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Updated on February 12, 2024

CBD for Pancreatitis

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Key takeaways

  • Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas.
  • It is linked to abdominal pain, digestive discomfort, fever, nausea and vomiting.
  • Research shows CBD may hold a potential benefit in reducing nausea, modulating immune response, controlling inflammation and providing pain relief.
  • CBD is well tolerated by the body.

Animal studies on CBD suggest that it may hold some potential benefits in reducing inflammation, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are highly connected to pancreatitis. In this article we would look at the possible roles of CBD in inflammation especially pancreatitis and how best we can achieve it.

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is when the pancreas, a small organ behind the stomach, becomes inflamed. The pancreas helps with digestion and regulates blood sugar. When it's inflamed, it can cause pain and affect digestion. Pancreatitis can be acute (sudden and short-term) or chronic (lasting a long time or recurring). It often requires medical attention and changes in diet and lifestyle.

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

The symptoms of pancreatitis can vary, but common signs include:

  1. Abdominal Pain
  2. Nausea and Vomiting
  3. Fever and Rapid Pulse
  4. Tenderness in the Abdomen
  5. Swollen or Tender Belly
  6. Loss of Appetite
  7. Weight Loss
  8. Jaundice

What symptoms of pancreatitis can CBD help with?

While research on the specific effects of CBD for pancreatitis is limited, CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which may offer potential benefits for individuals with pancreatitis. Here are some ways CBD could potentially help:

  1. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBD has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in various studies. Since pancreatitis involves inflammation of the pancreas, CBD's anti-inflammatory effects may contribute to reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms.
  2. Pain Management: Pancreatitis is often associated with severe abdominal pain. CBD has been studied for its analgesic (pain-relieving) effects, which could potentially help manage pain in individuals with pancreatitis.
  3. Nausea and Vomiting: CBD has shown promise in alleviating nausea and vomiting, common symptoms of pancreatitis. This may be beneficial for improving overall comfort and well-being.
  4. Regulation of Digestive Processes: CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including those related to digestion. This modulation could potentially have positive effects on digestive issues associated with pancreatitis.
  5. Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition where nerves get damaged or inflamed, leading to pain and numbness. It's sometimes linked to chronic pancreatitis. In a small 2020 study with 29 people dealing with peripheral neuropathy, researchers explored the effects of applying CBD oil topically. The results showed a reduction in acute neuropathic pain for those using CBD. The study suggests that not only is CBD well-tolerated, but it could also be a helpful option compared to traditional treatments for peripheral neuropathy.

How can I consume CBD for pancreatitis?

If you want to try CBD for pancreatitis we suggest you focus on pure CBD oils, tinctures or edibles. This is because these products will offer the best effect for users and will also permit the circulation of CBD in your bloodstream for as long as possible.

Also make sure the products are verified by a third-party lab and are either full-spectrum or broad spectrum products. This is because these products can engage more receptors and offer better effect for pain relief and inflammation.

Don’t forget to also use the right dosage for your body type. Choosing the right dosage will go a long way in providing the best effect. Although there is limited research on the possible recommended dosages for pancreatitis, we suggest you start small and go slow. Start with a low dosage then monitor its effect before increasing.

Is CBD safe for pancreatitis?

CBD is generally considered safe, as stated by the World Health Organization. There are no known safety issues specifically related to pancreatitis. However, a study in 2019, conducted on mice using extremely high CBD doses (200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight), indicated potential liver damage. It's crucial to understand that the doses commonly used by consumers are much smaller than this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I determine the right CBD dosage for pancreatitis?

CBD dosage can vary based on factors like body weight and individual response. Start with a low dose and gradually increase, guided by your healthcare provider.

Is topical CBD effective for managing pancreatitis symptoms?

Some studies have explored the use of topical CBD for neuropathic pain associated with pancreatitis. Discuss with your doctor to see if this option is suitable for you.

Can CBD be used as a sole treatment for pancreatitis?

CBD should not replace conventional medical treatments for pancreatitis. It may be considered as a complementary approach, and its use should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

Is there a risk of liver damage with CBD use for pancreatitis?

Extremely high doses of CBD in animal studies have shown potential for liver damage. However, typical consumer doses are much smaller. Consult with your doctor to assess individual risk factors.

What lifestyle changes should accompany CBD use for pancreatitis?

Lifestyle changes such as dietary modifications and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are essential in managing pancreatitis. CBD should be viewed as a potential complement to these changes, not a standalone solution.

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Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1).

Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. PMID: 31793418.

Ewing, L. E., Skinner, C. M., Quick, C. M., McGill, M. R., Walker, L. A., ElSohly, M. A., Gurley, B. J., & Koturbash, I. (2018). Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model. Molecules, 24(9), 1694.

Lubega, F., & Lwanga, A. (2021). An Unexpected Case of Cannabis-Induced Pancreatitis. Cureus, 13(2).

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