The awareness around the alternative treatments for chronic conditions is growing. People are looking for natural remedies, because they are not responding well to the prescribed medications or they are experiencing adverse effects from them. Crohn’s patients are particularly concerned with this issue.

A lot of people suffer from the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, which is used to refer to inflammatory bowel conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Today, the numerous of people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome is gradually increasing.

Crohn’s disease is one of the most common inflammatory bowel conditions. It is an autoimmune disease that attacks food and good bacteria in the gut, thus irritating the bowel. Not only does it affect the bowel, but Crohn’s disease also affects the mouth, skin, eyes and joints. Even though it can affect patients differently, it commonly affects the gastrointestinal tract where the colon joins the small intestine.

SYMPTOMS OF CROHN’S DISEASE

Some of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

• Fatigue
• Weight loss
• Rectal bleeding
• Tenderness and stomach pain

• Chronic diarrhea • Bloating and cramping
• Chronic fever
• Eye irritations and skin rashes
• Vomiting and nausea

• Anemia or lack of vitamins
• Blood clots
• Mouth ulcers

CAUSES OF CROHN’S DISEASE

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is not known yet. It is considered that dietary factors and chronic stress can trigger this condition. However, researchers think that there are a few factors, not root causes, which can aggravate it. These include:

• Family history

Genetics might play a crucial role in the development of Crohn’s disease.

• Immune system health

According to the researchers, Crohn’s disease can be caused by an immune response to bacteria or virus. Rather than fighting against the invader, the immune system attacks the healthy intestinal cells, too.

Some risk factors related to Crohn’s disease include:

• Age

Even though most patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are under the age of 30, it can affect people of all ages.

• Lifestyle

Being obese, smoking cigarettes and following an unbalanced diet can contribute to Crohn’s disease.

• Climate

People, who are not exposed to sunlight enough, are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease.

TRADITIONAL CROHN’S DISEASE TREATMENTS

A 2016-study carried out by the Health Union found out that it was not unusual for patients to consult with a few health care professionals and overdo numerous diagnosis tests before being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. In addition, it also showed that the disease negatively affected their social activities and lifestyle.

It is not easy to treat irritable bowel syndrome, as it can affect different parts of gastrointestinal tract. Edward Loftus, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, clams that patients do not experience the same symptoms, so they should take many medications in order to reduce inflammation, enhance bone health and get rid of bad bacteria, including:

• Antibiotics, like matronidazole or ciprofloxacin
• Anti-inflammatory drugs, like 5-aminosalicylates or corticosteroids
• Immune system suppressors like natalizumab, methotrexate, azathioprine, infliximab or mercaptopurine.
• Other medications, like pain killers, anti-diarrheal, iron, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Many of these traditional Crohn’s disease treatments cause adverse affect in patients, including dizziness, nausea, lightheartedness, tingling, itchiness, fever, headache, and muscle and chest pain.

MEDICAL CANNABIS FOR CROHN’S DISEASE

Fortunately, scientists have found out how to treat Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In other words, a 10-week study in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology evaluated the effects of marijuana on patients with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

Cannabis has countless benefits that can treat Crohn’s disease. Even though it contains more than 60 compounds, its most powerful compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has mind-altering properties, and cannabidiol (CBD), which relieves anxiety, nausea and pain.

Numerous studies have shown that cannabis is an effective way to alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Some of its health benefits that address the symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

• Increased appetite
• Suppressed vomiting and nausea
• Low levels of anxiety
• Pain relief due to its analgesic properties
• Reduced inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties

Researchers go on examining the effects of cannabis on Crohn’s disease. Here are some studies that show the amazing findings for Crohn’s patients looking for alternative therapies:

1. Cannabis helps alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease

21 Crohn’s patients (8 women and 13 men) took part in the study. These patients were previously treating their symptoms with immune-modulators, steroidal therapy, anti-tumor agents, but they did not notice any improvements.

The participants in the study were separated in two groups. So, over the course of 2 months, 11 of them smoke cannabis that contained 115 mg of THC twice a day, whereas the others smoke cannabis without THC.

The results of the study showed:

• 5 out of 11 participants achieved complete remission of Crohn’s disease
• 3 out of 11 participants got rid of their steroid dependency
• The appetite and sleeping quality were improved in all participants

Marijuana efficiently reduced the production of endocannabinoids in patients with Crohn’s disease that are the natural THC in the human body. Furthermore, Cannabinoids hindered inflammation caused by the disease.

2. Cannabis treats chronic colon inflammation

A 2014-study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found out that medical marijuana acts as a mighty anti-inflammatory agent that treats intestinal conditions manifested with severe inflammatory responses.

SIDE EFFECTS AND PRECAUTION OF CANNABIS

Crohn’s patients who are taking marijuana should pay attention to these precautions and side effects:

• Cannabis can increase the risk of undergoing surgery.

• Marijuana with high level of THC may mask the inflammatory symptoms for some time. This can make people think that they have achieved complete remission.

• The continued use of marijuana increases the risk of psychosis, dependence and possible cognitive impairment. Crohn’s patients should use cannabis only for relieving pain and symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Reference:

  1. www.marijuanadoctors.com