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Does CBD Oil Cause Constipation?

Since most users are ingesting CBD, one popular question emerging is: “Does CBD oil cause constipation?” Constipation is a side effect of many over the counter and prescription medications, so it makes sense for consumers to show concern about CBD use causing similar issues. There has been no evidence or studies that prove CBD oil causes constipation. CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) may encourage a healthier digestive regularity. 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 ailments such as Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, an underactive thyroid gland, colon disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulosis, and more.

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.

Why Do People Get Constipated?

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

  • Lack of water or fiber
  • Changes to diet or activity 
  • Ingesting large amounts of dairy products
  • Inactivity 
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • An underactive thyroid (called hypothyroidism)
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Some medications, such as strong painkillers, antidepressants, cancer treatments, and iron pills
  • Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
  • Eating disorders
  • Resisting the urge to defecate
  • Overuse of laxatives
  • Nerve or muscle damage

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: a half a gallon of water a day is the minimum to keep your body functioning correctly. 

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. 

Does CBD Oil Cause Constipation?

There have been no convincing studies or evidence that prove CBD oil causes constipation. With that in mind, some CBD products contain other additives and ingredients that may cause constipation.

Labels are your friends. Users should make sure that they are reading what 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.

What are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?

According to the National Cancer Institue, “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?

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.

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 alleviate the issue. 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. 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.

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