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.
Can CBD Oil Cause Constipation?
Are you wondering whether CBD products can cause constipation issues?
CBD oil has many noteworthy benefits, but some people may be concerned about its effect on the digestive system. After all, if you take a quick look at the side effects of a wide variety of supplements and prescription medications, you’ll see a warning about the possibility of constipation. Harvard Health Publishing reported that this side effect is particularly common with antidepressants, which is noteworthy since some people turn to CBD oil to help them relieve anxiety or depression.
Our #1 Pick for CBD: Joy Organics
Per Medical News Today and WebMD, there have been no significant reports about CBD oil causing constipation. The overall list of possible side effects is very short and isn’t likely to be much of a concern for the average user. Side effects of CBD oil may include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Appetite changes
- Feeling lightheaded
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
As you can see, people who suffer from constipation might actually benefit from taking CBD oil since it can lead to diarrhea.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
However, it is important to note that people who deal with frequent digestive system issues could end up triggering a constipation response if they use CBD oil for an extended period of time. This is because any long-term prescription or alternative remedy for addressing constipation can eventually result in a return, and possible worsening, of the original symptoms.
To avoid constipation problems, it’s best to use CBD oil in a cycle such as three weeks on, one week off. Please be aware that each person’s results may vary, so it’s best to start slow and pay close attention to your body’s reaction to CBD oil.
CBD Oil vs. Hemp Oil: Which is Best for Constipation?
Before we look at which of the popular cannabis related oils works best for constipation, let’s examine the differences between each product:
- CBD Oil – Made from the flowers, stalks and leaves of hemp. Contains a high amount of cannabidiol. Frequently used for pain, digestive issues, anxiety and insomnia.
- Hemp Oil – Oil extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant. Commonly used for cooking, making lotions, bio-diesel fuel and as a moisturizer.
Much like CBD oil, hemp oil has been known to cause diarrhea and other digestive issues. Unfortunately, the reported side effects of hemp oil can be much more concerning than CBD oil, and include immune suppression, aural hallucinations, and more.
Are you wondering whether CBD products can cause constipation issues? CBD oil has many noteworthy benefits, but some people may be concerned about its effect on the digestive system. After all, if you take a quick look at the side effects of a wide variety of supplements and prescription medications,…