Can Weed Cause Diarrhea? Myth or Fact?

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Marijuana has lately become an extremely popular alternative medicine for a variety of conditions. Marijuana can have many benefits both for the mind and the body. With that being said, some people report getting diarrhea after smoking or ingesting weed.

There is some pretty strong evidence that shows that marijuana can cause both diarrhea and constipation. This is of course interesting because it’s also often used as a treatment for constipation and diarrhea. Let’s take a closer look at this issue right now.

Can Weed Actually Cause Diarrhea?

What needs to be said here is that the issue of marijuana causing diarrhea is something that has gone mostly unstudied. There is barely any scientific research that has been done on this front.

Any evidence that is out there is relatively anecdotal and based on first-hand experience. With that said, there are plenty of weed smokers out there to base conclusions off.

While there aren’t any real studies that examine why or how weed may cause stomach issues, there are studies that prove that this is indeed the case. The bottom line is that yes, weed can cause diarrhea. However, it’s certainly not always so.

The simple reality here is that there are many people out there who smoke, vape, or ingest weed with the aim of controlling stomach issues. In fact, there are some people out there who use marijuana to help treat Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

There is actually plenty of evidence out there that shows that CBD oil can be a treatment for Crohn’s disease. There is solid evidence that shows that cannabis oil can indeed significantly decrease or even eliminate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

However, there’s also plenty of evidence that shows that weed can also lead to stomach issues just like it can help alleviate them. As you can probably tell, this is not going to be a conclusive article, as it can really go one way or the other.

How Does Weed Affect Your Digestive System?

What is quite clear is that weed does have an effect on the digestive system. However, what is unclear is exactly what effect it has on individual people, as well as why.

The issue here is that the results and findings are so diverse, that it is nearly impossible to come to a conclusion. Yes, weed may cause diarrhea in some, but exactly why is not really clear.

What is known is that weed does affect the digestive tract. This has to do with the ECS or endocannabinoid system in the human body. Marijuana has over 100 different cannabinoids in it, and they affect the human body by interacting with this endocannabinoid system.

Our brains have special endocannabinoid receptors, so when we smoke, vape, or ingest weed, these receptors receive those cannabinoids, which then have various effects on the mind and body. Consuming marijuana in any form can change the way in which this endocannabinoid system works.

Changes in the endocannabinoid system can then lead to changes in the digestive tract. Both THC and CBD, the two main cannabinoids in weed, can both have a variety of effects on the human body, and yes, on the digestive tract. This is something that we will take a closer look at further down below, in the section on weed and whether or not it helps with stomach issues.

That said, exactly how why these changes take place is not known. Moreover, why these changes are different in different people is also unknown. Smoking weed may relieve your diarrhea, while it causes it in someone else.

In other words, in some people, it may positively influence the digestive system, whereas in others the effects can be negative. Now, it is shown that there are molecules in the digestive tract which bind with THC and CBD.

It is thought that marijuana can change the amount of time that it takes for the stomach to empty. For long-term users, there is also a risk of developing CHS or cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, something that we will discuss further below.

That said, in terms of THC and the digestive system, there are some studies that show that THC may slow the digestive system down, which could indeed relieve diarrhea. There is also strong evidence that the CBD contained in weed can help relieve inflammation in the digestive tract.

However, some people may be allergic to weed or sensitive to the other components in the product, which may cause negative effects. There is just too little evidence to say anything conclusive in either direction here.

There are also schools of thought out there that say that CBD can cause diarrhea. There is just far too little evidence to come to a solid conclusion either way.


Does Weed Help With Stomach Issues?

The answer here is both yes and no. In some people, weed can help alleviate stomach issues, whereas, in other people, weed can be the cause of these stomach issues.

Let’s take a look at evidence or instances where weed helps with stomach issues, and others where it does not.

How Weed Helps With Stomach Issues

There is evidence that suggests that weed can help relieve stomach issues in some people, especially those suffering from a variety of medical conditions.

  • There is evidence that suggests that THC can slow down the digestive tract. This may therefore give the body more time to digest food, thus resulting in the alleviation of diarrhea.
  • There is also strong evidence that suggests that CBD has the ability to relieve nausea and vomiting. This is particularly the case for chemotherapy patients who are ill due to their treatments. Indeed, marijuana can help alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.
  • On that same note, THC is also an appetite stimulant. This can help combat the lack of appetite suffered by people who are undergoing cancer treatment (as well as other treatments that cause a lack of appetite).
  • There is also very strong evidence that shows that CBD is a great anti-inflammatory. This is therefore shown to help alleviate the symptoms caused by Chron’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and other such conditions related to stomach and digestive tract inflammation.
  • Studies show that marijuana can help lower the number of daily loose stools, alleviate abdominal pain, and decrease the frequency of bowel movements.
  • Stomach issues may also be mental in nature. For instance, depression, stress, and anxiety can all cause nausea, vomiting, and even diarrhea. THC is shown to alleviate stress, and may therefore help alleviate mentally induced stomach issues.

