CBD Oil Cause Acid Reflux


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CBD for Acid Reflux has been found to be effective as per recent research. Using CBD oil for acid reflux helps alleviate symptoms like pain and inflammation. Can CBD Help With GERD? Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) is caused by esophageal dysfunction and unregulated gastric acid secretion.

CBD for Acid Reflux and GERD – Is It Effective?

If you are reading this post, you (or someone you know) likely experience a burning sensation in the chest or throat, especially after eating spicy food.

You have tried the traditional treatments of acid reflux or GERD and have not seen the expected results. It’s also possible you have heard about the benefits of CBD use and are wondering whether it can help with your acid reflux symptoms.

Luckily you have found this post. Here we look at everything you need to know about CBD for acid reflux and GERD. We will also learn how using CBD oil for acid reflux provides relief from its symptoms.

Let’s get started:

Table of Contents

How is Acid Reflux Caused? Is CBD for Acid Reflux Beneficial?

The gastrointestinal system is a sensitive organ in your body. When your digestive network is interfered with, it may lead to acid reflux (the acid stomach backflow).

Acid reflux happens when the stomach acid moves into your esophagus when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is supposed to close when food passes through, fails to close or opens more often.

As such, the acid produced by your stomach moves up into the esophagus leading to unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Heartburn (burning chest discomfort)
  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups
  • Dry cough, wheezing, or hoarseness

Drinking coffee, taking a hearty meal, or alcohol consumption can cause heartburn in people with acid reflux. Many people commonly experience acid reflux in the morning that causes lots of discomforts.

What’s the Difference Between Acid Reflux and GERD?

Although acid reflux and gastroesophageal disease are related, the terms mean different things.

As earlier stated, acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. Usually, this occurs after taking spicy meals or drinking coffee or alcohol.

GERD occurs when you have a more severe form of reflux with symptoms of severe acid reflux . Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD (more than two times a week). Other GERD symptoms include difficulty swallowing, chest pain. Regurgitation of sour liquid, and coughing.

As you can see, acid reflux and GERD exhibit the same symptoms, but the symptoms occur more than twice a week in people with GERD.

CBD Reflux Benefits – Demand in the Global Market

As of 2019, the global cannabis legal market was valued at 17.7 billion U.S. dollars. It is expected that the market will be worth 73.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.

Gerd and Marijuana health benefits and the continued legalization in various countries are the major drivers of this vast market.

We have seen the emergence of many CBD brands to cater to the increasing cannabis demand. If you plan to invest in the CBD industry, it is imperative to work with a reputable CBD marketing agency .

The best CBD marketing agency understands the industry trends and will use their expertise to put your business before your target market without being at loggerheads with authorities.

CBD for Acid Reflux and GERD

Before we look at the benefits of CBD for GERD , let’s take a closer look at the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and its role in our bodies.

The ECS plays a vital role in your wellbeing and regulates many biological functions including, sensations, memory, anti-secretory effects, and pain perception.

Cannabinoids (found in the cannabis plant and those found in the body) play a vital role in gastric and intestinal acid secretion and regulate gastrointestinal motility.

CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid system and may reduce the acid secretion that causes heartburn in GERD patients.

CBD and ECS will prevent or reduce the severity of GERD by reducing inflammation and mucosal damage. Besides, it may help lower esophageal relaxation.

CBD for Pain Management

Pain is a common problem for GERD patients. CBD is known to activate CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors to produce analgesic effects that help relieve pain, including pain from the gastrointestinal tract.

Compared to conventional pain medications, CBD oil for pain relief is a safer alternative for acid reflux patients. Many people suffering from acid reflux are aware of CBD and pain management benefits and are using CBD to derive its positive health benefits.

People with GERD experience pain in the chest, throat, or stomach. Certain pain medications can make GERD worse. They include:

This is where marijuana comes in. CBD can help reduce pain, meaning you do not have to take pain medications that can worsen GERD. Marijuana is better than medicine for acid reflux and will alleviate pain without irritating your stomach and esophagus.

Cannabis for acid reflux Relieves Stomach Acid

Although clinical trials on the effects of cannabis on stomach acid secretion are yet to be conducted, some preclinical studies suggest that cannabinoids may help inhibit gastric acid production.

In a study involving rats, cannabinoids were found to reduce stress-induced ulcers. That being the case, researchers believe that cannabis may help inhibit gastric acid secretion in humans.

Some cannabinoids are known to protect the stomach lining, meaning cannabis may be useful for GERD patients. So CBD can be one of the best acid reflux natural remedies for people chronically suffering from GERD.

