Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease – Recent Research Brings a Ray of Hope for Patients

Cannabis and Crohn's disease

Named after an American gastroenterologist, Dr Burrill Crohn, Crohn’s disease is a common inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s disease is generally a lifelong condition and more commonly affects people in their younger ages, till their 30s. Crohn’s disease affects the patients regardless of their gender; however, the symptoms may vary according to gender. Females suffer from additional symptoms that affect their hormonal balance, which ultimately leads to other issues.

According to an estimate, over 0.5 million people in the USA alone are affected by the said disease. Experts believe that medical cannabis possesses marvelous capacities to help patients endure pain, inflammation, and other symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Let’s explore the relationship between healing potentials of Cannabis and Crohn’s disease symptoms and how advantageous it may prove to be.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease may affect any section of the gastrointestinal tract from your mouth cavity traveling down to the anus. The part of the region affected by Crohn’s disease specifies what type of Crohn’s disease you are suffering from.

Crohn’s disease may get severely agonizing and excruciating as the inflammation tends to get worse over time. Inflammation prevails and damages the gastrointestinal tract. Microbial, genetic, and environmental factors are thought to be the cause of Crohn’s disease. Other symptoms like fever, bleeding, abdominal pain, and diarrhea make the condition worse for the patients. Stick around to get well-acquainted with various aspects of cannabis and Crohn’s disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Patients report mild to severe symptoms, ranging according to the condition of the patients. Most cases involve gradual development of the symptoms, while some patients report a sudden episode of symptoms.

At times, you may wonder if you’ve recovered as there aren’t any significant signs and symptoms. You might be going through a remission period, which is a period of time characterized by the absence of the symptoms. Crohn’s disease is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fever is one of the typical signs of Crohn’s disease.
  • Diarrhea is a common symptom in most patients.
  • Fatigue and tiredness.
  • Mouth sores
  • Mild to severe abdominal cramping and pain
  • Presence of blood in stool
  • Crohn’s disease may also lead to a significant decline in appetite.
  • Patients generally face a slower growth process and sexual development
  • The condition might cause inflammation in various parts of the body, including the eyes, joints, and skin.
  • Renal infections and stones
  • Anemia

Few symptoms of Crohn’s Disease are purely confined to female patients. Some of these symptoms are as follows:

  • An irregular menstrual cycle is a common symptom among female patients. The reasons are explained as hormonal fluctuation in the body due to Crohn’s disease.
  • Intestinal bleeding and poor absorption of nutrition typically end up in iron deficiency.
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Uncomfortable sexual intercourse due to lack of libido.

Symptoms may vary among patients based on several individual factors like age, body mass, the intensity of the disease, and gender.

Causes of Crohn’s Disease:

Experts are on their toes to figure out what are the exact causes of Crohn’s disease. The exact causes have not been discovered; however, prevalent stress conditions and an unhealthy diet were considered to be the prime causes of Crohn’s disease. Research reveals that these factors may contribute to the vulnerability of the patients to develop Crohn’s disease but might not cause the disease.

Consistently studying various aspects of the disease, experts came up with several new facts regarding the causes of Crohn’s disease. It is now believed that distorted functioning behavior of the immune system and genetic factors might make potential causes of Crohn’s disease in the patients.

  • Genetic factors:

Well, some anecdotal evidence suggests that people with at least one parent with Crohn’s disease may be more susceptive to it. This implies that Crohn’s disease is quite probable to run in families. Experts are still ambiguous as many Patients with Crohn’s disease lack a family history of the said disease, which leaves us in a grey area.

  • Distorted Functioning Behavior Of Immune System:

Hyperactive behavior of the immune system is considered a potential trigger to developing Crohn’s disease. Experts believe that Crohn’s disease symptoms might be caused by the immune system’s abnormal response, which leads to an attack on cells of the digestive tract.

