Do edibles make you poop? Countless people are asking this question, both on the internet and in their personal circles. If you’re one of them, you could have two possible reasons:
- You’ve noticed diarrhea or loose stool after enjoying cannabis-infused edibles, perhaps once or perhaps routinely. You’re wondering if this is normal and if there’s anything you can do to prevent diarrhea after consuming edibles.
- You suffer from constipation, and you want to know if relieving it is one of the many applications of medical marijuana.
Let’s examine that further shaaaaaaall weeeeeee!
How Do Marijuana Edibles Affect the Digestive System?
Consuming edibles causes your body to metabolize cannabis differently than if you smoke weed. Like any other food you eat, edibles have to be processed in the digestive tract — where plenty of cannabinoid receptors are found (1).
While there is not that much scientific research to shed light on what happens next, we do know, from a 2019 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (2), that marijuana can be helpful in people who suffer from constipation:
- Regular marijuana users have lower rates of constipation than people who never use cannabis.
- People who have recently used marijuana have a 30 percent lower risk of suffering from constipation than those who have not enjoyed cannabis in a while.
- Marijuana was not found to cause diarrhea.
Despite the fact that some people also report the opposite problem, and say that weed makes them constipated, there’s no scientific evidence to back this up or explain why that happens at the moment.
Another study (3) likewise discovered that marijuana stimulates the digestive system and found medical cannabis to be particularly helpful in patients with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (conditions that cause alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation, as well as severe abdominal pain). This study specifically pointed to THC as the compound that stimulates the digestive system.
That doesn’t, however, mean that you cannot gain any benefits if you only have access to CBD oil. Low-THC strains of cannabis have also been found to offer relief to patients who live with inflammatory bowel conditions. More research needs to be conducted before the potency of CBD oil in treating constipation and the underlying medical conditions that lead to constipation, but in the meantime, plenty of people are conducting their own “research” by trying it out.
In short, if you’re asking whether edibles make you poop because you’re hoping that marijuana can help you achieve more regular and less painful bowel movements, the answers is “yes, the research that’s been conducted so far seems to suggest exactly that”. If you have chronic constipation, edibles could potentially offer relief. Talk to a medical marijuana doctor about that.
Also worth noting, what you eat before you eat your edibles can have a big impact on the experience, not just in terms of the “type of high” but also how your stomach/digestive tract feels after. Most budtenders do not recommend you eat edibles on an empty stomach.
Instead, consuming edibles after a medium to large meal seems ideal in diluting “kick” from the THC perhaps lengthening the time of digestion because of other proteins, fats, and fiber. While some say “edibles work less well on a full stomach” we disagree, we think they work great, just in a slower, more leisurely pace.
So, Edibles Make You Poop — Should You Be Concerned?
What if you’re enjoying edibles recreationally, or for unrelated medical reasons, and you’ve noticed that your pleasure seems to be interrupted by an excessively long trip to the bathroom nearly every time? What if you really don’t like this side effect, because you definitely weren’t constipated? You don’t have to accept weed-related diarrhea or loose stool as an inevitability.
You could try lowering your dosage, or use a different strain (ask your dispensary for advice), to see if it makes any difference. You could also try changing your diet. Of course, the way in which you make your edibles should be the first thing you consider. It could be the weed that’s making you poop, yes, but it could also be the butter, eggs, or milk in your brownies, muffins, or whatever else your making. Switch it up and see if it makes a difference!