Does Marijuana Help With IBS? Can Medical Marijuana Cure IBS?

Can medical marijuana cure IBS? Over the years, medical marijuana has proven helpful in easing multiple medical conditions. Such conditions include chronic pain, epilepsy, chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and also IBS. Although not yet medically proven that marijuana cures IBS, it has a soothing effect on nerves controlling the gut and reduces the significant markers of the condition.

What Is IBS?

Irritable bowel syndromeIrritable Bowel Syndrome, also called IBS, is a commonplace medical disorder that targets the large intestine. The primary signs and symptoms of IBS include constipation, stomach cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Not everyone has the same symptoms, and in some cases, the patient suffers from diarrhea, while in others, constipation. However, there are some rare cases where the individual suffers from diarrhea and constipation. Although IBS is relatively commonplace, only a tiny percentage of patients with IBS have severe signs and symptoms.

Patients with IBS can manage the syndrome by either changing their diet or lifestyle and keeping their stress levels low. You can treat severe symptoms with either medication or counseling. IBS can’t increase a patient’s risk of getting colorectal cancer or cause changes in bowel tissue.

Signs and Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The signs and symptoms of IBS vary from one patient to the next but usually stay for a long time. You may experience cramps, stomach pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movement. Furthermore, you could experience increased gas and mucus in your stool.

When to See Your Doctor

You will need to see your doctor if you have a persistent change in bowel habits and severe symptoms of IBS. These symptoms may point to a more severe underlying medical condition like colon cancer. Some of the painful signs and symptoms you should be watching out for include weight loss and vomiting. Others include iron deficiency anemia, diarrhea at night, difficulty swallowing, and rectal bleeding. It would help if you also looked out for abdominal pain relieved by passing out stool or gas.

What Are the Causes of IBS?

Although many people suffer from IBS, the precise cause of the syndrome is still yet to be determined. However, some factors can play a role in developing the syndrome. These factors include:

Muscle Contractions in the Intestine

Since the intestine walls have muscle layers, increased muscular contractions can cause gas, diarrhea, and bloating. The contraction in the intestines helps with food transfer in the organ. Weak intestinal contractions can lead to complex, dry stools caused by delayed food movement.

Nervous System

Abnormalities in your nervous system connected to the digestive tract may cause discomfort when your stomach stretches from releasing gas or stool. When signals are poorly communicated from the brain to the intestines, it can also cause your body to overreact to changes that should not usually cause this pain. These abnormalities could result in pain, constipation, or diarrhea.

Severe Infection

IBS can develop after either a severe infection like diarrhea caused by a bacterium or a virus or from a surplus of bacteria in the intestines.

Early Life Stress 

People exposed to high levels of stress during their childhood have a higher risk of developing IBS.

CBD oil

What Triggers Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Certain factors help to trigger IBS, and they include:


The role food plays in IBS isn’t yet fully understood. Allergy or food intolerance rarely causes or triggers IBS. But people suffering from more severe IBM symptoms pointed out that it developed to such an extent because they ate or drank certain foods and beverages. These include wheat, citrus fruits, cabbage, beans, dairy products, carbonated drinks, and milk.


Most people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome experience signs and symptoms more frequently when under stress. If these periods of stress continue, the symptoms could worsen and become more aggressive. Moreover, stress may trigger these symptoms, but it doesn’t cause them.

Why Is There No Suitable Cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Due to the limited research on the effects of medical marijuana on IBS patients, there are few results in this field. Marijuana recently got explored for its medical benefits, and for the better part of the century, it was illegal. Marijuana got banned in 1916 despite the protest of the American Medical Association due to its medical benefits and uses. But from the few pieces of research conducted on the effects of medical marijuana on individuals with IBS, it has been proven that marijuana impacts bowel movements significantly.

Movement in the large bowel increases upon intake of marijuana for people with IBS. But these findings are still inconsistent in people with IBS. Some conditions of IBS react negatively to marijuana, while some don’t react at all. This reaction may be because both THC and CBD produce medical marijuana. In addition, both compounds get chosen due to the producer’s preference. THC and CBD have gained recognition for their anti-inflammatory properties. However, CBD gets chosen over THC when producing medications.  

Why Is CBD Preferable?

CBD is preferable as an ingredient to THC due to its therapeutic effect on IBS. Evidence points out that CBD receptors have some connection to nerve cells that control pain in the internal organs located in the abdomen. Furthermore, there are also well-known links between IBS and anxiety. Since CBD can reduce stress in patients, it is a preferable option.

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Can medical marijuana cure IBS? No, it can’t, but it can help alleviate the symptoms. Medical marijuana helps manage IBS because it relieves the pain caused by most IBS symptoms. IBS is a fairly common syndrome, and many people suffer from the disorder. 

Specific symptoms like cramps, bloating, abdominal pain, increased gaseous release, and mucus in stool point to a mild IBS case. Other severe symptoms like difficulty swallowing, weight loss, unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and persistent abdominal pain point to more severe cases of IBS.

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