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CBD Constipation: Does CBD Oil Cause Constipation? [Or Can It Help?]

So is CBD constipation possible? Well, its a bit of a clogged question. Constipation is a side effect of many over the counter and prescription medications, so it makes sense for consumers to show concern about CBD consumption causing similar issues.

Currently, there has been no evidence or studies that prove CBD oil causes constipation. In fact, preliminary research suggests the opposite. CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)   — a network of receptors responsible for regulating your mood, appetite, digestion and so much more — encourages a healthier digestive system overall. Before we get into how CBD may help with constipation, it is essential to understand why you may be struggling to keep a natural excretion schedule. 

What is Constipation?

Constipation is typically thought of as a difficulty to pass stool, but the effects can be widespread. Symptoms may include passing hard painful stools, infrequently feeling the urge to excrete waste, or passing bloody stools. Constipation can also indicate other medical illnesses. Be sure to consult with a doctor if your constipation persists.

Almost everyone experiences constipation at some point in their lives. While it is not life-threatening, constipation can be very painful and may hint at other body issues. In the majority of cases, diet is the determining factor. People with low-fiber diets have a much larger chance of getting constipated.

The average length of time between bowel movements is different for each person. Some people may excrete waste multiple times a day, while others only do it a couple of times per week. No matter what your regular schedule is, going longer than three days without having a bowel movement is abnormal. At the three day mark, the stool becomes hardened and more challenging to pass. This is because all of the liquid has been sapped from the stool as it sits in the colon.

constipated colon diagram

Does CBD Oil Cause Constipation?

Consumers of CBD oil should make sure that they are reading what types of nutrients and ingredients they are putting into their bodies before consumption. Carrageenan, guar gum, inulin, potassium benzoate, and modified food starch are the most common additives that cause stomach and digestive problems.

Early studies on CBD and constipation linked the two together under the assumption that ingestible CBD oil and edibles may cause constipation. However, this is more likely related to the other contents of the product than the CBD itself. High volumes of CBD oil intake are actually found to have the opposite effect, and when taken in large amounts consistently, may even cause loose bowel movements.

Why Do People Get Constipated?

According to WebMD, the most common causes of constipation are:

Lack of water or fiber

In an overwhelming amount of cases, lack of proper hydration and fiber are the causes of constipation. Alcoholic drinks and sodas dehydrate the body, while juices typically contain lots of sugars. It is essential to hydrate: half a gallon of water a day is the minimum to keep your body functioning correctly.

Changes to diet or activity

Changing your diet or daily activities can cause issues leading to constipation. Because your body is a holistic system where everything interacts with each other, one change can potentially make a difference in your gut health, throwing off balance and causing constipation.

Ingesting large amounts of dairy products

Some believe that milk can be a trigger for constipation in certain people. Why could this be? This could be for many reasons, some of which occur during the pasteurization of the milk. Pasteurization may remove some enzymes that allow us to digest the dairy easier, along with some other useful vitamins and minerals, so problems may occur when we drink a lot.

Dairy is also mucus-forming, which may explain the sluggish and overweighed feeling one might experience after drinking too much. Chinese Medicine labels milk and dairy as “damp inducing,” meaning that these foods tend to slow down and gum up internal systems. Sounds a bit like constipation, no?


Because the strength of the muscles in your stomach is determined by blood flow, activity levels can become a trigger for constipation. When inactive for extended periods, blood travels through the body less, resulting in low circulation and, for some, causing constipation from lack of digestive strength. Additionally, the longer a food stays in the stomach, the more moisture will be absorbed, resulting in a drier and harder to pass stool.


Pregnancy comes with many changes and sensitivities in the body; this can involve changes in your gut and digestion! One potential culprit is progesterone, which relaxes the muscles in the stomach, slowing digestion. This gives the body more time to absorb nutrients but can trigger constipation. The fetus itself can also have an impact on your digestion because of the added weight it will put on your body; this can add pressure to the muscles in the stomach, triggering constipation.


Yes, stress can also cause constipation. Stress hormones directly impact bowel movements. Subsequently, people are more likely to eat poorly, drink less water, and get less exercise when stressed, leading to constipation.

An Underactive Thyroid (Called Hypothyroidism)

Hypothyroidism is the condition that occurs when the small butterfly-shaped gland, located in the neck, is under-active and produces fewer hormones than normal. This can cause some of the body’s processes to slow, resulting in weight gain, lethargy, and of course, constipation.

