CBD and Constipation: Can CBD Oil Offer Relief?
We’ve all been there. Sometimes, it happens after downing a king-size plate of KFC. Other times, it comes along with your period. Regardless of why it shows up, constipation is not comfortable at all.
According to an NCBI report, constipation is the number one digestive complaint in America, and an estimated 4 million people suffer from frequent constipation. That’s a worrying 2% of Americans. And while there are many ways of dealing with the problem, what about an effective natural solution for constipation?
That’s where CBD comes in. Multiple studies and surveys point to the fact that this powerful extract from the cannabis plant can actually treat chronic constipation. Let’s delve deeper into the relationship between CBD and constipation.
What Is CBD?
Before we get into the details of the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating constipation, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what CBD is.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it makes up 40% of the chemical compounds referred to as cannabinoids that are derived from the cannabis plant. In recent years, CBD has gained massive traction as a respected medical treatment. Its unique interaction with the human body has made it a rock star within the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Perhaps the reason CBD has risen in popularity so quickly is that it possesses no psychoactive effects.
CBD has been explored as a treatment for a number of health conditions, including inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain, cancer, acne, and more. The cannabinoid is now being used to treat a wide range of gut problems, including constipation.
Why Your Gut Is Important
Hippocrates was absolutely right when he said that “all diseases begin in the gut.”
Back in the day, scientists (and everyone else) believed that the gut had the basic function of digesting food so the body could extract nutrients from it. Fast-forward many years later, and this belief has been found to be false. Research has consistently shown that in addition to digesting food, the gut is responsible for so much more. Basically, it’s the starting point of all body complications.
Your gut is where the largest percentage of your microbiome lives. These trillions of organisms consist of parasites, bacteria, eukaryotic parasites, protozoa, archaea, and fungi. The microbiome determines your overall health to a greater percentage. According to a study done at Harvard, microbiota excites our immune system, synthesizes some vitamins, and breaks down toxic food compounds. From the study, it is evident that your gut and mental health have a characteristically strong bond. In fact, other research has shown that PTSD patients have low levels of certain types of gut bacteria.
Endocannabinoids and Gut Health
We’ve established just how important gut health is to the body. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods you can eat to enhance the health and wellness of your gastrointestinal tract, including cultured and probiotic foods that create a friendly environment for the good bacteria.
Cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may also help support gut health.
According to research published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Journal, cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a plethora of disorders related to the gut. The authors of the research conclude that the gut’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a significant impact on the physiology of the digestive system, primarily in motility, hunger signaling, fat intake, gut permeability, inflammation, and interactions with gut microbiota.
How to Relieve Constipation
You know you have chronic constipation if you have fewer than four bowel movements per week, and you have to strain to expunge them more than 25% of the time. There are many causes of constipation, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stress, and a range of neurological conditions. Other possible causes are menstruation or a diet that’s low in fiber.
, and a range of neurological conditions. Other possible causes are menstruation or a diet that’s low in fiber.
If you’ve asked a doctor about your chronic constipation issues, you’ve probably heard the good old advice to “drink eight glasses of water a day and eat plenty of fiber” over and over again. That’s because dietary changes go a long way to help alleviate constipation.
However, if the above strategies don’t alleviate the problem, your doctor may ask you to take some medical marijuana. This is especially true if you have severe gut issues such as Crohn’s disease (characterized by watery stool) and chronic constipation (extremely hard stool).
CBD and Constipation
CBD essentially acts as a much-needed laxative that relieves pain and discomfort. One shot of the cannabinoid helps calm down your digestive system. When you ingest CBD, it finds its way to your brain via your bloodstream and affects the neurological system.
Ongoing studies have discovered that cannabinoids relax nerve connections and ease the mind and all the muscles. Once your nerves and muscles are well relaxed, your bowels soon follow suit. This effect, alongside cannabis’ antioxidant properties, is how CBD helps relieve constipation and restore digestive harmony.
CBD and IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a medical condition that affects the digestive system’s large intestine and causes sufferers to have diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, and constipation.
Some of the causes of IBS include intestinal muscle contractions, nerve abnormalities within the digestive system, infection, inflammation in the large intestine, and simple changes in the gut’s microflora. Trigger factors for IBS include extreme stress, consuming certain foods, and some hormonal changes.
However, the journal Phytotherapy Research published a paper that explains that CBD-based products are quite effective in treating IBS. The authors state that the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids make them excellent therapeutic agents against IBS symptoms such as inflammation and pain.
CBD and constipation might not seem related, but studies have shown that the oil can help relieve symptoms. If you’re struggling with chronic constipation, CBD might be your ticket back to digestive harmony.
Do you suffer from chronic constipation? Learn more about CBD and constipation to understand how CBD products could help you.
CBD and Constipation
Backed up; clogged pipes; no matter how you word it, being constipated is as uncomfortable to talk about as it is to experience. The list of reasons it can happen is vast and the possible victims are, well, everyone. One treatment won’t be right for everyone, and it may take some trial and effort to find the right one.
Whether you’re new to the troublesome condition or it’s a chronic problem, we offer you a new approach to dealing with it: CBD. CBD and constipation are two terms that you might expect to see on opposite ends of a medical magazine. Brought together, they can offer some surprisingly relieving effects.
