Crohn’s Disease

Medical Marijuana and Crohn's Disease

Approximately 700,000 Americans live with Crohn’s, a painful and debilitating inflammatory bowel disease. Patients with Crohn’s disease report that medical cannabis alleviates their symptoms, making it possible to enjoy a more normal life.

Get a medical marijuana certification

Florida patients are eligible to receive a medical marijuana recommendation for Crohn's Disease.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the digestive tract, but often occurs at the end of the small intestine and in the bowel. Inflammation often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue, and can lead to serious complications such as intestinal blockages, ulcers, and fistulas.

Crohn’s disease is unpredictable. At times the symptoms are acute, and at other times the disease goes into remission and the symptoms disappear. When the inflammation flares up, the painful and debilitating symptoms make it difficult to maintain a regular daily routine.

No one knows the cause of Crohn’s disease. It affects men and women equally. Symptoms can show up at any age, but appear most commonly between the ages of 15 and 35. Heredity is a contributing factor – 20% of Crohn’s patients have a close relative with the disease. It is more common in industrialized countries and urban areas, suggesting that environmental triggers or a diet of refined foods might play a role. It could be that in susceptible people, the immune system overreacts to a virus or bacterium, and begins to attack cells in the digestive tract. Poor diet, stress, and smoking aggravate the inflammation.

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but therapies and medications can help control the symptoms and even produce a long-term submission.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe. They can come on suddenly without warning. When the disease flares up, they include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps, sometimes severe enough to cause nausea and vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Fatigue and fever
  • Weight loss and malnutrition
  • Blood in the stool

Researchers noted in 2011, that “A significant number of patients with IBD currently use marijuana. Most patients find it very helpful for symptom control, including patients with ulcerative colitis.”

Benefits of Medical Marijuana for Crohn’s Disease

Several small-group studies of Crohn’s disease and anecdotal evidence suggest that medical cannabis effectively reduces symptoms and limits inflammation in the digestive tract. Many patients reported that they experienced fewer symptoms, and began to gain weight and participate in social activities as a result.

The endocannabinoid system helps to regulate the immune system. Cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) exist throughout the digestive system and on immune cells. People with Crohn’s disease have very low levels of cannabinoids. Medical marijuana may replace the missing cannabinoids and interact with these receptors to prevent the immune cells from releasing inflammatory cells.

Get medical marijuana for Crohn’s Disease

Now Florida patients can use the alternative medical marijuana treatment to help with Crohn's Disease.

External Resources

Please click on the following links below to learn more about Crohn’s Disease.

Further Reading

Please click on the following links below to read more about Crohn’s Disease and medical marijuana.

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