Medical marijuana is moving into the mainstream in a huge way. Just last week four states voted to legalize medical cannabis. And there’s more widespread support for it than ever before. In fact, one recent study found that 89% of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis. But that’s not all. There’s also a ton of new research. And that’s helping us better understand how to tap into the medical properties of the plant. Crohn’s disease is one of the many conditions that cannabis can help treat. Firsthand accounts and science are both showing exactly how cannabis CBD treats Crohn’s disease.
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a specific type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). When you have Crohn’s disease, you’ve got long-term swelling and irritation in your gastrointestinal tract. That leads to all sorts of nasty stomach pains and cramps.
People with Crohn’s also experience persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, constipation, and a bunch of other super uncomfortable effects. There are currently 780,000 Americans who have the disorder.
CBD Treats Crohn’s Disease
CBD is a cannabinoid. These chemicals occur naturally in cannabis. And it turns out that cannabinoids—and especially CBD—bind to special receptors in your body. When this happens, CBD can help reduce pain, decrease swelling, and can affect things like mood, appetite, and physical sensation.
Fortunately, CBD treats Crohn’s disease, CBD can help limit the pain and swelling associated with the disorder. And by cutting those things out, it ultimately makes it easier to eat, maintain a healthy body weight, and live a comfortable life.
Personal Experiences With CBD And Crohn’s Disease
If you ask around, you’d probably find a lot of people who have found relief by using medical cannabis and CBD products. “Nothing compares to the constant abdominal pain I’ve felt some days from my disease,” said one Crohn’s disease patient.
“The pain and cramps have often been so bad that they literally have brought me to my knees in tears.” Unfortunately, his first attempts to treat the illness were unsuccessful.
He met with multiple doctors. At one point, he was taking 22 pills a day. He was even getting bi-monthly shots in his gut. But nothing gave him long-term or consistent relief—until he tried medical cannabis.
He eventually learned that the CBD in cannabis was giving him the relief that helped him live a pain-free life. So he started using CBD products.
“CBD has given me back a quality of life that years of debilitating pain and piles of prescription medications made me feel like I could never find again,” he said. “I have been able to stay off of all of my prescription medications, and still use CBD products almost every day.”
Science Says CBD Can Treat Crohn’s Disease
But we don’t have to rely only on personal experiences. Researchers are also learning more about how CBD can help treat Crohn’s disease.
A 2012 study looked at 13 patients with diagnosed IBD. They were given a three-month treatment of smokeable medical cannabis. At the end of the study, here’s what the researchers found:
“Three months’ treatment with inhaled cannabis improves quality of life measurements, disease activity index, and causes weight gain and rise in BMI in long-standing IBD patients.”
A year later, another group of researchers gave cannabis to a number of patients with Crohn’s disease. This study reached similar conclusions.
After 8 weeks of treatment, “cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits . . . compared with placebo, without side effects.”
And later that year, researchers published yet another paper about cannabis and Crohn’s disease. This one concluded that “the medicinal plant Cannabis sativa has lived up to expectations and proved to be highly efficient in cases of inflammatory bowel diseases” like Crohn’s.
The Final Hit
At this point, it seems pretty clear that cannabis can help treat Crohn’s disease. We see evidence of this coming from personal anecdotes and from researchers.
Most of the effects come from CBD. In particular, when CBD links up with your body’s cannabinoid receptors, it helps regulate pain and discomfort while helping to decrease inflammation and improve appetite. All of this combines to give Crohn’s patients an effective and safe form of treatment.
With all that said, however, there’s still more we need to know. That’s why one group of researchers pointed out that “the mechanisms involved are not yet clear.” And another group said that “further studies . . . are warranted.”
Hopefully, this additional research will happen now that medical cannabis has been so widely legalized. The more it moves into the mainstream, the more patients can benefit from it. At the same time, it will also make it easier for researchers to study.