Constipation. It’s not the easiest thing to talk about, but it’s an issue that 2.5 million Americans persistently suffer from.
CBD has many health benefits, and as some studies suggest, it may help with digestive issues.
In this article, we’ll be talking about something that not everyone wants to hear but something that needs to be heard. We’ll be looking at the facts surrounding CBD for constipation, how it can benefit your condition, and how to use it.
CBD and Constipation: The Facts
Before you look toward CBD for instant relief from constipation, you should know that it’s certainly not a laxative medication and won’t allow you to evacuate your bowels instantly.
It does support the healthy function of your digestive system overall and sets the ball in motion to allow your body to function as it should.
CBD is a great supplement that, when used routinely, may reduce and prevent constipation by relieving symptoms, relaxing your body, and setting your body back in a state of balance (homeostasis).
Can CBD Oil Help With Constipation?
The endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoids, enzymes, and CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors can be found all around the body, including the gut. CBD is a plant-made cannabinoid that interacts with these receptors.
The endocannabinoid system regulates the connection from the gut to the brain using endocannabinoids (internally-made) and the CB1 receptors. When CBD is consumed, it slows down the breakdown of endocannabinoids and interacts with the CB1 receptors to influence how the brain and gut send chemical signals to each other.
If this signaling system isn’t effectively functioning, it can cause constipation. With this in mind, CBD may help aid constipation in this instance.
CBD can also relieve constipation by getting straight to the cause of the issue.
Pain can also cause constipation. When the bowels are inflamed or damaged, pain can be why it’s difficult to pass stool. CBD’s pain-relieving qualities may reduce pain enough for you to pass waste comfortably.
Studies have looked into the therapeutic effect of CBD on people with irritable bowel disease (IBD) and found that its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving qualities help relieve and reduce symptoms .
Other studies suggest that CBD and other cannabinoids induce relaxation in the colon . This could help encourage a bowel movement by relaxing the colon enough to pass stool.
Can CBD Oil Cause Constipation?
Generally speaking, CBD does not cause constipation. Constipation is an extremely rare side effect of CBD that a small minority of people report. Because this side effect is so rare, it hasn’t undergone scientific studies.
In other words, it’s not something you should worry about, and it’s unlikely to worsen a constipation issue, whether it’s one-off or linked to a chronic condition.
Certain CBD products may induce constipation in some people. If you have particularly sensitive bowels, edibles products such as CBD gummies may cause constipation as they pass through the digestive tract.
In these cases, the constipation isn’t caused by CBD alone but most likely down to the other ingredients present in the edibles, such as sugar and gelatin.
If your bowels are sensitive to certain ingredients such as sugar, glucose, starches, and gelatin, you should avoid CBD edibles and opt for a CBD oil or capsule instead.
Does CBD Make You Poop?
Yes, CBD does make you poop.
However, not in the way that a typical over-the-counter laxative will. It doesn’t loosen stool or cause diarrhea, but it may influence the CB1 receptors in the gut in a way that allows you to pass stool.
As we mentioned earlier, CBD doesn’t have laxative qualities, but research suggests that it may help support gut health and promote bowel movements.
Overall, CBD can help you get back on track with regular bowel movements and may aid people with chronic constipation by influencing the endocannabinoid system.
Which is Better for Constipation: CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil
Both CBD oil and hemp seed oil can play a role in aiding constipation.
Neither one is better than the other per see, and you can actually benefit from using both oils alongside each other.
1. CBD Oil
As we have discussed, CBD oil has many benefits for people with one-off and chronic constipation.
CBD can aid gut health, provide relief from pain, reduce inflammation, and help promote regular bowel movements.
CBD is an excellent supplement if you constantly suffer from constipation. It’s an excellent supplement to consume long-term to get your body back on track and functioning as it should.
There are also plenty of other benefits that will improve your overall health. Although you may be treating a constipation issue using CBD, you may also see other unrelated issues dissipate as a positive side effect.
2. Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. Although it doesn’t contain CBD or other cannabinoids as CBD oil does, it does have many health benefits.
One of these benefits of the hemp seed oil is its ability to relieve constipation.
The hemp seed oil contains the highest amount of essential fatty acids than other vegetable oils available on the market. One of these fatty acids is omega-3.
Omega-3 plays an important role in a variety of normal bodily functions, including digestion. Getting enough omega-3 is essential for your overall health, and it may help promote healthy bowel movements.
Being an oil, hemp seed oil is also a lubricant. Consuming hemp seed oil regularly lines the gut and gets “the ball rolling” when it’s time to pass stool.
Having a well-lubricated intestinal tract reduces the chance of constipation and makes things much more comfortable in the restroom.
How to Use CBD Oil for Constipation?
Knowing how to use CBD for constipation is important.
If you select the wrong product, consume too much or too little, or don’t use it in the right way, you’ll be on the road to failure. If you want to benefit from CBD for constipation issues, you must consider these four points.
1. Which CBD Product is Best for Constipation?
CBD comes in many different forms. You’ll find CBD in its simplest oil format as well as edibles, topicals, capsules, and vapable formats.
Choosing the right product will ensure you receive the benefits you’re looking for.
Out of the CBD forms, you can rule out topicals for constipation as they are applied directly to the skin and serve no purpose for this issue.
It’s also wise to rule out edible CBD products if the ingredients promote constipation rather than aid it.
The best type of CBD to consume for constipation is CBD oil.
CBD Oil for Constipation
CBD oil is applied directly under the tongue using a dropper. This gives you ultimate flexibility over your dosages and is also one of the most bioavailable ways to consume CBD.
