Medical Marijuana In the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks tissues in the digestive system causing inflammation and ulcers and resulting in abdominal pain, cramps, intestinal spasms, and malnutrition. The cause of this condition is not completely understood. Crohns can be mild or severe, and, in worst cases, can be life-threatening. There is no known cure.
Crohn’s is one of the conditions which qualifies Florida residents for a medical marijuana card. Let’s take a look at some of the scientific evidence that convinced state lawmakers to add Crohn’s to the list of qualifying conditions.
Research On Medical Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease
In 2005, MD Jeff Hergenrather published a landmark 2005 paper titled, “Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.” The report discussed the results of a clinical study to determine the benefits of medical cannabis as a treatment for relieving symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. After looking at all the data, Dr. Hergenrather concluded that, “for all signs and symptoms evaluated in the study, the patients described marked improvements with the use of cannabis. Beneficial effects were reported for appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, activity, and depression. Patients also reported that cannabis use resulted in weight gain, fewer stools per day and fewer flare-ups of less severity.”
Seven years later, in 2012, the journal Digestion published a report by Dr. Adi Lahat entitled, “Impact of Cannabis Treatment on the Quality of Life, Weight, and Clinical Disease Activity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: A Pilot Prospective Study.” Dr. Lahat’s research focused on Crohn’s disease patients who used cannabinoids such as CBD to treat their condition. His report states, “Cannabis improves quality of life in patients with long-standing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative Colitis … Data demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in almost all aspects of patients’ daily life.”
Then, in a placebo-controlled clinical study conducted in 2013, 11 patients with Crohn’s disease underwent treatment with medical cannabis. In a report, entitled, “Cannabis Induces a Clinical Response in Patients With Crohn’s Disease: A Prospective Placebo-Controlled Study,” researchers claimed that 10 out of the 11 subjects showed improvements in their condition with five experiencing complete remission after just 8-weeks of treatment.
These are just three of the many studies which suggest that medical marijuana can be an effective therapy for patients suffering from symptoms of Crohns Disease.
How Medical Marijuana Helps Crohns Disease Patients
Exactly how cannabinoids affect Crohn’s patients isn’t yet completely clear. However it has been shown that the gastrointestinal tract does have an abundance of cannabinoid receptors, and some experts believe that Crohn’s may be related to a deficiency of endocannabinoids (those produced naturally by our own bodies).
Cannabinoids are known to have a role in modulating immune response and may actually treat the cause of the condition. Other aspects of medical marijuana that help Crohn’s patients that are better understood include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and analgesic (pain relieving) properties.
Crohn’s disease is also commonly associated with anxiety, another condition for which medical marijuana appears to be effective. Marijuana use has also been shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite.
Medical Marijuana Strains Known To Reduce Symptoms of Crohn’s
Not all strains of medical marijuana are ideal for treating Crohn’s. Each strain has its own cannabinoid and terpene profiles with a particular set of effects. According Leafly.com, some of the strains which are effective for treating symptoms of Crohn’s include Jean Guy (cramps), Hog’s Breath (pain and anxiety), Hash Plant (pain and inflammation), Chemo (pain and appetite), Golden Pineapple (stress and anxiety), and Confidential Cheese (intestinal spasms and cramps).
Aside from these cannabis strains which provide a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes, patients who use CBD and THC isolates in the form of tinctures and capsules also report positive results.
How To Get Medical Marijuana for Crohns Disease
If you are suffering from Crohn’s Disease or another health issue and are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana for treatment, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor. To get started, fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available. Just wanting to stay in the loop, filling out the newsletter form will add you to our news & updates list.