Do you find it challenging to handle gallstones or other gallbladder disorders? Cannabidiol (CBD) products may help you cope with your condition and improve wellness. 

How CBD May Help With Gallbladder Disorders

The symptoms of gallbladder disease may include inflammation, infection, stones, or blockage of the gallbladder(1).

Research shows that CBD may possess antioxidative(2), anti-inflammatory(3), and analgesic(4) properties.

Unlike the psychoactive component of cannabis-derived tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is nonpsychoactive and does not induce euphoric effects(5).

CBD for Pain

Meanwhile, gallstone-induced pain may be associated with events like gallstone attacks(6) and conditions like biliary colic(7). Biliary colic is a continuous or intermittent pain in the upper abdomen(8).

Recent studies hypothesized that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) exhibits a crucial role in regulating pain(9). This system is said to modulate all levels of pain processing pathways.

Additional research is warranted on CBD’s interaction with the ECS to help relieve pain associated with gallbladder disorders, including gallstones.

The ECS contains two primary receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which interact with cannabinoids to produce potential therapeutic effects(10).

CB1 receptors are heavily expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS), while CB2 receptors are primarily contained in immune cells.

Cannabinoid receptor agonists may possess therapeutic value against inflammatory and neuropathic pains, according to a study published in Current Neuropharmacology(11).

An agonist is a compound that can attach to and cause the activation of a receptor.

Future research should explore CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory properties on gallbladder disorders.

Although THC provides potential therapeutic benefits, its euphoric effects limit the use of medical marijuana(12).

Meanwhile, cannabidiol is believed to modulate non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels in the body(13).

CBD for Inflammation

A medical review published in the European Journal of Rheumatology examined the ECS’ effect on pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA)(14). RA is a chronic inflammatory disorder.

Meanwhile, cholecystitis is an inflammation of the gallbladder, producing redness and swelling(15). This condition occurs when the digestive juice known as bile becomes lodged in the gallbladder.

Multiple studies on cannabinoid receptors have suggested that endocannabinoids reduce and suppress pain perception(16).

The antinociceptive functionality of cannabinoid agonists is strongly associated with the compounds’ capability of displacing binding ligands from cannabinoid receptors, obstructing their signaling. Nociceptive pain is attributed to body tissue damage.

In most cases of gallbladder stones, lumps of solid material, known as gallstones, obstruct a tube (cystic duct) that drains bile away from the gallbladder(17). The cystic duct joins the hepatic duct(18).

The cystic duct links the gallbladder to the biliary tree, a system of vessels that directs liver-produced digestive secretions into the small intestine(19).

A gallstone’s severe impediment or blockage of the flow of bile in the cystic duct can lead to inflammation of the gallbladder(20).

Further research is needed on CBD’s potential therapeutic effects on gallstone-induced pain and inflammation.

CBD for Cancer

A review published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design journal examined the potential therapeutic aspects of the ECS for cancer(21). Gallbladder cancer is a rare manifestation of the disease.

CBD may also possess antioxidative properties(22).

Such properties may help attenuate the symptoms of gallbladder disorders, including cholecystitis and gallstones. However, more research is necessitated.

Benefits and Uses of CBD for Gallbladder Disorders

While limited medical research has been conducted on the benefits of CBD for gallbladder disorders, CBD may potentially help relieve or reduce symptoms of gallbladder disorders.

Research suggested that CBD may help improve wellness by relieving symptoms of conditions including gastrointestinal disorders(23), back pain(24), and nausea(25).

Symptoms of gallstone disease may include rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting or nausea, and abdominal pain(26).

Meanwhile, symptoms of gallstones may include bloating, abdominal pain in the right upper quadrant, shoulder pain, chest pain, back pain, and nausea or vomiting(27-28).

Thus, CBD may potentially help relieve or reduce symptoms of gallbladder conditions. However, additional research is warranted.

Gallstones may induce bloating(29). This condition results from the stretching of the digestive organs and may produce symptoms including swelling, constipation, and diarrhea.

Studies investigated the potential effects of CBD on digestive disorders.

A medical study published in the Current Neuropharmacology journal examined the role of cannabinoids in gastrointestinal mucosal inflammation(30).

The researchers hypothesized that CBD may possess anti-inflammatory properties to help attenuate the development of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis(31).

