Cannabis Science, CBD

Do Edibles Cause Diarrhea?

toilet paper

You may have heard rumors that edibles and marijuana, in general, can cause diarrhea. Is that something you should be concerned about, or is it just a typical case of misinformation to keep you away from weed? Let’s explore that. 

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Can Edibles Cause Diarrhea?

Yes, they can! Weed itself can affect the gut. One study concluded that there were CB1 receptors on neurons in the gut and CB2 receptors on cells in the gastrointestinal tract. If you’re wondering, cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors in our body. In addition to that, the study mentioned that weed could slow down gastrointestinal motility and reduce cramping. The bottom line is weed can affect your tummy. 

 There are several reasons why you may need to run to the bathroom after noshing on a delicious edible such as:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Food poisoning 
  • Food allergies 
  • Weed acting as a stimulant 

Let’s explore each of these reasons.


While CBD may be able to treat the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS), one of its side effects is diarrhea. Therefore if you eat a CBD gummy or use CBD oil, you may end up running to the bathroom. 

According to Healthline, in addition to diarrhea, CBD can cause fatigue and changes in weight or appetite. Moreover, the risk of experiencing these side effects  increases if you take CBD with a high fat meal. 

A 2020 study confirmed that a high fat or high caloric meal affected CBD and metabolite exposures the most. However, whole milk, low‐fat/calorie meals and alcohol also had an effect but to a lesser extent. 

If you get diarrhea from CBD edibles, maybe you can lower your dose or speak to a doctor. 

Food Poisoning 

There is a chance that you’re experiencing food poisoning from your edibles. If you had your edibles a little too long, they could have gone bad. Therefore, it’s not the weed that’s the problem, just bacterial growth. 

Wondering how long edibles stay fresh? It depends!

According to All Recipes, brownies typically last 3-4 days in an airtight container unrefrigerated. However, they can last up to a week in the fridge. On the other hand, candy edibles may last much longer. 

Medical News Today said, “Keeping an edible in the fridge or freezer can help extend its shelf life and prevent it from spoiling, especially if it contains ingredients such as dairy or eggs.”

Therefore, to prevent food poisoning and thus diarrhea, store food well. In addition to that, you can check food for signs of spoilage. Signs of spoilage will depend on the food, but universal signs include a terrible smell and fungal growth. If you’re in doubt, throw it out. 

Food Allergies 

Another reason why you may have diarrhea after eating edibles is because of an allergic to the food included.  According to Healthline, one of the symptoms of food allergies is diarrhea.

For example, if you’re lactose intolerant and your edible is made up of dairy products, you may have diarrhea. 

Healthline also said, “certain foods can cause diarrhea even in people with no food intolerances. These are often foods that contain large amounts of spices, artificial ingredients, oils, or colonic stimulants.”

Healthline provided a list of foods that can commonly cause problems:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Spicy food
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Milk (and other dairy products)
  • Coffee and other foods with caffeine
  • Fructose
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Fast food
  • Alcohol 

Therefore if the edible is made up of any of these foods or you pair them with these foods, you may experience diarrhea. 

If you’re having munchies and craving junk food, you may want to opt for healthier food. That way you can decrease the chances of having diarrhea. 

Does Smoking Weed Cause Diarrhea?

Smoking weed can do more than turn your poop green, it can also cause diarrhea in some people. 

On Reddit, there are many users asking for advice about diarrhea after smoking weed. One user said, “After I smoke or vape, I get a single ‘episode’ of diarrhea.”

It may be the CBD in the weed or some other reason. We’re not sure why smoking weed causes diarrhea. What we did find interesting is that smoking cigarette smoking cigarettes is also linked to diarrhea. Cigarettes and marijuana have a couple of things in common. On the one hand, the smoke from both are similar, and they can be considered stimulants.

Stimulants have been linked to diarrhea. For example, coffee and caffeine which are considered stimulants can cause a laxative effect. According to Healthline, caffeine stimulates the immune system and so may result in loose stools.  

Therefore, maybe the stimulant effects from weed can cause diarrhea. 

Everybody is different and so you may never have that effect but if you do, you’re not alone. 

How to Treat Diarrhea

If edibles or any other weed product is giving you diarrhea, chances are you can treat it at home. According to Healthline, you can alleviate diarrhea by:

  • Keeping hydrated – You’re losing more water than usual when you have loose stools, so keeping hydrated is essential. The exact amount of water you’ll need will vary from person to person. You can opt for sports drinks, water, and over-the-counter rehydration products. Healthline also said to avoid carbonated beverages, milk, and alcohol because these may worsen symptoms.
  • Taking over-the-counter medication – Examples of these kinds of medication are Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, and Imodium.
  • Consuming probiotics – Healthline describes them as “good bacteria” that are important for the functioning of our digestive system. You can get probiotics in the pharmacy or from food sources such as yogurt, dark chocolate, and sauerkraut. 
  • Picking certain foods – Besides the foods with probiotics, foods like bananas, white rice, applesauce, and toast can help to make your stool firmer. Healthline also says oatmeal and chicken broth are well tolerated if you have a diarrhea episode. 

In some cases diarrhea may require medical attention. Healthline says, “If you have bloody diarrhea, a fever, more than seven days of symptoms, intense abdominal pain, or diarrhea that is getting worse, you should seek medical attention.”


Do edibles cause diarrhea? Yes, they might. There are several reasons why eating edibles can cause diarrhea. If you do get diarrhea after eating edibles, try to pinpoint why. For example, your edible could have expired, or you ate something after your edibles that irritated your stomach. If you have diarrhea, you can try many home remedies to alleviate the symptoms. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].