Can Medical Marijuana work for Crohn's Disease?

By Simi July 19, 2013 2187 Views Leave a comment Go to comments

Can Medical Marijuana work for Crohn's Disease?If you have had a painful gastrointestinal disorder that has given you inflamed bowls or even cramps then medical marijuana may just be what can help you. It has been helping to treat diseases such as Crohn's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and colitis. Patients with these diseases have been able to receive relief from symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping, chronic pain, weight loss, and inflammation all due to medical marijuana.

Crohn's Disease is a disorder that causes intense, severe pain because of a chronic autoimmune inflammatory bowel. There is no known reason for Crohn's Disease at this time. It adversely affects the digestion, as well as is destructive to the intestines; although very rare it can be fatal. Crohn's Disease has been accepted as a debilitating disease for medical marijuana usage, and there over five hundred thousand people in the United States that have the disease.

The conventional immunosuppressive medicines used to treat Crohn's Disease sometimes cause the same or similar symptoms as the disease itself; medicines such as Mesalamine, Remicade, 6MP, Imurane, Methotrexate, and even steroids can cause these symptoms. The symptoms that these medicines may cause that mimic the disease are; abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. However, steroids can cause side effects of its very own such as adrenal dysfunction, glucose intolerance, bone thinning, and ulcers.

There have been studies that show encouraging results for gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, where using medical marijuana for treatment is concerned.

O'Shaughnessy's published a pilot study in 2005 showing that marijuana helped with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease a great deal. Patients at the Society of Cannabis Clinicians remarked that they had a decrease in fatigue, vomiting, depression and vomiting as well as increase in appetite. During the day they moved their bowels less frequently and didn’t need as much of their regular immunosuppressive medication either, thanks to the use of marijuana.

Yet another study in 2001 found that many GI disorders such as functional bowel diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases, gastric ulcers, secretory diarrhea, gastro-esophageal reflux conditions and the like including colon cancer, would benefit greatly from marijuana. 

CB1 receptors show up in both the brain and the GI system.  Animal Studies showed that these particular receptors, could delay gastric emptying and gastric acid secretion could be inhibited. CB1 receptors while present in both the Brain and GI system are mostly brain related while the CB2 receptors are mostly GI tract related.

Functions in the gastrointestinal tract biological functions are exerted by the activation of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors as published in the Journal of Endocrinology Investigation.

Cannabinoids which are contained in marijuana, activate the CB2 receptors these receptors are in abundance in the cells located outside of the brain, as well as in the GI tract lining. It is thought that the activation of this receptor decreases inflammation reduces pain and swelling in the GI tract. Beta-carophyllene is also located in marijuana and it also turns on the CB2 receptors.

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