Medical Marijuana for IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
Crohn’s disease is a kind of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This chronic ailment leads to inflammation in areas of the digestive tract. Most Doctors are yet to get a full understanding of what causes Crohn’s disease, but many think that it’s due to a problem with the immune system.
Crohn’s disease has many symptoms which can vary considerably in type and severity, but these symptoms usually include; diarrhea, abdominal pain, and ramping, fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite and weight loss.
Crohn’s disease is a deteriorating-remitting ailment. This term refers to individuals who usually experience both periods of remission, and during this period they don’t experience any symptoms — also, the “flare-ups,” when their symptoms become severe. Currently, there is no cure for Crohn’s; therefore the treatment that is prescribed by the doctor is meant to relieve symptoms and keep a person in remission.
This article focuses on studies that determine whether medical marijuana can be a suitable treatment for Crohn’s disease. This article also focuses on some of the benefits, risks, and side effects that come from using medical marijuana.
Can medical marijuana treat Crohn’s?
There exist some anecdotal proof which suggests that medical marijuana, also called cannabis, can potentially relieve the inflammation that causes most of the symptoms related to Crohn’s disease.
But a 2018 systematic review conducted in 2018 showed that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that marijuana and marijuana oil are not harmful and useful for individuals who have severe Crohn’s disease.
The study detailed the results from three studies.
According to the initial study involving 21 people with active Crohn’s disease, each of them smoked one joint of either a marijuana cigarette or a placebo every day for eight weeks.
Individuals in the marijuana group had a high probability of achieving clinical remission in contrast to those in the placebo group. But individuals in the marijuana group also witnessed more side effects, such as sleepiness, nausea, memory loss, and confusion. The scientists considered these effects to be minor.
According to the second study, cannabis oil was compared with placebo oil in 22 people, and it was discovered that there was no difference in clinical remission rates.
According to the third study, scientists gave marijuana oil or a placebo to 50 individuals with active Crohn’s disease for eight weeks. It was discovered that cannabis oil resulted in better scores in quality of life and symptom severity in contrast to the placebo.
According to the authors of the systematic review, the quality of evidence in these trials was not sufficient enough. The authors also stated that there was a high probability of bias in both of the studies. The authors concluded that broader studies are essential to measuring the safety and effectiveness of marijuana for the treatment of people with Crohn’s disease.
How it works?
Medical marijuana consists of many different compounds such as cannabinoids, which makes the drug very useful. Cannabinoids function by responding with the body’s endocannabinoid system, and researchers believe that cannabinoids play a role in regulating many bodily processes including pain, mood, appetite, gastrointestinal motility, memory, emotion, stress response, and immune function.
In many countries including the United States, physicians prescribe medical marijuana for the treatment of different conditions and symptoms such as multiple sclerosis, seizures, and chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting.