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Cannabis Treatment for Crohn's Disease

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

By Dr. Ashok Khanna & Deven Khanna

Crohn’s Disease:

Crohn’s disease is a well known inflammatory bowel disease otherwise known as IBD. Crohn’s disease can create a wise array of symptoms, these include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and even debilitating anemia. The general cause of Crohn’s disease has not been found yet. Statistically, it can be seen that Crohn’s disease is more prevalent in North America and Europe than any other parts of the world affecting 3.2 per 1000 people. Crohn’s disease costs the United States $2.7 billion every year, with the average cost per patient per year at $7,948.

Since the 1970s more and more people have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, especially prevalent in developed nations. General statistics about the disease also show that it affects men and women equally. Standard medications to help treat Crohn’s disease can involve, antibiotics, aminosalicylate anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids, many of these forms of treatment are short-term and can cause excessive damage to the body if used longterm. After years of research, epidemiologic data and human therapy studies are beginning to point towards a new possible treatment for Crohn’s disease otherwise known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This treatment involves the Cannabis Sativa plant. Various studies have shown that using Sativa, can effect the endocannabinoid system, therefore has shown to have a role in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease.

After many trials of this treatment, it was shown that the use of Medical Marijuana aids in the successful management of diarrhea, poor appetite, weight loss, nausea, joint pain, cramping, and abdominal pain. Marijuana is typically generalized into two compounds, THC and CBD, which have both been known to have their own health benefits. However, for Crohn’s disease, THC has shown to improve inflammatory bowl disease pathophysiology , by decreasing neuropathic pain, as well as stimulating the Cerebellum, thus resulting in improved appetite, improved pain control, and decreased nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, THC has shown to improve symptoms of Crohn’s disease by, stimulating the Cerebellum and aiding in the maintenance of intestinal homeostasis.

Study: W, Katz S. Therapeutic Use of Cannabis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2016;12(11):668-679.

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