Marijuana for GERD Reduces Inflammation

Is CBD good for GERD ? Although more research is required to determine if marijuana is a useful option for treating GERD, available studies suggest that cannabis may help boost endocannabinoid’s ability to reduce inflammation.

In turn, this might help combat GERD symptoms and repair mucosal damage. CBD also binds to cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal system to prevent peristalsis (involuntary muscle movements), thus reducing the chances of the stomach acid going back into the esophagus.

CBD Decreases Stress

Can stress cause acid reflux ? Yes, stress and anxiety are known to trigger GERD symptoms. Luckily, medical cannabis may help you feel less anxious and overwhelmed. In the end, this might reduce stress-related ailments like stomach pain and nausea.

Your mental health is closely related to gastrointestinal health (GI). Conversely, stress and GERD are linked.

Taking medical marijuana may help calm your mind. However, talk to your doctor about the right dosage, as taking a higher THC dose can hurt you.

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What’s the Best Way to Take CBD for Acid Reflux?

Having that you have read to this point, it’s likely you want to try CBD for GERD and are wondering how to take it. Here’s how to take CBD for acid reflux :

CBD Oil for Acid Reflux Benefits

To get the best benefits of CBD for acid reflux , you should know about CBD oil for GERD dosage . As the name suggests, CBD oil comes in a liquid form. Taking CBD oil for acid reflux is straightforward – measure an appropriate dose using a glass dropper and place it under the tongue.

Hold it in your mouth for about one minute before swallowing it. You will start feeling the effects of CBD oil within fifteen to thirty minutes of use and last up to six hours.

CBD Vapes – Best Medicine for Acid Reflux

If you are looking for the fastest and effective way of taking CBD for GERD , vaping is the way to go. Vaping has the highest bioavailability than tinctures and oral CBD products, as it gets into the bloodstream within three to five minutes of inhalation.

However, compared to CBD oils, CBD vape effects last for a few hours, meaning it might not be the best option if you need long-lasting effects from GERD symptoms.

CBD Capsules – For Heartburn and Acid Reflux Relief

CBD capsules may be ideal for you if you want to take CBD on the go. CBD capsules offer a discreet way to use CBD in your workplace.

However, taking CBD for acid reflux or GERD in the form of capsules will have a slower onset (between 40 and 90 minutes) than CBD oils and vapes. CBD capsules need to pass through your digestive system to feel the effect.

CBD Edibles and Acid Reflux Benefits

CBD edibles come in different flavors, making it a more enjoyable way to take CBD. However, when taking CBD gummies for GERD, keep in mind that the effects delay as they will have to pass through the liver.

How much CBD to Take for Acid Reflux?

Since the FDA does not control many CBD products, there is no standard recommendation of CBD dosage for acid reflux.

The right CBD dosage for you will depend on various factors, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Weight
  • The severity of the symptoms
  • Unique body chemistry
  • Prior CBD experience

As a rule of thumb, start small (about 1 – 6 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds) and increase slowly until you get your ideal dosage. Keep a record of how each dose affects your GERD symptoms.

If taken in the right dosage, CBD is the best medicine for acid reflux and can relieve your symptoms to a great extent.

CBD for Acid Reflux Side Effects

As with any other medication, cannabis use may have side effects. Talk to your doctor about the best CBD/THC levels for you and the best method of use to reduce the risk of side effects.

Depending on the cannabis strain that you take, dose, and your CBD experience , you may experience any of the following side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Red eyes
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance

So, Should You Take CBD for Acid Reflux ?

Although much research is needed, CBD has been shown to help with acid reflux and GERD. Marijuana interacts with the endocannabinoid system to soften the gastrointestinal muscles and protect the lining from damage.

That way, it leads to improved peristalsis, thus preventing stomach content’s backflow in the esophagus .

Talk to your doctor before taking CBD for acid reflux or GERD, especially if you take other medications.

CBD Oil for GERD – August 2022

Frequent acid reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ). This condition is caused by stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus and the mouth.

Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn ( burning sensations in the chest), voice hoarseness, sore throat, coughing, and wheezing.

Over-the-counter medications that can treat GERD include antacids ( stomach acid neutralizer) and proton pump inhibitors (PPI), such as cimetidine and nizatidine (acid reducers).

However, these medications might produce adverse effects, such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, stomach pain, and neurotoxicity. Usually, these side effects were observed among elderly patients (6) . These factors are why some individuals are turning to alternative treatments. They can also be very cost-prohibitive over the long-term.

