Learn the the effects of cbd gummies and if they can cause constipation, in most cases it will not, but actually help with digestive issues. Learn why some cannabis users experience constipation as a side effect and how to combat side effects to get the most out of your cannabis. You may be wondering if CBD causes constipation. Here's a detailed guide on how cannabis affects the digestive system!
Do CBD Gummies Cause Constipation?
If you’re at all familiar with cannabis and related products, you’ve probably heard of CBD.
CBD products, especially CBD gummies are some of the most popular cannabis products currently on the market. But what exactly are CBD gummies and what kinds of effects can they have on you? Can CBD cause constipation, for example?
Let’s break that down.
What is CBD?
CBD, cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis Sativa plant. For those who are unaware, cannabinoids are chemical compounds in cannabis plants. THC is probably the most famous cannabinoid. Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it won’t cause a “high” feeling.
That’s not to say that CBD does not affect the body, though. Once CBD enters your system, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body to produce a variety of positive effects.
So, how can you use CBD?
CBD products are available in many different forms including oils, tinctures, topicals, and edibles like gummies. There’s something for everyone with CBD, but CBD gummies are growing to be more popular than other CBD products.
Why are CBD Gummies So Popular?
Two key elements make CBD gummies a fan-favorite choice among cannabis users. First, they contain CBD, so they offer people all the benefits of CBD. Second, they’re gummies, so they’re like a grown-up version of everyone’s favorite childhood sweets.
To be more specific, one of the many benefits of CBD gummies over other CBD products is how delicious and enjoyable they are. Other CBD products like CBD tinctures can leave a bitter, unpleasant taste in a person’s mouth after use.
That’s simply not the case with CBD gummies. They’re designed to be sweet and flavorful. You can choose from a variety of CBD gummies flavors like citrus, mint, or berry. CBD gummies easily conceal the natural earthy flavor of hemp.
CBD gummies are also hugely popular because of how discrete they are. You can easily snack on some CBD gummies wherever you are without anyone having any idea that you’re using CBD. If you want to be private about your CBD use, CBD gummies make that incredibly easy.
Beyond that, CBD gummies are much more convenient than other CBD products. Pick them up and carry them with you anywhere without worrying about spills or leaks. Then, when you want to use CBD gummies, all you need to do is open the package and snack on one (or more) of the gummies.
On that note, CBD gummies also stand out in how easy they make it to correctly determine your dose of CBD. It’s always important to know how much CBD you’re consuming at any given time, but that can be difficult with other CBD products like tinctures that require precise measuring. With CBD gummies, you just choose how many gummies to consume and easily know how much CBD you’re consuming. The amount of CBD in each gummy is readily available on the packaging. No more wrong doses!
What are the Effects of Using CBD?
Those are some of the reasons why customers choose CBD gummies over other CBD products, but you may still be wondering why people use CBD in the first place. The simple answer is that they want to experience the effects of using CBD.
As mentioned previously, CBD doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects. That means that using CBD will not cause you to feel high. As for how it will make you feel, that can vary greatly from person to person. Each individual is unique and can have a slightly different experience using CBD.
In general, people who use CBD report feeling relaxed and peaceful. Some customers use CBD to help address chronic pain like joint or back pain. CBD may be able to help with trouble sleeping, as well.
So, overall, it seems that the effects of using CBD are positive. Many people incorporate CBD into their daily routine to consistently reap these benefits and improve their lives.
That’s not to say that CBD is without potential negative side effects, though. Possible side effects of using CBD include weight loss, decreased appetite, dry mouth, vomiting, drowsiness, and constipation.
Can CBD Gummies Cause Constipation?
A common question about CBD use is: can CBD cause constipation? Based on the aforementioned list of possible CBD side effects, the answer is yes. Still, there’s a little bit more to it than that.
Constipation is a highly unusual side effect of using CBD. Generally speaking based on customer experiences and preliminary studies, CBD products that go through the digestive tract (such as gummies and other edibles) may cause constipation. However, that’s likely a side effect from the other ingredients in those products, not the CBD itself.
