Maybe you’ve been wondering but feel too afraid or embarrassed to ask, can edibles cause digestive problems? The truth is, yes, they can for some people! If that’s you, read on to learn more about why this happens and what you can do to avoid this.

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Article Features

  • Why edibles can cause problems and ingredients to look for
  • Notes on when to consult your doctor for additional help
  • Want to skip the hard work? Shop with me and have premium, high-quality cannabis products delivered directly to your door! Now shipping across the US.
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Why You Will Love This Guide

Consuming edibles is a fantastic alternative to smoking weed.

Smoke can wreak havoc on the respiratory system, making edibles a healthier choice for many, especially when using cannabis long-term.

Marijuana edibles are discreet to consume, fun to eat, and hugely popular in my Well With Cannabis Community.

Unfortunately, they have a downside – they can cause digestive issues for some people!

In this guide, we will explore possible reasons why this happens, what to do if it happens to you, and how to avoid it first.

Can Edibles Cause Digestive Issues?

The cannabinoids found in cannabis plants interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system inside the human body.

Depending on which cannabinoid is used, the effects of cannabis have been said to improve mental health, provide pain relief, and significantly improve symptoms associated with many chronic conditions.

There are many different ways to consume cannabis, from CBD oil to edibles, tinctures, and more.

While there are many positive effects of cannabis, there are some potential side effects to keep in mind, especially if this is your first time.

One notable side effect is digestive issues, which can manifest various symptoms that impact the gastrointestinal tract. 

Common symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain
  • stomach ache
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • increased heart rate or blood pressure

While there isn’t a complete understanding of why marijuana causes stomach troubles, it is believed that it is not the active ingredients, like how much THC or CBD is added, but the other ingredients used in the edible.

Food products, such as the famous pot brownie, may contain ingredients like oil and lecithin which are safe to consume but have been known to cause gastrointestinal issues in some people.

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Ingredients to Watch Out For

If you suspect that your edible cannabis products are causing unwanted side effects, check to see if one of these ingredients has been added to your edible by checking the ingredients list.

If you are consuming one of the ingredients and suddenly stop and notice a significant improvement in your symptoms, it’s safe to assume it is the ingredient that is causing the negative outcomes.

Types of Oil

Before giving up on edibles, analyze the ingredients. The issue you are having could be due to the oil used as the carrier for the product.

Coconut and MCT oils are commonly used in CBD products like CBD oil and are known to cause digestive problems. 

Coconut oil is known to speed up the digestive tract. It is often used as a cure for constipation.

MCT oil is another oil that is known to cause diarrhea, especially for those who already have GI disorders.

This is due to the fact that the body absorbs it quickly, causing digestive tract distress. It also pulls water from the colon, which can cause diarrhea.

While it is typically a good idea to pair edibles with fat, if you are experiencing a problem with oil, you may need to switch to a tincture or use just decarbed flowers in edibles.


Oil and water must mix to create edible products like salad dressings, gummies, and more.

Common knowledge tells us that oil and water do not mix. Luckily, there is a solution. 

Lecithin is an emulsifier that helps oils and water mix in familiar edible recipes.

This allows the edibles to have an even amount of THC throughout the recipe, and as a bonus, it increases the shelf life.

It may also cause the cannabis to absorb faster, resulting in quicker, more intense psychological effects. 

In addition to its use in edible recipes, lecithin has been anecdotally used to treat many ailments, including mastitis, high cholesterol, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more.

Unfortunately, lecithin has known side effects, including bloating, nausea, and diarrhea. 

Fortunately, these negative effects do not affect everyone, and in most cases, it is just fine to continue to enjoy your gummies.

Marijuana Allergy

An estimated 10% of marijuana users are actually allergic to the plant’s pollen or other components.

The allergy symptoms are typical of other allergies, including a runny nose, rashes, hives, and itchy eyes.

If you have an allergy to the marijuana plant and ingest it, you might experience vomiting and diarrhea. 

If you suspect an allergy, it is a good idea to contact your healthcare provider, who can help you with a specific treatment plan.

A picture of a white bathtub in a pink bathroom.

How to Ease the Symptoms

If you find yourself suffering from diarrhea after eating edibles, there are some things you can try to ease unwanted stomach troubles.

  • Look at the other ingredients in your edible to determine if it is something else that is causing the stomach discomfort
  • Don’t consume edibles on an empty stomach
  • Adjust your dosage
  • Hot showers – many consumers report this is very helpful for easing symptoms, although this is more commonly associated with cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome
  • Smoke or vape rather than ingest marijuana

When To Seek Further Help

It is essential to consult with your doctor if you experience long-term side effects, especially if you have medical conditions such as:

  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • disease
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • acute pancreatitis
  • other gastrointestinal disorders
  • crohn’s disease
  • chronic pain
  • have heart issues
  • are a cancer patient
  • are pregnant
  • take prescription drugs

The doctor might diagnose a pre-existing disorder or help you pinpoint what is causing diarrhea.

If the culprit is the edibles, can help determine which component is causing the distress and help you plan the best course of action long term. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can weed cause diarrhea?

Yes, but it is more likely that the additional ingredients in the edible are responsible for digestive issues.

What are the potential risks of cannabis edibles?

Aside from the psychoactive effects of edibles, there is a possibility that edibles may cause the following symptoms: rapid heartbeat, short-term psychiatric conditions like anxiety or panic attacks, and digestive distress, as outlined above

Can I experience a cannabis overdose?

While marijuana intoxication is possible, an overdose that would require an emergency room visit or death is not. While the effects of THC may cause psychoactive effects and a racing heart, they are not deadly.


While edibles have a lot of benefits, there is a possibility they can cause bouts of diarrhea in some, although future scientific research is needed to pinpoint why.

If you have this experience, try to isolate what edible component is causing the distress and adjust your consumption from there.

Remember, there are many forms of cannabis and different ways to use it.

If you can’t determine the cause independently, consult the Well With Cannabis Community!

About Emily

Hi, I’m Emily Kyle and I teach people just like you how to use cannabis to find joy, enhance productivity, improve relationships, and naturally support your overall health and wellness.

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  1. This stinks. Or smells good depending. I have almost everything on the contradiction disease list+ so many more. Those so many mores are lupus,sjogrens& Reynaud phenomenon. And that’s what I use it for that& sleep cuz I’m bi-polar&I never sleep.Its helping so many things I had to switch to edibles because of lesions& nodules on my lungs.but the edibles are making my stomach worse.I used just straight butter.i don’t cut it down&I made snicker doodles,Wich are delicious as an edible. U can barely taste the THC.WHAT DO I DO?

  2. HI Elizabeth. I am so sorry to hear of the struggles that you are experiencing with consumption methods. Have you tried the sublingual tincture method where you hold the oil under your tongue? You can use any oil, or even butter. Check out our article here: Tincture vs. Edible: The Major Difference and let me know if you have any further questions! This should help though. Sending you healing vibes Elizabeth!

  3. I got a form of CHS from taking gummies which was horrible diarrhea and it only stopped after I stopped using gummies all together! It’s not always the additives! Sometimes people DO have a reaction from ingesting canabanoids, it’s called canabanoid hypermesis! I tried delta 8 vape instead and I broke out in hives, I think I’m just straight up allergic to weed which f*cking sucks! The scientists need to make a hypoallergenic strain for snowflakes like me lmfao!!

  4. I am so sorry to hear about your experience, Stefannie, thank you for sharing with us!