Heart burn appears to effect the lower esophageal sphincter causing it to relax, allowing the acid to reflux up into the esophagus. This causes the pain and discomfort that is characteristic of acid reflux.

The use of CBD or cannabis allows the spincter to tighten, therefore reducing the risk of heart burn, GERD and gastroesophageal reflux disease.


What you’ll Learn

  • Heartburn mechanism
  • Studies relating to the endocannabinoid system and GERD
  • Acid suppression therapy

Heartburn and Cannabis, what you should know.

Can Cannabis help with heartburn?

Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, are symptoms that almost everyone has experienced after eating an excessively large meal, or eating a meal that just doesn’t sit well in your stomach. The process of swallowing involved creating a food bolus in your mouth and then swallowing in. The upper esophageal sphincter located in the throat relaxes and allows the food to enter the esophagus. And then it travels down the esophagus with the smooth muscle in the esophagus helping move it, and then the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows the food to enter the stomach. That lower esophageal sphincter is the culprit in heartburn. It appears that the lower esophageal sphincter will sometimes relax and that allows that acid to reflux up into the esophagus which causes the pain and discomfort that we all recognize.

Well, heartburn and acid regurgitation are typically treated with acid suppressive therapy, there’s some association with chronic acid suppressive therapy and osteoporosis and other issues. They function as mucosal protecting agents lining the gut, helping the lining of the gut to be protected, and also but to decrease acid production. But transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, if that could be controlled, could be a means to control symptoms. And it appears that cannabinoids can do exactly that.

The oral administration of cannabinoids reduces the occurrence of transient lower esophageal relaxation in dogs, and in healthy human volunteers. It’s not clear whether the stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, the CB1 and CB2 receptors and the smooth muscle of the esophagus, or the lining of the esophagus, or in the enteric nervous system and vagus nerve, it’s not clear exactly what’s involved in helping control the relaxation of that lower esophageal sphincter. It’s probably that both central and peripheral CD receptor stimulation is involved in getting things under control, but it is clear in more than one study, that the lower esophageal sphincter responds to stimulation with cannabinoids by tightening, thereby reducing your risk for heartburn, GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease.