Treating Crohn’s Disease with Medical Marijuana
Since medical marijuana was legalized in 2016, thousands of Floridians have turned to the medicinal plant for symptom relief. Crohn’s disease is a severe form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, both of which are qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana recommendation in the state of Florida. If you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or IBS, take our online eligibility survey to pre-qualify for a recommendation today! At your in-person exam, one of our Florida marijuana doctors will determine whether or not you qualify for a recommendation.
What Exactly is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a disease that causes inflammation deep in the tissues of the digestive tract. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.” Inflammation of the digestive tract often leads to abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition, severe diarrhea, and weight loss. Crohn’s disease and IBS are both debilitating conditions that can often lead to life threatening conditions, if left untreated. Using marijuana as medicine is becoming a popular alternative to pharmaceutical drugs because it offers great medicinal benefits with fewer side effects. While everyone experiences the effects of medical marijuana, in general, Crohn’s disease and IBS can be managed successfully with medical marijuana. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 3 million adults over the age of 45 have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. This number does not include patients under 45, or children. Patients who have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are also more likely to develop other health complications such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), respiratory disease, cancer, arthritis, kidney disease and liver disease if not treated.
How Medical Marijuana Treats Crohn’s Disease and IBS
Marijuana is a plant containing over 70 known cannabinoids. The two most commonly known cannabinoids are Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). These cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors found naturally throughout the human body, known as the Endocannabinoid systems 1 and 2 (ECS1 & ECS 2). The ECS systems processes endogenous cannabinoids similar to THC and CBD called anandamide which is naturally produced by the human body and aids in the digestive processes. It helps the body regulate pain, mood, appetite, emotions, gastrointestinal (GI) motility, immune function, memory, stress response, and so much more. Cannabinoids are known to have a calming and therapeutic effect on the digestive tract in alleviating abdominal pain, loss of appetite and nausea. Patients who use medical marijuana to treat their Crohn’s disease have reported they feel relief and see improvement almost immediately. Cannabinoids can combat nausea, increase the appetite, and reduce pain. Crohn’s patients experience a tremendous amount of pain throughout their digestive tract. Medical marijuana is a natural pain reliever and a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals. In a study done in Canada, “Ninety-one percent of patients indicated improvement of IBD symptoms with cannabis use; 83.9% reported improved abdominal pain, 76.8% indicated improved abdominal cramping, 48.2% had improved joint pain, and 28.6% reported improved diarrhea. Patients also believed that cannabis improved their general well-being, stress level, and sense of control over IBD.”
How Should I Consume Medical Marijuana and What Strains Should I Use?
There are different ways Florida patients can consume medical marijuana. Once you’ve been approved for medical marijuana by your Florida MMJ doctor, you and your doctor will determine which method of consumption is best for you. Many patients have reported that the best results come from inhaling medical marijuana or through consuming medical marijuana oils.
Just as there are multiple ways to consume medical marijuana, there is also an endless variety of strains Florida medical marijuana patients can choose from to treat Crohn’s disease or IBS. Leafly is a great resource when it comes to finding specific strains best for alleviating certain symptoms. “Willie Nelson” for example, is a great strain for patients with Crohn’s disease because it is said to be good for increasing one’s appetite. “Chemo” is another great strain for combating Crohn’s and IBS related symptoms. This indica strain is specifically known for relieving severe chronic pain and stomach cramps, which are often experienced by patients with Crohn’s disease.
Ultimately, medical marijuana is a safe alternative to treating Crohn’s disease and IBS. In states where medical marijuana is available to qualifying patients, such as Florida, more and more people are seeking guidance on how to get relief through the medicinal plant. Since 2016, thousands of Florida patients have reported that use of medical marijuana successfully alleviates the pain that comes with having these intestinal disorders. If you’re suffering from Crohn’s disease or IBS, we can help. Visit us online or speak with a Patient Care Coordinator today at (888) 908.0143.