CBD oil can also be added to food as a supplement which will carry the CBD down into your digestive tract.
CBD Capsules for Constipation
Capsules and softgels are another great way to consume CBD for constipation. If you don’t like the taste of raw oil under your tongue, capsules provide a tasteless solution. Because they are ingested, they may also line the gut with the beneficial oils that the CBD is combined with.
CBD Vaporizers for Constipation
When CBD is vaporized and inhaled, it becomes extremely bioavailable. It enters the bloodstream via the oxygen exchange in the lung’s alveoli and provides fast results. This is a great way to consume CBD if you already vape, require quick relief, or look for a fast and easy way to take CBD.
However, there are certain health implications associated with inhaling the vapor. Although there is little research on the effects of vaporized CBD on the lungs, it may damage the lung tissue.
If you suffer from a respiratory issue such as asthma or have sensitive breathing, it’s probably best to steer clear of vaping.
2. What’s Better: Isolate, Full-Spectrum, or Broad-Spectrum CBD?
Most of the research behind CBD and constipation involves products that contain other cannabinoids.
Although CBD alone certainly provides relief from constipation, other cannabinoids present in the hemp plant may also aid the issue.
The entourage effect is a phenomenon where CBD is more efficient when used within a wide cannabinoid profile . The other cannabinoids lend their own set of benefits that can increase the efficacy of CBD and balance out its effects.
With this in mind, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products have a higher potential for relieving constipation.
However, many studies have outlined CBD’s health benefits when used solely. If you’re unable to use full- or broad-spectrum CBD for health reasons, CBD isolate may work for you.
3. How Much CBD Oil Should I Take for Constipation?
Finding the right CBD dosage isn’t a straightforward task.
CBD works differently for everyone, with some people seeing results from a low dose and others requiring a much higher dose of the cannabinoid.
That being said, an average dose of CBD for constipation stands at between 10 and 50 mg per day. However, this can vary significantly depending on your body weight, metabolism, health condition, and age.
The best way to start using CBD is by consuming a low dose and seeing how your body reacts to the cannabinoids. From here, the dosage can be increased periodically until the desired effects are achieved.
4. Combine CBD with Other Treatments
Using CBD alone isn’t an intelligent way to treat chronic constipation.
You should first ask yourself why you’re constipated.
It could be that you suffer from atonic constipation, where a lack of muscle tone in your intestines restricts bowel movements. You could also suffer from obstructive constipation, where a physical obstruction is preventing bowel movements.
If you are experiencing either of these types of constipation, a visit to your doctor is needed to find out what the cause is and develop a treatment.
You may suffer from spastic constipation, where inflammation and irritation in your intestines prevent the movement of stool.
You may be experiencing dietary constipation from an unbalanced diet or lack of nutrition.
In these cases, CBD can be used to treat the conditions. However, there are other steps you must take to improve your situation.
Lifestyle changes will help reduce constipation and improve your overall health. If you’re suffering from constipation, it’s important to implement these lifestyle changes to improve your condition:
Adequate hydration is needed for the body to function properly. Consuming the right amount of water boosts the metabolism and encourages healthy bowel movements.
A lack of water forms tight stools that are far more difficult to move through the gut. Water also naturally lubricates the digestive system, allowing you to pass waste more easily.
Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is essential for treating constipation long-term.
Increase Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk of constipation. If you work in an office or find yourself sitting down for a large portion of the day, you should get out and exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood.
Exercise promotes bowel movements and digestion. Whether you’re walking, running, cycling, or working out at the gym, your digestive system is engaged when you move your body.
An engaged digestive tract means less time for the stool to move through the large intestine, encouraging softer stools more regularly.
Consume More Fiber
Fiber helps relieve constipation and further prevent it.
Eating a wide range of whole-grain produce, fruits, and vegetables will combat constipation and make it a thing of the past.
Fibers are indigestible. They effectively work like a broom that sweeps out the intestines. Fiber encourages healthy bowel movements by producing healthy stools.
If you’re suffering from chronic constipation, look at your diet. Are you getting enough fiber? If not, you know what to do.
Don’t Hold Your Stools
Holding your stools is a serious issue that causes constipation. We’ve all done it, and sometimes it’s unavoidable in cases where you can’t escape to the restroom.
If your body is telling you it needs to go, listen to it. Of course, it may not always be possible, but if you’re holding your stools unnecessarily, it could be the cause of your constipation.
Final Thoughts: Does CBD Work for Constipation?
CBD certainly does work for constipation.
Although CBD doesn’t have laxative properties, it does encourage bowel movements. It’s a supplement that can be added to a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle to promote gut health.
The cannabinoid can promote bowel movements, reduce pain and inflammation, and set your body in motion for healthy regular stools.
CBD is also an excellent preventative supplement, so don’t stop when constipation does. Taking CBD as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle can benefit your gut and everything from mental health to skin conditions.
References Used In This Article
- De Filippis, D., Esposito, G., Cirillo, C., Cipriano, M., De Winter, B. Y., Scuderi, C., … & Iuvone, T. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. PLoS One, 6(12), e28159.
- Ahmed, W., & Katz, S. (2016). Therapeutic use of cannabis in inflammatory bowel disease. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 12(11), 668.
- Hasenoehrl, C., Taschler, U., Storr, M., & Schicho, R. (2016). The gastrointestinal tract–a central organ of cannabinoid signaling in health and disease. Neurogastroenterology & Motility, 28(12), 1765-1780.
- Russo, E. B. (2019). The case for the entourage effect and conventional breeding of clinical cannabis: no “strain,” no gain. Frontiers in plant science, 9, 1969.