CBD and Constipation
Backed up; clogged pipes; no matter how you word it, being constipated is as uncomfortable to talk about as it is to experience. The list of reasons it can happen is vast and the possible victims are, well, everyone. One treatment won’t be right for everyone, and it may take some trial and effort to find the right one.
Whether you’re new to the troublesome condition or it’s a chronic problem, we offer you a new approach to dealing with it: CBD. CBD and constipation are two terms that you might expect to see on opposite ends of a medical magazine. Brought together, they can offer some surprisingly relieving effects.
We’ll take a look at some obvious, shocking, and downright uncomfortable reasons why constipation occurs, and the potential for CBD to come to the rescue.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation is a common condition consisting of irregular/infrequent bowel movements. Infrequent bowel movements can cause pain in the abdomen as bodily waste builds and sits in the bowels, unable to pass through.
Like we said, dirty and uncomfortable, but nonetheless a likely part of the human experience. Constipation can occur as a result of many influences such as poor diet, lack of fiber, stress, inactivity, or other underlying diseases.
Constipation is a symptom, not a diagnosis. Since there is such a range of reasons why someone would experience constipation, it seems fitting there would be a range of treatments.
While over-the-counter medicines exist to work against occasional constipation, some people might prefer to avoid using laxatives. Laxatives, or stool-softeners, might help move things along. Sometimes, it can lead to moving on too quickly resulting in (arguably) even more distressing diarrhea.
Sometimes, laxatives can also end up backing you up even more. At face value, they’re harmless, omnipresent as somewhat of an in-case-of-emergency medicine cabinet staple that’s constantly pushed out of sight. Sometimes they save the day. Sometimes they pose a real threat.
In an effort to keep things moving and aggressively ward off weight, some people reach for laxatives. This is not only dangerous in the short term, but extensive use of laxatives can cause dehydration in the body and perpetuate the problem.
Easing one symptom shouldn’t come at the expense of inviting another. There are much more natural and effective ways to encourage bowel movements.
Might we suggest CBD?
Why Our Bodies Want Cannabis
Quick relief from anything is hard to come by, but the right supplement can put an action in motion by alerting your body to what it needs to do. CBD is known for its potency in the body as a chief navigator of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in several functions of the body. It’s believed to have bearing on our emotional state, our levels of hunger, our response to pain, and is present predominantly in the brain and nervous system.
This multi-functional, cannabinoid-based system is so powerful because of its network of receptors. The CB1 and CB2 receptors that make up the ECS are not only found in the brain, but in every organ system in the human body.
The digestive system plays a vital role in our health. The gut is at our core, both literally and figuratively. In order to sustain life, we must eat food and drink water. After it goes in our mouths, it stops by the gut.
If the gut is upset, things don’t go as planned and the rest of the body suffers. Bowel blockage can set a ripple upset through the rest of the body.
CBD and Constipation
The interconnectivity of our organs helps to keep everything in balance. When the balance is off, it isn’t always easy to find the source, even if it seems to be just constipation.
Using CBD can help to alleviate symptoms and set things back on track. So far, the FDA doesn’t officially recognize it as a treatment for anything save seizures, but people are quietly turning to it as a home remedy.
At its core, CBD calms. The ECS receptors work against the fight-or-flight responses of stress and anxiety, prompting a sense of ease and quiet. They also work against inflammation, providing relief for those even with chronic pain.
The connection of CBD and constipation lies here. Something as simple as stress can make for a troubled gut. As CBD travels around the body, it can quiet the mind and release the muscles from too much tension. Just like it quiets the mind from choosing fight-or-flight responses, it tells pain messages to be at ease.
CBD, the Soothsayer
As mentioned earlier, constipation is not a sickness so much as it is a symptom. There is usually something larger at work. CBD has offered mounting evidence of its effects against inflammation of all sorts.
CBD as a topical is believed to work for chronic pain and arthritis. CBD can also be used in instances of panic attacks and anxiety.
When it comes to the bowel, CBD has been considered exceptionally beneficial of late. People who suffer from ulcerative colitis–a chronic inflammation of the digestive-tract–are turning to CBD for relief. Some studies suggest that a lack of cannabinoids in the body could cause such inflammation.
It’s still not clear if a lack of CBD causes inflammation, but reports allude that it can ease it.
CBD has also shown signs of improving symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The syndrome can mark episodes of both diarrhea and constipation. Introducing CBD can allow for a relaxation of the inflammation and a relieving pass of the intestinal blockage.
The Entourage Effect
Movement of the colonic muscles could also be promoted by a combination of CBD and its psychoactive sister, THC. Though THC isn’t legal country-wide (yet), full-spectrum CBD could deliver just enough to experience the effects.
