Can CBD Cause Diarrhea? - Farmulated

Can CBD Cause Diarrhea?


The growing use of CBD oil for health benefits has seen a considerable rise in recent years. From alleviating anxiety to managing chronic pain, CBD is consistently being touted as a potential remedy for a growing range of conditions. However, amidst the multitude of benefits, it's crucial to understand the potential side effects, including the question at hand: Can CBD oil cause diarrhea? If you've started using CBD oil, diarrhea might be a potential side effect that concerns you. This page delves into the possible effects of CBD oil on the digestive system, its implications for certain digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and even its impact on our pets.

Is CBD bad for your digestive system?

The question of whether CBD oil can negatively affect your digestive system is a nuanced one. CBD interacts with your body's endocannabinoid system, which plays a vital role in regulating several of the body's physiological processes, including digestion. While some studies suggest potential health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, which can be beneficial in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, there may also be side effects. Excessive intake of CBD oils, for instance, might disrupt the digestive tract and potentially cause diarrhea. However, additional randomized clinical trials are needed to fully understand these effects.

What does CBD do to your gut?

The impact of CBD on your gut largely depends on how it interacts with your endocannabinoid system. This interaction may potentially help with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, as it could influence the regulation of the digestive system and gut inflammation. CBD might also alter gut motility, the speed at which your food moves through the digestive tract. Again, the key point is that more research is needed to fully elucidate these effects, as most current information is derived from preliminary studies and anecdotal reports.

What could be causing diarrhea if it isn't CBD?

If you're experiencing diarrhea and it's not caused by excessive intake of CBD oil, there could be a number of other possible culprits. Diarrhea can be a symptom of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or other potential digestive tract disorders. It may also be caused by the consumption of certain types of foods, like those high in fats, or other oils, including olive oil if consumed in large quantities. In many cases, it's advisable to consult a medical doctor to pinpoint the exact cause and receive appropriate treatment.

How to Avoid Diarrhea When Taking CBD

While CBD oil has potential health benefits, consuming too much of it could cause diarrhea. To prevent this, it's advisable to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it, allowing your digestive system to adjust. Make sure you're purchasing high-quality CBD oils, as subpar products may contain harmful additives. It's also highly recommended to consult with a healthcare professional prior to starting CBD, particularly if you have a digestive tract disorder or are currently taking other medications.

CBD Oil's Impact on IBS and IBD

CBD's interaction with the endocannabinoid system has raised interest in its potential as a possible treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (aka IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (aka IBD). Some research indicates that CBD may help manage symptoms by reducing inflammation and regulating gut motility, although more randomized clinical trials are needed for conclusive evidence. Before taking CBD oil for IBS or IBD, consult your healthcare provider, as CBD can interact with other types of medications and may have side effects.

A Deeper Look at CBD and Endocannabinoid System Interactions

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of the hundreds of various compounds found within the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, another well-known compound from the same plant, CBD does not induce any kind of psychoactive effects. Instead, it interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a pretty crucial role in maintaining homeostasis, or balance, in the body. The ECS is also involved in regulating numerous physiological and cognitive processes, including mood, pain sensation, sleep, appetite, and immune responses.

CBD's primary interaction within the ECS occurs with two types of cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are mostly located in the central nervous system, affecting areas such as the brain and the spinal cord, while the CB2 receptors are more prevalent in peripheral tissues, affecting the immune system. Unlike THC, which has a direct binding affinity with CB1 receptors, CBD's interaction is more indirect. CBD has a low affinity for these kinds of receptors and instead works mainly by inhibiting the enzyme called the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which is responsible primarily for the breakdown of anandamide, which is an important endocannabinoid.

By inhibiting FAAH, CBD helps to increase the levels of anandamide in the body, indirectly promoting a stronger response in the endocannabinoid system. Moreover, CBD can also influence non-cannabinoid receptors like serotonin receptors, which play a vital role in anxiety and depression. Therefore, through these complex and diverse interactions with the ECS and other systems, CBD can potentially impact many aspects of health and well-being. However, more research, including randomized clinical trials, is needed to fully understand these mechanisms and their implications for human health.

Can CBD Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?

Just like humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, and CBD can interact with it. Although research on the effects of CBD oil in dogs is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests it could cause diarrhea if given in excessive amounts, similar to its effects in humans. Always consult your vet before giving CBD to your pet, and start with a low dose to observe how your pet reacts. Despite the lack of extensive scientific research, some pet owners have reported improved symptoms of various conditions in their dogs after administering CBD oil.


While there's some evidence to suggest CBD oil may have potential benefits for the digestive system and conditions like IBS and IBD, it's important to remember that excessive intake could lead to adverse effects, including diarrhea. Furthermore, the effects of CBD on pets, especially dogs, warrant careful consideration. As the body of research grows, we may develop a better understanding of CBD's impact on the digestive system. Until then, it's recommended to consult healthcare professionals before starting a regimen of CBD, whether for you or your furry friends.

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