Have People Found CBD Effective for Relieving Constipation?
Constipation is another one of those bathroom topics that nobody wants to talk about, but in some cases, we have to. There are many questions surrounding this topic, and if you’re experiencing it, you probably want answers.
Maybe you are curious to know what causes their constipation, what the symptoms are like, and, most importantly, any if there are any helpful and effective remedies that can help you. So, let’s talk about it.
We’re here to get real and finally talk about constipation, including a possible remedy that you may not have considered before – CBD. Yes, cannabis may provide some relief to constipation, hard stools, and other GI issues.
Does CBD actually work to relieve constipation? Is there proof? How does CBD work as a constipation remedy? Read more to find out.
What Causes Constipation?
Constipation can be described as having infrequent bowel movements (fewer than three times per week) and having hard or dry stool from bowel movements. Nobody likes to feel “backed up” due to their constipation. It’s uncomfortable and stressful, but is it also easy to avoid?
While there are ways you can prevent constipation, there are multiple causes that may be leading to your symptoms. If you do feel constipated– you’re not alone. A 2013 review states that it affects around 2.5 million people in the United States alone. Considering it is such a common digestive issue, you may wonder what causes constipation, making it such a prevailing condition.
Constipation is connected to the function of your colon as it works to move food through your digestive system. A properly functioning colon will absorb water from the food that passes through your system to create bowel movements. When your colon is not functioning correctly, it leads to your stool remaining in the colon longer than it should be. If your stool is staying in your colon for too long, it makes it harder to produce bowel movements.
That being said, your colon won’t just stop working to propel your stool without cause. This is commonly a result of poor diet or dehydration. Diets that lack fiber can lead to constipation because fiber-rich foods allow your stool to soften, making it easier to produce a bowel movement. In addition to having enough fiber in your diet, a proper amount of water intake is also helpful in softening stool (which is why dehydration may cause constipation).
You can also experience constipation as a result of slow muscle contractions within your colon. These muscles may slow down if you aren’t getting enough exercise or if you are experiencing high levels of stress. Stress that affects your colon can occur when traveling or getting used to new changes within your daily routine.
Other causes of constipation can be pregnancy, certain medications, or underlying medical problems (such as IBS, hormonal issues, diabetes, and more).
Traditional Treatments for Constipation Relief
If you’re looking for constipation relief, you may be advised to try a variety of different treatments. Some traditional treatments for constipation are natural remedies, while others are over-the-counter treatments.
Depending on the severity of your constipation, you may be advised to try different methods. The most common treatment for constipation is to take a laxative. These are typically recommended by doctors when you are experiencing severe constipation and have already tried to increase your water & fiber intake. Over-the-counter laxatives come in many forms that may help relieve your symptoms; however, they are also associated with unwanted side effects. These side effects can include cramping, discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
There are also laxatives that will require a prescription. Medically prescribed laxatives are more powerful and will only be prescribed in severe cases or cases with direct underlying causes (ex. Side effects of current medication).
Aside from laxative treatments, some natural remedies are traditionally used to help when you’re feeling backed up, but they are not always promising. One of these remedies is to drink coffee, which is known to stimulate your body and often leads to bowel movements. However, drinking coffee can dehydrate your system, so it may not be the most trustworthy option for treating your constipation.
Other recommended practices include massaging your abdomen, adjusting your toilet posture, using an enema, or taking probiotics. These don’t work directly to relieve constipation, but they may be helpful practices in addition to other effective remedies.
The most traditional form of treatment is to simply take preventative measures to avoid constipation. This includes staying hydrated, having a fiber-rich diet, exercising regularly, and keeping track of your digestive problems.
CBD For Constipation Relief
What is CBD?
If you are new to the world of CBD products & treatment, there is no need to be intimidated. You may see CBD a lot in the media, marketed products, or even health journals. It may be popular, but it can also be a very beneficial method for a range of treatments.
In short, CBD refers to cannabidiol, which is one of the most notable active ingredients found in marijuana (aka cannabis) plants. While CBD does derive from the hemp plant (a cousin of the marijuana plant), it does not provide the psychoactive effects or “high” feeling that cannabis products containing THC will produce.
In recent decades, scientists have found that CBD’s structure is very similar to endocannabinoids, an active ingredient made within the body. Endocannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system (ECS,) work to regulate multiple functions throughout the body, from appetite to inflammation. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, in many cases altering the course of these functions and helping with regulation.
CBD is not a cure to inflammatory diseases or other conditions; however, it has been shown to provide relief for many symptoms that result from larger issues. CBD can help relieve an extensive range of health symptoms without the risk of developing a dependency.
Over time, numerous studies and trials have led to FDA-approved forms of CBD treatments that are effective & safe to use.
How Does CBD Work in the Body to Relieve Constipation?
CBD may not offer a direct treatment for constipation as a laxative might; however, CBD can help relieve constipation symptoms.
Multiple studies show CBD is highly effective in soothing the muscles in your body to relieve pain or tension. These relaxing benefits can translate to your constipation symptoms, too! When there is stress on your gut and/or colon, it makes it harder for your body to pass stool.
However, CBD can help release tension and ease your colon in order to promote digestive function. A 2008 study showed that cannabinoids could work within the body to relax the nerves in your intestines, making it easier to relieve constipation.
CBD is also helpful for chronic constipation with its ability to control inflammation. The cannabinoids work within receptors in your body that can combat inflammation that results from overstimulation in your nervous system. This can not only help calm inflammation in your intestines, but also provide relief for pain associated with constipation.
Overall, CBD has properties that may help to relieve constipation by easing tension within the gut, as well as inflammation. By reducing pain and open your digestive tract, CBD can promote bowel movements.
CBD’s Effectiveness for IBS and Other Digestive Issues
CBD has multiple properties that can relieve constipation alone. However, those same properties can also help those suffering from IBS and other stomach/digestive issues while improving overall gut health.
A study from 2014 showed that Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, might be triggered by psychological stress. While stress is not the main cause of IBS symptoms, it can play an important role. That being said, CBD’s stress and anxiety relieving properties can help ease the mind, which may help reduce IBS symptoms. As CBD works to relieve stress in the mind, it also can help relieve stress & tension in the body, which can be beneficial for other stress-related digestive issues.
Studies also show that cannabinoids have effective anti-inflammatory properties. When it comes to gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, controlling inflammation with CBD can be a beneficial treatment option.
In a more recent study from 2020, results showed that CBD could have therapeutic benefits that work to prevent and treat IBS symptoms and were helpful as a treatment for symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders, like Chron’s disease.
Finding The Right CBD For Constipation
CBD products come in an extensive range of forms such as oils, edibles, topical treatments, and more. With so many products on the market, it may be confusing to figure out which form of CBD will work best for constipation.
When you are looking for the right CBD product to treat your constipation, it’s helpful to consider the underlying causes of your symptoms. Our CBD oil tinctures are a great and effective option to relieve tension and stress in order to treat constipation.
In addition, CBD edibles also work to circulate to pain sources in your body, which can help target symptoms of constipation, relieve muscle tension, and reduce inflammation.
CBD products can provide numerous benefits to treat chronic constipation without the psychoactive effects of THC or unwanted side effects that may result from traditional treatment.