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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.
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.
Can Marijuana Cause Diarrhea?
No one likes to talk about it, but at one point or another, everyone has experienced issues while going #2. Anecdotal stories, in particular, abound about problems arising in cannabis use. But the question remains, can marijuana actually cause diarrhea?
The short answer is somewhat complicated: anecdotally, marijuana can cause and soothe discomfort associated with diarrhea and constipation. However, the research still has a long way to go to provide medical cannabis patients with an informed answer.
This article dives into the specifics of how cannabis interacts with our digestive system and what to know about diarrhea and constipation associated with the use of marijuana.
How Marijuana Helps You Poop
For centuries, people have used cannabis for medicinal reasons, including problems with our digestive system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) manages multiple regulatory processes in our bodies, including digestion and waste elimination. Since cannabis directly interacts with the ECS, added to the fact that the gastrointestinal organs have a high concentration of endocannabinoid receptors, it makes sense that it would interplay with our time in the restroom.
The cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract influence bowel movements, though little research has explored precisely how cannabis compounds interact with these receptors.
Most studies on cannabis’ effect on gastrointestinal issues focus on patients with irritable bowel disease (IBD) or Crohn’s disease due to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects. However, there’s promising research to suggest that cannabis may be helpful for other digestive illnesses .
Marijuana reduces abdominal pain and increases appetite, potentially encouraging the body to properly digest foods and poop normally. And a recent population study found that current cannabis users were less likely than non-users to report experiencing constipation.
How to Recognize Diarrhea and Constipation From Marijuana
If you think you’re experiencing marijuana-induced diarrhea or constipation, look out for the following signs and learn how to mitigate or stop unpleasant symptoms.
The symptoms of cannabis-related diarrhea and constipation are, understandably, the same as diarrhea or constipation related to other illnesses. Signs of diarrhea include:
- Loose, runny stools
- Stomach cramps
- Sudden and frequent need to visit the restroom
The symptoms of cannabis-induced constipation include:
- Less than frequent bowel movements,
- Painful to go to the bathroom
- Cramps in abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Hard stools
How to Stop It
When experiencing diarrhea or constipation related to medical marijuana use, simply stopping your use or lowering your dosage should be enough to mitigate any unpleasant symptoms. Additionally, some anecdotal evidence points to edibles and oils as more likely to cause digestive issues – if you use edibles to medicate, switching to vapes or smoking may also stop symptoms.
When to Be Concerned
Diarrhea or constipation, whether cannabis-related or not, usually goes away within a few days after taking steps to address the issue. However, longer-term symptoms may be an indication of a larger health concern.
Colon or rectal cancers, tearing in the lining of the anus, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) all feature diarrhea or constipation as a symptom. If you are experiencing long-term bowel movement problems, it may be worth consulting your doctor for a professional opinion.
Cannabis users can also experience diarrhea or constipation due to what’s called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) . This rare but concerning condition often occurs in heavy, continued cannabis use, potentially due to an overload of THC stored in fat cells in the body.
CHS is accompanied by recurrent bouts of pain in the stomach and intense nausea and vomiting. Symptoms typically vary in the three phases of CHS:
- Prodromal Phase. Includes abdominal pain and nausea.
- Hyperemetic Phase. Lasts 24-48 hours and often includes compulsive vomiting.
- Recovery Phase. Symptoms gradually lessen and disappear with decreased cannabis use.
While all these symptoms are unpleasant, it’s easy enough to treat CHS: simply abstain from THC for a while until you can rebuild your tolerance. A hot shower, black pepper (which contains beta-caryophyllene ), and soothing distractions will help soothe symptoms in the meantime.
The Bottom Line
More research is needed to truly understand how and why cannabis can cause and alleviate diarrhea and constipation. However, each individual should act according to their body’s needs and response to cannabis. If it helps, great! If it causes more problematic symptoms, be sure to discuss your experience with a Leafwell doctor to understand better how to mitigate issues while enjoying the many benefits of medical marijuana.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes diarrhea, the THC or the CBD?
There’s no definitive answer. We need more research to affirmatively say which cannabinoid, THC , CBD , or the hundreds of others in cannabis, actually causes diarrhea. The Entourage Effect also affects how a particular cultivar interacts with the body’s gastrointestinal system, making it more complicated.
Why does eating cannabis upset my stomach?
Eating cannabis edibles upsets the stomach due to the high levels of THC introduced into the body via the liver instead of through the lungs. The liver processes THC into a version of the cannabinoid that’s much more potent, and too much can bypass cannabis’ anti-nausea effects and go straight to causing nausea and stomach discomfort.
An upset stomach after cannabis use may also be associated with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. It’s also worth remembering that the edible you’re eating may have ingredients other than cannabis that may be causing an upset stomach.
Is marijuana good for constipation?
While more research is needed, marijuana anecdotally is good for helping with constipation. Cannabis can relax stomach discomfort and increase appetite, encouraging users to eat food that’ll help the digestive system get back on track.