Legally, CBD has to be drawn from the hemp plant. The hemp plant is classified as a member of the cannabis family that produces THC in concentrations only as high as 0.3%. In these low doses, your body receives just enough to reap the therapeutic benefits without inducing a high.
In Opposition of Antidepressants
The link between your feelings and your bowels may seem like a stretch, but the interconnections on our bodies elude that there may be a strong connection. Stress can wreak inexplicable havoc on the body.
It’s for stress, too, that CBD can come in handy. Having knots in your stomach is a real thing. Allowing CBD to calm the nerves could bring you a step closer to relieving constipation.
A study on lab mice showed that obsessive-compulsive behavior, displayed through the burying of marbles, was reduced in mice treated with CBD. Mice that were given selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, SSRIs or antidepressants, also showed decreased compulsion to engage in the activity.
SSRI treatment over the course of the next week showed weakened effects. CBD’s effects showed no such sign of degradation.
Creating a happy gut is all part of promoting smooth bowel movements. Providing the endocannabinoid system with the relaxing effects of CBD could be one promising step for dealing with the discomfort of constipation.
Constipation is about as uncomfortable to talk about as it is to experience. We offer you a new approach to dealing with it: CBD
CBD Oil and Constipation: Causes & Does It Help?
Chunky Dunky; bunged up; locked; no matter how discreetly you want to word it, being constipated will be as difficult to talk about as it is to experience.
The list of potential constipation triggers is vast, and actually, anyone can become a victim.
What’s worse, there’s no one treatment that would work for everyone. Trying to find the best solution for constipation may require some trial and error.
Whether you’re chronically constipated or you’re new to this touchy condition, I’d like to introduce you to a new approach to dealing with it: CBD oil.
In this article, I shed light on the current research regarding CBD and constipation. I also share my top 5 brand recommendations when it comes to buying CBD oil.
I’d ask you whether we should dive deeper into the subject, but given the nature of the topic, this could be a faux pas on my part.
Read on to learn more about CBD oil for constipation!
CBD For Constipation Relief: What Do We Know So Far?
Using CBD can help relieve symptoms and set your body back on track. At its core, CBD is known for its remarkably calming properties.
The ECS receptors are “designed” to work against the fight-or-flight response, prompting a sense of ease and slowing down an overstimulated nervous system. They can also combat inflammation, providing relief from those suffering from severe pain.
The connection between CBD and constipation lies exactly in these three areas of the CB-receptor activity. Something as simple as a very stressful situation can cause trouble with the gut.
As CBD circulates in the body, it can quiet the mind and relieves the muscles from unnecessary tension. Just like it protects the mind against fight-or-flight responses, it “tells” pain signals to be at ease.
CBD controls inflammation and the pain response by increasing your anandamide levels. Anandamide, one of the endocannabinoids produced by our bodies, moderates pain and inflammation in damaged tissue.
This benefit has proven helpful for patients with spastic constipation as a result of Irritated Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
By blocking an enzyme responsible for breaking anandamide down (FAAH), CBD helps us maintain the sufficient levels of anandamide and makes it more available for the body.
CBD can relieve certain forms of constipation by addressing the triggers, not just the symptoms.
Finding the Right CBD Product For Your Type of Constipation
CBD comes in many forms. As far as the quality goes, I recommend doing thorough research on both the company of your choice and their product lineup. On top of checking the product label to ensure it has enough CBD to provide benefits, look for the lab testing results for each batch of the product. Only then will you be able to tell if the brand doesn’t stretch reality too far.
The appropriate type of CBD product for your constipation will tackle the underlying causes. If you get constipated from painkillers or antidepressants, you want something that addresses the affected area.
Patches, edibles, pills, and oil drops circulate to pain sources inside your body; they travel to your gut to reduce inflammation caused by IBS and other conditions that affect your digestive system. On the other hand, topical treatments will relieve muscle pain because they affect the cannabinoid receptors under the skin.
Top CBD Oil Brands for Constipation (Editor’s Choice)
There are lots of different CBD brands trying to conquer the market with their products. Some companies provide high-quality CBD oil and can back up their claims with the third-party lab testing, while others prefer to lure unaware customers with salesy language and far-fetched promises.
To maneuver in the emerging market and choose the right manufacturer, you must be able to tell the difference between the good- and bad-quality CBD oil.
If you don’t have the time to do your own research, worry not — I did the job for you.
Below I show you my list of top 5 CBD brands I use to take care of my health, including constipation relief:
1. Royal CBD
Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.
