Crohn’s disease is a form of Inflammatory Bowl Disease that affects the stomach and intestines of people. Crohn’s disease is the inflammation of the GI tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus, but is usually found at the end of the small intestine to the beginning of the large intestine (colon). It can be confused with ulcerative colitis which appears only in the large intestine, but it is not the same thing. Crohn’s disease also can have patches of good intestine between infected tissue, while ulcerative colitis is a continuous section of disease.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are painful and reoccurring. They include:
- Persistent Diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)
- Loss of appetite
- Weight Loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition. This means that there are times when the symptoms flare up and times when it appears to go away. Yet, the disease often lingers without being noticed. In severe conditions, Crohn’s can lead to tears in the lining of the intestines that can lead to serious problems.
Crohn’s and Cannabis
There are a variety of ways that medical marijuana can help with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Unlike other treatments, cannabis acts in multiple ways that sees the body as a single treatable factor, not multiple symptoms to take multiple medications for. Always consult your physician before changing any medications.
First, cannabis has an anti-inflammatory property (analgesic) that can help reduce the inflammation of the intestines. Cannabis also helps to increase appetite and help with weight loss that is part of the disease. Smoking cannabis also helps to combat the fatigue many Crohn’s patients experience.
Many patients use medical marijuana to help with the pain they have with Crohn’s disease. Some studies suggest that patients who use cannabis experience less pain than those who do not. In addition, patient experiences detail that cannabis also helps with diarrhea. Studies support the belief that cannabis may help reduce the secretions in the intestines that lead to diarrhea.
People who have used medical marijuana find they tend to live a higher quality of life. Not only may cannabis help with inflammation and other physical factors, but patient testimony reflects how they are able to use fewer steroids and other medications and experience fewer symptoms.
Crohn’s disease can cause serious problems and affects the everyday lives of individuals. Cannabis can offer solutions that can help people live better lives. Patients should always talk with their physicians to determine the treatment plan best for them.
For more information visit the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.