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Can CBD Cause Diarrhea?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant that has gained a great deal of popularity and notoriety over the last decade. More people than ever are buying CBD, and there are constantly new products hitting the market. At the same time, the public information regarding this compound is often confusing, contradictory, or just straight hyperbolic. At CBDOil.com, we are constantly doing our best to cut through the noise and deliver the most up to date, and scientific information regarding CBD and the products it is found in.

A common question we get is regarding the side-effects of CBD, and namely, the claim that CBD will cause one to have diarrhea. This article will take a close look at this claim and see exactly what the most up-to-date science can tell us.

Can CBD Cause Diarrhea?

While diarrhea has been listed as a possible side effect of CBD, along with dry mouth, it has also been considered a potential treatment for issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis. This means that the relationship between CBD and your bowel functions is much more complex than many think. In most cases, CBD is touted for its ability to help alleviate stomach issues, increase appetite and regulate bodily functions. This is due in part to CBD’s ability to bind to the receptors in your endocannabinoid system. 

While we will dive into this further in a little bit, it is worth saying at the beginning that many of the stomach issues stemming from CBD oils may not be coming from the CBD itself but how a particular product is made. CBD Oil often uses other oils like MCT Oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil, and others as carriers. While these oils can help to increase the efficacy of CBD, they are also the most likely culprits of any stomach pain or diarrhea that users suffer. 

The Science Behind the CBD and Diarrhea Link

Much of what we know about the links between CBD and possible diarrhea symptoms come from reports published in 2018 and 2019. 

  • The first set of trials we should look at took place in 2018. The results of these randomized CBD trials found most CBD users to have a high tolerance to the compound with very few side effects. The final conclusion of the trials was that CBD was found to be safe for recommendations in twice-daily usage. However, when side effects did occur, diarrhea and headaches were the most commonly found. None of these adverse effects were reported to be severe or serious. 
  • In 2019, the Mayo Clinic published a piece from Brent A. Bauer, M.D., regarding Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug for seizure reduction based on CBD. The doctor reiterated the findings that CBD could cause some issues like dry mouth, headaches, and diarrhea but was generally considered safe for consumption. 
  • Another 2019 report, based on the clinical trials of Epidiolex, which examined Epdidolex’s ability to treat psychiatric problems, also found that diarrhea was among the most common side-effects of a heavy CBD regimen. It is worth noting that the study pointed out that the rates of these side-effects from Epidolex were less than what is found in other non-CBD treatments.

On the other hand, we have a handful of studies showing CBD to be effective for treating a wide variety of more severe stomach and digestive issues. 

  • In a 2016 meta-review, it was found that cannabis and CBD may be used therapeutically to treat IBD; that Cannabis products were found to help relieve symptoms of pain, nausea and helped improve mood and appetite for those with IBD.
  • In a 2018 randomized control trial, scientists looked at whether or not CBD was beneficial to people with ulcerative colitis, an issue with a myriad of symptoms that includes diarrhea. The findings showed that CBD could be used to help treat the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, which includes diarrhea.

Can CBD Cause Diarrhea? Mild diarrhea may occur when using CBD at very high doses, but no studies found any serious or adverse effects from lower doses.

According to Dr. Adie Rae, most people will not take enough CBD to cause diarrhea, typically around 500 milligrams or more. An average CBD gummy will have about 30mg of CBD, meaning you would need to eat roughly 17 of them in a sitting to experience diarrhetic effects. 

Everybody will experience the effects of CBD differently, and one’s height and weight should be considered when measuring dosages. If you are on the smaller side, you should reduce the intake of any compound accordingly. 

Remember, It May Not be the CBD Oil 

If you or someone you know is experiencing diarrhea from taking a typical amount of CBD, it is most likely not the CBD that is causing these adverse effects. Many CBD products utilize Olive oil, MCT Oil, hemp seed oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and other such products as carriers for CBD. The most common of these, MCT and coconut oil, are well known to be powerful diarrhetic in many people.

The first thing you need to do is check the label on your CBD product for other possible diarrhetic.

Change the brand or simply find another product with a different carrier and see if you better respond to the CBD. If they all cause you to experience diarrhea, then switching over to the way you take CBD, from edibles to vapes to balms can have a beneficial effect. There are many factors to consider before you should simply write off CBD as a negative influence on your digestive tract.

Learn More About All Types of CBD Products

At CBDOil.com, we are constantly investigating the newest claims and scientific evidence revolving around the CBD industry. We also provide reviews and suggestions for the top products available on the market today. 

Check back often and stay up to date with the latest news, reviews, and science relevant to the CBD and the broader cannabis industry.

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