Crohn’s disease can be painful and difficult to manage. Medications and treatments only manage symptoms, as there is no cure for the disease. However, a new treatment may be available to Crohn’s sufferers that is a little unorthodox. Medical marijuana, which has become legal in several states across America over the last few years, might be an option for Crohn’s disease patients to effectively mitigate symptoms and experience less pain. Many people already use medical marijuana for a variety of treatments, including cancer treatment and chemotherapy symptom relief.
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. This condition is chronic and has no cure. While Crohn’s disease is similar to irritable bowel syndrome, that condition targets a completely different part of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease can affect every part of the gastrointestinal tract, including the anus, the colon, and the bowels.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:
- Severe and consistent diarrhea
- Constipation and bowel obstruction
- Urgent bowel movements
- Pain in the abdomen, along with cramps
- Rectal bleeding
- The feeling that your bowels aren’t completely evacuated after going to the bathroom
In addition, Crohn’s disease patients may also experience weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and an irregular menstrual cycle. Because of these symptoms, many people who have Crohn’s disease suffer from chronic fatigue. The disease can lead to tears during bowel movements. This causes severe pain and bleeding around the anus.
Two Studies on Crohn’s and Cannabis
There are two formative studies on Crohn’s disease and medical cannabis use.
In 2011, Israeli researchers studied the therapeutic effects of cannabis with 30 Crohn’s disease patients. The researchers gave each patient cannabis to treat their Crohn’s disease symptoms. According to this study, 21 of these 30 patients improved significantly after taking medical marijuana. In addition, the use of cannabis reduced the patients’ needs for additional medication.
In 2013, researchers at Tel Aviv University continued this study with 21 patients with Crohn’s disease patients who did not respond to certain therapies. The results found that the use of cannabis produced significant benefits to 10 of these patients after only 8 weeks.
Benefits of Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana offers a variety of benefits to Crohn’s disease sufferers, as the research above suggests. According to a study at the Brigham Women’s Hospital Crohn’s and Colitis Center, patients said that marijuana reduced such Crohn’s symptoms as:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Lack of appetite
Further study is necessary to determine if marijuana has additional benefits for Crohn’s disease sufferers. However, the current research is promising.
Advanced Medical Associates doesn’t require a referral from your regular physician. We just want to see you enjoy the life-changing benefits of medical marijuana and will do whatever we can to help you through the application process.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at 419-474-4700 with any questions.