MMJ for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that can cause abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, severe diarrhea, fever, weight loss, fatigue, blood in one's stool, and malnutrition. The most common types of IBD include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. There's currently no cure for IBD, but treatments can reduce the disease's associated symptoms and even lead to remission. Research now shows cannabis can effectively relieve symptoms of pain, nausea, and diarrhea, and it encourages remission. 

Both THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, reduce nausea, and stimulate appetite. Because of this, cannabis can help manage the symptoms associated with IBD, and one study found that 17.6% of IBD patients already use marijuana to treat their symptoms. While this was also associated with a higher risk of surgery, 83.9% of patients who used cannabis reported improvements in abdominal pain, 76.8% felt improvements in abdominal cramping, 48.2% improved their joint pain, and 28.6% felt improvements in diarrhea. In another study, IBD patients who were treated with cannabis for three months felt improvements in their general health, social functioning, ability to work, physical pain and depression, and patients increased their BMI and weight. For Crohn's patients specifically, cannabis not only helped improve appetite and sleep, but also reduced patients' need for other medications. In one study, 10 or 11 Crohn's patients who received THC-rich cannabis felt significant benefits without side effects, and 5 of those 11 patients achieved complete remission.

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.