About a year ago, US News & World Report published an article entitled, “8 Myths About Constipation,” (April 8, 2015). The article discounted the notion that enough hydration, fiber, and exercise will do the trick; it took down the assumption that constipation is expected in old age; and it touted medicines and surgeries as reliable cures. Given the not-yet-fully-legal climate in the US, it’s understandable why US News left out one possible cure as well, which is not a myth: Cannabis.
Relief of constipation was one of the original cannabis indications cited by Shen-Nung five thousand years ago, and historically, since then, many other medical references included similar observations. As examples: Around (2,300 B.C.) hemp was documented as a medicine. Emperor Shen Nung prescribed hemp for the treatment of constipation along with a long list of other ailments. Today, hemp seed oil products mixed with herbal extracts are widely sold in China as laxatives. Similarly, in India, Ayurvedic physicians mix hemp leaves with milk, sugar and spices to treat constipation.
A 2011 Hong Kong study, published by the NIH, found that the hemp seed pill (HSP) relieves a form of constipation known in traditional Chinese medicine as “excessive syndrome,” in which the bowels dry out and cause problems such as dry mouth, abdominal swelling and pain and trouble sleeping. The study tested 120 people split into two groups, where one groups’ members received 7.5 grams of HSP in 150 ml of hot water while the other group got a placebo, twice a day for 8 weeks. The result: During treatment, forty-three percent of HSP-takers reported improvement in their bowel movements, compared to only eight percent in the placebo group. The report concluded that, “HSP [7.5 grams] is safe and effective for alleviating FC for subjects in excessive syndrome.”
How can you use cannabis to relax your kishkes?
Cannabis has a stabilizing effect on the digestive system. It binds to the nerves that control the digestive system and will reduce symptoms of IBS. Cannabinoids are antispasmodic, creating a sedating effect by relaxing the smooth muscles. The relaxing effects of THC can help your intestines pass bulk bowel movements much easier and more quickly because the cannabinoid (THC) relaxes the nerves in the intestinal wall. There is a theory that THC helps the stomach digest and process foods more easily.
You can either ingest whole cannabis extract, smoke marijuana, or vaporize (a.k.a. “dab”) marijuana in order to relax your bowels. If you choose to smoke or dab marijuana, be sure to be in close range of a bathroom: an immediate result often occurs within 2 minutes.
Make Your Own Cannabis Laxative
Here are two recipes for a homemade cannabis laxative concoction:
1. Blend 10-15 grams of cannabis seed via blender or food processor. Drizzle in, a little at a time, good quality EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and some Meyer lemon zest and juice.
2. Make a concoction of: Rhubarb, Cannabis sativa, and Elecampane.
Finding the Right Solution for You
Consult your local medical marijuana dispensary for what might work best for you. You can try the above recipes with whichever dosage your dispensary recommends. In addition, by now some dispensaries offer pre-prepared products, so those might also be of interest to you. For your interest, your medical marijuana dispensary might offer any of these recommended cannabis strains for constipation: Auntie Em, Blackberry, Black Domina, Blueberry, Blue Fruit, Blue Dream, Chemo, Cripple Creek, Dynamite, G 13, Mandala No 1, Ultimate Indica, Purple Kush, Santa Maria, Super Silver Haze, Lavender, or White Berry.
We wish you freedom from, shall we say, plugged-upness, and if cannabis can do it for you, great.