Still, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of constipation after using CBD gummies or other digestible CBD products. Constipation can pose serious health risks so be sure to contact a trusted medical practitioner if you experience any of the following after using CBD:
- You’re constipated for the first time
- Your constipation is accompanied by stomach pains
- You’re losing weight without intending to
- You have to strain while trying to have a bowel movement
- You have blood in your stool
- You experience regular constipation, but your constipation has lasted two weeks or more
You’re at greater risk for experiencing constipation while using CBD gummies if you take more CBD gummies than directed. Make sure to eat the gummies in moderation while being aware of your dose.
Does CBD Help with Constipation?
The other side of the coin is whether CBD can help with constipation. While CBD can cause constipation, it’s much more likely to help with that issue.
CBD can help to alleviate constipation by addressing the root causes. The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities of CBD can also play a role in helping with constipation.
So, if you’re dealing with constipation and want something to help address the issue, CBD gummies could be a great choice.
Other Options for Dealing with Constipation
In addition to using CBD, you may want to make some of the following lifestyle changes to help deal with constipation.
– This tried and true method for dealing with constipation is always worth mentioning. Eating the recommended amount of fiber every day can offer constipation relief and prevent you from future constipation problems. – You may not know this, but hours on end of sitting still (like during the workday) can make you more likely to develop constipation. Make sure to include regular exercise in your routine and get up to move around as often as possible. Consistency is key. – Water is hugely important when you’re suffering from constipation. Drinking more water will help hydrate your body and keep your bowel movements regular. When you’re dehydrated, your stool becomes more dense, leading to constipation.
Dealing with constipation is never fun. If you’ve considered using CBD, you may have wondered, “can CBD cause constipation?” Luckily, the answer in most cases is no. Though it is possible for CBD to cause constipation, it’s more likely to help with digestive issues.
CBD gummies are a great choice for anyone looking to try CBD and discover the benefits for themselves. Schedule a free consultation with Elite Alternative Medicine to learn more.
Even though medical cannabis can ease constipation, it can also cause it for some patients. While constipation is one of the rarer side effects of medical weed, it’s an important one to consider and discuss with your medical marijuana doctor, especially if you’re thinking about using cannabis edibles or oils.
Possible Side Effects of Medical Pot
Every physician, no matter their specialty, focuses on providing you with a treatment plan that outweighs any potential side effects. If you experience uncomfortable side effects like constipation, you should discuss it with your doctor. They’ll be able to make additional recommendations to alleviate your discomfort.
Some side effects, however, are desired by both patients and physicians. If you cope with insomnia daily, for instance, your doctor may recommend medical weed because of its tendency to cause drowsiness, which will help you fall asleep.
How Does Medical Weed Cause Constipation?
Because constipation is a rare side effect of medical marijuana, it hasn’t undergone extensive studies by researchers. Early studies and patient experiences suggest forms of medical pot that pass through the digestive tract — like oils and edibles — can cause constipation due to their additional ingredients.
Another factor that may contribute to medical weed-induced constipation are cannabinoids — specifically, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It’s thought that while cannabidiol (CBD) can cause diarrhea, THC does the opposite.
As medical marijuana becomes increasingly integrated into healthcare and accepted by the medical community, it’s anticipated that more research will be conducted into its side effects and benefits, so patients can know what to expect and why.
Signs of Constipation From Medical Cannabis
If you’ve experienced constipation before, the symptoms of medical cannabis-induced constipation are identical.
Symptoms of Medical Marijuana-induced Constipation Includes:
- Lumpy or hard stool
- Abdominal pain
- Less than three bowel movements a week
- Straining to pass stool
- Feeling like your rectum is blocked
In extreme cases, you may be unable to use the restroom. If this happens, seek medical attention.
