Crohn’s Disease is a miserable illness that has the ability to disrupt a patient’s daily routine and severely impact quality of life. Conventional treatment options only go so far in treating Crohn’s Disease symptoms, as well, and usually include equally unpleasant side effects that further complicate the issue.
Fortunately, Crohn’s Disease sufferers find relief in cannabis, citing the herb’s anti-inflammatory and healing properties as the mechanism beyond its effectiveness. Find out how cannabis can alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease and improve the health and quality of life of patients.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is on the irritable bowel disease spectrum, though the exact cause remains unknown. Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract is a contributing factor, regardless of whether the symptoms originate in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. The most commonly affected area of the gastrointestinal tract is the ileum, which is the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the colon.
The predominant theory is that Crohn’s Disease comes from genetic irregularities that compromise the immune system, which are then triggered by environmental factors. Recent research has shown that a dysbiosis of bacteria in the gut plays a major role in the disease, however.
The symptoms of Crohn’s Disease vary according to its location, but the most common symptoms include:
- Severe abdominal pain.
- Severe diarrhea.
- Bloody stool.
- Wasting, or the inability to maintain weight from improper nutrient absorption.
Regardless of the location or severity, any of these symptoms can cause significant disruptions and discomfort, as well as put a patient at a higher risk for related cancers and further complications.
Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease
Though there’s still much to be learned about this illness, inflammation is a contributing factor and leads to some of the worst symptoms. If the gastrointestinal tract is chronically inflamed, it causes abdominal pain, bowel symptoms and a malabsorption of nutrients that can impact overall health.
Currently, the most common conventional treatment for Crohn’s Disease is immunosuppressant drugs that work to reduce inflammation by suppressing the body’s immune response and preventing it from continually attacking the gastrointestinal tract.
This mechanism is exactly where cannabis can help, since cannabinoids have immunomodulatory effects. These compounds prevent the immune system from releasing the inflammatory proteins, along with triggering anti-inflammatory compounds to reduce the damage.
Cannabis also helps Crohn’s Disease sufferers by engaging the endocannabinoid system, which is a series of cell receptors, related molecules and proteins that interact with these molecules. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the gastrointestinal tract, which is where most of the body’s immune system lives, showing that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in healthy immune function.
Patients with irritable bowel disease not only produce fewer endocannabinoids, but they also show signs that cannabinoid receptors are upregulated, which is a sign that the body is actively searching for more cannabinoid input. In both of these cases, the activation of the endocannabinoid system from cannabis use can help sufferers find relief.
Find Relief for Crohn’s Disease at Euphoria Wellness
There’s little doubt that cannabis holds promise as a Crohn’s Disease treatment, especially for sufferers not responding to conventional treatment options. If you want to learn more about how Crohn’s Disease sufferers find relief in cannabis, visit Euphoria Wellness. Our experienced staff members will be happy to guide you through your options and help you learn more about this treatment option. Call or stop by today with your Maryland medical marijuana card and browse our menu!