Constipation and CBD
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Cannabidiol (CBD) relieves a wide range of symptoms. You may know it helps with pain and sleep problems, but what about constipation? Discover how CBD works with your natural systems to reduce this common symptom.
Constipation: An Overview
When you experience constipation, you have three or fewer bowel movements a week. Most cases of constipation last for a short time, but the symptoms can feel unpleasant. However, some people have chronic constipation, which has a negative impact on your bowel movements for a long time.
You can have one of three types of constipation:
- Atonic: Atonic constipation involves a lack of muscle tone in your intestines.
- Obstructive: In obstructive constipation, a physical obstruction blocks your bowels.
- Spastic: Irritation and inflammation in your intestines cause spastic
The type of constipation you have changes the approaches you can take to relieve your symptoms. For example, while healthy habits help patients with atonic constipation, obstructive constipation needs medical attention.
As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, CBD can address the causes and symptoms of constipation. It helps your natural functions work the way they should.
The Endocannabinoid System’s Link to the Digestive System
We all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that makes and uses cannabinoids, the substances found in marijuana. Our ECS also creates its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. The ECS includes two types of receptors that bind to cannabinoids, CB1 and CB2. You can find CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the body, including in the gut.
The ECS regulates the gut/brain connection through CB1 receptors. Our brain and gut communicate to each other through the vagus nerve to control our digestive functions. You can find CB1 receptors on the vagus nerve that influence these communications with cannabinoids. They process and release cannabinoids to manage the way our brain and gut send messages to each other.
CBD for Constipation Relief
CBD can relieve certain forms of constipation by addressing the causes. Its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory abilities have an indirect role to play in helping constipation patients.
If you experience constipation as a side effect of painkillers, you could lower your dose or replace it using CBD. CBD controls the pain response by increasing your anandamide levels. Anandamide, one of the endocannabinoids created by our bodies, moderates pain in damaged tissue. A fatty acid called FAAH breaks anandamide down, but CBD blocks FAAH. Taking CBD prevents the breakdown of anandamide, allowing it to manage pain sensations.
Anandamide also reduces inflammation in irritated tissue. This benefit helps patients with spastic constipation have reduced symptoms. When you have spastic constipation as a symptom of IBS, CBD also works with the body to relieve the condition’s other symptoms.
We recommend getting a doctor’s help before using CBD if you don’t know the cause of your constipation. If you have atonic or obstructive constipation, CBD may exacerbate your symptoms. However, it could also help you if you experience phases of constipation and diarrhea. You can use CBD to decrease your bowel motility and symptoms related to diarrhea when you have an episode.
Finding the Right CBD Product for Your Constipation
CBD medicine comes in many forms. The availability in your area depends on local and state laws. Even if you don’t plan to use medication with THC, a medical marijuana program gives you access to medicine-grade CBD items. When you can’t get access to a dispensary, you can also get relief from over-the-counter CBD products. We recommend checking the product label to ensure it has enough CBD to provide benefits.
The right type of CBD product for your constipation will match the underlying causes. If you get constipation from painkillers, you want a medicine that reaches the affected area. Topical treatments will help muscle pain, while patches, edibles and pills circulate to pain sources inside your body. Medication you ingest travels to your intestine to relieve inflammation caused by IBS and other conditions.
You may also want to look into medicine that contains small amounts of THC to boost CBD’s effects. It works together with CBD to provide stronger pain and inflammation relief. Since CBD reduces the impact of THC on the brain, you can feel less of a “high” from the THC.
A doctor trained in cannabis medicine can help you find a solution that manages your symptoms. CBD has varying effects depending on the case of constipation. So, getting medical advice first will ensure you have an effective treatment.
Where to Learn More About Medical Marijuana
To discover more about using cannabis medicine, find more information about underlying and related conditions in our ailment resources.
Learn More About Constipation
Learn more about Constipation and what makes medical marijuana an effective treatment for Constipation’s symptoms.
If you are suffering from Constipation, learn more about your marijuana-related treatment options. Find out how CBD can be used to treat the symptoms of Constipation.
does cbd make you poop? (constipation, diarrhea, and more)
we’re not afraid of poop over here. everybody poops. or at least we hope they do! anyways, pooping is one of the many things that cbd oil is said to be related to. reports exist of users experiencing the ability to poop more regularly, but they also exist in the opposite manner as well, with effects such as constipation or diarrhea. we figured we’d set the record straight in one place and answer the following question as thoroughly as we could: does cbd make you poop?
yes, cbd does make you poop. cbd is known to regulate gut motility, which brings about digestive action. cbd’s relaxing effects on the nerves can play a role, and the antioxidant properties inside cbd may also contribute to increased and/or more regular bowel movements.
there’s more to it than that, though. diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, and ibs all have their claims of some interaction with cbd. so what are they, and do they hold any validity?
does cbd cause diarrhea?
diarrhea is a commonly-associated side effect to cbd. there could be a handful of reasons why a person who consumes cbd would get diarrhea, and some of the could be related to cbd while others are likely not. let’s take a look.
