Crohn’s disease, an auto-immune disease, is a type of inflammatory bowel condition that is estimated to affect over three million Americans. Those with Crohn’s disease can attest to the pain and discomfort caused by the condition. Considering that cannabis is frequently used to alleviate loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and similar symptoms in other conditions, many with Crohn’s disease are wondering if cannabis may be beneficial for them, too.
In fact, there is increasing evidence to suggest that cannabis may be able to relieve symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease and perhaps even treat the underlying disease. Below, Boston medical marijuana doctor discusses why patients with Crohn’s disease may find medical marijuana helpful, and explain why some cannabinoids, or types of medicine found in cannabis, may be more effective than others in treating their condition.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that usually, but not always, occurs in the small intestine or colon. Flares, or periods of time when symptoms worsen and then gradually disappear, are common, and for some, they can come on without warning. The severity of symptoms varies greatly between those affected with Crohn’s, but the most common symptoms of the condition include loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, and bloody stool. If you have any of these symptoms or suspect you have Crohn’s disease, please consult our Boston medical marijuana doctor for chronic conditions immediately.
How Is Crohn’s Disease Treated?
Treatments for Crohn’s disease generally involve both managing the symptoms associated with the condition and using medication to suppress the inappropriate immune reaction responsible for the disease. Generally, this includes diet management along with the use of over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol. Those with Crohn’s disease should avoid NSAID pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Advil. Additionally, those with Crohn’s disease should avoid foods rich in fat and foods that contain dairy as they may worsen gastrointestinal. Nutrition supplements are often useful in counteracting insufficient iron, calcium, and vitamin D absorption. Powerful medicines that help control the immune system, like Remicade, Methotrexate, or Humira are crucial to holding the inflammation at bay.
In certain cases, Crohn’s disease can result in complications like as fistulas, severe malnutrition, and bowel obstruction. In such cases, hospitalization is often required.
Using Medical Marijuana to Treat Crohn’s Disease
There is significant evidence to suggest that medical marijuana may be able to help alleviate common symptoms of Crohn’s disease. In fact, in 2018 the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation issued a notice expressing their support of cannabis as a promising treatment for those living with Crohn’s disease. This notice pointed to a clinical report referencing the benefits of cannabis in patients with Crohn’s and other types of inflammatory bowel disease. Although cannabis has shown to be beneficial in relieving the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, it is important not to discontinue one’s conventional medicine regimen. Cannabis cannot cure Crohn’s disease – there is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, but with proper medical guidance the condition can be managed. If you have Crohn’s disease and are wondering if you may find medical marijuana effective in reducing the symptoms of your condition, consider talking to a trained specialist about using about using cannabis in conjunction with your treatment plan.
Should People with Crohn’s Use THC or THC-A?
Even though certain cannabinoids like THC and CBD have become very well known recently, other cannabinoids, such as THC-A, have not gotten the proper recognition they deserve. THC-A, or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, is an acid form cannabinoid that is a very potent anti-inflammatory.
Studies conducted on mice and human tissue show that THC-A is 10-20x stronger than CBD as an anti-inflammatory, is safer, and is more abundant in cannabis. Those with Crohn’s and other auto-immune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus should certainly consider treatment with THC-A.
THC-A does not produce a high (psychoactive effects), which may be appealing to those who dislike or cannot tolerate the side effects of THC. THC-A is also readily available in raw cannabis – it is the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis. In fact, raw cannabis contains THC-A, not THC. Only when THC-A is heated does it convert to THC, undergoing a process known as decarboxylation.
Using THC-A in conjunction with conventional Crohn’s medications, medical marijuana doctor Jordan Tishler has been able to help many patients achieve remissions that were not possible using conventional regimens alone. Adding cannabis for symptom management is often needed as well, but not always.
Consult Trained Boston Medical Marijuana Specialist Jordan Tishler
Those who want to incorporate cannabis into their treatment plan for Crohn’s disease should consider consulting with a physician who has experience helping patients use medical marijuana. Jordan Tishler has spent years assisting patients with Crohn’s and other similar conditions with cannabis. Let Massachusetts medical marijuana doctor Jordan Tishler help you determine if medical cannabis is right for you. For more information, or to set up a consultation with my team at InhaleMD, call us at (617) 861-8519 today.