Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that affects over 80,000 Australians. By 2022, the number of people with Crohn’s disease is expected to rise to about 100,000.
This debilitating disease can affect different parts of your digestive tract, causing the inflammation to spread in the bowel wall and layers of your gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s disease often leads to complications such as bowel obstruction, ulcers, fistulas, anal fissure, or even life-threatening illnesses like colon cancer. By causing inflammation of the human digestive system, this painful condition can result in fatigue, severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, malnutrition, and weight loss.
While Crohn’s disease still has no cure, the symptoms can be reduced considerably with the right treatment option. There is a variety of therapies and medications that can decrease its symptoms, including anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and immune system suppressors. However, conventional treatments for Crohn’s disease do not always work. That is why many patients turn to alternative treatment options, such as those that include medical cannabis.
The causes of this illness remain unclear. While stress and diet have previously been suspected, it’s now known that these factors can worsen rather than causing Crohn’s disease. Experts believe that factors like a weak immune system and heredity can increase the chances of developing this condition. The risk factors may include family history, ethnicity, cigarette smoking, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and age. Most people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease develop symptoms before the age of 30.
Crohn’s disease symptoms develop gradually in most cases, however, they can come on abruptly sometimes. The most common symptoms include:
In more severe cases, patients may also experience inflammation of the bile ducts, liver, skin, eyes or joints. Many people suffering from Crohn’s Disease use medical cannabis to relieve their symptoms and make them less severe.
Crohn’s Disease is a painful condition. Medicinal marijuana can successfully replace pain relief medications thanks to its analgesic properties. Research shows that CBD and THC (chemical compounds found in cannabis) can relieve pain.
Aside from providing relief from abdominal pain, medical cannabis can reduce nausea, minimize diarrhea, and increase appetite. Besides, cannabis can help the body fight inflammation by interacting with cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that plays an important role in regulating multiple bodily processes, including memory, emotion, mood, appetite, gastrointestinal motility, and immune function.
It is important to point out that medical marijuana cannot treat Crohn’s. However, it can ease symptoms that accompany this long-term condition. There’s some evidence suggesting that cannabis can relieve physical pain and reduce inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease.
Treatments that involve medical cannabis can help people with this disease improve the quality of their life by achieving and maintaining symptom remission in a natural way. Even though most people don’t experience side effects, it is advisable to consult a doctor before starting to use cannabis for this purpose.