Currently, there is a lack of direct studies on CBD ’s efficacy in treating GERD .

However, existing studies have shown that CBD ’s activity on cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) might provide several modulatory effects on gastric acid production, GI inflammation, and esophageal function (7) .

The ECS, which maintains balance by regulating bodily functions, is present in all vertebrates and mammals.

A 2016 review posted in the Asian Pacific Journal of Medicine mentioned that cannabinoid receptor (CBR) activities caused by CBD and THC might reduce gastric acid secretions (8) .

In the review, the author cited studies demonstrating how Cannabis sativa extract protected animal subjects from mucosal damage and gastric lesions (9) .

Cannabis sativa (hemp) is a plant rich in cannabinoids such as CBD and THC (10) .

The author concluded that gastric protective and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids might be useful in treating GERD and peptic ulcer disease (11) .

Lower esophageal sphincter ( LES ) dysfunction is the principal cause for GERD . The dysfunction may be brought by transient LES relaxation or LES pressure (12) .

A n animal study posted by the British Pharmacological Society mentioned that CBR activities might modulate GI motility by reducing LES relaxation (13) .

Some researchers believe that gastric motility abnormalities might also be linked to the onset of GERD (14) .

A review published by the British Journal of Pharmacology mentioned that CBR activities might modulate upper and lower GI motility (15) .

Moreover, GERD is often associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. Researchers mentioned that inflammatory cytokines might cause early inflammation of individuals with GERD (16) .

A study using animal and human biopsies have shown that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects (17) .

The authors added that these therapeutic benefits might be useful in treating GI inflammation conditions (18) .

A cross-study from the American Journal of Physiology also observed these benefits . The authors concluded that CBD ’s activity on ECS receptors might modulate gut motility and reduce inflammatory diseases (19) .

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Additionally, esophageal leakage is the primary mechanism of reflux-related cough and constriction of airways in the lungs (bronchoconstriction) (20) .

The European Journal of Pharmacology published an animal study demonstrating how receptor activation might reduce microleakage that causes bronchoconstriction (21) .

Lastly, researchers mentioned that GERD could be a significant source of anxiety and depression. A clinical study published by Cureus concluded that out of 258 patients, 41.4% suffered from depression, 34.4% suffered from anxiety, and 27.13% suffered depression and anxiety (22) .

A study released by Frontiers in Immunology acknowledged that CBD might improve mental health due to its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties (23) .

How CBD Oil Works to Help With GERD

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is studied for its role in maintaining homeostasis in the human body.

The ECS is composed of receptors that are spread across the human body. These receptors include the G-protein cannabinoid receptors , CB1 and CB2 (24) , and G-protein receptor 55 (GPR55) (25) .

These receptors can be found in the immune system, central nervous system , and gastrointestinal system (GI) (26) .

Researchers acknowledged that activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS might influence bodily functions, resulting in potential therapeutic benefits (27) .

The presence of cannabinoid receptors in the GI system highlights the ECS’ role in modulating GI functions, health, gastric secretions, and inflammation (28) .

The CB1 receptor might have a role in modulating intestinal motility by reducing LES relaxation and promoting esophageal peristalsis (29) .

The author added that CB1 activation might reduce acid and intestinal fluid secretions (30) .

Aside from antisecretory effects , influencing of the ECS might also provide anti-inflammatory properties (31) .

CB2 is mostly distributed in the central nervous system . Researchers also found CB2 receptors in inflammatory tissues and cells in the gastrointestinal tract (32) .

Moreover, CB2 activation might further regulate GI tract motility and reduce the uptake of inflammatory diseases (33) .

Studies mention that CB2 activation might play a role in inhibiting microvascular leakage and bronchoconstriction on animal reflux models (34) .

A 2016 review mentioned that GPR55 might also be involved in GI motility. The authors indicated that the administration of a receptor agonist slowed down the gut transit in mice models (35) .

Modulatory effects can be triggered or stimulated by cannabinoids , such as cannabidiol ( CBD ), tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabigerol (CBG) (36) .

There is evidence that CBD was able to activate GPR55 in an animal study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology ( 37) .

Moreover, even with its low affinity to CB1 and CB2, CBD might also influence how other cannabinoids trigger the receptors. This mechanism allows for receptors to reduce the expression of inflammatory cytokines (38) .

Cytokines are signaling proteins that modulate the body’s response to inflammation (39) .

Moreover, an in vivo study posted by the British Journal of Pharmacological attributed another cannabinoid , CBC, for its ability to reduce inflammation-induced hypermotility (40) .

