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Cannabis Leads To "Complete Remission" Of Crohn's Disease Without Side Effects, Says New Study

Cannabis Leads To "Complete Remission" Of Crohn's Disease Without Side Effects, Says New Study

The fight against painful symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has become a daily occurrence in many people. The term IBD covers inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.

The frequency of Crohn's disease varies by region. There are 120,000 people with this disease, which affects both genders.

Cannabis Leads To "Complete Remission" Of Crohn's Disease Without Side Effects, Says New Study

Crohn's disease

It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive system. It is mainly characterized by attacks of abdominal pain and diarrhea. In addition to the intestines, this inflammation also affects the joints, mouth, skin and eyes. But most often, it settles at the junction of the small intestine and the colon. However, this disease has an impact not only on the ability to work or exercise but also on quality of life and social activities in general. According to the doctors, it could be a defect of the intestinal mucosa caused by the lack of endogenous antibiotics.

The symptoms of Crohn's disease

The most common symptoms are: fever, fatigue, cramps, bloating, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, pain and tenderness. The diagnosis of IBD can be difficult to establish because it can affect many parts of the gastrointestinal tract, and not everyone has the same symptoms. As a result, their treatment is not easy, especially since patients must take various medications to fight inflammation, strengthen bones, destroy harmful intestinal bacteria, and take other vitamins.

New treatment for Crohn's disease by cannabis

Scientists have found another way to treat Crohn's disease and IBD. This is a treatment with Marijuana or Cannabis. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in the plant, is present in the leaves. However, it is more concentrated in the resin that produces the unfertilized female flower. The dosage is therefore measured in THC. Cannabis has often been used to combat the loss of appetite, to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and to relieve the pain caused by multiple sclerosis and cancer.

Cannabis acts as:

An anti-inflammatory: THC can activate the receptors of the gastrointestinal tract and thus participate in the reduction of chronic inflammation.

Antidiarrheal: The action of cannabinoids tends to slow down intestinal motility and decrease the secretion of fluids caused by inflammation, which soothes nausea and prevents vomiting and diarrhea.

Appetite stimulator: THC activates the ghrelin receptors (digestive hormone that stimulates appetite) and sends a signal that also passes through the brain-intestine axis and travels to the brain regions responsible for generating the feeling of hunger.

In October 2013, the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a 10-week study that estimated the effects of marijuana plant Cannabis sativa on symptoms of Crohn's disease and other IBD in patients. This study was conducted in a sample of 21 Crohn's patients, mean age 40, who had previously treated their IBD with steroids, immunomodulators, or anti-tumor agents, but to no avail. The participants were divided into two groups, and 11 of them were treated with cannabis with 115 mg of THC twice a day, and the others used cannabis without THC. 

As a result, 5 out of 11 participants in the THC cannabis group had a complete remission, their sleep and appetite improved, the frequency of their diarrhea was reduced and 3 of these patients were weaned from their steroid dependence.

The question that still remains a dilemma is to know the real effectiveness of cannabis beyond reducing the symptoms of inflammation, diarrhea and being an analgesic and an appetite stimulator.

However, it is still relevant to emphasize that cannabis provides relief without suffering the side effects as is the case with steroids. In addition, a consultation of the attending physician is essential, it is the only authority to prescribe a potential cannabis treatment, as well as a lifestyle and a healthy diet to relieve the symptoms of this disease.

Warnings :
It is inadvisable to consume cannabis in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, schizophrenia. Likewise, it may have an immunosuppressive effect.

THC can increase the effect of barbiturates, sedatives, hypnotics and antihistamines.

The taking of cannabis must be done under medical supervision and not in an illicit and self-medicating way.