Cannabis as a laxative for treating constipation

Cannabis has been used as a medicine throughout human cultures for thousands of years and modern science is determining that the herb has positive effects on a myriad of health issues and conditions, constipation included.

The period that cannabis has been illegal in some parts of the world is miniscule compared to how long it has been used as a legitimate medicine. But unfortunately its demonisation in the last 5 decades may have led many people to wrongly believe that the plant is harmful and has no other use that to get people stoned.

This could however not be any further from the truth. In fact, cannabis has been shown to assist a wide variety of symptoms and even effectively treat diseases.

One quite common condition that the herb may help with is constipation. Ingesting cannabis may induce laxative effects to help sufferers pass stool more easily and in doing so relieve the pain and discomfort associated with the condition.


Constipation is an extremely common condition that affects bowel movements. It can affect people of all ages and those who experience it have difficulty passing stools on a regular basis. They may also not be able to completely empty their bowel during a bowel movement. When experiencing constipation a person's stool may become hard, lumpy, and abnormally large or small. Constipation is usually associated with 3 or less bowel movements per week.

Constipation can be an extremely uncomfortable condition and may reduce the quality of life of a person. Constipation isn’t a disease in itself, but is a symptom of certain causes. The condition may be the result of numerous factors and for many people it is only short term. For others, however, it can be a long term and chronic condition.


Constipation can have quite a few different causes, but not eating enough dietary fibre can be one of the causes of the condition. It’s recommended to consume at least 30g of fibre a day to add bulk to stools and help them pass through the intestine with ease. Fibre can also serve to stimulate the growth of colonic flora with can boost the weight of stool and increase the amount of bacteria within stool. This type of healthy bacteria can also improve the health of the intestine. Dehydration and not drinking enough fluids may also lend to constipation.

Ignoring the urge to pass stool can also be a triggering factor when it comes to constipation. When a person is busy with a task or in a hurry they may resist the urge to visit the toilet. In this case stool may build up over time and become increasingly difficult to pass.

Certain medications may cause constipation due to unwanted side effects. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can also lead to constipation.


The antiemetic properties of cannabis are reported to potentially assist with intestinal reflexes, meaning the herb may be of assistance when it comes to constipation. In fact, one of the original traditional uses of cannabis as a herbal medicine was to relieve constipation. It is documented that Emperor Shen Hung prescribed hemp for the treatment of the condition as early as around 2,300B.C.. The Ayurvedic system of India also recruits elements of the cannabis plant to treat the disorder.

Smoking or vaping cannabis buds may help to induce relaxation of the bowls. However, other parts of the plant anatomy may be of more assistance when it comes to treating constipation. The seeds of the plant and the oil that can be made from it seem to have a positive effect as well.

A scientific study published within The American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at the effects of Hemp Seed Pill (HSP) for functional constipation. Hemp Seed Pill is used as a Chinese herbal medicine treatment for constipation, with Chinese herbal medicine becoming a popular alternative treatment avenue for the condition.

120 subjects were split in a Hemp Seed Pill group and a placebo group. It was found that those in the Hemp Seed Pill group experienced benefits such as relief in the severity of constipation and straining of evacuation.


Hemp seeds are easy to use and can be added to many different dishes. The amount needed to help with the symptoms of constipation may vary between people. Sprinkling hulled hemp seeds into porridge or over a salad will provide a decent dose. You could even blend the seeds with the shells on before putting them onto a salad to add even more fibre to the meal.

Using pressed hemp seed oil when it comes to cooking will help to provide a more concentrated dose of the beneficial compounds within the seeds. You could also pour hemp seed oil into separate capsules in order to store it in a ready to use form, and to accurately measure the amount you will be taking.