We just did a deep dive into the intriguing mental health effects of aspirin.
This is a function of reduced neuroinflammation and we'll leave the full story to that review here.
There are also pronounced reductions in risk for colon cancer (and others) with aspirin and the effects are similar at lower doses (75mg) as with high.
The downside deals with GI bleeding.
We'll go through what's happening there below but more importantly, we'll look at new research on how CBD (and other tools) can offset this risk.
Here are the topics we'll cover:
- The benefits of aspirin systemwide on inflammation
- What does aspirin do to the stomach and intestinal walls
- Does CBD protect from GI issues caused by aspirin
- Other tools to protect gut barrier
Let's get started!
The benefits of aspirin systemwide on inflammation
It's known for quite some time that as an antiinflammatory, aspirin exerts specific protections from a wide range of risks.
The big ones of note:
- Cardiovascular events and aspirin
- Cancer and aspirin
- Mental health and aspirin
A quick review so we know the "pros".
Cardiovascular events and aspirin
First, the upside from a meta-analysis of many different studies:
Aspirin reduced the relative risk (RRR) of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) by 9% (RR 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86–0.95), myocardial infarction by 14% (RR 0.86; 95% CI, 0.77–0.95)
And the downside
but was associated with a 46% relative risk increase of major bleeding events (RR 1.46; 95% CI, 1.30–1.64) compared with controls.
The benefits were primarily for men, non-smokers, and those using statins.
So…the bleeding is a significant downside.
What about cancer?
Cancer and aspirin
Another meta-analysis found pretty significant effects on various forms of cancer:
Meta-analyses of cohort studies revealed that regular aspirin use reduced the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) (RR=0.85, 95%CI: 0.78-0.92), gastric cancer (RR=0.67, 95%CI: 0.52-0.87), breast cancer (RR=0.93, 95%CI: 0.87-0.99) and prostate cancer (RR=0.92, 95%CI: 0.86-0.98),
- 15% reduction colorectal risk
- 33% reduction in gastric cancer risk
- 7% in breast cancer (newer study shows 20%)
- 8% in prostate
Clearly, inflammatory states are breeding grounds for cancer which makes sense since our immune system's secondary role is the birth/death cycles of cells.
Finally, close to our hearts.
Mental health and aspirin
Neuroinflammation is the rising star of mental health. The intersection of our immune system and the brain.
We covered this in detail at our aspirin for mental health review but a quick take-away:
Using a random-effects model, the pooled hazard ratio of the three cohort studies was 0.624 (95% confidence interval: 0.0503 to 1.198, p = 0.033), supporting a reduced risk of depression with aspirin exposure.
Again, this was based on low-dose aspirin (approx 80-100mg).
Okay…what about the GI issues?
What does aspirin do to the stomach and intestinal walls?
The entire lining of your gut and stomach is coated with a thick layer of mucus that protects your ctual skin.
This mucus is primarily made from the gut bacteria which they themselves also form a third barrier.
This is all to keep bad things (pathogens) from gaining entry to our inner world.
We have to introduce a chemical pathway with dual-use (common with mother nature)
Prostaglandins do two things relevant to our discussion on the gut.
- Prostaglandins are pain and inflammation signaling players
- Prostaglandins support…our gut mucus layer!
The pain makes sense (giving aspirin's core role) but what about the gut mucus layer?
Prostaglandins are found in high concentration in the gastric mucosa and gastric juice. Exogenous prostaglandins inhibit acid secretion, stimulate mucus and bicarbonate secretion, alter mucosal blood flow, and provide dramatic protection against a wide variety of agents which cause acute mucosal damage.
Ah-ha! Aspirin slows down the chemical that keeps the mucus layer thick.
So…what can we do there? Glad you asked and it's not just CBD. But first…
Does CBD protect from GI issues caused by aspirin?
We've gone deep into CBD's effect on gut barrier protection here.
We've also looked at the microbiome as well here.
First, CBD's general effect on gut barrier mucus levels...
A study looked at CBD's effect on the gut after it was ravaged by C.diff, the nasty bacteria that are in hospitals and pretty antibiotic-resistant:
Cannabidiol restores intestinal barrier dysfunction and inhibits the apoptotic process induced by Clostridium difficile toxin A in Caco-2 cells
There are lots of studies and various aspects of our gut barrier such as:
An in vitro study on Caco-2 cells demonstrated that adding AEA or cannabidiol (CBD) alongside IL-17A when incubating the cell monolayers for 48 h prevents mucosal damage and the changes in the epithelial permeability associated with inflammation
So…gut barrier cells (caco-2) were supplied AEA (anandamide which CBD boosts) and CBD with a strong inflammatory agent (IL17A) and CBD prevented the standard mucus damage that would occur.