How Weed Can Cause Stomach Issues

Weed can also lead to stomach issues in some people, but once again, why exactly this is the case is unclear.

  • Just like weed, THC, can slow down digestive function and therefore relieve diarrhea, it may also slow it down to the point where it causes constipation. Moreover, weed may also cause dehydration, which also would not help in terms of constipation.
  • Some people may be sensitive to the components contained in weed, which may in itself cause diarrhea. It’s much less likely to get stomach issues from smoking or vaping than from ingesting weed. Remember that weed allergies are real. Unfortunately, you can be allergic to it.
  • Some people’s stomachs just cannot handle weed oils, which could be due to their extreme oiliness or greasiness, or due to other substances contained within the oil. The consumption of weed oil orally may actually increase symptoms in people suffering from digestive issues.
  • Remember that exactly why is not always known, but there are a number of gastrointestinal symptoms that can occur due to consuming weed. Besides diarrhea and constipation, these can also include nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramps, and pains.
  • Weed can also lead to another major stomach issue known as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Exactly why this condition develops is not known at all, although it does sometimes develop in long-term users. This is a condition characterized by bouts of nausea and vomiting, belly pain, weight loss, lack of appetite, dehydration, and fatigue.
  • Although exactly why is not known, for long-term users, especially heavy users, something known as acute pancreatitis may occur. This is when the pancreas becomes inflamed. This can result in severe pain, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Although the research is not conclusive, some believe that CBD may actually cause diarrhea.

Side Effects Of Weed Explained

As we have explained by now, weed can have both positive and negative side effects on the human body, particularly the digestive system. Let’s take a quick look at full lists of positive and negative side effects of smoking weed.

Keep in mind that here we are talking about side effects in relation to stomach issues, not general side effects across the board.

Positive

  • It can increase appetite and decrease nausea in those undergoing chemotherapy.
  • It can also relieve nausea and increase appetite for those suffering from AIDS.
  • It can help alleviate inflammation caused by IBS, Chron’s, and other gastrointestinal conditions related to inflammation, and therefore help relieve stomach pains, cramps, diarrhea, and more.
  • It is thought that THC may be able to slow down the digestive system, which may therefore help relieve diarrhea.
  • It can help loosen muscles in those who suffer from MS, and therefore make it easier to eat.
  • It can help decrease anxiety, stress, and depression, which may also be mental triggers for stomach issues.

Negative

  • It is thought that in some cases, CBD may actually cause diarrhea.
  • Although why is unknown, consuming weed, particularly via ingestion, may cause both diarrhea and constipation, nausea, vomiting, a lack of appetite, stomach pains, and abdominal cramps.
  • The oils often contained in edibles may also lead to stomach issues. Some people’s stomachs cannot handle those oils.
  • Some people may be allergic to weed, other substances found in weed, or the oils themselves, all of which can lead to upset stomachs.
  • Although why is unknown, developing CHS is also a possibility with long-term use, a condition characterized by abdominal issues.

Conditions That Cause Constipation & Diarrhea

can weed cause diarrhea

There are of course other conditions and factors that can lead to both diarrhea and or constipation. If you suffer from either of these things regularly, there could be a bigger underlying issue.

  • Celiac disease, or what most people call gluten intolerance, can cause both of these symptoms.
  • Chron’s disease, an inflammatory disease, is well known for causing both symptoms.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS can also lead to these symptoms, albeit usually diarrhea.
  • Colon and rectal cancer may also cause both of these symptoms to occur.
  • Anal fissures, tears in the lining of the anus, may also cause diarrhea to occur.

Can Edibles Cause Diarrhea?

If there is one way to consume weed that is the most likely to result in either diarrhea or constipation, it is by ingesting it, particularly if oils were used when making said edibles.

Your stomach might be sensitive to the cannabinoids, to the oils, or to other substances contained within the edibles.

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Conclusion

The bottom line is that there just isn’t enough evidence or research to say anything definitively. In some people weed may alleviate stomach issues and help treat gastrointestinal problems. In other people, it may cause gastrointestinal issues to occur.

Moreover, exactly why this can go either way is not known. The bottom line is that if you consume marijuana, you will figure it out for yourself quickly enough.

Fabian

My passion for the sticky icky started nearly a decade ago, and it all began when I first laid my eyes on the beauty that is the marijuana plant.

I cover all aspects of growing from equipment recommendations to plant health/care tips to help both new and experienced growers.