Can CBD Gummies Cause Diarrhea


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Learn why some cannabis users experience diarrhea as a side effect and how to combat side effects to get the most out of your cannabis. What to do if you are suffering from the unfortunate side effect of CBD diarrhea. Understand exactly how marijuana interacts with digestive processes and everything to know about cannabis, diarrhea, and constipation.

Diarrhea from Marijuana: Side Effects

While medical marijuana can treat constipation and diarrhea, it can also cause either one. For patients who smoke or vaporize medical weed, these side effects are often non-existent. If you use edibles or oils to treat your condition, however, you may experience these side effects of medical cannabis.

Possible Side Effects of Medical Cannabis

Like other medications your doctor may prescribe, medical marijuana can cause several different side effects. For physicians, their goal is to provide you with medicines that offer you the best benefits and the least side effects.

Unlike prescription drugs, some medical cannabis doctors may recommend medical weed because of its side effects. If you cope with insomnia, for instance, your doctor might suggest medical pot because it can cause drowsiness and doesn’t pose the long-term risks of prescription sleep aids like Ambien.

How Does Medical Weed Cause Diarrhea and Constipation?

The cause behind diarrhea and constipation due to medical weed, is an area that’s gone unstudied. Some early studies suggest tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of several cannabinoids, slows down the digestive tract.

Another possibility is that edibles, as well as oils, may contain additional ingredients that affect how fast or slow your digestive system processes food. Another cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), is considered a potential motivator for diarrhea.

With time, researchers may discover why medical weed causes diarrhea and constipation in some instances. While the legal standing of medical marijuana is one reason this topic has gone unresearched, another is due to the rarity of this side effect.

Signs of Diarrhea and Constipation From Medical Cannabis

What are Symptoms of Diarrhea from Medical Cannabis?

  • Loose stool
  • Abdominal cramps or pain
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

What are the Signs of Constipation from Medical Weed?

  • Hard or lumpy stool
  • Having fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Straining to express stool
  • Feelings of being blocked
  • Inability to empty stool from your rectum

If you begin to experience diarrhea or constipation, it’s critical to visit your physician.

Long-Term Side Effects of Diarrhea and Constipation

When they occur for brief periods, diarrhea and constipation don’t result in long-term side effects. If they last for weeks, however, you may need to change your treatment plan. Or, the symptoms could indicate a more serious problem.

What are some Conditions that Cause Diarrhea and Constipation?

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Colon cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Anal fissure

Long-term side effects of not treating your constipation include anal fissures, impaction, and rectal prolapse. The most substantial risk of untreated diarrhea is dehydration. No matter which symptom you’re experiencing, notify your physician as soon as possible.

How to Avoid and Manage Diarrhea and Constipation From Medical Marijuana

Because the medical community doesn’t have a complete understanding of why medical marijuana can cause diarrhea and constipation, there is no tried-and-true recommendation for avoiding or managing either cannabis-induced symptom.

In most cases, your medical marijuana doctor may recommend adjusting:

  • Your diet
  • Your strain of medical weed
  • How you administer cannabis
  • Your dosage of medical pot

Keeping a symptom tracker as you and your physician change your treatment plan is often helpful, as well.

Talk to Your Medical Marijuana Doctor About Your Diarrhea and Constipation

Whether you or a loved one is using medical weed, it’s essential you work with your medical marijuana doctor to ensure your treatment is offering you the maximum benefits — in most cases, medical pot does. If you’re experiencing unwanted side effects, schedule an appointment to discuss them with your physician, as they may be able to recommend useful changes.

CBD Oil Diarrhea: What is it and How NOT to Get it

Cannabidiol (CBD), is one of more than 110 cannabinoids found in marijuana. It is also available in large quantities in industrial hemp. CBD is non-intoxicating (meaning children can use it), and some experts link it with the alleviation of symptoms ranging from headaches to anxiety.

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Aside from not causing a psychoactive high, CBD has few side effects. Still, there is a possibility of getting diarrhea from using too much CBD oil. This seems a little odd since some use CBD to successfully treat the symptoms of gastrointestinal issues (i.e. Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Other commonly reported side effects of CBD include tiredness and changes in appetite and weight.

Why Am I Getting Diarrhea from CBD Oil in the First Place?

Although it doesn’t happen particularly often, some users of CBD oil report feeling sick to their stomach soon after using it. Apart from the upset stomach, you may also take several trips to the bathroom as diarrhea takes hold. Does this mean you are one of the unlucky few who doesn’t react well to cannabidiol?

