does cbd cause constipation

Can CBD Oil Cause Constipation?

Anyone can get constipation. Some people experience mild symptoms, while others have chronic symptoms.

Constipation can be debilitating, especially during a task that requires concentration, and it can also affect your mood.

CBD oil and constipation has been a hot topic lately, and people are wondering:

  • Can CBD oil cause constipation?
  • Can CBD help with constipation?

What Will I Find Out?

What causes constipation

Chronic constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements per week. Mild constipation may only show a few symptoms which we’ll get into in a minute.

This is a common problem that affects around 20% of Americans. This has resulted in 8 million visits on average to the doctor every year. It can be caused by a variety of problems that haven’t been addressed.

Considering most people have busy lifestyles, it can be hard to manage things outside work such as diet, sleep, and other lifestyle factors.

The leading causes are mostly related to these things:

  • Foods you eat or don’t eat
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Medications


Constipation can happen in several ways. Chronic constipation is when you go to the bathroom less than three times per week.

The general symptoms of constipation include:

  • Trouble passing stool
  • Weird looking stool – hard or lumpy
  • Bowel movements are painful
  • Bloating

If you have chronic constipation, you may want to see a doctor. However, if you experience mild constipation, you can address the following before thinking about taking CBD oil.

How to treat constipation

Several different things usually treat constipation.

1. Drink more water

Being dehydrated is bad for many things, including bowel movements. It can make you constipated if you are regularly not drinking enough water.

2. Eat more fiber

People who are constipated rarely have any fiber in their food because they are afraid of passing gas. However, eating fiber increases the bulk and consistency of bowel movements. You may want to start including some more high fiber foods such as vegetables and whole grains.

Some foods cause constipation that you want to avoid. That’s why some people follow specific diets because they may be allergic to certain foods without even realizing, for example, Gluten.

3. Drinking coffee

Some people may experience the urge to go to the bathroom, especially caffeinated coffee. This works because coffee stimulates your gut and the muscles in your digestive system.

4. Probiotic

Taking probiotic supplements can help those who suffer from chronic constipation. People who have this problem have an imbalance of bacteria in their gut, which probiotics can help.

5. Avoid dairy

Did you know that 65% of the human population is lactose intolerant? If you eat high amounts of dairy, you may want to consider cutting it out from your diet. This could be the cause of your constipation.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is sold as a dietary supplement that derives from the cannabis plant.

When people hear cannabis, they associate it with marijuana. Marijuana is a strain type of cannabis that has high amounts of THC and little to no. However, CBD oil comes from the hemp strain of cannabis, which contains mostly CBD and less than 0.3% THC.

What’s the difference between CBD and THC?

Well, THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis that gets you high. CBD does not get you high at all.

How it works in the body

The body has something called an Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This consists of cannabinoid receptors that are activated once we ingest cannabis.

As CBD oil comes from cannabis, these receptors get activated, and we experience the effects of CBD. The main impact is general well-being and promoting homeostasis within the body.

Side effects

CBD oil does have some side effects. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes and weight

There are little to no side effects, but the effects listed above only occur when you take extremely high doses. We’re talking drinking CBD oil like it’s cool-aid.

Some people may be sensitive to things like THC. Some CBD oil products like full-spectrum, which contains a trace of THC, may cause a reaction to those sensitive to THC. Products such as broad-spectrum CBD oil that contains no THC.

CBD oil vs. hemp seed oil – the differences

People often confuse CBD oil with hemp oil. They are not the same thing.

  • CBD oil – flowers, stalks, and leaves of the hemp strain of cannabis. This contains a high amount of CBD, which activated the Endocannabinoid System.
  • Hemp oil – only seeds of the hemp plant. They are used for things like cooking and lotions. It only contains traces of CBD.

Hemp seed oil doesn’t contain anywhere near as much CBD because only the seeds are extracted to make the oil. CBD oil consists of the whole plant, which makes it more effective in treating constipation.

When you buy hemp seed oil, a lot of companies get away with labeling their products as having high amounts of CBD, even though it doesn’t. It will say 1500mg of CBD when in reality, it probably contains less than 5mg of CBD.

The only way you can tell that the product does have real CBD in it is through a lab-test. A third party lab test shows how much CBD the product has, and it’s free from impurities such as heavy metals.

lab test example

Can CBD oil cause constipation

There isn’t any reliable evidence that CBD oil causes constipation. We only have anecdotal evidence of users reporting digestive problems with some CBD oil products.