Colitis is a chronic digestive disease that induces inflammation of the colon’s inner lining.

Additional research may examine the potential therapeutic effects of CBD on gallstone-induced bloating.

Meanwhile, gallbladder disease may induce pain in the upper abdomen and upper back(32). Research has studied CBD’s potential pain-relieving effects.

A 2020 review examined the potential use of cannabidiol to treat acute and chronic back pain(33).

In the case series, both patients were administered the same CBD cream(34).

The researchers hypothesized that CBD seemed to produce anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

Additional research is necessitated to determine whether CBD creams have pain-relieving effects on patients with gallbladder disorders.

More human clinical trials are needed to determine if CBD may attenuate gallbladder disorder-induced nausea and vomiting. However, CBD’s therapeutic effects on such symptoms have been observed in other conditions.

For instance, symptoms of cholecystitis may include nausea and vomiting(35). Past research has investigated cannabinoids’ potential therapeutic effects to relieve nausea and vomiting.

A review published by the British Journal of Pharmacology examined cannabinoids’ potential regulation of nausea and vomiting(36).

The researchers noted the purported antiemetic effects of cannabinoids in animal subjects. Emetic substances induce vomiting.

CBD may promote vomiting-suppression induced by nicotine and cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug(37).

Consulting with a physician or other medical practitioner before using cannabidiol is advisable for proper usage and dosage.

How to Administer CBD for Gallbladder Disorders

When choosing the best CBD for gallbladders, delivery methods include sublingual, oral, and transdermal applications.

Good CBD products for gallbladder conditions may include full-spectrum CBD oils, edibles, or patches.

Full-spectrum CBD extracts may produce the entourage effect, a phenomenon resulting from the synergistic properties of all the cannabis plant’s compounds.

A CBD product’s form of administration may affect factors including onset time and efficacy duration. However, there is no FDA-approved method to take CBD oil for gallbladder conditions.

You can take CBD oil products for gallbladder disorders in numerous forms, including:


You may use a dropper to apply CBD oil tinctures sublingually under the tongue for faster absorption into the bloodstream.

CBD is absorbed through membranes under the tongue and in the cheeks.

Tablets and Capsules 

CBD tablets and CBD capsules must pass through an individual’s digestive tract.


CBD edibles help avoid CBD hemp extract’s “earthy” or “grassy” taste. Options include CBD chocolate bars, CBD gummies, and CBD cookies.


Transdermal applications like CBD patches use the skin dermis to release cannabidiol into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.


CBD vape pens and CBD vape oils may provide instant therapeutic effects as the vapors enter the bloodstream through the individual’s lungs rather than the digestive tract(38).

Research suggests that vaping may help induce several lung conditions, including lipoid pneumonia(39). Lipoid pneumonia develops when fatty acids enter the lungs.

A physician or other healthcare professional can help guide you on the proper usage of CBD products.

Proper CBD Dosage for Gallbladder Disorders

In a CBD dosage review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, 15 milligrams of CBD per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg) per day was reported to be well tolerated and reduced the frequency and severity of seizures(40).

Meanwhile, another study reported that 1,500mg of CBD per day was well tolerated in humans(41).

However, there is no FDA-approved CBD dosage for gallbladder disorders. It is advisable to begin taking low CBD doses and gradually increase the intake until reaching the desired effects.

How Long CBD May Take to Help With Gallbladder Disorders

Researchers have conducted no clinical studies on the efficacy duration of CBD products for gallbladder disorders.

The onset time of CBD products is dependent on factors such as the administration method.

After swallowing CBD tinctures, you may experience the effects within 15 to 30 minutes following application(42).

The therapeutic effects of CBD edibles may initiate within 30 minutes to two hours after consumption(43). Options include CBD capsules and CBD tablets.

CBD vape oil may produce effects in two minutes(44). However, inhaling smoke or vapor may cause allergic reactions and chemical irritation(45).

Researchers have conducted no studies on the onset time required to begin experiencing the therapeutic effects of CBD for gallbladder disorders.

How Long CBD May Help With Gallbladder Disorders

A study review published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal suggested that the half-life of cannabidiol was two to five days after individuals received a daily oral dose(46).

Half-life is the amount of time required for a substance’s amount to reduce to half of its original value(47).

Meanwhile, previous human and animal studies suggested that CBD’s bioavailability ranges from 13% to 19%(48).

