Constipation, also referred to as costiveness or dyschezia, is the difficulty to pass stool or infrequent bowel movements. It is also defined as not passing stool at least three times per week. Constipation is a common reason for painful defecation. It is a very widespread condition in the United States, with women to be more likely affected then men. Signs of constipation are usually self-explanatory: hard stool, insufficient stool with remaining sense of a full bowel, stomach ache, bloating etc. Since constipation is a symptom, not a disease, effective treatment may require determining the cause in the first place. Possible treatments include prescription of special diet, laxatives, food additives, gastric irrigation, and in particular situations even surgical intervention.
Constipation requires treatment – if it does not naturally relieve itself, it can lead to severe complications, such as rectal prolapse and fecal impaction, which can progress to bowel obstruction and become life-threatening. Patients who turn to physician care too late with what starts as constipation, often end up with dangerous conditions, evolving from not taking constipation seriously.
The most obvious line of treatment for constipation is natural and artificial laxatives. Laxatives perpetuate the movement of feces and soften fecal matter, making it easier to pass. There are two clinical forms of laxatives – oral (pills) or suppository. Relieving of constipation comes when bowels and intestines of stool are clear from fecal masses. So far there has been little research regarding laxative effects of medical marijuana, but according to attestation of some patients and recreational marijuana users, cannabis may be able to act as alternate laxative.
What has been clinically proven, though, it that medical marijuana can treat digestive disorders, which typically cause constipation. Moreover, cannabis is able to act as substitute or dosage reducer for specific medications that cause constipation (e.g. opiates). Thus, medical marijuana may not only be a solution for constipation as symptom, but help cure some underlying causes of it.