Long-Term Side Effects of Constipation
While brief constipation often leaves you without any lingering effects, chronic constipation can cause several issues that require assistance from a medical professional, whether it’s your primary doctor or an ER physician. Some of these long-term side effects include:
- Anal fissures
- Rectal prolapse
Sometimes, continued constipation is a sign of a more life-threatening condition, such as:
- Bowel stricture
- Rectum bulge
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Abdominal cancer
Due to the range of issues that could cause chronic constipation, it’s critical to meet with your physician if you’re experiencing this side effect.
How to Avoid and Manage Constipation From Medical Marijuana
Since medical marijuana-induced constipation has a slight mystery surrounding it, there’s less of an understanding about how to avoid and manage constipation from medical weed edibles or oils. Physicians have recommended a few techniques with success, however, for reducing or eliminating constipation, including:
- Modifying your diet
- Switching your strain of medical pot
- Changing your administration method
- Updating your dosage of medical cannabis
Symptom trackers are helpful to use, so your physician can see which changes are making symptoms better, worse or the same between appointments.
Talk to Your Medical Marijuana Doctor About Your Constipation
Even though medical cannabis poses several side effects, most doctors and patients find its benefits outweigh those risks. No matter what kind of experience you’re having with medical weed, it’s essential to meet with your doctor regularly. They can provide personalized advice that considers your situation, symptoms, past treatments and preferences. If you’re experiencing constipation or another side effect, contact your medical marijuana doctor.
Can CBD Cause Constipation?
Ah, the digestive system, everyone’s favorite body system to discuss. It can be awkward, for sure, but digestive health is hugely important, and bowel movements are a big part of that.
Paying attention to how your body is processing food can help you stay healthy, catch problems early, and have a more fulfilling life. So don’t be embarrassed to ask some “poop” questions.
The short answer is, yes, in some cases CBD can cause constipation, but this is quite rare. Usually, it has the opposite effect and most people find that using CBD oil or other CBD products can improve their digestive health.
How Cannabis Affects the Digestive System
One of the least-well-understood mechanisms in the human body is the digestive system and how it interfaces with the nervous system, the endocrine system, and many other important body systems. In short, what you eat, how you want it, and how your body digests it matters a lot.
So one of the interesting and inspiring things about CBD and the development of new CBD products is the potential for better bowel health. This is especially important for those suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease, and other gastrointestinal issues.
But even the casual cannabis consumer can find wellness benefits in the use of CBD products. One thing that’s important to note is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved CBD as a treatment for epilepsy, and only some forms of epilepsy at that. So health claims about cannabis products are not currently legal. Still, the initial research is promising.
The Endocannabinoid System
So what’s going on under the hood? Why is CBD so impactful on bowel health? This is all thanks to the endocannabinoid system (or ECS), a system of receptors and transmitter molecules made in the human body. The transmitter molecules, called cannabinoids, include anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol.
These may be all of the naturally occurring (or endogenous) cannabinoids, but there may be more. These are produced by the human body and act on cannabinoid receptors, which mainly occur in the nervous system, but are also present in the bowels! This is part of how THC (the most psychoactive chemical in cannabis plants) creates a “high” effect.
It binds with cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. Cannabidiol (or CBD) on the other hand, interacts with the endocannabinoid system differently. Scientists aren’t quite sure how exactly, although they do know that CBD does not bind to the two identified endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors) in the same way as THC does.
It’s clear that CBD can have some therapeutic benefits as well, however, so more research is certainly warranted.
CBD and Constipation
So what does all this have to do with constipation? It’s important to note that not only do cannabinoids act on the digestive system, but they also act on the brain. In fact, the ECS works as a sort of a gut/brain communication system.
So, depending on the cause of constipation and other factors at work, some people may find that CBD helps relieve constipation, while others won’t. The gut is a complicated place and constipation can be caused by a variety of different issues. To start, there are three basic kinds of constipation:
- Atonic: This type of constipation is caused by a failure of the intestinal muscles to work correctly, either due to atrophy or other issues.
- Obstructive: With obstructive constipation, there is something in the bowels blocking or obstructing bowel function.
