Medical marijuana is quickly making a big move into the mainstream world. The public support for the legalization of cannabis is increasing at a rapid rate and for very good reason. People are beginning to wake up to the fact that cannabis could be the answer to many serious health issues. In fact, a recent study found that a staggering 89% of Americans are supporters of medical cannabis.
People often talk about cannabis as a “magical product,” giving health benefits and cures that can only be thought of as miraculous by those who are familiar with its various medicinal properties. But the truth is, there’s a lot of science behind the cannabinoids in marijuana plants.
There’s extensive new research that is tapping into the medical properties of the marijuana plant, with the intention to help us better understand the conditions that cannabis can treat.
Crohn’s disease is just one of the many ailments that cannabis can help alleviate the symptoms of. Both science and firsthand experiences are indicating exactly how CBD helps with Crohn’s disease. In this article, we will cover what Crohn’s disease is, who suffers from it, and how CBD can help. We will also look at ways you can consume CBD for maximum therapeutic relief.
Crohn’s Disease 101 Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Simply put, it is a condition that causes inflammation of the gut or digestive system. Although Crohn’s can affect any part of the gut, two of the most common areas are the ileum (which is the last part of the small intestine) and the colon. Those who have Crohn’s disease suffer from long-term swelling and irritation in the gastrointestinal tract, which leads to very painful stomach cramps and diarrhea.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three million people in North America suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Unfortunately, western medication offers no known cure for it, although there are some treatments.
Crohn’s is a condition that can result in abdominal pain, severe vomiting (although this is less common), diarrhea and bloody stool, extreme weight loss and even skin and eye conditions. Anyone who suffers from Crohn’s disease will tell you that it’s a debilitating ailment that causes extreme pain and disruption in day to day life.
Also, Crohn’s is considered a chronic condition which means that it is ongoing and likely to be life-long. It’s very possible that those who suffer from the condition will experience periods of good health, and then times when symptoms are more active or flare up.
The symptoms will vary between individuals and they often depend on where in the gut the disease is active. These symptoms will range from mild to severe and may change over time. Some of the most common symptoms (along with those we already mentioned above) are the following:
Tiredness and fatigue Anemia (a reduced level of red blood cells) Mouth ulcers Loss of appetite and weight loss Feeling generally unwell or feverish Abdominal pain and diarrhea Who Suffers from Crohn’s Disease? cbd oil for crohn's
Affecting as many as 780,000 Americans, it’s important to understand who is at risk of developing this disease. Crohn’s can occur at any age, but it tends to onset in adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35. It can affect both men and women, but women are more likely to have Crohn’s disease.
While we do not fully understand the exact causes of Crohn’s, diet and stress appear to be major factors that can aggravate it. Also, the latest research suggests that genetics and a combination of hereditary and environmental factors may contribute to the development of the condition.
The immune system also plays a major role, but it is unclear exactly how. Researchers don’t consider Crohn’s disease to be an autoimmune disease (in which the body’s immune system attacks itself). Instead, the immune system may be attacking something else, like a virus, in the intestines.
At present, there is no medical cure for Crohn’s disease in mainstream medicine, but surgery and medication can give long periods of release from symptoms. Unfortunately, pharmaceutical treatments for Crohn’s may have adverse side effects such as headaches, vomiting, night sweats, skin diseases, infections, and nausea, just to name a few.
This is where cannabis comes in, and more specifically, CBD. For those who suffer from this debilitating disease, there is hope. This is because CBD is a natural remedy that could provide incredible relief for many dozens of medical ailments, including Crohn’s disease.
How CBD Can Help with Crohn’s Disease Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in cannabis, and although it comes from the same plant as THC, it doesn’t contain any psychoactive effects, meaning it won’t get you high.CBD also has very mild side effects in comparison to almost all other medications, and it poses no risk of addiction. Thus, it is a great option for patients looking for pain relief – especially those who want to avoid opioids and their adverse effects.
Pharmaceutical medications can help in treating the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but some people may feel like the side effects (such as those mentioned above) are simply too distressing. As research into cannabis intensifies, scientists are discovering how cannabinoids may be a less risky way to treat Crohn’s disease.
In their observational study, researchers in Israel monitored and assessed the effects of cannabis use on patients with IBD. One hundred twenty-seven licensed medicinal cannabis patients took part in the study. The researchers closely monitored these participants using several evaluative measures. These included methods of consumption and monthly consumption rate, the use of other medications, adverse effects, as well as the long-term effects of medicinal cannabis use. The authors also measured the exact THC and CBD concentrations these patients consumed.
After undergoing treatment for forty-four months, the researchers used the Harvey-Bradshaw Index to evaluate the effects of medicinal cannabis use on patient outcomes. The Harvey-Bradshaw Index score decreased from 11 to 5 (a lower score is indicative of an improvement in the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease). Average daily bowel movements decreased from 7.0 to 3.4. Patients also reported experiencing a significant reduction in pain.
Encouragingly, 78% of participating patients reported that they experienced no harmful side effects. Some patients experienced minor side effects, such as dry mouth and memory decline. However, these patients also stated that the improvement in their symptoms outweighed these side effects.
Naftali et al., who carried out the study, concluded that cannabis use can induce clinical improvement in patients with IBD and that it is associated with reduced medication use and weight gain. The researchers also noted that these patients responded well to a dose of 30g per month, or 21mg THC, and 170mg CBD per day.
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