Medical Cannabis has various uses, and relieving constipation is one of them. Marijuana is generally helpful for alleviating stomach discomfort and intestinal issues. What causes constipation and how Medical Cannabis can help are discussed below.
Historically, numerous civilizations have utilised medical cannabis to treat digestive problems, with the oldest documented usage being in China about 2700 BCE. Science is already charging ahead with studies of Medical Cannabis’ therapeutic potential. Examining the data, we find that Medical Cannabis does help with the symptom of constipation.
What Is the Cause of Your Constipation?
To be constipated means that your bowel motions are either exceedingly difficult or occur much less frequently than normal. Common and generally not serious, it affects people of all ages for various causes. Some people need to defecate three times a day, while others may go just once or twice a week. However, more than three days is typically too long to wait. From here on out, passing stools will become increasingly difficult for you.
Colon and Rectal Problems
If you’ve been spared either disease thus far, you may be curious as to what sets constipation and diarrhoea apart. Both conditions include issues with passing waste and can lead to discomforts like bloating and gas, but that’s about where the similarities end. Diarrhea is characterised by a dramatic increase in the frequency of bowel movements. In the same way, they will be sloppy and runny. However, constipation is characterised by a lack of frequency (less than three times per week) and dryness of faeces.
Constipation and diarrhoea are common but typically harmless conditions that might last for a few days at a time. In contrast, frequent attacks point to a deeper issue in the digestive system or elsewhere in the body.
Causes of Constipation
In the large intestine, food absorbs water and produces waste as it passes through the digestive system. Then, the rectum is pushed towards the waste by muscle contractions. The rectum receives a semi-solid stool since the large intestine has absorbed much of the water by this point.
When the colon retains too much water, the result is constipation. This signifies that an excessive amount of water is being absorbed. This causes diarrhoea that is dry, hard, and difficult to pass. Among the numerous potential causes of constipation are:
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and associated problems with intestinal function; laxative misuse; changes in habits or lifestyle; pregnancy; travel; old age; not drinking enough fluids, especially water; not eating enough fibre; ignoring the desire to go;
Cannabidiol for Medical Use and Bowel Movement
It’s no secret that patients and non-patients alike have turned to medical cannabis to help with a variety of gastrointestinal problems. The evidence is scant, but what there is suggests that THC can mitigate the symptoms of inflammatory bowel illness and reduce the occurrence of diarrhoea. CBD’s effect on intestinal transit time is also the subject of study.
And there’s research into how medical cannabis can help with the side effects of other medicines that might cause gastrointestinal problems. Constipation is a common side effect of opioid painkillers, which are also often given. Cannabis is now undergoing trials to see whether or not it might assist reduce opioid consumption, and as a result, it may be used to mitigate some of the unpleasant side effects of opioids, including constipation.
In addition to its therapeutic effects, medical marijuana is lauded for the calming effect it has on users. It’s far more convenient to answer nature’s call when one is calm and at ease.
Nonetheless, conflicting accounts persist. A self-reported study found that chronic Medical Cannabis users had more frequent episodes of constipation as their cannabis consumption rose.
The report is not without flaws, though. Most people who have constipation after using medical cannabis also have irritable bowel syndrome. These findings do not necessarily point to Medical Cannabis causing constipation, as constipation is a typical side effect of IBS.
As it turns out, the majority of the data in favour of using Medical Cannabis for constipation is anecdotal or preliminary in nature. There should be more research on this. However, there is some evidence suggesting that studying the connection between the endocannabinoid system and the stomach may one day lead to more conclusive answers.
What the Gut and the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Have in Common
The ECS has been hypothesised to aid in the two-way communication between the digestive tract and the brain. Several key aspects of intestinal health have been linked to the endocannabinoid system. While CB1 receptors are highly concentrated in the brain, CB2 receptors are widely distributed throughout the digestive tract. Alterations in gut function may result from changes in the brain caused by stress or pain. Further, alterations in the stomach brought on by inflammation or infection are sent to the central nervous system. Irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal illnesses may be influenced by this connection.
The ECS is essential for maintaining gut health by limiting inflammatory responses. By responding to certain endocannabinoids, CB1 and CB2 receptors contribute to dampening inflammatory reactions. More importantly, it plays a pivotal role in the digestive process. Stomach muscles contract to propel food through the digestive system and facilitate nutrient absorption. As a result of their interactions with CB1 receptors, several cannabinoids have been shown to alleviate nausea, decrease stomach emptying, and lower stomach acid production. The sensation of hunger known as “the munchies” can be triggered by excessive activation of the CB1 receptor.
Does Medical Marijuana Cause Diarrhoea?
For those interested, there are numerous anecdotal reports online about the laxative effects of recreational marijuana, but what do the studies actually show? Researchers in 2019 found that recreational users of medical cannabis had a 30% lower risk of having constipation compared to non-users. It’s possible that the sedative effects of Medical Cannabis actually induce a state of bodily relaxation that makes going to the bathroom a lot more likely.
Furthermore, the manner of Medical Cannabis use might have an effect. A low tolerance to nicotine’s effects may cause loose stools after smoking. Do you use a combination of medical cannabis and nicotine in your cigarettes? Constipation and diarrhoea are frequent side effects of eating foods infused with medical cannabis. Keep in mind that cannabis undergo significant transformation and can convert into other chemical forms that may not be kind to the stomach during digestion.
How Medical Cannabis May Be Used in the Future to Treat Constipation
Though research on the connections between Medical Cannabis, the gut microbiota, and the endocannabinoid system is still in its infancy, numerous studies have already drawn some tentative conclusions. Science and medicine will undoubtedly continue to probe and untangle this connection as time goes on, perhaps yielding new insights that may aid in the treatment and prevention of painful gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s disease.
Chronic constipation is probably not caused by cannabis but by other, more serious health problems. Stool softeners, changes in food and lifestyle, and medical attention can all help with this issue.
We still can’t dismiss the links between digestive health and medical cannabis. If you have digestive problems and suspect that Medical Cannabis is to blame, you can try different strains, increasing your water intake, altering your diet, or even taking a tolerance break. If you have any major worries, you should see a doctor.
To know more about where to buy medical cannabis in Australia and other medical marijuana resources, you should book a consultation session with a professional from Chronic Therapy today.