We’ll take a look at some obvious, shocking, and downright uncomfortable reasons why constipation occurs, and the potential for CBD to come to the rescue.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation is a common condition consisting of irregular/infrequent bowel movements. Infrequent bowel movements can cause pain in the abdomen as bodily waste builds and sits in the bowels, unable to pass through.
Like we said, dirty and uncomfortable, but nonetheless a likely part of the human experience. Constipation can occur as a result of many influences such as poor diet, lack of fiber, stress, inactivity, or other underlying diseases.
Constipation is a symptom, not a diagnosis. Since there is such a range of reasons why someone would experience constipation, it seems fitting there would be a range of treatments.
While over-the-counter medicines exist to work against occasional constipation, some people might prefer to avoid using laxatives. Laxatives, or stool-softeners, might help move things along. Sometimes, it can lead to moving on too quickly resulting in (arguably) even more distressing diarrhea.
Sometimes, laxatives can also end up backing you up even more. At face value, they’re harmless, omnipresent as somewhat of an in-case-of-emergency medicine cabinet staple that’s constantly pushed out of sight. Sometimes they save the day. Sometimes they pose a real threat.
In an effort to keep things moving and aggressively ward off weight, some people reach for laxatives. This is not only dangerous in the short term, but extensive use of laxatives can cause dehydration in the body and perpetuate the problem.
Easing one symptom shouldn’t come at the expense of inviting another. There are much more natural and effective ways to encourage bowel movements.
Might we suggest CBD?
Why Our Bodies Want Cannabis
Quick relief from anything is hard to come by, but the right supplement can put an action in motion by alerting your body to what it needs to do. CBD is known for its potency in the body as a chief navigator of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in several functions of the body. It’s believed to have bearing on our emotional state, our levels of hunger, our response to pain, and is present predominantly in the brain and nervous system.
This multi-functional, cannabinoid-based system is so powerful because of its network of receptors. The CB1 and CB2 receptors that make up the ECS are not only found in the brain, but in every organ system in the human body.
The digestive system plays a vital role in our health. The gut is at our core, both literally and figuratively. In order to sustain life, we must eat food and drink water. After it goes in our mouths, it stops by the gut.
If the gut is upset, things don’t go as planned and the rest of the body suffers. Bowel blockage can set a ripple upset through the rest of the body.
CBD and Constipation
The interconnectivity of our organs helps to keep everything in balance. When the balance is off, it isn’t always easy to find the source, even if it seems to be just constipation.
Using CBD can help to alleviate symptoms and set things back on track. So far, the FDA doesn’t officially recognize it as a treatment for anything save seizures, but people are quietly turning to it as a home remedy.
At its core, CBD calms. The ECS receptors work against the fight-or-flight responses of stress and anxiety, prompting a sense of ease and quiet. They also work against inflammation, providing relief for those even with chronic pain.
The connection of CBD and constipation lies here. Something as simple as stress can make for a troubled gut. As CBD travels around the body, it can quiet the mind and release the muscles from too much tension. Just like it quiets the mind from choosing fight-or-flight responses, it tells pain messages to be at ease.
CBD, the Soothsayer
As mentioned earlier, constipation is not a sickness so much as it is a symptom. There is usually something larger at work. CBD has offered mounting evidence of its effects against inflammation of all sorts.
CBD as a topical is believed to work for chronic pain and arthritis. CBD can also be used in instances of panic attacks and anxiety.
When it comes to the bowel, CBD has been considered exceptionally beneficial of late. People who suffer from ulcerative colitis–a chronic inflammation of the digestive-tract–are turning to CBD for relief. Some studies suggest that a lack of cannabinoids in the body could cause such inflammation.
It’s still not clear if a lack of CBD causes inflammation, but reports allude that it can ease it.
CBD has also shown signs of improving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The syndrome can mark episodes of both diarrhea and constipation. Introducing CBD can allow for a relaxation of the inflammation and a relieving pass of the intestinal blockage.
The Entourage Effect
Movement of the colonic muscles could also be promoted by a combination of CBD and its psychoactive sister, THC. Though THC isn’t legal country-wide (yet), full-spectrum CBD could deliver just enough to experience the effects.
Legally, CBD has to be drawn from the hemp plant. The hemp plant is classified as a member of the cannabis family that produces THC in concentrations only as high as 0.3%. In these low doses, your body receives just enough to reap the therapeutic benefits without inducing a high.
In Opposition of Antidepressants
The link between your feelings and your bowels may seem like a stretch, but the interconnections on our bodies elude that there may be a strong connection. Stress can wreak inexplicable havoc on the body.
It’s for stress, too, that CBD can come in handy. Having knots in your stomach is a real thing. Allowing CBD to calm the nerves could bring you a step closer to relieving constipation.
A study on lab mice showed that obsessive-compulsive behavior, displayed through the burying of marbles, was reduced in mice treated with CBD. Mice that were given selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRIs or antidepressants, also showed decreased compulsion to engage in the activity.
SSRI treatment over the course of the next week showed weakened effects. CBD’s effects showed no such sign of degradation.
Creating a happy gut is all part of promoting smooth bowel movements. Providing the endocannabinoid system with the relaxing effects of CBD could be one promising step for dealing with the discomfort of constipation.
Constipation is about as uncomfortable to talk about as it is to experience. We offer you a new approach to dealing with it: CBD