An interesting phenomenon that some experience when using cannabis is a change in bowel habits. You may have noticed that after smoking, consuming edibles, or taking marijuana, you have the urge to poop. This change usually doesn’t happen until after you use pot. Many people don’t realize it, but cannabis has a multifaceted effect on the body, especially stimulating the digestive tract.
Keep reading to find out if pot affects your defecation, if there are side effects or risks you should be aware of that could affect your bowel health, and what you should do if you have any problems defecating after using cannabis.
The impact of stress
The ability to relax and counteract stress plays an important role in how regular your bowel movements are. Many people find it difficult to defecate in unfamiliar surroundings and feel more comfortable at home. Even when and how you use the bathroom is a personal and private matter, stress can make it difficult to go to the bathroom even at home.
Given that pot is relaxing, it is difficult for users to wait until they are in a safe and familiar environment to go to the bathroom. In fact, most users find that they have a stronger and more frequent urge to empty their bowels after using cannabis, no matter where they are. This is good news for those who suffer from constipation or loose stools. But for those who suffer from diarrhea, not so much good news.
Effects of THC on the gastrointestinal tract
Cannabis is widely popular for its relaxing properties when consumed. It has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, but more recently it has been used for both recreational and therapeutic purposes, including the relief of digestive disorders. Given that cannabis contains cannabinoids that interact directly with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, it has a great effect on digestion and intestinal peristalsis.
The gastrointestinal tract contains an enormous number of cannabinoid receptors that are involved in regulating intestinal function. While there is limited data on the direct effects of marijuana on intestinal function, there are sporadic studies highlighting its effects on certain digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease (IBS) and so on. Many medical marijuana patients use it to improve appetite, control nausea, prevent vomiting and regulate bowel function. New research shows that cannabis helps treat constipation.
Relationship of THC and the gut microbiome
The human gastrointestinal tract contains a vast number of bacteria that contribute to various aspects of homeostasis, including energy and nutrient synthesis, protection of the intestinal barrier, and regulation and functioning of the immune system. According to many clinical and experimental studies, the endocannabinoid system also exists in the intestine, which is responsible for intestinal barrier function and intestinal wall permeability. Having certain endocannabinoids and probiotics increases both gut permeability and gut barrier protection. They play an extremely important role in your health.
As far as the intestine is concerned, CB1 is involved in the functioning of the enteric nervous system, since it is found in both submucosal neurons and myenteric neurons, which provide the means to modulate intestinal peristalsis.
THC and diarrhea
In the absence of mainstream research on the link between cannabis and bowel function, the jury is still out on whether smoking marijuana causes diarrhea. However, there are increasing reports of cannabinoid hyperemetic syndrome (CHS), a rare disorder that primarily affects regular users and rarely affects novice and occasional users.
CHS occurs when cannabinoids stop actively interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system. Not only does this increase the time it takes food to leave the stomach, it can also lead to esophageal sphincter dysfunction. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, decreased appetite, dehydration, loose stools, and weight loss. Hot showers and baths can help temporarily relieve symptoms. The treatment is to stop using marijuana completely.
Can THC help with constipation?
If you experience abdominal cramps, decreased bowel movements, hard stools, nausea, loss of appetite and pain when going to the bathroom, you have signs of constipation. THC users are less prone to constipation. Many people don’t know that Fructus cannabis, derived from the marijuana plant, is a centuries-old remedy for constipation that is more effective than senna and other herbs and supplements for bowel health and function available today.
For some people with certain medical conditions, THC may have the opposite effect. Since constipation is not only related to poor bowel health, it is important to improve your diet by increasing the amount of fluids in your body. Prunes, apples, citrus fruits, dark greens and leafy greens, beans and chia seeds are good sources of constipation-fighting foods that are rich in fiber, antioxidants and substances that stimulate intestinal peristalsis.
There are hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis, and only a small percentage of them are known and moderately researched. In addition, there are reports of the development of constipation as a side effect of long-term use, which is also related to tolerance dependence. As tolerance increases, users either consume larger amounts or switch to more potent varieties to achieve the same effects as the initial treatment. Excessive marijuana use and higher potencies can make constipation worse in some because it negatively affects muscle contraction in the intestines and suppresses secretion in the colon and gastrointestinal tract.
What is the right way to use weed for this purpose?
Consult a medical cannabis doctor and speak to your GP before using cannabis to treat your bowel problems. While cannabis is the treatment of choice for millions of people with a variety of ailments and conditions, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of how it might affect your condition.
A certified cannabis doctor can provide advice on products, strains, and potencies, and can help develop a treatment plan that will not only help improve your bowel habits and stool consistency, but also relieve other symptoms you may be experiencing.
When using cannabis for gut discomfort, it’s best to start with small amounts and allow enough time to learn how well you tolerate the effects. Don’t exaggerate. Smoking too much marijuana can have adverse effects and lead to a bad experience.
How to avoid problems
To avoid problems when using weed for gut problems, start with the lowest possible dosage. Experiment with different strains, CBD ratios, and delivery methods such as smoking, edibles, vaping, topicals, concentrates, suppositories, and oils, and document the results before escalating to higher doses or committing to continued use. Keep in mind that some cannabis products contain ingredients or oils that may cause diarrhea or constipation in some people.
What to use?
The medicinal effects of cannabis are strain, cannabidiol, product type, formulation, and user dependent. Still, the following types of medical marijuana strains are beneficial for most gastrointestinal problems, including diarrhea and constipation.
If you notice a change in your bowel habits, such as going to the toilet more or less often or a change in stool consistency after eating weed, there is likely a relationship. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to keep track of your symptoms and know when they started and how long they lasted since your last marijuana use. If changes are uncomfortable, such as severe diarrhea or difficult stools, stop smoking marijuana immediately and tell your doctor.