Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Benefits of Cannabis with Crohn's Disease


Crohn's Disease is a re-occurring inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract as well as an inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Not to be confused with another IBD disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's affects any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract rather than only the colon or large intestine. Genetics, heredity and/or environmental factors have been shown to lead to Crohn's disease.  This disease affects around 700,000 Americans mostly of European descent. Symptoms of the disease are loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, irregular menstrual cycle and fever. Inflammation of the GI Tract can also lead to diarrhea, bleeding, cramps, pain and constipation. (Source)

The enteric nervous system helps aid in gut function while the endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps to maintain gut motility, inflammation and sensation. Both systems contain Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 receptors making medical marijuana use a viable treat for Crohn's disease patients . (Source)

A pilot study of 32 patients of Crohn's disease was conducted at the International Association for Cannabis as Medicine conference at Leiden University in the Netherlands by Physicians in the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. Patients in this study showed  improvement in symptoms of vomiting, depression, nausea, gut pain, appetite, activity, fatigue, flareups and severity of flareups.(Source)

A study was completed at the University of Calgary in 2009 of 313 people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  The results of this study reported improvement of  abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and joint paint in which 17.6% of the patients used cannabis using the inhalation method. (Source)

A study in 2011 with 30 Crohn's Disease patients showed that 21 reported improvements in all symptoms.(Source) in 2013, 21 patients involved in  a study smoking 2 marijuana cigarettes a day. showed improvement in sleep and appetite.  These patients with Crohn's disease were subjects that had not responded to other treatments(Source)

In a questionnaire given at a clinic with 191 Crohn's disease patients, 48% reported use of cannabis to reduce symptoms such as abdominal pain diarrhea and appetite were what the patients. Patients in the group that had abdominal surgery were more likely to use cannabis for treatment. (Source)

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