately, Taking CBD has no known adverse side effects. However, overdosing on CBD may result in certain drawbacks.

These side effects may include nausea, fatigue, and diarrhea. In certain cases, CBD may have additional effects if it interacts with other medications. This is the reason why consulting your doctor is highly important.

Since these negative effects are caused by an overdose, the remedy for this is lowering the CBD dosage. If you continue to experience these signs, continue lowering the dose or go to your physician.

Final Thought – Should You Use It?

Acid reflux and GERD are closely related, but they are not the same. Acid reflux occurs when lots of stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. It is accompanied by a symptom of heartburn or a burning sensation.

When not treated, acid reflux will cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Indeed, GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux wherein there are long-term problems in your gastrointestinal system.

Similarly, CBD and Marijuana are also closely related but have differences. For instance, CBD is derived from hemp plants, while Marijuana is derived from marijuana plants, but both come from the sativa plant. This is often being confused and used interchangeably as marijuana is sometimes called marijuana CBD.

Both of them belong to the classification of cannabis plants. This is the reason why they have similar content and similar effects. They can also be used as a treatment for patients with acid reflux or GERD.

The clear distinction between Hemp CBD oil and marijuana is their CBD and THC content. As such, hemp CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC, while marijuana contains more.

The use of cannabis, whether it will be marijuana or CBD for acid reflux or GERD comes with similar results. However, in the case of medical marijuana, you have to obtain a doctor’s prescription first even if it is allowed for most of the states. This type of cannabis should be regulated first to keep you from possible side effects or unexpected interactions.

As for CBD products, the most recommended CBD oil for people with GERD is full-spectrum. You may also use other forms of CBD, but CBD oil comes with the fastest effect.

Some studies are still going on in regard to its relationship with its effect on the gastrointestinal tract, however, research in the past has already shown some evidence. For instance, CBD contains anti-inflammatory effects, which keep the lining of the esophagus healthy. In addition to its ability to fight inflammation, it also keeps you away from mucosal damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does CBD help with gastrointestinal problems?

Yes, it does. For instance, cannabinoids interact with the human gastrointestinal system affecting your gastrointestinal tract. Its anti-inflammatory effects prevent further progression of stomach acid.

What medication works best for GERD?

For the acid reflux remedy, the most recommended one is changing your lifestyle or diet including avoidance of food that contains acid. For more chronic ones like GERD, doctors may prescribe other over-the-counter medications; however, most of them have adverse side effects. CBD may be an alternative treatment or supplement to aid such health conditions. You can try CBD and see how it affects you.

What gets rid of GERD fast?

A combination of a change in lifestyle and diet along with following the doctor’s recommendation works best. However, you may also try CBD as an alternative. You may still have to consult your doctor to help you out.

What oil is best for GERD?

The best CBD oil that works for acid reflux and GERD is a full-spectrum CBD. However, you may also want to consider CBD products that can be taken orally.


+ 7 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. (2018). International Journal of Molecular Sciences, [online] 19(3), p.833. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5877694/
  2. Gotfried, J., Kataria, R. and Schey, R. (2017). Review: The Role of Cannabinoids on Esophageal Function—What We Know Thus Far. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, [online] 2(1), pp.252–258. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5665514/
  3. Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I. and Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants, [online] 9(1), p.21. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023045/.
  4. Maristella Adami, Bertini, S., Frati, P. and Coruzzi, G. (2010). Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors Are Involved in the Regulation of Rat Gastric Acid Secretion. [online] ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230155608_Cannabinoid_CB1_Receptors_Are_Involved_in_the_Regulation_of_Rat_Gastric_Acid_Secretion
  5. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (2021). Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Adults | NIDDK. [online] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available from: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults
  6. Medlineplus.gov. (2020). Hiatal Hernia. [online] Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/hiatalhernia.html
  7. NCCIH. (2018). Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know. [online] Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/cannabis-marijuana-and-cannabinoids-what-you-need-to-know

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