When cannabis interacts with your gut, it does so via your endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of cell receptors and chemical compounds that are found in your entire body.
This system regulates the body’s normal processes, including pain, inflammation and gastrointestinal motility. It also elevates your mood and reduces stress responses.
1. Increased Appetite
It may be surprising, but cannabis can stimulate the appetite in some patients. It’s especially helpful for those who are experiencing chronic conditions, such as AIDS or cancer, that make it hard to eat or have trouble digesting food.
This increased appetite can also be beneficial for those who have lost weight due to illness, or as a result of treatment for cancer or HIV. For example, cannabis can help patients gain weight back in some cases of AIDS-related cachexia (wasting syndrome).
THC acts on the CB1 receptor, which is found in many body tissues. When the drug is activated, it activates the hormone ghrelin, which causes the appetite to increase.
Despite the fact that this effect might be good for some patients, it is important to remember that cannabis can have negative side effects too, including anxiety and paranoia. It can also make symptoms of a more serious mental illness worse, such as psychosis and schizophrenia.
Additionally, THC can cause nausea and vomiting in some people. This can be particularly dangerous for children and adolescents who have a history of using cannabis or who have sensitive stomachs.
If you experience these side effects, slow your consumption and drink plenty of water to hydrate. This will help to reduce your heart rate and keep the nausea at bay.
Another factor that can impact your appetite is THC’s ability to interact with a variety of neurotransmitters in the brain. It can bind with the ECS receptors that regulate hunger, as well as with leptin and anandamide.
It is believed that THC binds to these receptors by mimicking the endocannabinoid system. Leptin helps to tell us when we are full, while anandamide counteracts the feeling of hunger.
As with many other side effects, this is a temporary issue that will disappear as you continue your medical marijuana treatment. To minimize these effects, exercise before your meds, brush your teeth, and avoid eating food that you’d rather not eat.
In addition to this, some strains contain THCV, a compound that suppresses the appetite, and is therefore not recommended for those with anorexia or chronic loss of appetite. If you are suffering from these issues, speak with your doctor to determine whether or not cannabis is the right solution for you.
2. Increased Nausea and Vomiting
The impact of cannabis on your digestive system can vary from person to person, but it typically involves feeling ill. It can be a case of nausea, vomiting, or even a combination of the two.
It can also mean feeling like you’re losing weight, which is why it’s important to keep track of what you eat and drink while you’re taking cannabis. This can help you know if you’re experiencing any negative side effects.
In some people, using cannabis can cause a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). It can be hard to diagnose and treat, especially if you’re not honest with your doctor or aren’t willing to give up your habit.
This happens mainly in chronic users who have smoked cannabis for many years. It can lead to a variety of symptoms including cyclic vomiting, a compulsive need to bathe and a fear of getting sick.
According to Dr Mikael Sodergren, Head of the Imperial College Medical Cannabis Research Group, this is caused by the body’s endocannabinoid system reacting with THC and causing nausea and vomiting. It’s not clear why it occurs in some people and not others, but it could be due to genetics or because of the endocannabinoid receptors THC activates in your body.
Another cause of nausea and vomiting is a condition called cannabinoid abuse disorder, which can affect the way the endocannabinoid system works. It’s a condition that usually occurs in chronic cannabis users who have used it at least weekly for several years and can only be treated by quitting.
It’s thought that this can be caused by the over-stimulation of the endocannabinoid systems and the accumulation of metabolites. It can also be linked to the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and genetic polymorphisms.
Symptoms can include intense nausea and vomiting that can be extremely debilitating. They can also cause you to lose weight and become dehydrated.
In some cases, CHS can be a life-threatening condition that requires hospitalization. It can occur when a person has used cannabis regularly for several years, and it can cause other potentially serious side effects.
3. Low Stomach Acid and Constipation
Cannabis is an ancient herb that has been used for thousands of years to help treat many different ailments. In the modern day, it has been shown to ease gastrointestinal disorders and symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain, and bloating.
Medicinal marijuana can reduce pain and inflammation in patients with chronic digestive conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It can also stimulate appetite and relieve nausea and vomiting caused by cancer or chemotherapy treatment, and improve the quality of life for children with seizure disorders.
Its effects are largely due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This system is a complex network of cell receptors and chemical compounds that regulate many bodily functions, including the digestive tract.
The ECS is activated by cannabinoid compounds in the body and by cannabinoids from the marijuana plant. Specifically, cannabinoid compounds like THC and CBD interact with ECS receptors in the digestive system.
In some cases, cannabis can cause unpleasant and unexpected side effects that can be a big deal for people who use it frequently. One of the most common is a lack of stomach acid called hypochlorhydria, which can lead to heartburn and other problems.
You can reduce the impact of low stomach acid by changing your diet, taking certain medications (like antacids), and consuming supplements that boost your levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Other supplements may include natural enzymes from fruits and vegetables to help your stomach produce more acid, as well as soluble fiber supplements to make food easier to digest.
However, you should never stop taking medicine prescribed by your doctor without consulting them first. It’s also important to keep up with regular exercise, rest, and proper nutrition.
In some rare cases, heavy and prolonged use of cannabis can lead to a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This condition is characterized by cyclic vomiting and a compulsive need to bathe. This condition can be incredibly debilitating, and is believed to be caused by THC’s effect on gastric motility, which can cause your stomach to empty slowly or not at all.
Cannabis is often used to treat a variety of health issues, including digestive problems. Some studies indicate that it may improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, such as abdominal pain and diarrhea. It also reduces nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment, according to a study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
The endocannabinoid system is thought to play a significant role in regulating many of the body’s internal functions, including digestion. This system is triggered by cannabinoids, which interact with the CB1 receptors in the brain and throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
Cannabinoid deficiency is common in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The lack of endocannabinoids leads to inflammation and other problems, which can worsen IBS and cause discomfort and pain.
Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can be painful, difficult to manage and can rob sufferers of quality of life. Medical marijuana is gaining more popularity in the United States, and some researchers believe that it can offer relief from the symptoms of IBD without the need for prescription medications.
Doctors also note that cannabis may help patients regain their appetites. This is because it stimulates ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger pangs. The hormone travels up the gut-brain axis to the brain regions that regulate food intake and cravings.
For this reason, it can be useful for restoring appetite in patients with IBD who have lost their ability to feel satisfied after eating. It can also help with nausea, vomiting and pain that can accompany IBD.
The use of cannabis is a controversial topic and can be confusing for many patients. The main concern is the potential for serious side effects. For instance, short-term effects of high-THC cannabis include short-term memory loss and diminished motor skills.
But long-term effects of chronic cannabis use are less well-known. Some experts are concerned that the drug can cause a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes cyclic vomiting and can be extremely debilitating.
However, most experts agree that cannabis can help improve symptoms in those with IBD and other GI disorders. For example, one study found that patients who had irritable bowel syndrome and relied on prescription drugs for relief experienced more relief when they began using medical marijuana. The research also found that the amount of medication that was needed decreased over time because of the improvements in symptoms.