Bioavailability is the rate at which an active drug ingredient is absorbed and becomes biologically available at the location of drug action(49).

Risk Factors and Side Effects of Utilizing CBD for Gallbladder Disorders

The World Health Organization (WHO) speculated that CBD has a generally safe profile(50). However, it would help to consider particular risk factors when using CBD for gallbladder disorders.

CBD may interact with other medications processed in the liver(51). Cannabidiol may incur interactions with particular enzymes that may increase or decrease the effectiveness of certain drugs.

Potential cannabidiol side effects may include(52):

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight changes

Legality of CBD

The 2018 Farm Bill categorized hemp-derived CBD products containing 0.3% or lower THC content as legal at the federal level(53). However, individuals should take unregulated CBD products with caution.

The United States FDA has only approved one CBD-based drug, Epidiolex(54). The CBD-based product treats rare forms of childhood epilepsies, like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome(55).

Some U.S. states have specific laws regarding the production and marketing of CBD products. It is advisable to research these laws to avoid unsanctioned outcomes.

What Precisely Are Gallstones?

Gallstone disease produces gallstones and impacts the body’s biliary system (bile-transporting system)(56). Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid(57).

Bilirubin is a yellowish pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells.

These stone-like objects are typically cholesterol or bilirubin that develop in the gallbladder or bile ducts(58).

The gallbladder is a small human organ that stores and releases bile to help digest fats.

Common causes of gallstones include situations when(59):

The gallbladder does not empty properly: The efficiency or frequency of the gallbladder’s emptying may be insufficient.

Excess bilirubin in bile: Potential factors include liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, and other blood disorders. Liver cirrhosis is scarring due to late-stage liver diseases and conditions.

Excess cholesterol in bile: The bile may be incapable of dissolving liver-excreted cholesterol.


Potential complications of gallstones include(60):

Inflammation of the gallbladder: A lodged gallstone may cause gallbladder inflammation, known as cholecystitis.

Blockage of the common bile duct (choledocholithiasis): Bile flows through the ducts from the gallbladder or liver to the duodenum (first section of the small intestine).

This blockage may involve the duodenum’s small opening known as the ampulla of Vater(61).

Common bile duct stones may induce pain or jaundice, a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes.

Cholangitis is inflammation within the bile duct system(62). In addition to gallstones, cholangitis may develop due to other conditions, including biliary dilatation(63). Biliary dilatation refers to overly narrow bile ducts.

Blockage of the pancreatic duct: A blocked pancreatic duct can lead to inflammation of the pancreas duct, known as pancreatitis.

Gallbladder cancer: Gallstones may produce a small risk of gallbladder cancer.


Diagnostic methods for gallstones include tests for radiology (medical imaging) tests, including(64):

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP): Combines X-ray and an endoscope (long, flexible tube)
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP): Produces three-dimensional anatomical images
  • X-rays: Utilized for detecting calcified gallstones(65)


Potential gallbladder treatments include(66):

  • Laparoscopic cholecystectomy: Surgical procedure to extract the gallbladder
  • Endoscopic gallbladder stenting: Nonsurgical procedure to relieve biliary symptoms and complications(67)


Research suggests that vitamin C, iron, and lecithin supplements may help protect the gallbladder from gallstones(68).

Based on the FDA’s regulation of food products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, CBD products cannot be sold or marketed as dietary supplements(69).

Individuals may also help strengthen their gallbladder by maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and cholesterol management(70).


1. How may CBD help with gallbladder disorders?

Research showed that CBD may possess analgesic(71) and anti-inflammatory properties(72). Unlike THC, CBD is a nonpsychoactive compound.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) may possess a critical role in regulating pain(73).

Common symptoms of gallstones include abdominal, chest, shoulder, and back pain(74). CBD may be a potential treatment to relieve gallstone symptoms.

2. What evidence exists to say that CBD may help with gallbladder disorders?

Research suggests that CBD may help improve wellness by relieving symptoms of gastrointestinal problems(75), back pain(76), and nausea(77).

Symptoms of gallbladder disorders may include bloating, back pain, and vomiting or nausea(78). Thus, CBD may help relieve or reduce gallbladder disorders. However, additional research is needed.

