April 17


Can CBD Oil Cause Constipation?

By Great Canadian Herb

April 17, 2023

Constipation is highly prevalent in Canada, with one out of four Canadians experiencing symptoms at some point.

From the young to the elderly, adults of all ages can suffer from this condition, though it can manifest in different ways. In some cases, constipation occurs abruptly and passes quickly, while for other individuals - especially seniors - it may develop slowly over time and persist for a prolonged duration.

In recent years, natural remedies such as CBD oil have become increasingly popular for relieving constipation. On the flip side, there have been some concerns that CBD oil can actually cause constipation, instead of relieving it.

CBD oil by itself is unlikely to cause constipation. In fact, it may help with digestion since regular doses of the compound can increase appetite and improve bowel movements.

Excessive use, however, could result in digestive issues. Constipation is more likely to occur when CBD oil contains additives such as artificial sweeteners, flavoring, coloring, sugars, and other synthetic ingredients.

How does CBD affect the digestive system?

CBD has been found to have a positive effect on the digestive system. It can help reduce stomach discomfort and inflammation, improve appetite, reduce nausea and vomiting, decrease constipation, and help with overall digestion.

CBD helps manage inflammation in the stomach by limiting the release of proteins, interleukins, and cytokines. These compounds act as signals to the immune system, leading it to trigger an inflammatory response. By helping to regulate their production, CBD can reduce inflammation in the gut and promote overall digestive health.

Additionally, it has anti-spasmodic properties which help relax tight or spastic muscles in the gut and relieve cramping. Some studies also suggest that CBD can help promote better absorption of nutrients by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Can other ingredients in CBD oil cause constipation?

Ingredients in CBD oil such as artificial sweeteners, flavoring, sugars, and coloring in can cause constipation.

Artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and mannitol act as laxatives when taken in large amounts. This can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which can cause constipation. Additionally, artificial sweeteners can also lead to increased gas production and bloating, which may make constipation more uncomfortable.

Overconsumption of sugars and flavorings can cause dehydration which can lead to constipation. Certain food coloring additives may increase the risk of digestive issues such as abdominal bloating and cramps.

Choosing CBD oil with minimal ingredients and no artificial flavoring or other artificial ingredients can reduce the risk of constipation and other digestive issues.

By removing these ingredients from CBD products, individuals can benefit from a smoother digestion process and reduce symptoms of constipation.

Can CBD oil cause diarrhea?

A known side effect, CBD can cause diarrhea in some instances. While it's more likely to improve digestion by reducing inflammation and aiding with nutrient absorption, its effects on the digestive system can vary from person to person.

If taken in large doses or if combined with certain foods or medications, CBD may act as a laxative, causing the user to experience frequent and watery bowel movements.

Carrier oils can also cause diarrhea because they are more rapidly absorbed and digested by the body. This can lead to an overabundance of fatty acids in the gastrointestinal tract, which can irritate the lining of the digestive system and cause an increase in gastric motility resulting in loose stools or diarrhea. Carrier oils are typically high in saturated fat, which may also contribute to gastrointestinal distress.


CBD works by interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the body. In the case of IBS and IBD, CBD may target these receptors to help reduce inflammation and even improve gut motility.

It has also been studied for its ability to help manage symptoms like nausea, pain, anxiety, and insomnia that are associated with both disorders. Research suggests that CBD may potentially help to modulate the immune system as well as protect the digestive tract from further damage.

How to manage constipation

Constipation can be difficult to manage once it hits. Preventing constipation before it happens is a great way to avoid the pain and uncomfortable nature of the situation. Here are some tips to help manage and avoid constipation:

Drink more water

Not being adequately hydrated is one of the top causes of constipation. Our bodies are comprised mainly of water, and ingesting enough H2O during the day is crucial for maintaining proper function.

Aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day. Not drinking enough water can leave your stools tight and dry, and make it much more difficult to go.

Eat foods that are high in fiber

Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing constipation. It helps to keep your bowels regular by adding bulk to stools, while also softening them and allowing them to pass through more easily.

Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

Take supplements

Can't get enough fiber from your diet alone? This is where supplements come into play. Fiber supplements come in many forms, including capsules, powders, and liquids, and can help to relieve and prevent constipation.

Exercise regularly

Inactivity is one of the main contributing factors to constipation. Walking, jogging, swimming, working out at the gym - these are all great forms of exercise that can keep things flowing smoothly; consistency is key here.

What is the best CBD oil for constipation?

There are many different forms of CBD oil available in Canada, and it can be a bit overwhelming trying to choose between them.

When choosing a CBD oil to treat constipation, it is important to consider the type of cannabinoid and concentration. Full Spectrum CBD oils will provide more benefits than oils made with just CBD Isolate.

This is because Full Spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids, such as CBDA and CBG, which can help reduce inflammation and support digestive health; CBD Isolate contains only CBD - no other cannabinoids or terpenes are present.

Full Spectrum CBD products also give you the benefit of the Entourage Effect. This is where the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes work together to increase effectiveness.

The concentration of your CBD oil is also important. The amount needed will depend on your individual needs; however, it is suggested that you start with a low dose and work your way up to find the right amount for you.

CBD oils with lower concentrations are best for mild symptoms, while higher concentrations may be needed to relieve more severe constipation symptoms.

Do your research and ensure that the brand you choose offers lab-tested products that are free from harmful contaminants or pesticides. You should also make sure that the company provides detailed information about each product, including where they source their hemp and CBD from.

How to take CBD oil for constipation

Sublingual application of CBD oil is the most popular method as it provides faster absorption into the bloodstream, leading to quicker relief from constipation symptoms. When taking CBD oil under the tongue, hold it for at least 60 seconds before swallowing to allow for maximum absorption.

You can also add CBD oil to your food or drink. This is a great option if you don’t like the taste of pure CBD oil, as it allows you to disguise the flavor. However, when consuming CBD this way, absorption may not be as effective and it could take longer for you to feel the effects.

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About the author

As consumers ourselves, we know how important it is to know exactly what it is we are putting in our bodies. Here at Great Canadian Herb you'll find cannabis and CBD education, reviews, buying advice, and much more. As cannabis enthusiasts, we have dedicated our time and resources to relay accurate, easy to understand information on everything in the Canadian cannabis industry.

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