Medical Marijuana for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can be a very painful and debilitating disease for patients who suffer from it. Symptoms of Crohn’s include, but are not limited to: diarrhea, fatigue, fever, blood in stool, abdominal pain or cramping, mouth sores, reduced appetite, weight loss, pain or drainage near or around the anus, inflammation of eyes, skin, joints, liver or bile ducts, and delayed growth or sexual development in kids.  Currently, there is no known cure for the disease, but therapies have shown they can be effective in reducing signs and symptoms, even to the point of long-term remission.

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

Medical Marijuana for Crohn's Disease FloridaThere are many theories as to what can cause Crohn’s, but nothing is absolutely certain as to the official origin of the disease. It is the product of complications that arise from the body’s natural immune response to microbes in the gastrointestinal tract. The three main theorized causes of Crohn’s disease are immunodeficiency, genetics, and environmental factors. First off, the body’s immune response normally protects your digestive tract against harmful microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, not all microorganisms are harmful, and some people’s immunoresponse will fight the helpful gut microbes or their immune system doesn’t know when to stop fighting and inflammation can occur. If the inflammation lingers, ulcers and other injuries to the intestines can occur, and Chrohn’s disease can occur. Genetics may play a role in Chron’s disease as well. Parents, brothers, sisters, and children of people who suffer from Crohn’s are marginally more likely to suffer from the disease themselves at some point in their life. About 10%-20% of people with Crohn’s disease have at least one other family member also suffering from it. It is also more prevalent in Jewish and Caucasian demographics. Lastly, industrialized and urban areas (especially in northern climates) have shown to have a higher susceptibility to the disease. This suggests that factors such as pollution, stress, diet and lifestyle may have a role in the onset of Crohn’s disease as well.

Medical Marijuana as a Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

When the gastrointestinal tract remains inflamed for a long period of time, the body is unable to absorb nutrients properly. Most conventional medications seek to suppress the immune system in order to stop it from attacking the gut. A 2016 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicates that this is where medical marijuana can play a different, more effective role in treating Crohn’s disease. Cannabinoids, found in marijuana, have what is called an immunomodulatory effect on the immune system. These cannabinoids will prevent the body from releasing proinflammatory proteins, and will trigger the release of anti-inflammatory compounds as an alternative. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the GI tract, and are specifically found on immune cells. Studies have shown that people with irritable bowel or Crohn’s disease produce less endocannabinoids (the body’s natural version of THC), and that there is quite likely a link between the two. Marijuana has shown to be an effective therapy in suppressing Crohn’s disease as a result.

Medical cannabis is becoming more and more popular as a treatment for many diseases including Crohn’s disease. If you are suffering from the terrible disease call our office in Tampa, Hudson, Beverly Hills, FL or click here so that we can get you the compassionate care you deserve, and help you take back your life.