Cannabis edibles are so popular, and for good reason! They are convenient, discreet, and the perfect way to medicate. But many people have been asking, do edibles cause diarrhea? The answer? They can! Read on to learn more about why this happens and what you can do to avoid this!

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Features

  • A quick overview of why edibles cause diarrhea
  • A list of watch-out ingredients to look for
  • Notes on when to consult your doctor

Why You Will Love This Guide

Consuming edibles are a fantastic alternative to smoking weed.

Cannabis smoke can wreak havoc on the respiratory system, making edibles a healthier choice, especially with long-term cannabis use.

Marijuana edibles are discreet and fun due to their diversity, and they are hugely popular in my Well With Cannabis Community.

Unfortunately, they have a downside – they can cause diarrhea in 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!


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Can Edibles Cause Diarrhea?

Cannabis has a long list of medical benefits that help people suffering from many health issues ranging from insomnia to cancer.

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 physical 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 a variety of different symptoms that impact the gastrointestinal tract. 

Common symptoms of diarrhea include:

  • abdominal pain
  • stomach ache
  • 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.

Lecithin

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.

Conclusion

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!

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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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