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS is a common digestive disorder affecting between 25 and 45 million people in the United States. This condition is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, bloating sensations, stomach pain, and difficulty passing stool. Bloating and gas may occur, but the primary symptoms of constipation include hard, clumped stool, feelings of abdominal pain, an inability to fully clear the bowels, and infrequent bowel movements.

Some Medications, Such as Strong Painkillers, Antidepressants, Cancer Treatments, and Iron Pills

Certain medications may affect your gut health. Strong pain killers can often interrupt the natural rhythms of your stomach muscles. Painkillers slow down your body’s processes, including digestion, giving your stomach more time to absorb the moisture in your food, possibly resulting in dry and hard-to-pass stool. Certain antidepressants may have the same effect due to how they alter serotonin production in the body.

Additionally, cancer treatment, including chemotherapy and the various medications associated with it, may be a trigger for constipation. These medications can cause a lack of fluid in the digestive system, causing stools to harden and become difficult to pass. Constipation may also occur as a secondary reaction to chemotherapy patients having a lowered appetite, fewer nutrients, or a lack of hydration.

Iron supplements may also be a potential trigger for constipation. While beneficial for the body, iron is not easily absorbed in the stomach and may cause some issues in the digestive tract. Iron may contribute to a lack of microbial variety in the stomach, resulting in less ability to break down and digest foods. This unabsorbed iron can also feed bad bacteria in the stomach, further contributing to an upset stomach and difficult bowel movements.

Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum

Some antacid medicine containing calcium or aluminum products as ingredients can potentially cause some unwanted constipation symptoms. Antacids containing aluminum are known to potentially cause constipation triggers, especially if taken over an extended period.

Eating disorders

Suffering from an eating disorder can affect many aspects of an individual’s life. One of the possible results of chronic eating disorders can be constipation. Inadequate liquid intake and lack of food decrease the body’s ability to process and relieve excrement, resulting in decreased gastric mobility and constipation.

If you or a loved one is currently suffering from an eating disorder, help is available. We urge you to seek medical help or the assistance of a hotline like this one for support.

Resisting the urge to defecate

While holding it in on occasion is not harmful, people who frequently hold their #2 in may develop more serious problems, such as constipation. If holding it in becomes a habit, the body may adjust to the sensation, causing one to possibly lose the urge to go, resulting in constipation.

Overuse of laxatives

While this seems strange, overuse of laxatives can create symptoms of chronic constipation. If you have been using laxatives frequently for weeks or months, the colons ability to contract and digest food may be greatly weakened. This can lead to worsened constipation and may interrupt regular bowel movements.

Nerve or muscle damage

Nerve or muscle damage can also cause constipation in some people. This may result in blocked ‘communication’ between your colon and nerve receptors in the brain. When these nerves are working properly, your nerves and colon work together to trigger your body’s ability to relieve itself. In the case of individuals with nerve damage, this process can be difficult.

Muscle damage is yet another issue that can trigger constipation. Those recovering from an abdominal injury, surgery, or any muscle tear may potentially experience constipation as a side effect of the damage. Damaged pelvic muscles can also potentially make it increasingly difficult for your body to pass stool, potentially causing constipation.

man pooping in the middle of nowhere

Is Constipation Normal? 

If you’re experiencing constipation, you might initially feel embarrassed or alienated by this sensitive problem, but rest assured you are not alone! Constipation is a common problem affecting 16 of every 100 individuals. This number is even higher for older adults, with about 33 people out of 100 seeking assistance for constipation yearly.

How Long Should Constipation Last? 

Although constipation is a common issue, if you experience constipation for more than two weeks at a time, there could be some cause for concern. If your constipation persists, it is advised to seek the help of your medical doctor for assistance in relieving your constipation. It is also good to see a doctor if you have never experienced constipation before, there is blood in your stool, or you are experiencing pain resulting from constipation.

What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?

According to the National Cancer Institute, “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.” While you may not overdose on CBD, other side effects can materialize. 

Some users have experienced mild adverse side effects from taking CBD, such as lethargy, diarrhea, dry mouth, dizziness, appetite changes, rapid beating of the heart, and nausea. In most cases, side effects cease once the body becomes used to the intake. 

Can CBD Oil Help Resolve Constipation – Does CBD Oil Make You Poop?

More and more people are using CBD oil for relief. CBD is a cannabinoid that interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the body’s natural way of producing cannabinoids. The ECS in the gastrointestinal tract is heavily involved in the regulation of GI motility, secretion, sensation, and swelling. Cannabinoids like CBD may promote ECS functionality.