Not all CBD oils are made equal because CBD is an unregulated market. Some products have additives that can cause these digestive issues. Adverse side effects usually appear after using it for a while.

For those who have, constipation should buy products that are organic and use the least ingredients possible to avoid these side effects.

Some experts suggest that those with chronic constipation should take one week out of the month by not taking CBD oil at all. So this means you should use it for three weeks at a time, pause for a week, and then repeat the cycle.

Some carrier oils cause constipation

Carrier oils are oils that are used to help with the absorption. Some examples include hemp seed oil, MCT oil, and lavender oil.

Carrier oils play a role in constipation because they make up a vast percentage of CBD oil products. If a carrier oil is coming from MCT, for example, this oil is coming from a different plant. As this is not coming from hemp, you could have an adverse reaction, causing you to be constipated.

To reduce the risks of constipation, you should go for a carrier oil that comes from hemp. Look for ingredients that use hemp seed oil as their carrier oil.

CBD and constipation

CBD, at its core, provides calming effects. It works against the fight or flight responses of stress and anxiety, which keeps you calm in stressful situations. It also aids with inflammation and chronic pain.

The connection between CBD and constipation occurs here. With reduced stress, it quietens the mind and releases the muscles from too much tension. This sends a signal to the pain messages to be at ease.

Benefits of using CBD oil for constipation

CBD oil can help relieve the symptoms of constipation, such as stomach cramps and bloatedness. As these things can be painful, especially when trying to go to the bathroom, CBD can reduce pain and stress.

The main benefit is its ability to help relax your muscles, which will make it less painful when your bowels are moving.

Psychosomatic factors like stress are what cause irregular bowel movements.

CBD also acts on the serotonin receptors in the brains, which stimulate the release of a chemical called Anandamide. This reduces anxiety and relaxes the mind to deal with the stress of irregular bowel movements.

Final thoughts on CBD and constipation

So can CBD oil cause constipation? No, it actually helps.

CBD oil can be a helpful tool for dealing with the symptoms of constipation. However, other factors affect this condition, such as:

  • Lack of fiber in your diet
  • Stress
  • Poor eating habits
  • Lack of vitamins

Getting these in check with the help of CBD can make for a troubled gut. We recommend you to take CBD oil first thing in the morning and before going to the bathroom.

Make sure you pick a good quality product to ensure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that may make your constipation worse.

Frequently asked questions

Can CBD oil cause bowel problems?

It depends on the individual. Some people’s bodies don’t agree with everyone, so it will be silly to say that CBD oil won’t cause any problems at all. It’s similar to consuming food. Most people will respond well, but some people won’t.

Some of the most common side effects are nausea and gastrointestinal issues. This can lead to things like vomiting and diarrhea. This isn’t common, but it can happen due to a digestive problem.

Does CBD help with bowel movements?

CBD has a bunch of benefits, including bowel movements. Even though some people may experience side effects that do the opposite, the majority of people will see things like a decrease in anxiety, positive gut function, and relaxed muscles.

Can CBD oil help with constipation?

CBD oil interacts with the cannabinoids all around the body, including the gut. It doesn’t get rid of constipation completely. It helps with the symptoms mostly. Other factors have to be addressed before relying solely on CBD oil. Such as diet, stress, and other lifestyle factors.

Does CBD oil make you poop?

It doesn’t make you poop per se, but it does help your muscles to relax and reduce the stress associated with constipation. While it doesn’t treat constipation directly, it does help with the symptoms.

Can CBD oil cause constipation. This is a common question people regarding the side effects of CBD oil. Surprisingly CBD oil does the complete opposite.

CBD and Constipation: Can CBD Oil Offer Relief?

We’ve all been there. Sometimes, it happens after downing a king-size plate of KFC. Other times, it comes along with your period. Regardless of why it shows up, constipation is not comfortable at all.

According to an NCBI report, constipation is the number one digestive complaint in America, and an estimated 4 million people suffer from frequent constipation. That’s a worrying 2% of Americans. And while there are many ways of dealing with the problem, what about an effective natural solution for constipation?