As for inflammation…
The anti-inflammatory action is several hundred times higher than that of acetylsalicylic acid.
Which begs the question…why not just take CBD instead of aspirin since it does not have the bleeding problems but…that's for another day.
To our point here, a study looked at PEA (which supports anandamide) and CBD after 600 mg of aspirin and the gut.
The study looked at a range of gut barrier and mucus factors and the result:
Cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide reduce permeability in the human colon. These findings have implications in disorders associated with increased gut permeability, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
All aspects were improved after high-dose aspirin!
We have a massive review on PEA here.
The net net…if you take aspirin daily, CBD isolate and/or PEA is a must to protect your gut which is key to auto-immune, GI issues, and mental health.
What else protects the gut while we're on the topic?
Other tools to protect gut barrier
Here are safe and effective tools to help support barrier and gut inflammation states.
We did a big review on IBD and CBD with more detail.
A quick snippet (full reviews are available)...
Berberine is a monster player in gut inflammation and barrier.
It boosts a major bacteria called akkermensia (one of our favorites).
Gut changes in diabetes:
The results showed, in addition to hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia, diabetic rats were also characterized by proinflammatory intestinal changes, altered gut-derived hormones, and 2.77-fold increase in intestinal permeability. However, the treatment with BBR significantly reversed the above changes
Gut inflammation is key to total body and brain health.
What about Vitamin D?
Vitamin D and gut barrier mucus
D is a steroid…one you get from the sun.
It's a master regulator of our immune system including the one in the gut.
Vitamin D, an important modulator of the immune system, has beenshown to protect mucosal barrier homeostasis.
Homeostasis is a fancy word for balance.
Too bad a good majority of us are deficient and that's by the ridiculous RDA requirements (30 and over ng/ml) for bendy knees and rickets.
See our review on Vitamin D here.
Let's look at PEA from above.
PEA and gut protection from aspirin
PEA is essentially discount THC without the psychoactive effects.
It's backup for anandamide which THC imitates.
CBD and PEA are in the same endocannabinoid family.
We have a huge review of PEA here with one caveat. It's very safe but some people can have histamine (allergy agent) responses to it.
Test to see how you feel.
Otherwise, CBD calms histamine response (if it's the right kind of CBD…more on that below) and supports anandamide in a workaround kind of way.
Finally, steroidal hormones.
Progesterone drops every year starting around age 20.
Progesterone drops by 50% at age 40 which is really too bad since it calms our immune response.
As for the gut?
Progesterone decreases gut permeability through upregulating occludin expression in primary human gut tissues and Caco-2 cells
So it protects the gut barrier.
Estrogen is mother nature's little builder and that goes for gut mucus layers as well:
There were nearly 50% increases in the mucin content of both the nonadherent and adherent mucus layer(s) in HT29-MTX cells exposed to estrogen.
It plummets in our late 40's (see why some women get hit so hard by perimenopause).
That's how we found CBD to begin with!
It's also partially why autoimmune creeps up in our 40's for women.
Okay…practical questions for CBD and aspirin.
How much CBD to take with aspirin
There is no established level for CBD to protect with aspirin.
A general band would be 50-100mg/daily reflecting other research on inflammation in general.
Neurogenesis (brain repair) peaks at 300mg and more serious issues (opioid withdrawal, public speaking, schizophrenia, etc) show results at 600-800mg but that's likely too high to offset gut mucus effects.
Until we see specific research, the 50-100mg daily is a good benchmark with strong safety research.
What about the type of CBD?
What's the best CBD to take with aspirin
First, do no harm.
CBD must have the following characteristics:
- From organically grown hemp in the US at FDA registered farms
- CO2 processed
- Third-party testing
- No THC (THC builds tolerance)
- No pesticides
- No heavy metals
- No solvents
- No bacteria
- No mold
Our testing is available at the top of each page.
Then there's full spectrum versus CBD isolate.
All the research is on isolate.
Plus, 40-60% of the population has histamine issues and that number goes up as we get older and for women (the progesterone effect).
We see countless people who have bad reactions to full-spectrum which go away with CBD isolate due to this histamine effect.
Histamine is part of our immune response…a type of inflammation.
We don't want to increase histamine especially in the gut where it drives nausea, irritation, and more.
Then, there's cost.
The key is the cost per mg of CBD.
We price our 6000 bottles at 2-3 cents per mg before discounts up 50%.
You can actually go down to the 1000 or 2000 bottles (33 and 66 mg per dropper respectively) but the 6000 is lower in cost.
Use the first50 discount code for 50% off to test.
Be well. Take care of each other. Take care of yourself.
Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!
The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.