dosage size – while cbd is completely safe and you cannot overdose on it, a large dose of cbd may result in an upset stomach and/or loose stool, especially if it is among your first times taking it. if your body is not used to its endocannabinoid system (ecs) becoming activated, diarrhea could be a possible reaction. the truth is, every person has a different body chemistry and we are still at the forefront of learning how our ecs is interrelated with all of the other systems in our body due to the legal status of cannabis over the better part of the last century.
method of consumption – sublingual administration of a cbd tincture allows for rapid absorption straight into the bloodstream, which makes side effects of upset stomach or diarrhea less likely than orally taking a capsule, gummy, chocolate, etc. however, even if you take a tincture, the carrier oil may matter to you. for example, you may not react well to olive oil or mct oil, so you would want to choose a product with the opposite if that was the case.
other ingredients in the mix – coffee, alcohol, or even high amounts of fiber in your system can cause diarrhea on their own. given that cbd can help you poop, it makes sense that taking it in conjunction with your morning cup of joe or while having a few drinks on your zoom virtual happy hour could get things flowing a little more than desired.
the shit – pardon the puns here, but there’s a lot of crappy cbd out there. when cannabis grows, it absorbs whatever is in the soil where it grows. this means the presence of any impurities such as lead, pesticides, mold, or other heavy metals could result in those toxins being present in the finished cbd product. not only could this potentially cause your body to reject the substance through diarrhea or other means, but it could also pose a threat to your long-term health and well-being. it is critical to make sure any cbd product you buy or consume has been third-party lab tested and that you have seen proof with your own two eyes, otherwise you can never know for sure.
the ecs at work – we mentioned at the beginning of the article that cbd can help regulate gut motility. this happens through the ecs, which has two types of receptors (cb1 and cb2 ). cb1 receptors are found in the gut, among many other places, and they play a role in the body’s homeostatic functions. this is one reason it regulates gut motility, it could also be possible for diarrhea to occur as the body’s natural response towards attempting to clear any form of toxin from the body in order to maintain homeostasis.
cannabis as a whole – medical marijuana has also been known to cause diarrhea in people. at the end of the day, the relationship between diarrhea and cbd, thc, and cannabis as a whole is still largely unstudied.
does cannabis help with constipation, or does it cause it?
as you know by now, cbd helps maintain gut motility. however, thc does the opposite, slowing it down. with most people, this does not take place to a noticeable effect; but a large dose of thc, especially to a person whose body is not used to it may result in the user experiencing temporary constipation.
other issues may also cause constipation, and if you find yourself constipated cbd oil could be helpful for a few reasons beyond helping gut motility. cb1 receptors are also present in the brain and central nervous system, and can help relax nerve connections. this is why cbd is helpful in alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety, but that same calmed state can help your body relax enough to pass a bowel movement when constipated.
we stated earlier that cbd’s antioxidant properties may also play a role in helping bowel movements. prunes, berries, leafy greens, dates, figs, avocados, and lentils are examples of foods that are high in antioxidants, and they are also foods that will help you poop. this is another contributing factor to the greater picture as to why cbd may help with constipation.
lastly, it is important to remember that the body’s natural condition is to have regular bowel movements. constipation is a sign that the body is out of homeostasis, a condition that cbd helps the body maintain. cbd helping with constipation may also be attributed to its overall homeostatic effects.
cbd and bowel issues
if you’ve ever had symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (ibs), you’ll know they’re no fun. pain, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, and cramping may come from food intolerance, eating too quickly, an infection, or plenty of other reasons. cbd may be helpful in alleviating some of these symptoms due to its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
more on inflammation and bowels, cbd has also been shown to be helpful for people with crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease . it can affect different areas of the gut for different people, and cbd can help with not only the inflammation, but other prominent side effects of such as pain and diarrhea. there is no known cure for people with crohn’s, but cbd can help people manage.
is there anything i can do?
there is always something you can do to better your situation, wherever you find yourself. if you are experiencing any issues related to your bowels, you should consult a medical professional. on that topic, it’s also always good to have regular medical check-ups.
but beyond that, hydration is one of the most important things you can do to help all of your bodily systems function properly. making sure to drink enough water can help flush out toxins from your system, and it can also help bring fluidity to stagnant areas of your body. much the same, make sure you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. giving your body proper fuel to run on can also make all the difference in its ability to process nutrients and further create waste as a byproduct.
we aren’t doctors, nor are we qualified to give medical advice. but we want to see you live the best quality of life you possibly can. there is absolutely a place for modern medicine in our world, but we also believe that mother nature has provided us with everything we need to live a healthy life. we believe cannabis is one of those forms of plant medicine, and believe in its ability to work wonders on the human condition. helping with constipation and diarrhea is only one way in which cbd may tap into that magic, and we look forward to the inevitable discoveries as research is conducted that only continues to expand our understanding of this magical plant’s powers.
does cbd make you poop? (constipation, diarrhea, and more) we’re not afraid of poop over here. everybody poops. or at least we hope they do! anyways, pooping is one of the many things that cbd