The author continued that CBC’s ability to modulate GI motility warranted further studies on conditions, such as mucosal inflammation, gastric secretion, intestinal secretion, and visceral pain (41) .

Although existing studies acknowledged CBD ’s potential in influencing CBR activities, clinical trials are needed to prove CBD ’s efficacy on GERD symptoms .

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for GERD

The Pros
  • CBD might trigger CBR activities in the ECS system, thus, providing modulatory effects on the upper GI system (42) .
  • CBD might trigger CBR activities and help reduce gastric acid secretions (43) .
  • CBD might also trigger CBR activities and help decrease lower esophageal relaxation (44) .
  • A study concluded that gastric protective and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids , such as CBD and THC , might be useful in treating GERD (45) .
  • CBD might help alleviate anxiety and depression of individuals suffering from GERD (46) .
  • CBD has been acknowledged to have an excellent safety profile for human consumption (47) .
The Cons
  • There are no direct studies on how CBD might help with GERD symptoms . All existing studies are focused on CBD ’s potential activities on ECS receptors that might help modulate GERD symptoms .
  • If used in high doses, CBD may cause side effects , such as drowsiness, loss of appetite, and dry mouth (48) .
  • A recent animal study discovered that CBD might cause hepatotoxicity (liver damage) (49) .

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for GERD

Some individuals may prefer drinking chamomile tea to soothe their digestive tract . Studies have acknowledged that flavonoids in chamomile flowers provide anti-ulcerogenic properties. The flavonoids might also reduce acid output (50) .

Another alternative treatment option is ginger tea. A clinical study from Food, Science, and Nutrition mentioned that ginger consumption led to improved GI motility. The authors also acknowledged ginger’s anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer properties (51) .

Moreover, researchers acknowledged that deglycyrrhizinated licorice might alleviate acid reflux symptoms by suppressing acid production in the stomach (52) .

CBD might be similar to the alternative treatments mentioned due to its anti-inflammatory and acid-reducing properties (53) . CBD infused tea may also be taken instead of ginger or chamomile tea.

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for GERD

The most recommended type of CBD oil for reducing GERD symptoms is full-spectrum .

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the major phytocannabinoids in hemp, such as CBD , CBC, CBG, CBN, and 0.3% THC . Together, these cannabinoids provide the individual with the “entourage effect.”

A review published in Frontiers in Plant Science mentioned that the entourage effect (or cannabis synergy) increased the primary activity of the endocannabinoid receptors (54) .

The author added that cannabis synergy helped explain why botanical medications display high efficacy compared to isolated compounds (55) .

The entourage effect was demonstrated by a controlled trial on patients with uncontrollable pain. In the study, THC -dominant opioid treatment failed to produce significant improvement compared to placebo (56) .

However, a whole-plant extract containing both THC and CBD produced remarkably better results (57) .

Broad-spectrum typically contains CBD , CBG, CBC, and CBN. Broad-spectrum is recommended for individuals who want to achieve the entourage effect without the presence of THC .

Lastly, individuals who cannot tolerate other cannabinoids may opt for CBD isolate. CBD isolate typically contains 99% pure CBD .

Additional tips to consider before buying CBD :

  • Individuals may find more information about the CBD product by checking customer reviews and testimonials.
  • Individuals with GERD must first consult with a gastroenterologist and discuss treatment options. Doctors may recommend prescription medications .
  • Individuals intolerant to prescription medications side effects must discuss their plan to use CBD with their doctors.
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CBD Dosage for GERD

There is a lack of scientific studies on the appropriate dosage when using CBD for GERD .

However, there are existing dosing studies that observed CBD ’s therapeutic benefits on other health conditions.

The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shared a review that collected data from clinical population dosing studies.

The authors mentioned that a dose range of less than 1 to 50 milligrams per kilogram a day was used on various medical conditions , including chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and many more (58) .

A study shared in Pharmacology and Pharmacy mentioned that CBD has a bell-shaped curve response. The authors observed that a limited dose range was enough to achieve CBD ’s therapeutic benefits (59) .

This hypothesis was supported by another study posted in the Frontiers of Pharmacology . The study experimented with dosages using healthy volunteers with public speaking anxiety (60) .

The study found that a dose of 300mg was able to reduce anxiety scores better than 100 mg and 900mg dosings (61) .

However, individuals must always be cautious when using CBD . A recent study shared by Molecules observed that extremely high CBD doses caused hepatotoxicity in rat models (62) .

How to Take CBD Oil for GERD

The recommended CBD administration for GERD is through oral or sublingual delivery.

