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Medical Marijuana and IBS

Struggling with irritable bowel syndrome? Get relief with medical marijuana. Marijuana has been proven to have a positive effect on digestive issues, helping to reduce inflammation and cramping. Take charge of your health and start feeling better now — get your medical marijuana card today!
irritable bowel syndrome

Do you want to know if cannabis for IBS will offer you the symptom relief you need? 

If you’ve been suffering from IBS, more than likely, you’re looking for ways to get relief from the many uncomfortable symptoms. Your stomach is constantly irritated and making your everyday activities difficult. 

Irritable bowel syndrome makes living life to its fullest difficult, causing abdominal discomfort, pain, bloating, and a change in bowel habits. Thankfully it’s possible to control many of your symptoms through proper dieting, changes in your lifestyle, and managing stress. However, managing more severe symptoms might require prescription medication, counseling, and some medical marijuana. IBS and diet go hand and hand no matter what type of IBS you’re dealing with. 

IBS and marijuana also go hand in hand.  Marijuana for IBS isn’t new. It has been used for years and has been helping to get the digestive system back on track, reducing or eliminating abdominal pain and easing your digestive system allowing you to get back your life. 

The causes of IBS aren’t known exactly, but some factors seem to play a role, such as early life stress, nervous system, muscle contractions in the intestine, severe infection, and changes in your gut microbes

Let’s take a closer look at the effectiveness of medical cannabis for IBS.

Is IBS a Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive disorder that affects the large intestine. It is characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhea. While there is no cure for IBS, some treatments can help manage symptoms.

In Arizona, IBS qualifies as a qualifying medical condition for the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, which means patients with this condition may be eligible to receive certification to use medical marijuana. In order to obtain certification, however, patients must first obtain a recommendation from their physician. After seeing a doctor and obtaining the necessary paperwork, patients can then apply for their medical marijuana card through the state’s online portal.

In addition to Arizona, IBS is also considered a qualifying medical condition for the medical marijuana programs in:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington

If you are suffering from IBS and are interested in using medical marijuana as part of your treatment plan, it’s important to consult your doctor first before making any decisions. Your doctor may be able to provide more information about whether or not you qualify for certification and if so, how to go about obtaining it.

How do I know if I have IBS?

Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS affects the large intestine. This common chronic condition has a number of signs and symptoms that include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation, and sometimes both. While most people have a mild case of IBS, a small number of people have severe signs and symptoms. 

Some of the main symptoms of IBS include stomach pains or cramps that get worse after eating. You’ll often feel better after a bowel movement. And the constant bloating makes you uncomfortable and feel full or swollen. You may notice a change in your bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation, or both. Many people experience periods of time when their symptoms disappear or improve, only to have flare-ups.

Some additional symptoms of IBS include:

    • Weight loss
    • Abdominal pain
    • Persistent diarrhea
    • Nausea or recurrent vomiting
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Anemia related to low iron
    • Fever

You can use one of the IBS test of IBS quiz websites. They will ask you a series of questions. But the best way to know is to schedule an appointment with your doctor or a medical marijuana doctor. Only a cannabis doctor can qualify you for the use of medical marijuana. At Elevate Holistics, we offer telehealth services providing in-home doctor visits

What are the different types of IBS?

There are five different types of IBS. No matter which one you suffer from, it will cause you abdominal pain, discomfort and affect how you live your life. 

Here are three of the most common types,


This is IBS with constipation and is one of the more common types of irritable bowel syndrome. With this form, you’ll experience abnormal bowel movements for days. These stools are often hard or lumpy, causing you to strain when going, and will also have a small amount of loose consistency. You might have fewer bowel movements which cause abdominal pain, gas and bloating. 


This is IBS with diarrhea. You’ll likely experience most of your bowel movements are mostly loose, with a small amount being hard and lumpy. You’ll have excessive gas and abdominal pain, making you feel as though you have to go to the bathroom. 


This is a mixture of constipation and diarrhea. You might have hard and watery bowel movements as this form of IBS alternate with constipation and diarrhea.

Does marijuana help IBS symptoms?

The short answer, is yes! Most people know marijuana’s main role in pain management, but it goes much further. Cannabis can even provide relief from a handful of the symptoms associated with any type of IBS, including stress, diarrhea, cramping, and bloating. 

Stress is one of the leading causes of IBS symptoms, and marijuana helps reduce stress so that you can better manage IBS. By reducing your stress, you’ll have fewer outbreaks.  But it goes beyond just helping to manage your stress. One of the potential benefits of using medical marijuana is its effect on controlling inflammation in the gut and treating painful muscle contractions. Not only is it a great pain reliever there have been studies showing the antibacterial properties, which are extremely beneficial to people with IBS. 

If you’ve been searching for a way to get relief and gain control over your symptoms, you may want to consider a medical card for IBS. You can discuss your symptoms with a medical marijuana doctor to determine if cannabis is a good fit for you.  

What are the best strains for IBS?

While many people have been self-medicating with it for years, in many states, you can legally purchase medical marijuana and get relief.

Sativa and Indica are two of the most popular strains of medical marijuana. The appearance and effects are very different. Sativa offers a revitalizing effect, while Indica has more of a sedative effect.

The Indica strain is used most often to treat medical conditions due to its soothing effects.  This type of plant grows small, thick, and has smaller-sized leaves than Sativa. 

You’ll also find hybrid strains. This is a combination of Indica and Sativa, and cal also is used to relieve the many symptoms of IBS. A hybrid strain has a combination of traits from both Sativa and Indica when it comes to its appearance, smell, flavor, and effects. You may not know how you’ll be affected. 

You’ll find both strains of cannabis come in edibles for IBS and are just as effective.


Let’s talk about CBD and IBS…

While there have not been enough studies to prove that CBD for IBS is effective. While CBD alone might not be enough depending on the severity of your IBS symptoms. It’s suggested that you choose a full-spectrum CBD which contains some THC. There has been promising data showing that the combination of CBD and THC works best at relieving some of your symptoms.

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