The likely answer is ‘not necessarily.’ While CBD oil can cause diarrhea as a side effect, it could be the other ingredients in the CBD oil that are causing your gastrointestinal distress instead. It could also be a simple case of flaws during the manufacturing process.

CBD oil can cause diarrhea as a side effect, but it could be other ingredients in the oil that are causing your distress.

CBD typically helps (not causes) stomach issues

In actual fact, most discuss CBD in the context of it helping with stomach issues rather than causing them. When the cannabinoid binds to the CB1 receptor in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), it reduces excessive gastric acid,* increases blood flow to your stomach lining to speed up the healing process,* and aids the lower esophagus in preventing reflux.* CBD may also help heal the digestive tract.*

If you are having GI problems with CBD, your first step should be to analyze the full list of ingredients. As with all health supplements, it is the quality and source of ingredients that make the difference. With CBD oil, hemp or marijuana grown in poor soil can significantly reduce quality. Lapses in quality can also result from including harmful chemicals in the extraction process.

Perhaps the biggest potential issue is the ‘carrier’ oil used in conjunction with the CBD. CBD oil is used with numerous carriers including MCT oil, emu oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, or grapeseed oil. These carriers may improve the bioavailability of the cannabidiol.*

Beware MCT Oil!

Coconut oil and MCT oil are by far the most common carriers and are two of the possible culprits for stomach pain, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea. This may especially be the case when using large quantities.

You may have heard of the ketogenic diet, which helps your body use fat as its main energy source. One of the biggest fads of the modern era is the ‘supercharged’ or ‘bulletproof’ coffee drink. This drink consists of brewed coffee, MCT oil, and grass-fed unsalted butter. It is for those following a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Proponents claim that they benefit from mental alertness, improved brain function, and more energy after consuming the drink, but you tend to get that feeling when drinking coffee anyway; at least in the short-term.

In any case, there are many reports of bulletproof coffee drinkers being forced to rush to the bathroom. While the coffee itself may be enough to make you go, some experts feel that the fats from the MCT oil could be making the situation worse.

In one study* that assessed the use of coconut oil (from which MCT oil is derived) for improving cholesterol, some participants reported diarrhea as a side effect. Other oils have also been known to be effective as a laxative, such as castor oil. And there have been reports* that people following an MCT ketogenic diet have side effects including bloating, cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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How to Avoid Disaster Pants When Using CBD Oil

It might be funny to hear about a person’s travails with diarrhea, at least until you become the victim! If possible, try and learn more about the MCT oil or other ingredients that a firm puts into their CBD tinctures. Email or call them if necessary.

Another option is to try out different CBD oils that have different ingredients or carrier oils. Compare which ones give you diarrhea and which ones do not. If you find that only certain combinations of ingredients cause you diarrhea, avoid those combinations in the future. If you find that they all give you diarrhea, it may be the CBD oil itself that is causing diarrhea. Try looking into edibles, capsules or balms to see if you can consume them without ill-effect.

It is also not wise to consume the CBD oil on an empty stomach, which might be the case when consumed in the morning. Ideally, eat some protein with your CBD to help reduce how quickly the body absorbs it.

If you take CBD oil and have diarrhea, make sure you stop taking it until the symptoms are gone. You may use this time to investigate whether it is another issue, such as stress or your diet, that is causing the problem. If your symptoms do not improve, contact a healthcare provider as you may have a different cause of diarrhea that is unrelated to the CBD oil.

A few final notes

Some doctors are not as “convinced” as others when it comes to the clinical efficacy of CBD. Still, it is more than worth it to try and speak with a general practitioner or healthcare provider about implementing CBD into your lifestyle. CBD (and cannabis in general) are becoming increasingly accepted. As such, more and more physicians are educating themselves as to the compound’s uses and applications.

Finally, be wary of the specific CBD product you’re purchasing. Due to lack of regulations, massive disparities in quality can exist from brand to brand. Take some time to research a few companies, read plenty of reviews, and seek out professional advice before deciding on any one particular brand. For your convenience we’ve listed a few of the top CBD brands below:

Can Marijuana Cause Diarrhea?

No one likes to talk about it, but at one point or another, everyone has experienced issues while going #2. Anecdotal stories, in particular, abound about problems arising in cannabis use. But the question remains, can marijuana actually cause diarrhea?

The short answer is somewhat complicated: anecdotally, marijuana can cause and soothe discomfort associated with diarrhea and constipation. However, the research still has a long way to go to provide medical cannabis patients with an informed answer.

This article dives into the specifics of how cannabis interacts with our digestive system and what to know about diarrhea and constipation associated with the use of marijuana.

