Crohn’s Disease is a debilitating disorder with unknown origins that can have devastating effects on those who suffer from it.
While there are medications available for those who suffer from Crohn’s, more often than not, these medications don’t work and patients are forced to find alternative solutions. One of the best and safest options available is medicinal cannabis.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s is a mysterious disease that results in irritable bowels and inflammation of the GI tract and includes the stomach, esophagus, small intestine, and colon. However, the area that is most commonly affected is the ileum, which the very last part of the small intestine, and the first portion of the colon.
It was always theorized that Crohn’s Disease relates to genetic irregularities in the immune system. However, recent studies show that an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can trigger the disease as well. The symptoms of Crohn’s vary depending on what region of the body is affected, but some of the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe diarrhea
- Bloody stool
- Wasting (difficulty keeping on weight due to lack of nutrient absorption)
How Does Cannabis Help?
It’s believed that cannabis can help provide comfort to patients who haven’t found success with conventional treatments. Cannabinoids found in the plant have immunomodulatory effects, meaning they prevent the immune system from releasing inflammatory proteins and instead they trigger anti-inflammatory compounds.
In 2013, Israeli researchers completed a study confirming this theory. The patients chosen had severe symptoms that did not respond to standard Crohn’s treatments. The patients where divided into two groups, a control group and cannabis group, and studied for a total of 10 weeks. The cannabis group received 115mg of THC twice daily via smoking and the control group was treated with extracted THC.
“5 of the 11 subjects in the cannabis group achieved complete remission of Crohn’s disease. 10 out of 11 patients had a clinical response that included improved symptoms,” the study concluded. “The cannabis patients also reported no negative side effects and had improved appetite and sleep.”
The Top 5 Strains for Battling Crohn’s
If you’re interested in treating Crohn’s symptoms with cannabis, these five sativa-dominant strains are some patient favorites.
Note that if you plan on making any changes to your medication or healthcare regimen, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider first.
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