What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, which causes severe abdominal cramps, persistent diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a host of other related systems. It’s estimated that nearly 800,000 Americans are living with Chron’s disease.
While there is no cure for Crohn’s, there are several treatments that can alleviate the symptoms and help bring on a period of remission. Among those treatments, cannabis is gaining recognition as a way to help Crohn’s patients achieve a better quality of life.
Using cannabis for Crohn’s
Cannabis has long been used to treat digestive issues because of its ability to ease nausea and stimulate appetites. Several studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis are also helpful in treating Crohn’s disease, along with similar gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Ulcerative Colitis.
In a study using CBD and biopsied tissue, CBD not only relieved the inflammation that causes the symptoms of Crohn’s, repeated use of CBD prevented the inflammation from occurring again. This led researchers to believe that, in addition to managing their active symptoms, cannabis-based treatments could actually help Crohn’s patients achieve remission.
While THC and CBD used individually proved effective in several studies, most researchers agree that a combination of low-THC, high-CBD cannabis treatments were actually the most beneficial. These treatments even helped patients that previously did not respond to any traditional medications. Other patients reported that adding cannabis to their existing treatment plan greatly reduced their symptoms and increased their quality of life overall.
Many physicians specializing in gastrointestinal disorders are hopeful that adding cannabis to a regiment of healthy eating, exercise, and traditional medications will help Crohn’s patients in ways that were previously not possible. Of course, as with every cannabis treatment, more research is needed.