- Spastic: Most people who experience chronic constipation have some sort of spastic constipation, which means constipation caused by spasms and inflammation in the intestines. Rather than worsening constipation, most people with these conditions find that CBD can reduce their symptoms.
How CBD Can Help
For spastic constipation, in particular, CBD can be an effective anti-inflammatory treatment. We’ll cover the specific diseases that are often the cause of spastic constipation in a minute, but at the basic level, we can say these are inflammatory diseases.
People with chronic constipation from Crohn’s or irritable bowel syndrome experience symptoms because their immune system is overactive, or improperly reactive, causing inflammation and irritation along the digestive tract. Since this immune response involves both the nervous system and the gut, the endocannabinoid system plays a major role.
So, CBD, and other cannabinoids can provide a lot of relief by acting on this system. For some people, over-the-counter laxatives provide enough relief from constipation itself. Inflammatory bowel diseases come with many other symptoms though, and many report that CBD and other cannabinoids help to relieve stomach pain, diarrhea, and other discomforts as well.
All of this should be taken with a grain of salt as research is still underway and the Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD for the treatment of such diseases on the national level.
Constipation and CBD Oils
That said, for people without inflammatory bowel conditions, CBD (and cannabis-derived products in general) can be somewhat dehydrating. This means that some people do experience constipation after using CBD products, and especially after consuming edible CBD products. Simply staying properly hydrated will prevent this.
The only other way CBD oil can cause constipation is when people who are using it for relief from an inflammatory bowel condition use it for a very long time. Some people with these conditions experience an eventual return of symptoms, sometimes suddenly, once the body becomes too adjusted to a particular therapy.
So some people who use CBD oil to treat Crohn’s and similar symptoms do have constipation come on suddenly with the return of symptoms.
Other Side Effects of CBD Oil
The more likely GI side effect to experience after using CBD oil is diarrhea. While CBD can help people with bowel conditions manage this symptom as well, others find that too much CBD will trigger diarrhea. Other possible side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
As you can see, these are all pretty mild. They’re also more likely to occur with full-spectrum CBD products rather than CBD isolate products. Full-spectrum hemp products use all parts of the plant and so may have more THC present than CBD isolate products do. THC can exacerbate some of these side effects.
CBD Products for GI Diseases
It would be impossible to write about CBD and digestive health without mentioning that many of the state medical marijuana programs do include Crohn’s disease, IBS, and other gastrointestinal diseases as approved conditions.
While the FDA has not approved CBD as a treatment on the national level yet, many in the field think this will happen soon, especially as more research is concluded on these diseases. As noted above, one advantage of CBD is that it can work in “both directions” for people who experience constipation as well as diarrhea thanks to conditions like Crohn’s disease. Let’s look at some of these conditions a little more closely.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
The term “inflammatory bowel disease” refers to a few different conditions, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. We discussed some of the common symptoms and how these diseases work above, but let’s look at some of the ways in which people are using CBD and other cannabinoids to combat the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
It all goes back to the endocannabinoid system, which regulates the connection between the gut and the central nervous system. ECS receptors are found in immune cells as well and some research suggests that the ECS may be the regulatory system at work behind the maintenance of homeostasis in the gut (normal gut function) and gut motility in particular (the ability to move food through the digestive tract).
So, the little-understood inflammatory bowel diseases may be rooted in ECS malfunction. There is currently more research underway to study this possibility. In the meantime, many who suffer from Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis have found great relief from CBD products and hemp seed oil in particular.
Since these body systems are still poorly understood, it’s not known which cannabinoids (CBD, THC, or others) work best for GI issues, but early research suggests that pairing multiple cannabinoids may be the most effective.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome affects the same part of the body as the diseases above, the digestive tract. It can be more difficult to diagnose, however, as the inflammation isn’t as clear and consistent as with IBDs. Stil, IBS can be very uncomfortable and is characterized by stomach pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
People with IBS often have additional health issues like fibromyalgia, migraines, joint disorders, anxiety, and other problems. Like IBDs, IBS is still somewhat poorly understood, as are its links with these other disorders. Again, the ECS has provided scientists with a potential path forward.
