Can Cannabis Treat Constipation?
Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints all over. Often, it is more present under women and people older than 65 years. Pregnant women often suffer from constipation. It is also a common problem after surgery and just after childbirth. Anyone that has a problem with constipation tells that it is not nice at all. It is very discomforting and sometimes even painful. Everyone at least every now and again has a constipation problem. When it lasts a short time, it is no problem. But when it lasts for a longer time period, the problem needs to be addressed.
When do you know you are constipated?
When you have three or fewer bowel movements in a week, you are said to be constipated. The stool is normally dry and hard. Often, it is painful too. When it is not serious, it goes away after a day or two. When it doesn’t go away after three days, it is best to look for help. The longer you wait, the more serious it gets.
Constipation is a symptom and not a disease. It can happen for many reasons. Sometimes, the stool passes too slowly through the colon. The slower the feces moves through the digestive tract, the more water the colon absorbs, and the harder the feces gets. Sometimes constipation happens because there is a blockage in the large intestine. When this happens, the person needs urgent medical attention.
Constipation can be prevented by following the following guidelines:
Drink lots of water
Eat grains, fruits, and vegetables rich in fiber
Go when you need to
Try not to take medication that causes constipation
Use laxatives wisely, preferably under doctor’s guidance
Each person has a different rhythm when it comes to bowel movement. Some people even go three times a day, while others skip a day or two. Constipation is not a problem per se, but if you are regular, you feel much better.
Symptoms of Constipation
There are a few indicators that determine if you are constipated or not. They are:
Difficulty passing stool
Straining when passing stool
Passing less stool than usual
Lumpy, dry, or hard stool
Pain and abdominal cramping
A loss of appetite
Constipation is often just uncomfortable, but sometimes there can be some complications. When this happens, it often has to do with some or other underlying conditions, such as colorectal cancer. More serious symptoms that need to be checked into are:
Rectal bleeding after passing
Anal fissure, a small tear around the anus
Fecal impaction, which occurs when dry stool stagnates and collects in the rectum and anus
What causes constipation?
Lifestyle often is the cause of constipation. A low fiber diet, not going when you need to, lack of exercise, and not drinking enough water often is the cause. But other more serious conditions also cause constipation. It is therefore advisable to go to a doctor when you struggle to pass a stool after a few days for a checkup to assure that the constipation is not a result of something more serious.
Types of Constipation
There are 3 types of constipation. They are:
Atonic Constipation – This kind of constipation means that you don’t have enough intestinal muscle tone. It is often caused by poor health habits.
Obstructive constipation – There is an actual physical obstruction and you will need treatment for this
Spastic constipation – There is normally and irritation of the intestines and bowel that causes constipation. A low-fiber diet is normally needed.
How Can Cannabis Help?
Many studies show marijuana to be very effective for the treatment of constipation. But cannabis can affect the digestive system positively and negatively. Sometimes, people using marijuana find that it leads to digestive problems and constipation. This happens mostly to those that have been using cannabis heavily and regularly for many years.
Medical Cannabis and a Laxative
One of the best treatments for constipation is to go natural. Many natural laxatives can take care of the problem. Some are used to spur bowel movement on, and others loosen or soften fecal matter. Medical marijuana can treat digestive disorders, including constipation. Ingesting whole cannabis extract will relax your bowels, just as smoking or vaporizing will do. Using fresh marijuana leaves in your breakfast smoothie will also help a constipation problem. Cannabinoids are anti-spasmodic and sedate where there are pain and inflammation. The relaxing effect of THC and CBD is also helpful in dealing with constipation.
Cannabis has been used for ages to treat constipation. Historical medical references often include cannabis in their journals. But as with everything and everyone, you get to know your own body best and know what would work for you or not. Maybe juicing works better than smoking. Whatever you find best, is the way to go.
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