- They offer both full-spectrum or “zero-THC” products
- Extracted with CO2; the products are clean and safe for your gut
- Their CBD oil comes in four different potencies: 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg, and 2500mg
- Every batch of product has been tested by a third-party laboratory
- Their hemp comes from American farms that prefer to use organic farming methods
- Suspended in premium MCT oil
- The price is on the higher end, although well justified
What I Like About Royal CBD:
Royal CBD is a premium brand that uses only high-quality ingredients in their products. Their assortment is pretty simple, consisting only of CBD oil, gummies, and capsules.
What I love about Royal CBD products is that they’re extracted with CO2; this ensures that no toxic solvents are left at the bottom of the bottle, which could worsen your constipation instead of relieving it.
One time my gut was upset to the point where I became nauseous. After using a few drops of the 1000mg oil, it numbed the pain and my gut stopped feeling so cramped, so yes — this is my personal favorite.
If you don’t like the taste of their oil, you can get the capsules instead. These are soft gel caps, so you shouldn’t have any problems swallowing them, and they can bring you long-lasting relief because the CBD is gradually released when ingested that way.
2. Hemp Bombs
- This company offers a diverse product lineup based on CBD isolates
- Each batch of product goes through extensive third-party lab testing
- Their pure CBD oil is available in 5 different potencies.
- High dose of CBD per serving and up to 4000mg of CBD per bottle
- The company’s extracts aren’t as high quality as Royal CBD
- The isolate doesn’t give you the synergy from other cannabinoids and terpenes
What I Like About Hemp Bombs:
While Hemp Bombs isn’t as premium a manufacturer as Royal CBD, the diversity of their product range is out of this world. The company offers topicals, edibles, tinctures, vape oils, pet treats, CBD shots, and a line of beauty products.
Hemp Bombs specializes in making CBD isolates. Their extracts are purged from all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils, leaving the user with 99% pure CBD.
On one hand, that’s a good feature. I have a friend who’s allergic to many foods and hemp is one of them. She’s not allergic to CBD, though, so the only way to get her dose of cannabidiol is to use isolate or distillate. She’s a huge fan of hemp bombs.
But on the other hand, isolates lack the entourage effect coming from full-spectrum products. For me, this is important because super-high doses of CBD makes me feel sleepy, and with full-spectrum oil, I need less CBD to get relieved.
- Their products are sold as full-spectrum CBD or pure CBD oil (Zero THC)
- Each batch of product is sent to a 3rd-party laboratory for testing
- 5 potency options to choose from
- Their products aren’t made from organic hemp
- No flavored options to choose from
What I Like About CBDistillery:
There are two reasons why CBDistillery has scored the third place in my ranking of best CBD oils for constipation — the way the company sources its CBD (their hemp isn’t organic) and how their website makes me want to use more CBD oil for relaxation.
On a positive note, I love the fact that they care about every type of CBD consumer out there. CBDistillery offers its extracts in two options: full-spectrum or pure oil. On top of that, they sell these products in a wide potency range, from 250mg to 5000mg of CBD per bottle.
This means that their CBD oils can suit different types and levels of constipation. I’ve had a very good experience with their 1000mg bottle when my gut was upset from chronic stress I’ve been through with my second child. It did exactly what it had to do.
Constipation: A Brief Overview
Constipation is a common physical condition including irregular and infrequent bowel movements. Infrequent bowel movements can cause pain in the abdominal part of the body, as the waste from consumed food builds up and sits in the bowels, refusing to pass through.
Constipation can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Neglecting fiber intake in your diet (not eating enough fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain foods)
- Ignoring the urge to pass stools
- Side effects of certain medications
- Not drinking enough water
- Chronic stress
- Anxiety or depression
- Lack of exercise
- Poor eating habits overall
- Vitamin deficiencies
The fact that constipation isn’t widely talked about doesn’t derive from the rareness of this condition; in fact, everyone has experienced constipation at least once in their lifetime. It’s just an embarrassing subject to talk about.
Remember that constipation is a symptom, not a disease — and because of that, there are many reasons why someone would experience it. Thus, the range of treatments can be equally vast.
Why Most OTC Supplements Are Counterproductive in Relieving Constipation
In today’s world, there’s an OTC supplement/medicine for nearly every type and severity of a condition.
This rule applies to constipation as well.
You can choose between different laxatives or stool-softeners that might help move things along. However, the problem with these products is that they sometimes can lead to moving on too quickly — resulting in diarrhea instead.
Moreover, laxatives can also end up worsening your constipation. At first glance, they’re harmless and easily accessible as somewhat of a quick turn-off-the-symptoms solution. Some days they help, but another day they just make things worse instead.
