As it stands now, there are dozens of high-quality studies that illustrate the fact that medical marijuana serves an important purpose in treating and relieving IBD symptoms. In addition to relieving pain, muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation, certain strains of cannabis also promote appetite, produce weight gain and enhance the mood of affected patients.
Additionally, researchers at the Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases at Chaim Sheba Medical Center found that inhaled medical cannabis can help improve the quality of life in people affected by Crohn’s disease and colitis. This study also found that medical cannabis can stimulate the appetite in affected patients, resulting in healthy weight gain and an overall improvement in symptoms.
Although the anti-inflammatory properties of medical cannabis hold true for all people, IBD patients have been shown to have more cannabinoid receptors in the tissue of the colon than people without IBD, which means that people affected by Crohn’s disease and colitis are likely to respond to the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana.
Crohn’s disease and colitis are gastrointestinal disorders that belong to a family of disorders known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn’s disease causes chronic inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can cause painful swelling in any part of the GI tract from the esophagus to the rectum. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include rectal bleeding, severe abdominal pain and cramping, constipation, persistent diarrhea or a persistent feeling that the bowels are not entirely empty.
These results were reported without accompanying side effects.
- A better quality of life
- Greater ability to work a normal job
- Increased ability to perform daily tasks and maintain a social life
- A drastic decrease in pain reduction and mental anguish
While it’s evident that cannabis is a valuable treatment option for patients with IBD, researchers found a variety of specific strains that are ideal for treating different aspects of the disease. These strains include:
The same study also found that, after three months of treatment with medical marijuana, patients affected by Crohn’s disease or colitis enjoyed:
As is true with many disorders, cannabis has been used for centuries to treat the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and colitis. Cannabis is an effective treatment for these disorders because it can significantly limit intestinal inflammation. According to a statement issued by The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America in 2012, compounds found in the marijuana plant closely mimic endocannabinoids (molecules that occur naturally in the body) and have been shown to play an important part in decreasing gastrointestinal inflammation.
For people with Crohn's disease or colitis, life can mean always wondering when the condition will flare up and how bad the symptoms will be. Until now, treatments have been limited for these painful, life-altering conditions. Although some feel relief through a change in diet and prescription medication, people suffer