Medical Marijuana (MMJ) for Crohn’s Disease – How Can it Help?
Curious about whether you can use medical marijuana for your Chron’s Disease symptoms? In this post, we’ll cover cannabis’ effectiveness against Crohn’s Disease and some of the best strains recommended by the experts.
How can Medical Marijuana (MMJ) Help Those Suffering from Crohn’s Disease? Our Medical Marijuana Doctors in Colorado Springs, CO Weigh In.
Crohn’s Disease can be debilitating for those suffering from its effects. What’s worse, it’s mysterious. Researchers don’t know much about what triggers the disease or how to treat it. But in recent years, our on-staff doctors in Colorado Springs, Colorado keep hearing one question during medical marijuana evaluations: how can medical marijuana help those suffering from Crohn’s Disease?
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the digestive tract. It can appear at any time, but often affects people between the ages of 15 and 35. Usually, Crohn’s Disease comes on gradually. But in some patients, it strikes quickly and without prior notice.
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic, or lifelong, condition. Symptoms may improve and get worse over time, but it’s something patients will battle forever. Currently, doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to patients suffering from Crohn’s Disease. In extreme cases, some patients may require surgery to remove part of the digestive tract.
What is Crohn’s Disease – Symptoms
Crohn’s Disease has a variety of debilitating symptoms that can cause a significant impact on the lives of those who suffer from it. It causes inflammation, sores, and ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract. These can trigger a variety of symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain
- Mouth sores
- Low appetite
Occasionally, Crohn’s Disease can trigger other minor symptoms like kidney stones, anemia, and eye, skin, joint, or liver swelling.
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
Researchers aren’t quite sure what causes Crohn’s Disease. However, they think it has to do with the body’s immune system going haywire. When the immune system detects something bad, like a toxin, microbe, or infection, one of its standby responses is inflammation. In patients with Crohn’s Disease, this reaction is too strong and never ends.
Researchers believe that there may be some kind of genetic basis for Crohn’s Disease. There are more than 100 genes associated with all types of IBD. One genetic mutation in particular seems to cause Crohn’s Disease. It’s common among people of Northern European descent. The disease seems to affect those Asian and Oceanic descent infrequently, although some data shows this may be changing.
There’s one thing we do know for certain, though. Certain diets may trigger Crohn’s Disease flare-ups. For example, eating spicy, greasy food, drinking alcohol and caffeine, and more can all irritate your gastrointestinal tract and provoke more intense symptoms. Patients can avoid these kinds of foods to manage their symptoms.
Medical Marijuana (MMJ) and Crohn’s Disease Relief
We’ve covered how medical marijuana may be an effective way for patients to alleviate pain and inflammation in a previous post. Humans have used cannabis to reduce inflammation for millennia. And there’s also scientific evidence that CBD, one of the two major cannabinoids in medical marijuana, has the ability to reduce inflammation.
Remember, Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory disorder. So, does that mean medical marijuana may be able to alleviate the painful effects of Crohn’s Disease?
Effects of Medical Marijuana
CBD, short for cannabidiol, affects the body by “hacking” the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This gives CBD has several effects that may help those suffering from Crohn’s Disease.
– Reduced nausea and vomiting
– Anti-inflammatory properties
– Increased appetite
There’s already been some research into the effectiveness of medical marijuana against Crohn’s Disease. Out of three studies involving 93 total participants, researchers reported significant clinical improvement of Crohn’s Disease patients. Researchers also discovered that about 15 percent of Crohn’s Disease patients self-medicate using cannabis as a way to ease their symptoms.
Another, more recent study seemed to have stunning results. The 2013 report, compiled in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal, showed that 5 out of 11 Crohn’s Disease patients (about 45%) experienced remission after using medical marijuana. What’s more, the study reported that participants experienced zero unpleasant side effects.
While this data is promising, it doesn’t paint a complete picture. Researchers identified several improvements for future studies. First, the data set is relatively small. This is the main issue facing nearly every claim of medical marijuana’s benefits. Second, CBD affects a liver enzyme called cytochrome P450. Interfering with this enzyme can decrease the effectiveness of certain prescriptions. As a result, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor before using medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s Disease.
Best Strains for Crohn’s Disease
Want to learn about the best strains for Crohn’s Disease but not sure where to start? Luckily, some experts have already done the research for you. An online survey of patients using medical marijuana for Crohn’s Disease found that they prefer strains like:
- Hog’s Breath
- Jean Guy
- Hash Plant
- Red Headed Stranger
- Lemon Jack
- Confidential Cheese
- Golden Pineapple
These potent strains can assist patients in different ways. Some may improve appetite, while others reduce pain and inflammation. Losing sleep because of your Crohn’s Disease? These strains can also help you get a full night’s rest.
Can I use Medical Marijuana (MMJ) for Crohn’s Disease?
Are you considering medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s Disease in you or someone you love? There’s good news. The state of Colorado approved Crohn’s Disease as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. But before you make any decisions, it’s always best to consult a doctor.
That’s where the experts at Medical Alternatives Clinics come in. Our staff of doctors in Colorado Springs, CO can help you decide whether to use medical marijuana to treat Crohn’s Disease. To ensure the health and safety of our clients, we’re currently accepting telehealth appointments.
To book an appointment, contact us online. You don’t need to let Crohn’s Disease get in the way of living a full life. Discover whether medical marijuana may be able to help you take control of your Crohn’s Disease symptoms today with Medical Alternatives Clinics.