Oral administration methods may be available through capsules, softgels, and gummies. These methods may be taken with or without a meal.

CBD tinctures may be used for sublingual administration. Individuals may use an applicator to put a few drops of CBD under the tongue. CBD tinctures may have an earthy taste due to terpenes (aromatic compounds).

Both oral and sublingual administration were observed to provide plasma concentrations that lasted three to four hours after intake (63) .

Sublingual administration has also been observed to provide faster results when taken in a fasted state (empty stomach). However, high plasma concentrations were found when CBD is taken during a fed state (64) .

When using CBD for its pain-relieving properties, the recommended administration is through smoke or vapor inhalation. A quick delivery method is recommended for emergencies, such as heartburn .

A study posted by Biomedical and Environmental Mass Spectrometry shared that CBD inhalation can deliver plasma concentrations within three minutes (65) .

This evidence was supported by another study that acknowledged the lungs to be very efficient in delivering CBD into the bloodstream. The authors explained that vapor inhalation could deliver plasma concentrations within 10 minutes or less (66) .

However, individuals must be aware that smoke or vapor inhalation could have side effects , such as chest pain , shortness of breath, chemical irritation, and allergic reactions (67) . By and large, it is generally reasonable to assume that inhalation of volatile substances will cause some degree of pulmonary inflammation.

What Is the Difference Between Acid Reflux and GERD?

Acid reflux occurs when the LES muscle lets stomach acid flow back into the esophagus. This condition is caused by transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESR).

The sphincter muscle opens when food is swallowed. During TLESR, the sphincter opens even when the individual is not swallowing. Gastric acid in the esophagus may lead to inflammation (esophagitis).

GERD is a more severe form of acid reflux disease . Similar to GERD , acid reflux symptoms include heartburn , coughing, and wheezing.

Untreated GERD may also cause esophageal mucosal damage (68) and hiatal hernia (69) brought by prolonged gastric acid exposure on the lining of the esophagus . Moreover, individuals with GERD have a higher risk of esophageal cancer.

Aside from OTC and prescription medication , surgical intervention is also an option to treat GERD .

Studies have shown that 40% of GERD patients do not respond to antacid and acid reducers. Thus, some individuals opt for the anti-reflux laparoscopic procedure to improve their quality of life (70) .

However, GERD patients must meet qualifying criteria before they are considered for the procedure.

Risk Factors and Other Causes of GERD

Some lifestyle factors may contribute to the prevalence of GERD symptoms and cause further irritation to the esophagus. Risk factors and causes include:

  • Eating large meals, spicy foods, and fatty foods
  • Eating late at night
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcoholic beverages and coffee
  • Taking aspirin
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal hernia (bulging of the stomach)

How Is CBD Oil Different From Medical Marijuana?

CBD oil is extracted from Cannabis sativa (hemp) using CO 2 , steam, or a solvent. The extraction’s purpose is to create a concentrated version of Cannabis sativa . The cannabinoid concentrations can be added into carrier oils, edibles, capsules, and vape juice.

Also, the extraction methods allow the manufacturers to control the amount of THC .

In the United States, CBD products are prohibited from having more than 0.3% THC in the concentration.

In medical cannabis or marijuana, the plants are harvested and dried. Recreational and medicinal marijuana use is only legal in 11 US states (71) , while CBD is legal in all US states and territories (72) .

However, CBD remains unregulated. Brands are not held accountable for inconsistent cannabinoid concentrations. Thus, individuals are advised to research before buying CBD products .

Legitimate CBD brands provide customers with a certificate of analysis (COA). The COA is a third-party test result produced by ISO certified laboratories. The lab test for cannabinoid concentrations and the presence of harmful chemicals, such as heavy metals, pesticides, microbial, and fungal contaminants.

The COA is the determining factor if the product is safe for human and animal consumption.


Studies acknowledged that CBD might influence gastric production by triggering receptors in the ECS system. This activity might help in alleviating acid reflux symptoms (73) .

CBD ‘s receptor activities might help modulate the esophageal function and prevent gastric acid leakage into the esophagus (74) .

Moreover, cannabinoids , such as CBD and CBC, have been shown to possess gastric protective and anti-inflammatory properties that might alleviate GERD symptoms (75) .

CBD has also been acknowledged for its ability to reduce anxiety and depression (76) .

However, more clinical studies are needed to support CBD ’s efficacy in treating GERD .

Whatever treatment is chosen, one must make the necessary lifestyle changes to alleviate GERD symptoms .

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