Cannabis and the digestive system – how does marijuana affect our digestive function?
There is a connection between cannabis and the digestive system but in a what way? We have some info for marijuana users which may say a lot.
It is true that cannabis affects each individual in a different way. And it affects the digestive system in a similar way. It’s not just the so-called “munchies”, but the impact on a person’s digestive system. Cannabis can have both positive and negative effects on digestion, so here is a list of the information you need to judge this.
Cannabis and the digestive system – how does it all work?
Let’s start at the beginning. Cannabis primarily binds to the so-called endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has a network of receptors throughout the body. And yes, it even has receptors in the digestive system.
Thanks to these receptors, we can observe the effects of marijuana on our bodies, as they serve as such entry points for individual cannabinoids.
THC and Ghrelin production
When we are hungry, a hormone known as Ghrelin is released into the body. This sends a signal to nerve endings in the digestive tract and then travels to the hypothalamus.
According to some studies, it is THC that increases the levels of this hormone, so that you can end up hungry when you are not actually hungry. You just get the munchies. On top of all this, THC adds another effect – it multiplies the euphoric experience of eating good food. When you eat well, you feel good (and THC multiplies this).
So you could say that our own endocannabinoid system betrays us and wants us to eat more (after consuming cannabis).
However, cannabis may not only have this effect on our digestive tract, but it may have other effects as well. In particular, the anti-inflammatory properties of the individual cannabinoids in cannabis may be at play here. This property is useful if you suffer from chronic intestinal disease (Crohn’s disease). A study in 2011 showed that Crohn’s disease patients had a milder course after consuming cannabis (less pain in the lower abdomen, lower temperature, absence of diarrhea, etc.). However, more research is needed here before these claims can be confirmed with certainty.
Cannabis and the digestive system – can cannabis use contribute to digestive complications?
Cannabis may not always serve as a quality stimulant and relaxation tool. Just as it lifts the appetite and calms the mind, it can also cause nausea, vomiting and anxiety.
So if you have been consuming for a very long time, you may feel nauseous after large doses and have an almost immediate feeling of vomiting. This happens especially when you take a really large dose of THC or consume a high THC variety for a long period of time. The endocannabinoid system is then basically overwhelmed with signals from your body and it crashes, resulting in that nausea and vomiting. However, this is a short-term short circuit. But you should adjust your dosage to prevent this from happening again.
With heavy marijuana use, pain and fever (which is very rare) may also occur in addition to the symptoms mentioned above.
These problems can occur at a couple of points: you’ve had a lot of weed at one point, or you’ve had a really heavy load of a high-THC variety. There’s also the option that you may have already had some (as yet undetected) problem, and the excessive marijuana consumption just triggered the reaction in question.
But we can assure you that if you take it in moderation, nothing like this can happen to you. Interestingly, some may experience such a condition and others may be perfectly fine. This is where tolerance and physical fitness are most important.
More information will only come out when research makes significant progress in cannabis research. Perhaps then the connection between cannabis and the digestive system.
Published by Jan Veselý14/07/2022