Who hasn’t had a “gut feeling?” You know that instinct or intuition you get about something or someone without any facts or even logical reasoning to support it. The belief that your gut or digestive system is where your emotions are derived has been around since biblical times. The notion probably came from the fact that the gut provides information to the brain, which helps us decide what, when, how much, and how fast to eat and drink. Both the brain and gut play key roles in the stress we experience and our mood or state of mind. The gut may inform the brain of a stressor, and the brain will do the same for the gut. In addition to the fact that the gut is filled with nerve cells that receive and provide information to the brain, it also produces more than 90% of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that helps regulate our mood or emotions.
You can decide whether or not your instincts emanate from your gut, but one thing is certain. Gut health is essential to your general physical well-being.
Your gut is complex
Your gut or digestive system is actually a complex set of organs. The main organs of your gut and their function are:
- Mouth: Here’s where digestion starts. Your mouth and teeth break down food into manageable pieces. Saliva mixes with these pieces to break them down further so that your body can absorb and use them.
- Esophagus: When you swallow, food moves into the esophagus, where muscle contractions move the food into your stomach.
- Stomach: When food enters your stomach, enzymes, and acids further break down the food.
- Small intestine: The first part of the small intestine continues the process of breaking down food groups, protein fat, and carbohydrates into amino acids, sugars, and fatty acids, which then are absorbed into your bloodstream. 
- Large intestine or colon: The large intestine salvages the unabsorbed material from the small intestine and processes the waste (mostly food debris and bacteria) to pass through your system for elimination.
Along the way, your digestive system gets help from the pancreas, liver, and gall bladder. Enzymes released by the pancreas helps break down protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The pancreas also is the source of insulin. The liver filters blood it receives from the gut, filters it, removes toxins, metabolizes drugs, stores nutrients, and synthesizes proteins for various purposes. The gall bladder stores and concentrates bile, and after a meal, squeezes it into the small intestine, where it helps to digest fat.
The need for good gut health
Many possible health issues can arise from poor gut health. An upset stomach, characterized by gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn, can be caused by an unhealthy gut. Unintentional weight fluctuations without making dietary changes are another health issue, as is poor sleep. Even skin irritations may be the sign of a damaged gut. 
Maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms
Take good care of your gut is clearly the message. Gut health has a lot to do with the right balance of microorganisms – bacteria, yeast, and viruses – that live in your gut. Research has suggested that probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, can support a healthy gut microbiome and may prevent gut inflammation. Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics.
You also want to avoid eating sugars and sweeteners, which can cause an imbalance of gut microbes, and avoid taking too many antibiotics since they can damage gut microbiota. In addition, avoid stress, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep, which can help maintain good gut health.
The role of CBD in gut health
Research has shown that the connection between the brain and gut may be partly operated by the Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a vital molecular system through which your body strives to maintain stable functionality and operate optimally. Cannabinoid receptors interact with endocannabinoids and trigger the release of chemicals that help maintain functional balance.
Relative to your gut, CB1, and CB2 receptors are found even in your gut. Also, the good and bad bacteria and endocannabinoids have a cross-talk between them for healthy performance. Therefore, CBD can play a crucial role in supporting a healthy gut.
Gut health also means avoiding excessive inflammation, and here’s another way CBD benefits the digestive system. Research on animal models suggests a connection between CBD oil and inflammation. “...the cannabinoid seems to be able to interact with the immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce pain from several conditions.”
CBD products from our Lab Blends line you’ll want to consider for good gut health include Daily Dose Total Wellness Drops, which gives a complete sense of well-being and overall balance, and Dream Drop Nighttime Sleep Aid for a great night’s sleep.