That’s where CBD comes in. Multiple studies and surveys point to the fact that this powerful extract from the cannabis plant can actually treat chronic constipation. Let’s delve deeper into the relationship between CBD and constipation.

What Is CBD?

Before we get into the details of the effectiveness of CBD oil for treating constipation, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page about what CBD is.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it makes up 40% of the chemical compounds referred to as cannabinoids that are derived from the cannabis plant. In recent years, CBD has gained massive traction as a respected medical treatment. Its unique interaction with the human body has made it a rock star within the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. Perhaps the reason CBD has risen in popularity so quickly is that it possesses no psychoactive effects.

CBD has been explored as a treatment for a number of health conditions, including inflammation, anxiety, depression, pain, cancer, acne, and more. The cannabinoid is now being used to treat a wide range of gut problems, including constipation.

Why Your Gut Is Important

Hippocrates was absolutely right when he said that “all diseases begin in the gut.”

Back in the day, scientists (and everyone else) believed that the gut had the basic function of digesting food so the body could extract nutrients from it. Fast-forward many years later, and this belief has been found to be false. Research has consistently shown that in addition to digesting food, the gut is responsible for so much more. Basically, it’s the starting point of all body complications.

Your gut is where the largest percentage of your microbiome lives. These trillions of organisms consist of parasites, bacteria, eukaryotic parasites, protozoa, archaea, and fungi. The microbiome determines your overall health to a greater percentage. According to a study done at Harvard, microbiota excites our immune system, synthesizes some vitamins, and breaks down toxic food compounds. From the study, it is evident that your gut and mental health have a characteristically strong bond. In fact, other research has shown that PTSD patients have low levels of certain types of gut bacteria.

Endocannabinoids and Gut Health

We’ve established just how important gut health is to the body. Thankfully, there are plenty of foods you can eat to enhance the health and wellness of your gastrointestinal tract, including cultured and probiotic foods that create a friendly environment for the good bacteria.

Cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may also help support gut health.

According to research published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Journal, cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a plethora of disorders related to the gut. The authors of the research conclude that the gut’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a significant impact on the physiology of the digestive system, primarily in motility, hunger signaling, fat intake, gut permeability, inflammation, and interactions with gut microbiota.

How to Relieve Constipation

You know you have chronic constipation if you have fewer than four bowel movements per week, and you have to strain to expunge them more than 25% of the time. There are many causes of constipation, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stress, and a range of neurological conditions. Other possible causes are menstruation or a diet that’s low in fiber.

, and a range of neurological conditions. Other possible causes are menstruation or a diet that’s low in fiber.

If you’ve asked a doctor about your chronic constipation issues, you’ve probably heard the good old advice to “drink eight glasses of water a day and eat plenty of fiber” over and over again. That’s because dietary changes go a long way to help alleviate constipation.

However, if the above strategies don’t alleviate the problem, your doctor may ask you to take some medical marijuana. This is especially true if you have severe gut issues such as Crohn’s disease (characterized by watery stool) and chronic constipation (extremely hard stool).

CBD and Constipation

CBD essentially acts as a much-needed laxative that relieves pain and discomfort. One shot of the cannabinoid helps calm down your digestive system. When you ingest CBD, it finds its way to your brain via your bloodstream and affects the neurological system.

Ongoing studies have discovered that cannabinoids relax nerve connections and ease the mind and all the muscles. Once your nerves and muscles are well relaxed, your bowels soon follow suit. This effect, alongside cannabis’ antioxidant properties, is how CBD helps relieve constipation and restore digestive harmony.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a medical condition that affects the digestive system’s large intestine and causes sufferers to have diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, and constipation.

Some of the causes of IBS include intestinal muscle contractions, nerve abnormalities within the digestive system, infection, inflammation in the large intestine, and simple changes in the gut’s microflora. Trigger factors for IBS include extreme stress, consuming certain foods, and some hormonal changes.

However, the journal Phytotherapy Research published a paper that explains that CBD-based products are quite effective in treating IBS. The authors state that the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids make them excellent therapeutic agents against IBS symptoms such as inflammation and pain.


CBD and constipation might not seem related, but studies have shown that the oil can help relieve symptoms. If you’re struggling with chronic constipation, CBD might be your ticket back to digestive harmony.

Do you suffer from chronic constipation? Learn more about CBD and constipation to understand how CBD products could help you. ]]>