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.
Table of Contents
- What Is CBD?
- Why Your Gut Is Important
- Endocannabinoids and Gut Health
- How to Relieve Constipation
- CBD and Constipation
- CBD and IBS
- Additional CBD Resources on Digestive Issues
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.
Does CBD Cause Constipation?
It’s always important to listen to your body when you begin taking a new dietary supplement. If you happen to become constipated after you start taking CBD, you may be wondering if your supplement is the cause. Can CBD cause constipation? It’s unlikely. In fact, it’s more likely that your supplement will optimize your digestion. Here’s what you need to know.
Please Note—CBD companies cannot provide medical advice and we cannot guarantee how CBD will affect your body. The data we provide is for informational purposes. Consult with your physician for guidance on all dietary supplements and health conditions.
What Is CBD?
The hemp plant naturally contains over 100 types of active compounds referred to as cannabinoids. THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids found in hemp.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound that gets you high, but CBD (cannabidiol) is primarily responsible for its wellness benefits. Both marijuana and industrial hemp can be referred to as CBD. As long as your product contains .3% or less of THC it is legal in all 50 states, which is not enough to get you high.
Is CBD Legal?
Industrial hemp was legalized nationwide in 2018 as a method of enjoying the benefits of marijuana without the high. While legal to purchase, possess, and consume, your school, employer, or extracurricular activity may prohibit use. This is because there is currently no differentiation between marijuana and CBD at the federal level.
Also be mindful of traveling across state lines with CBD, especially when traveling by airplane. Even if legal in the country you are heading to it is not wise to fly or travel with CBD. This includes both supplements and topical CBD products.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD?
CBD’s primary wellness benefit is that it links the central and peripheral nervous systems (aka. the endocannabinoid system) promoting our body’s natural healing process. This process is referred to as homeostasis. Homeostasis is our body’s way of self-regulating internal functions such as:
- Pain Control
- Internal pH
- Quality of sleep
- And more!
More specifically, research shows that stimulating the endocannabinoid system can be used:
- As part of treatment for PTSD
- To treat anxiety and depression
- To decrease nausea and increase appetite
- To shrink cancer tumors
- To minimize the frequency of tumors
- To reduce pain and inflammation
- To improve digestion
- To improve quality of sleep
- To improve brain health
- To improve clarity and focus
- And more!
Does CBD Help With Bowel Movements?
You may have found this blog while trying to answer the question of “does CBD make you constipated?”. However, it’s more likely that CBD will improve your bowel movements. Research shows that CBG (another cannabinoid) found in CBD may improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
If you are experiencing any type of diagnosed or undiagnosed bowel or digestive issues it is essential to seek out medical attention.
Does CBD Cause Constipation?
It’s unlikely that CBD will cause constipation, but you must always pay attention to any changes in your body. Constipation is a serious condition so seek immediate medical attention if:
- You’ve never been constipated
- You have constipation and stomach pain
- You have blood in your stools
- You are losing weight without trying
- You are straining to have a bowel movement
- You are regularly constipated but have been constipated for 2 to 3 weeks
- It’s been 7 full days since you’ve pooped, sooner if you have any of the side effects above, or any additional side effects
The most common causes of constipation include:
- Low fiber in your diet
- Limited physical activity
- “Holding it” when you have to go
- A side effect of a prescription medication
Once the cause of your constipation is determined, your physician will discuss your treatment plan. This may include laxatives, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, or a change to your prescription medications. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing the processed foods in your diet with healthy whole foods.
Can CBD Oil Cause Bowel Problems?
It’s rare that your CBD will cause bowel problems and more likely that it will improve them. However, you may experience digestive side effects when taking CBD supplements, gummies, or topicals.
Anything we consume can have a side effect, including dietary supplements that are naturally derived such as CBD. While extremely rare, and most often when taken in high doses, side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Low-blood pressure
- Reduced appetite
- Negative interaction with prescription medications
What Is Considered A High Dose Of CBD?
A study designed to determine the amount of CBD that would be considered toxic, estimated a “high dose” as 20,000 milligrams taken nearly at once. This would be more than 20 bottles of a 900-milligram bottle of oil tincture, which would not be physician recommended and would be a concerning amount of any type of dietary supplement.
Reach out to your physician to determine your ideal milligrams per serving. The milligrams per serving and how many servings you should take per day will vary by factors such as your gender, height, weight, age, and medical history. Generally, most adults take between 10 and 30 milligrams 1 or 2 times per day—or as-needed. Your physician may suggest higher or lower milligrams per serving.
Can Gummies Cause Constipation?
Yes, and no. If you eat gummy candies in moderation or take your gummy supplements as directed, it’s unlikely that you will experience constipation. If you eat an excessive number of gummy candies or supplements it could upset your digestion. For example, if a child mistakes gummy supplements for candy and eats a large quantity, it could make them sick. This includes an upset tummy, diarrhea, constipation, and other symptoms.
As with all dietary supplements, keep your CBD gummies out of reach for your young children. If children or adults eat too many gummies or supplements it is unlikely that medical attention will be required. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry so seek out immediate medical attention if you have any concerns.
Where To Find Quality CBD?
Now that you have the answer to “Does CBD cause constipation?” you may be ready to give it a try. When selecting a CBD brand, you must prioritize quality. The CBD industry is young and highly unregulated, so identify a brand with high standards for quality. This means avoiding the temptation to purchase products from local retailers before you have the time to perform your own research.
Ensure quality by confirming that CBD products:
- Are USDA Certified Organic
- Contain no unnecessary additives
- That lab test results are easily accessible
- Are full or broad-spectrum, not isolate
Holmes Organics CBD meets all of the criteria above. Our products are broad-spectrum and processed to contain 0.0% THC. We offer a diverse range of oral and topical products including:
We are excited to announce that we have a CBD and melatonin product coming soon! We are also in the development phase for a CBD lube and CBD energy drink. We invite you to browse our products today!