3. Is there any evidence that CBD can make gallbladder disorders worse?

Due to the limited research conducted on gallstone conditions and CBD, it is uncertain whether CBD worsens the condition.

However, no studies have suggested that CBD may worsen gallbladder conditions.

4. Will CBD interact with any current medications I may be taking for gallbladder disorders?

CBD may produce adverse interactions with other medications(79).

Consult your physician or other medical practitioners before taking any CBD products for gallstone disorders to prevent further unwanted symptoms.

5. Are there other treatments I should consider alongside CBD to help with gallbladder disorders?

Surgical removal of gallstones, known as cholecystectomy, is among the common treatment options for gallstones(80).

However, this procedure may produce various side effects, including postoperative pain. A physician may prescribe pain medications during follow-up doctor’s appointments.

Cannabidiol may produce mild side effects such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and loss of appetite(81).

6. Can I fail a drug test if I use CBD for gallbladder disorders?

CBD alone may not produce a positive drug test. However, trace amounts of THC may accumulate and eventually produce a false-positive result(82).

Be vigilant of the THC content of CBD products you are taking to avoid unlawful repercussions.

7. What is the proper dosage for gallbladder disorders?

No universally accepted cannabidiol dosage exists. Thus, it is advisable to take low doses and gradually increase the dosage if you experience no adverse effects until achieving your desired effects.

A recent study suggested that consuming 15 mg of CBD per kilogram of the user’s body weight per day is well tolerated among individuals(83).

  1. Gallbladder disease
  2. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  3. Ibid.
  4. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
  5. Does CBD get you high? What does the research say?
  6. Gallstones
  7. Surgical and Nonsurgical Management of Gallstones
  8. Biliary Colic
  9. The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pain
  10. Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
  11. Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes
  12. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Biology in Stroke
  13. How CBD Works
  14. The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease
  15. Cholecystitis
  16. The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease
  17. Cholecystitis
  18. Common hepatic duct
  19. Biliary tree
  20. Gallstones & Bile Duct Stones
  21. The Therapeutic Aspects of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) for Cancer and their Development: From Nature to Laboratory
  22. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  23. Role of Cannabinoids in Gastrointestinal Mucosal Defense and Inflammation
  24. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review
  25. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
  26. Gallbladder disease
  27. Gallstones
  28. Gallstones
  29. Gallstones
  30. Role of Cannabinoids in Gastrointestinal Mucosal Defense and Inflammation
  31. Ibid.
  32. Gallbladder disease
  33. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review
  34. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review
  35. Cholecystitis
  36. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
  37. Ibid.
  38. Is it safe to vape CBD?
  39. What Does Vaping Do to Your Lungs?
  40. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations.
  41. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent
  42. Using CBD for Arthritis: Tips for How to Get Started
  43. Using CBD for Arthritis: Tips for How to Get Started
  44. Using CBD for Arthritis: Tips for How to Get Started
  45. Can vaping damage your lungs? What we do (and don’t) know
  46. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
  47. It’s a question of physics: what’s meant by half-life?
  48. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans
  49. Bioavailability and Bioequivalence in Drug Development
  50. World Health Organization, (June 2018), Cannabidiol (CBD): A Critical Report
  51. CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution
  52. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  53. Defining Hemp: A Fact Sheet
  54. FDA Approves First Drug Comprised of an Active Ingredient Derived from Marijuana to Treat Rare, Severe Forms of Epilepsy
  55. FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD)
  56. Gallstone disease
  57. Gallstones
  58. Gallstones
  59. Gallstones
  60. Ibid.
  61. Ampullary Cancer
  62. Cholangitis
  63. Biliary dilatation
  64. Gallstones
  65. Gallstone imaging
  66. Gallstones
  67. Gallstone disease treatment
  68. Nutritional approaches to prevention and treatment of gallstones
  69. FDA Regulation of Dietary Supplement & Conventional Food Products Containing Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds
  70. Gallstones
  71. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
  72. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol
  73. The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Pain
  74. Gallstones
  75. Role of Cannabinoids in Gastrointestinal Mucosal Defense and Inflammation
  76. Cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of acute and chronic back pain: A case series and literature review
  77. Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids
  78. Gallstones
  79. Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug–Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use
  80. Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  81. What are the benefits of CBD — and is it safe to use?
  82. Can You Take CBD and Pass a Drug Test?
  83. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations.
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