Brooke Bogdan has been using medical cannabis since 2012 to address symptoms of ulcerative colitis. In a 2019 article published in Everyday Health, Bogdan shared how medical marijuana helped her find relief from chronic pain. When she started using cannabis, Bogdan’s condition was so severe that she needed to have a total colectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the colon.
So, does CBD oil cause diarrhea? The answer is probably not, as long as you’re using CBD at lower levels under a qualified physician’s care. But elevated doses of CBD (or any medicine) may be problematic and affect the digestive system. Vaping or dabbing CBD can help users avoid the issue completely.
CBD oil interacts in different ways with the endocannabinoid system of each unique individual. Before you take CBD, discuss your best treatment options with your healthcare provider and always listen to what your body is telling you.
How many milligrams of CBD would qualify as excessive? That depends on the individual, but a rule of thumb is that 500 milligrams or more is a high dose of CBD. Rollins continued, “When I reduced the dose or just rubbed the CBD oil on my hands instead of swallowing it too, I didn’t have any problems with nausea or diarrhea anymore.”
A link between CBD oil and diarrhea may exist, but only at high oral doses, according to Dr. Adie Rae, a neuroscientist at Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and a scientific adviser to Weedmaps. “Yes, CBD causes diarrhea at high oral doses, as reported in the Epidiolex clinical trials and randomized clinical trials in adults,” said Rae, referencing the two trials cited in this article.
CBD has a variety of side effects including fatigue, appetite changes, dry mouth, drowsiness, and sometimes diarrhea.
Excessive CBD might give you diarrhea. Fortunately, this does not mean that you have to forego its many benefits. The best way to avoid diarrhea is to ensure that you always take the right dosage. Exceeding your recommended dosage is the main reason why CBD may be giving you diarrhea. Every product has a different potency and dosing recommendations. For example, to the right is Tanasi’s dose chart that comes with every Tanasi product.
A few things the ECS regulates are sleep, memory, appetite, and reproduction. CBD interacts with receptors in the ECS to affect changes within the body. It is a complex process that is still somewhat mysterious to researchers.
Avoiding Diarrhea From CBD
For starters, hemp contains higher concentrations of CBD than marijuana plants. This means that extracting CBD from hemp plants just makes more sense to manufacturers.
Generally, most people agree that taking more than 500mg of CBD in one go is excessive.
As a rule of thumb, you should consider avoiding CBD if you are taking any medication that comes with a “Grapefruit Warning”. The main reason for this is that CBD may interfere with a group of enzymes (Cytochromes P450) that play an essential role in the metabolism of various drugs/medications.
CBD is a natural compound that is demonstrating a variety of exciting health benefits. This compound is naturally present in cannabis plants. Unlike THC, another compound in cannabis plants, CBD will not make you “high” upon use.
CBD is also known to help heal the digestive tract. So, why do some people have issues?
Then there’s the issue of the carrier, as experts call it. “CBD oil is used with many carriers, including olive oil, coconut/MCT oil, grapeseed oil, emu oil, or hempseed oil,” explained Dr. Michele Ross, PhD, CEO of Infused Health and a leading cannabinoid medicine researcher. “If you are experiencing gastrointestinal distress symptoms or an upset stomach, you may have a sensitivity, especially to coconut/MCT oil, which is the most common carrier I’ve seen. Many people can experience abdominal cramping and stomach pain, especially when consuming large quantities.”
Without those factors, CBD may even help treat stomach issues. “It’s been shown to help heal ulcers and decrease acid reflux,” said Dr. Kenneth Brown, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and doctor of internal medicine in Plano, TX, who often recommends CBD oil to his patients. “When the CBD binds to the CB1 receptor, it decreases excessive gastric acid, helps the lower esophagus prevent reflux, and increases blood flow to the lining of the stomach to help it heal quicker.”
Have you ever felt sick to your stomach after taking CBD oil? If so, you’re not alone — but the reason you feel that way probably isn’t as straightforward as you think. Upset stomach, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal distress are not typically caused by cannabinoid oil itself, but rather by ingredients used to deliver CBD oil into the body or flaws during production.
“In my practice, when someone has gastrointestinal issues with CBD, we start with the product, because many times that may be a reason they are feeling sick. Just like all other health supplements, the quality and the source of CBD oil make all the difference,” Dr. Brown told POPSUGAR. Quality can be diminished if the cannabis or hemp is grown in poor soil or undergoes harsh extraction processes (often involving chemicals), or if the product is sourced from multiple locations.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, Dr. Ross suggests that you stop taking CBD oil for a day or two to identify that it’s the supplement and not some other issue (your diet, stress) that is causing your discomfort. Then, try taking the CBD oil again at half the dose you were taking before. If it’s still bothering you, try a CBD oil that uses a different carrier, or perhaps an entirely different method that’s applied to the skin, rather than through the stomach.