Cannabis for Crohn’s and Colitis

As high fat/low carb diets continue to be the trend to keep weight off and appear healthy, many would rather find a way to keep it on. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes a variety of unwanted symptoms and can lead to chronic illnesses such as Crohn’s and Colitis. With this condition, parts of the gut become swollen, inflamed and ulcerated. The problematic symptoms stemming from IBD include abdominal pain, cramping, severe diarrhea, rectal bleeding, blood in stools, weight loss and diminished appetite. Professionals in the medical field claim there is no cure, however medical marijuana and a diet rich in life-sustaining produce could put it in remission.

The sources that lead to IBD are complex and mysterious. “They are believed to be due to a genetic tendency (predisposition) and an environmental trigger that combine to cause intestinal inflammation. Inappropriate and untimely activation of the immune response would lead to a chronic (permanent) disorder that manifests as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.” However, naturopathic practitioners may conclude that the cause is not such a mystery and the culprit is mainly diet-based.

What IBD symptoms could be addressed with medical marijuana?

  • Phycological burdens
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Chronic pain
  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Eye pressure
  • Cramping and abdominal pain

Medical marijuana doesn’t cause one to eat unhealthy foods, but it can induce hunger. With a mindfulness approach and a fridge stocked with a variety of beneficial fruits and vegetables such as bananas, celery and papaya, the body can begin to heal.  With supplements and a healthy dose of produce, “you can rebuild your hydrochloric acid levels, cleanse your liver, and raise the liver’s bile production,” and “you can take the misinformation you might have been handed and turn instead towards these healing truths and support yourself and loved ones to recover.”

What are the main risk factors for IBD?

  • High fat diet
  • Tobacco/nicotine smoking
  • Gut flora
  • Environmental factors
  • Immune response
  • Predisposition
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

“Canada has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – in the world. Since the 20th century, the number of diagnoses of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease has increased dramatically in Canada. IBD is more common in industrialized countries, urban areas, and temperate regions.”

One treatment that is sometimes employed is a liquid diet, which offers an excellent way to include healthy cannabis and produce into a daily elixir.  Cannabis tinctures could be added to a banana-papaya smoothie for a daily dose of IBD fighting nutrients. As with all life-changing experiences, there’s often an adjustment period. Once diagnosed, it’s important to take into consideration the side effects of the prescription drugs and decide if there are better ways to manage the symptoms.  “Papaya soothes the nerves and is wonderful for anyone suffering from Crohn’s and colitis, IBS, chronic gastritis or any viral and neurological problems irritating your nerves and affecting your intestinal tract.”

Other treatments for IBD-related diseases include immunosuppressants, such as azathioprine, mercaptopurine and methotrexate.  Additionally, biological medicines are often prescribed to patients, which include adalimumab, infliximab, vedolizumab and ustekinumab.

Patients may also experience symptoms outside the gut during a flare-up such as:

  • Joint pain
  • Swelling in the eyes
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Mental health problems
  • Peripheral SpA

“When joint pain happens without arthritis or inflammation of the joint, it is called arthralgia. Joint pain can be a side effect of taking some medicines such as azathioprine and will usually go away once treatment is stopped.”  Natural herbs, such as medical marijuana may alleviate things like joint pain and other symptoms associated with these diseases. A few of the best cannabis strains available for IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include King Louis XIII,  Burmese Kush and Blue Dream.

Studies have concluded that hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) as well as THC offer support for many of the symptoms associated with Crohn’s and colitis. “While the cannabis constituents CBD and THC have been thoroughly investigated, research on CBG has been relatively neglected. Based on established pharmacological properties, there is growing evidence that CBG has therapeutic potential for treating neurological disease, gastrointestinal disease as well as some metabolic disorders.” These phytocannabinoids function within the endocannabinoid system, which “modulates homeostatic processes, including gastrointestinal motility, hunger, pain perception and immunity.”

Medical marijuana patients offer testimony to support the relief.  “Patients have reported some therapeutic effects in the management of abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and improvements in sleep, appetite and quality of life.”  After diagnosis, one will be faced with an adjustment period.  During this time, it’s best to keep an open mind about complementary and alternative medicines (CAM).  In this case, medical marijuana and a fridge full of healthy produce might lead the way to living well.





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