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
CBD and diarrhea
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- Research overview
- The studies
- Patient perspectives
- What the experts say
- Bottom line
CBD oil has been gaining traction among cannabis doctors and patients as a potential remedy for ailments ranging from arthritis to epilepsy. Taking CBD oil generally causes few side effects compared with many prescription medications and over-the-counter painkillers. There are possible side effects associated with CBD, though these may be rare and/or only occur in high oral doses.
Can using CBD oil help diarrhea? Or can CBD oil cause diarrhea? In this article, we’ll take a look at the effects of the cannabinoid on the body and highlight the most current research on CBD oil and diarrhea.
In 2019, the Mayo Clinic reported that CBD is generally well-tolerated but may cause a number of side effects — among them, diarrhea. At least two studies have confirmed a possible link between CBD oil and diarrhea, but research is still emerging and it’s important to consult your physician about starting a regimen and determining appropriate dosages.
Can CBD oil help diarrhea?
For some people, CBD oil and other cannabis products may help alleviate diarrhea and other symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). According to a 2016 literature review published in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology, cannabis and CBD may be used therapeutically to treat IBD. The authors of the review expressed concern for the side effects of cannabis on IBD patients, but ultimately concluded, “A significant portion of IBD patients, particularly those with severe disease, use cannabis to relieve symptoms of pain, nausea, and appetite and to improve their overall mood.” It is worth noting that the researchers focused on cannabis overall and not specifically CBD products.
For some people, CBD oil and other cannabis products may help alleviate diarrhea and other symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
One 2018 randomized control trial examined whether a CBD-rich botanical extract could help people with ulcerative colitis, a type of IBD with a litany of symptoms including diarrhea. Results, published in the scientific journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, determined that “CBD-rich botanical extract may be beneficial for symptomatic treatment of ulcerative colitis.”
Can CBD oil cause diarrhea?
One 2019 report, published in the journal Current Neuropharmacology, discussed the effects of CBD based on clinical trials of the FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, which is derived from CBD and prescribed to treat severe cases of childhood epilepsy. It also looked at the use of Epidiolex to treat psychiatric problems. The researchers determined that diarrhea was among the most common adverse effects for individuals taking Epidiolex to treat epilepsy and psychiatric disorders. They noted, however, that the incidence of any side effect was low compared to other drugs used to treat such conditions.
In 2018, results of randomized CBD trials were published in the journal CNS Drugs. In these trials, CBD was found to have a high level of tolerance with minimal adverse effects. Similar to the Epidiolex trials, these studies showed that diarrhea was among the most common side effects of CBD and occurred more frequently in individuals on a regimen of the cannabinoid than those taking a placebo. Researchers reported that the effects ranged from mild to moderate, with no severe cases.
Brooke Bogdan has been using medical cannabis since 2012 to address symptoms of ulcerative colitis. In a 2019 article published in Everyday Health, Bogdan shared how medical marijuana helped her find relief from chronic pain. When she started using cannabis, Bogdan’s condition was so severe that she needed to have a total colectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the colon.
Prior to the surgery, Bogdan had endured constant discomfort and nightly insomnia, but with the integration of medical marijuana into her treatment, she has witnessed vast improvements. Bogdan wrote, “Cannabis helped provide an outlet of relief for me when I was close to losing my life. When prescription medication doesn’t help my ulcerative colitis symptoms, I turn to cannabis.”
To help alleviate diarrhea, it is suggested to use CBD oil vape pens, tinctures and dabs rather than edibles. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Specifically, Bogdan mentioned that CBD oil vape pens, as well as tinctures and dabs, have relieved her symptoms. She advised against the consumption of edibles for people coping with ulcerative colitis because, “Our digestive tracts don’t function well, therefore we may not be able to absorb the medication into our systems via chewing and swallowing.”
Other patients have described experiencing minor diarrhea after consuming high levels of CBD. Curt Rollins is a retired florist who lives in Brunswick, Georgia. For more than 30 years, he worked with his hands designing intricate floral arrangements for weddings and baby showers. “I loved the work, but my hands paid the price,” Rollins revealed in a phone interview with Weedmaps.
When Rollins developed debilitating arthritis in both his hands, he turned to over-the-counter painkillers and cortisol shots, but nothing brought relief. Then, his doctor suggested CBD oil and his hands started to improve. “The pain got a lot better without too many side effects. But I did find that my stomach would get a bit upset if I had too much CBD oil every day,” Rollins shared.
How many milligrams of CBD would qualify as excessive? That depends on the individual, but a rule of thumb is that 500 milligrams or more is a high dose of CBD. Rollins continued, “When I reduced the dose or just rubbed the CBD oil on my hands instead of swallowing it too, I didn’t have any problems with nausea or diarrhea anymore.”
So, does CBD oil cause diarrhea? The answer is probably not, as long as you’re using CBD at lower levels under a qualified physician’s care. But elevated doses of CBD (or any medicine) may be problematic and affect the digestive system. Vaping or dabbing CBD can help users avoid the issue completely.
What the experts say
A link between CBD oil and diarrhea may exist, but only at high oral doses, according to Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist at Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and a scientific adviser to Weedmaps. “Yes, CBD causes diarrhea at high oral doses, as reported in the Epidiolex clinical trials and randomized clinical trials in adults,” said Rae, referencing the two trials cited in this article.
Rae was quick to add that “most people will not take enough CBD to cause diarrhea; this usually happens at very high doses of 500 milligrams or more.”
Of course, a lower oral dosage of 400 milligrams, for example, could still trigger diarrhea in some individuals. Height and weight may also play a role. In addition, dietary habits, exercise frequency, and general health may influence whether taking CBD oil leads to diarrhea or not.
CBD oil interacts in different ways with the endocannabinoid system of each unique individual. Before you take CBD, discuss your best treatment options with your healthcare provider and always listen to what your body is telling you.
In terms of CBD easing diarrhea, especially acute bouts, Rae noted that there is little evidence that CBD is a directly useful tool. She asserted, however, that “CBD could still improve the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic bowel disorders, even if it doesn’t improve some specific symptoms like diarrhea.”
Other researchers agree. Dr. Timna Naftali, a gastroenterology specialist at Tel Aviv University’s Meir Hospital in Israel, studied the effects of a treatment with 15% CBD and 4% THC on patients with Crohn’s disease. Naftali found that 65% of patients experienced clinical remission and improved quality of life after eight weeks of cannabis treatment.
Mild to moderate diarrhea may coincide with using oral CBD at elevated doses, but no studies currently indicate that such effects are serious or result from taking CBD oil in lower doses or in different forms. As for whether CBD can help gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, the Israeli study is promising but more human trials are needed. For those who want to try it, an inhalable route is probably best.
CBD and diarrhea Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Research overview The studies Patient perspectives What the experts say