How Marijuana Helps You Poop

For centuries, people have used cannabis for medicinal reasons, including problems with our digestive system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) manages multiple regulatory processes in our bodies, including digestion and waste elimination. Since cannabis directly interacts with the ECS, added to the fact that the gastrointestinal organs have a high concentration of endocannabinoid receptors, it makes sense that it would interplay with our time in the restroom.

The cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract influence bowel movements, though little research has explored precisely how cannabis compounds interact with these receptors.

Most studies on cannabis’ effect on gastrointestinal issues focus on patients with irritable bowel disease (IBD) or Crohn’s disease due to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory effects. However, there’s promising research to suggest that cannabis may be helpful for other digestive illnesses .

Marijuana reduces abdominal pain and increases appetite, potentially encouraging the body to properly digest foods and poop normally. And a recent population study found that current cannabis users were less likely than non-users to report experiencing constipation.

How to Recognize Diarrhea and Constipation From Marijuana

If you think you’re experiencing marijuana-induced diarrhea or constipation, look out for the following signs and learn how to mitigate or stop unpleasant symptoms.

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The symptoms of cannabis-related diarrhea and constipation are, understandably, the same as diarrhea or constipation related to other illnesses. Signs of diarrhea include:

    • Loose, runny stools
    • Stomach cramps
    • Bloating
    • Nausea
    • Sudden and frequent need to visit the restroom

    The symptoms of cannabis-induced constipation include:

      • Less than frequent bowel movements,
      • Painful to go to the bathroom
      • Cramps in abdomen
      • Loss of appetite
      • Hard stools

      How to Stop It

      When experiencing diarrhea or constipation related to medical marijuana use, simply stopping your use or lowering your dosage should be enough to mitigate any unpleasant symptoms. Additionally, some anecdotal evidence points to edibles and oils as more likely to cause digestive issues – if you use edibles to medicate, switching to vapes or smoking may also stop symptoms.

      When to Be Concerned

      Diarrhea or constipation, whether cannabis-related or not, usually goes away within a few days after taking steps to address the issue. However, longer-term symptoms may be an indication of a larger health concern.

      Colon or rectal cancers, tearing in the lining of the anus, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) all feature diarrhea or constipation as a symptom. If you are experiencing long-term bowel movement problems, it may be worth consulting your doctor for a professional opinion.

      Cannabis users can also experience diarrhea or constipation due to what’s called cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) . This rare but concerning condition often occurs in heavy, continued cannabis use, potentially due to an overload of THC stored in fat cells in the body.

      CHS is accompanied by recurrent bouts of pain in the stomach and intense nausea and vomiting. Symptoms typically vary in the three phases of CHS:

        • Prodromal Phase. Includes abdominal pain and nausea.
        • Hyperemetic Phase. Lasts 24-48 hours and often includes compulsive vomiting.
        • Recovery Phase. Symptoms gradually lessen and disappear with decreased cannabis use.

        While all these symptoms are unpleasant, it’s easy enough to treat CHS: simply abstain from THC for a while until you can rebuild your tolerance. A hot shower, black pepper (which contains beta-caryophyllene ), and soothing distractions will help soothe symptoms in the meantime.

        The Bottom Line

        More research is needed to truly understand how and why cannabis can cause and alleviate diarrhea and constipation. However, each individual should act according to their body’s needs and response to cannabis. If it helps, great! If it causes more problematic symptoms, be sure to discuss your experience with a Leafwell doctor to understand better how to mitigate issues while enjoying the many benefits of medical marijuana.

        Frequently Asked Questions

        What causes diarrhea, the THC or the CBD?

        There’s no definitive answer. We need more research to affirmatively say which cannabinoid, THC , CBD , or the hundreds of others in cannabis, actually causes diarrhea. The Entourage Effect also affects how a particular cultivar interacts with the body’s gastrointestinal system, making it more complicated.

        Why does eating cannabis upset my stomach?

        Eating cannabis edibles upsets the stomach due to the high levels of THC introduced into the body via the liver instead of through the lungs. The liver processes THC into a version of the cannabinoid that’s much more potent, and too much can bypass cannabis’ anti-nausea effects and go straight to causing nausea and stomach discomfort.

        An upset stomach after cannabis use may also be associated with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. It’s also worth remembering that the edible you’re eating may have ingredients other than cannabis that may be causing an upset stomach.

        Is marijuana good for constipation?

        While more research is needed, marijuana anecdotally is good for helping with constipation. Cannabis can relax stomach discomfort and increase appetite, encouraging users to eat food that’ll help the digestive system get back on track.

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