Stress can also cause constipation, and the ECS is vital in regulating stress. There are three stress hormones: Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine. These hormones have different functions, such as increasing your heart rate (Adrenaline), arousal (Norepinephrine), and threat recognition (Cortisol). The ECS helps regulate the excretion of these hormones. Some research suggests that CBD’s interaction with the ECS may encourage healthy homeostasis within the system. A healthy ECS promotes proper regulation of stress hormones. 

How Much CBD Oil Should You Take?

CBD oil dosage is dependent on many factors, including weight, dosage, and purpose of use. The best way to find the optimal dosage is by following the gradual increase procedure. Users can start with 20 to 40 mg a day. After a week, users can increase the amount by 5 mg. Gradually continue to increase the amount on this schedule until you feel your symptoms waning.


The type of CBD product you use is important. Topical CBD products won’t help much with constipation because you administer them on the skin. Sublingual CBDedibles, and inhalation introduce CBD into the bloodstream, making them much more likely to provide relief.

Relieving Constipation Naturally 

There are many ways that a person can relieve their constipation. Luckily, many of these methods are fully natural, requiring little more than changing some dietary behaviors, or increasing/decreasing how much of something you consume at a time. Some of the most effective natural remedies are below.  


Increasing the water you consume can be an excellent way to combat constipation. Often constipation is caused or encouraged through a lack of proper hydration in the stomach. You can try drinking eight, eight-ounce servings per day to help hydrate. Adding lemon to water can also give added stomach relieving benefits if you’d like.

Related: How Much CBD Water Should I Be Drinking?


Increasing your fiber intake is a well-known method for easing digestion issues and is a common recommendation for helping with constipation. Fiber works to increase the consistency of bowel movements, making them easier to pass. While fiber can be a great tool to relieve constipation, be aware taking too much may result in increased constipation! The most effective fiber to take for constipation should be soluble and unfermented.


Activity is known to be beneficial for the digestive system and may be a way to relieve symptoms of constipation. Exercise helps to increase blood flow throughout the body, aiding your guts in contracting and pushing bowel movements when needed. Exercise may also strengthen the muscles in the body, positively influencing your digestive tract’s ability to process food.


Probiotics are a great way to increase gut health in any individual, but they can also possibly relieve constipation. These supplements encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria that works to help the body digest and process the different foods in the stomach. Probiotics can prevent symptoms of stomach discomfort but are also a great way to create a healthy microbial environment fit for getting rid of painful constipation.


A straightforward method of relieving constipation might come from taking laxatives. Laxatives can help loosen bowel movements allowing for the easy passing of hard stool. Some laxatives are made using natural sources, such as the popular laxative Senna, which originates in the leaf of the plant Senna Alexandria. Most laxatives take some time to kick in, but be sure you are close to a toilet once they do!


This is an elimination diet that may help cut out some foods that can cause digestive issues. FODMAP means fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. If this means nothing to you (as it will to most people!), here’s a generalized breakdown of foods this diet limits or avoids– Garlic, beans, onions, berries, watermelon, peaches, breaded meats, avocado, and some starches.

Check out this FODMAP guide from Medical News Today for a more precise look!


Prebiotic fibers can help increase the presence of useful bacteria in the stomach. This can help promote consistent bowel movements and lower the chances of stomach discomfort or pain. Many foods are rich in prebiotics, so incorporating them into your diet is not too difficult by not typically requiring one to purchase specialized vitamins or extracts.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is a saline laxative that works by increasing the amount of fluid in the stomach during digestion. This aids in softening stool, easing its passing, and cleaning out the bowels.


A household staple for constipation, prunes are an old standby. Prunes are packed with beneficial fiber, perfect for encouraging a bowel movement for those having trouble. For fast absorption, prune juice is an effective and affordable option!

Last Thoughts About CBD Oil & Constipation

Because diet plays such an important role in healthy bowel movements, people suffering from constipation should take a long hard look at what they eat. Make sure you are ingesting enough fiber and water before looking for other methods to help you poop. If changing your diet does not provide relief, then CBD may be the right option for you. 

Although CBD’s influence on the ECS may provide some people with relief, it is important to note that relieving symptoms does not mean you have gotten to the root of the issue. So does CBD oil cause constipation? While CBD use can promote a healthy and timely digestive schedule via the ECS, it cannot correct dehydration, poor diet, and lack of activity. Treat your body right, and it should reward you.

Cheef Botanicals CBD oils and CBD flower are organic, plant-based, lab-tested products. They contain only the best organic vegan ingredients. There are no additives and no artificial flavors or colors; our CBD oil is non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Users can enjoy a wholesome approach to taking CBD and help encourage overall health and wellness from a trusted source.

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