This research is also in its early stages, but cannabinoids including CBD have helped many people with IBS reduce and manage symptoms.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is easy to understand for anyone who’s had heartburn. Experiencing heartburn every once in a while can be uncomfortable, but people with GERD experience it chronically, sometimes every time they eat. They may also experience chest pain and trouble swallowing.
People who have used CBD oil as a therapy for GERD report mixed results. Some find that it helps to relieve pain and reduce symptoms, while others see no effect. Again, it’s still unclear which cannabinoids work best for GERD, and more research needs to be done on CBD treatments in general.
Managing Chronic Pain
One reason that cannabis is so often used to relieve the symptoms of these conditions is that it also works generally to reduce pain. A lot of these syndromes are characterized by chronic pain in the gut or elsewhere. While it’s still an understudied area how CBD and other cannabinoids might work with the ECS to regulate the gut and immune system, we can say that CBD is helpful in at least managing the associated pain that comes with Crohn’s or GERD.
For digestive issues, most people use edible CBD, such as CBD oil, but other kinds of chronic pain can be helped with topical CBD as well. Muscle soreness, whether due to exertion or an issue like fibromyalgia, is a common reason for taking CBD. Some even note positive effects on gut pain and the like simply by using topical CBD too.
Full-Spectrum CBD and the Entourage Effect
It’s not just about CBD though. One thing that’s important to note is that some think that there is an “entourage effect” when using these products to treat digestive issues. What this means is that many people report more success when using a combination of multiple cannabinoids, such as both CBD and THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol).
Even if you live in a state with a limit on the THC content of cannabis products, you may still be able to get full-spectrum CBD, however, which will include other cannabinoids besides CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is made from the entire hemp plant, rather than isolates, and so may contain other cannabinoids that are still less understood, including:
- Cannabichromene (CBC)
- Cannabigerol (CBG)
- Cannabinol (CBN)
- Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA)
- Cannabidivarin (CBDV)
The Legality of CBD Treatments
Another thing to look out for when choosing between different CBD products is that some types of CBD are not legal on the federal level yet. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production of hemp and hemp derivatives with up to 0.3% THC content. So, CBD isolates and some full-spectrum products are legal nationwide. In many states, additional products are also available and legal on the state level, but this is not true everywhere.
So, if you’re going to purchase CBD products for GI relief, know the relevant laws in your state and keep in mind that CBD is not approved by the FDA to treat these conditions. Any reputable CBD retailer will have disclaimers making this clear. While many people do find great relief from these products, it is illegal to make health claims about them outside of their use in treating epilepsy.
Finding High-Quality CBD for Digestive Issues
There are a few other things you should look out for in locating a reputable CBD retailer as well. Especially if you’re looking for full-spectrum CBD to relieve stomach pain or constipation, finding the right retailer is going to be important. So how can you find the best CBD products for your needs? Keep these shopping tips in mind, and remember to always do your research beforehand.
- Look for third-party lab testing: Third-party testing ensures the products are pure and don’t contain dangerous additives. It also lets you know just how much CBD is in each product and can help you avoid scams and fakes.
- Read reviews and ratings: Reading actual customer reviews and asking around about retailers will give you more accurate information than just looking at their website or walking in. Make sure to compare retailers before you buy.
- Know what you want: Part of the comparison should be comparing the products available. Some people prefer products like CBD tinctures, which are relatively easy to find but don’t always taste great. But if you’re looking for tastier options like gummies or cookies, you might be in for a longer search.
While CBD can contribute to constipation in some specific circumstances, it usually has the opposite effect! In fact, CBD can be very helpful for people suffering from chronic constipation or other gastrointestinal issues, in addition to the every day benefits of CBD for relaxation and stress relief.
Keep in mind that these body systems are not fully understood yet and that the FDA has yet to approve CBD for inflammatory bowel diseases but, hopefully, the research underway right now will provide some answers soon!