People who notoriously reach for laxatives can experience dehydration in the body — hence the perpetuation of the problem.
Relieving one symptom shouldn’t come at the expense of creating another. There are more natural and potentially effective ways to regulate bowel movements.
Below I explain how CBD can help with constipation.
The Link Between the Endocannabinoid System and Digestive System
Quick relief from anything is hard to experience, but a good supplement can set the right gears in motion by “suggesting” your body what it needs to do.
CBD is known for its powerful range of health benefits because it’s a chief modulator of the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays an important role in the majority of homeostatic functions in the body. It’s believed to have an influence on our emotional state, feelings of hunger, pain, and fear, and is present predominantly in the brain, nervous, and immune systems.
The performance of the immune system relies heavily on the health of the gut.
This versatile, endocannabinoid system uses two types of receptors — the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are found in the brain and nervous system as well as most other organs in the human body — including digestive organs.
The gut is at our core, both metaphorically and literally. In order to stay alive and perform efficiently, we must consume food and drink water. The gut is where both food and water stop.
If the gut gets upset, the rest of your body suffers.
The unique relationship between our organs and the ECS helps keep everything in balance. When the balance is compromised, the endocannabinoid system sends its own messenger molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors and restore that equilibrium.
As mentioned, CBD is a modulator of the endocannabinoid system, meaning it can regulate its functioning via both receptor-based and receptor-independent routes.
While the FDA doesn’t officially recognize CBD as a treatment for anything save seizures, people are quietly turning to it to alleviate a wide range of symptoms, including constipation.
Can CBD Oil Cause Constipation?
Constipation is a very rare side effect of CBD oil, so it hasn’t undergone extensive studies by researchers. Early studies and consumer experiences suggest that certain forms of CBD that pass through the digestive tract — like oils and edibles — can cause constipation. However, that’s most likely because of their additional ingredients, not the CBD itself.
In fact, excessive use of CBD oil is linked to the opposite. Extremely high doses of CBD administered on a regular basis can cause diarrhea, which is due to the increased intake of oil the CBD is suspended in.
Lifestyle Changes to Help With Constipation
You may be able to prevent constipation if you follow certain lifestyle patterns. These include:
1. Staying Hydrated
Our bodies are mostly comprised of water, so proper hydration is a must if you want your body to function well. Water boosts the metabolism of food and it can reduce the chances of any digestive issues.
Drinking plenty of water will help in rehydrating your body and ensuring proper bowel movements. On top of that, regular hydration with water can also prevent constipation to a large extent. Drinking less water makes your stools tight and thus more difficult to move through the gut.
2. Consuming Fiber
A diet rich in fiber can contribute to relief from constipation and protect you against developing it.
Foods full of fiber such as whole-grain products, fruits, and vegetables can keep constipation at bay. The reason why fiber is so effective at relieving constipation is that our bodies can’t digest fibers, so they use them as a “broom” to clean our intestines by moving the bowels with them.
If you suffer from constipation on a regular basis, adding fiber to your diet can benefit your gut and help you put an end to this troublesome symptom.
3. Increasing Physical Activity
If your job requires you to sit at one place for eight to ten hours, you’re at more risk of constipation. Staying inactive for the most part of the day is one of the major contributors to this condition.
It’s important to keep exercising regularly. This way, you can help move food through the digestive system and spurring the bowels to work. Any type of exercise — walking, playing catch, cycling, running, working out at the gym, jumping — will do the job as long as you remain consistent.
4. Not Holding Your Stools
As silly as it may sound, this is actually a serious problem. Many people hold their stools when they’re in the middle of an important meeting, or they have a date and they don’t want to cause awkward situations.
Whatever your reason is — don’t resist your body’s urge to go to the bathroom. Doing so can make the stool harder and difficult to pass later. Always make sure that you take out enough time to answer the call of nature.
Is CBD Oil a Valid Solution for Constipation?
Although there aren’t many studies relating directly to CBD and constipation, current evidence suggests that CBD can help with the causes of this troublesome symptom.
By reducing inflammation and regulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help you relieve stomach pain, relieve inflammation, and maintain regular bowel movements. CBD oil may not only relieve constipation but it can also work as a preventative supplement.
Have you tried CBD oil when you were constipated? Don’t be shy about your problem, no one’s going to judge you!
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- Russo E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and clinical risk management, 4(1), 245–259.
- Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349.
- Ahmed, W., & Katz, S. (2016). Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterology & hepatology, 12(11), 668–679.
Constipation is a very touchy subject, no matter how hard you try to talk about it in neutral terms. Can CBD oil be the answer for constipation?