Risk Factors of Crohn’s Disease

Following are a few of the risk factors for the Crohn’s disease:

  • Age: Getting acquainted with various aspects of the disease, we come to know that it isn’t confined to a certain age group. Crohn’s disease may affect you at any time, at any age. However, surveys show that people are more vulnerable to developing the disease when they’re younger. Most patients fall under 30 years of age.
  • Family History: Like many other medical conditions, Crohn’s disease is also believed to be affected by hereditary factors. You’re more vulnerable to developing the condition if you have a family history of the disease. Every 1 in 5 patients with the said condition is found to have a family member with the same disease.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Although these medications aren’t directly responsible for causing Crohn’s disease. They might cause bowel inflammation, which worsens your condition as a Crohn’s disease patient; thus, try avoiding ibuprofen.
  • Smoking: You’re more susceptible to Crohn’s disease if you’re a smoker. It not only increases your risk of developing the condition but also makes it worse if you continue to smoke while having the disease. Smokers tend to experience severer symptoms as compared to non-smokers.

Types of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease doesn’t affect the same parts of the digestive tract in All the patients. To better understand Crohn’s disease, experts categorize it into the following types with respect to the types of the digestive tract that are affected.

  • Ileocolitis: the most common type of Crohn’s disease, ileocolitis generally affects the small and large intestine, especially the colon.
  • Ileitis: As by its name, ileitis affects the ileum, which is a section of the small intestine. This condition ends up in swelling and inflammation of the ileum.
  • Gastroduodenal: the top part of the small intestine is called the duodenum. This type of Crohn’s disease affects the duodenum and causes irritation and inflammation. The stomach may also be affected.
  • Jejunoileitis: this type is characterized by mild to severe effects on the jejunum, which is the upper half part of the small intestine.

Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease: How Cannabis may help?

The cannabis plant possesses a robust chemical makeup incorporating a phenomenal range of chemical species that may introduce a tremendous array of effects into your body. Through the interaction with the endocannabinoid system of your body, the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant can help you heal. Experts lack formal research on cannabis and Crohn’s disease, especially regarding whether cannabis can treat Crohn’s disease or not. However, a series of studies suggest that the therapeutic potential of the Cannabis plant could do wonders to alleviate the agonizing symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Cannabis can induce effects on the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract through interactions with the Endocannabinoid system, which directly monitors its working. The gastrointestinal tract is highly rich in cannabinoid receptors, and the interaction with them helps with the following phenomena:

  • Controls the hypersensitivity of the intestinal region
  • Regulates the secretion of gastric juices
  • Pain sensation is reduced by slowing down the pain signals and reducing the sensitivity simultaneously. CBD and THC can directly address the CB1 and CB2 receptors to make the symptoms quite less painful.
  • Controlling the immune system’s inflammatory response. This reduces inflammation which is caused by the cytokines.

The cannabis plant is known to address other symptoms as well:

Antiemetic abilities: Several studies approve of the antiemetic abilities of the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. Using it right could help reduce peristaltic movements in the esophagus, which ultimately reduces nausea. Nausea is the main symptom of Crohn’s disease frequently reported by the patients.

Research And Findings Regarding Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease

Studying various aspects of cannabis and Crohn’s disease and analyzing them clinically, the experts come forward with the following results. There’s a huge room for more research to figure out the position of the cannabis plant in the medical arena as a potential treatment for Crohn’s disease. However, the following studies confirm the symptomatic benefits of cannabis for Crohn’s disease.

Cannabis may prove to be significantly helpful in ameliorating even the most painful symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Clinical analysis of patients with Crohn’s disease brings forth therapeutic effects. [1]

Another study regarding the healing effects of cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease reveals that the components may substantially help the patients manage pain, diarrhea, nausea, and other symptoms. [2]

Final Thoughts:

The cannabis plant is an ultimate powerhouse of valuable cannabinoids and other chemical compounds which can directly interact with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This improves gut function and helps alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease by addressing nausea, abdominal pain, and inflammation.



Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.

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