Medical Cannabis 4 Crohn's Disease

Which Type of Medical Cannabis Is Good for Crohn’s Disease?

The scientific evidence concerning medical marijuana remains elusive as of today. However, here’s what is known, a system in the brain that was discovered by a scientist about twenty years ago is known to respond to chemicals that are found in marijuana. The said system is called the endocannabinoid system. The discovery has made a sparked of interest to medical researchers and scientists in finding a specific chemical among hundreds of marijuana compounds that could target a particular condition. With that, scientific research and medical projects have spread out dramatically around the world.

Indeed, the endocannabinoid system is known to play a role in many functions of the body. Studies revealed that chemicals found in marijuana could significantly help someone in treating a condition. It has been indicated in several findings that medical marijuana can stimulate someone’s appetite, manage pain and can also be used as an alternative drug for a brain disorder.

There is a popular cannabinoid that is found and known to contain therapeutic effects that treat inflammatory bowel diseases- particularly Crohn’s disease. Growing talks concerning the potential of medical cannabis in dealing with the various condition are buzzing. Scientists have regarded cannabis with its anti-inflammatory properties to be beneficial for treating Crohn’s disease.

Today, let’s address concerns about which type of medical cannabis is suitable for Crohn’s disease. Stay on the page and learn more.        

Types Of Medical Cannabis That Suits Your Condition

The discovery of a body’s endocannabinoid system is the turning point in understanding how medical cannabis works for Crohn’s disease. Knowing that there are receptors found in the body that could respond to cannabis, it is interesting to know which type of medical marijuana is suitable for Crohn’s disease.  

Although cannabis has been found to have at least sixty compounds, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are the most active cannabinoids that are known. However, other cannabinoids that are not yet recognized might also have an equal potential effect.

CBD is an effective treatment for inflammation and pain, while THC is also known to combat nausea, vomiting, and depression. Both of these cannabinoids are beneficial in overall health. CBD and THC stimulate endocannabinoids receptors that have potential in healing various conditions.

CBD (Cannabidiol)

In the context of Crohn’s disease, CBD is known to treat the said condition by its anti-inflammatory and pain-relief properties. Cannabidiol itself has been found to be a very potent anti-inflammatory with its antioxidant properties. Not only that, but CBD is also known to have an anti-THC effect, that means, CBD alters the “high feeling” effects of THC. Furthermore, CBD has anti-motility effects. In a clinical study using rats, CBD can significantly reduce inflammatory hypermotility that is closely linked with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease.

With these findings, CBD works by interacting the body receptors- specifically CB2 receptors. It regulates the inflammatory process by controlling immune cells in releasing cytokine. Also, CBD supplementation may allow anandamide to release its natural anti-inflammatory effects and anti-motility (the ability of a fluid or an organism to get around). What is more beneficial in CBD to Chron’s Disease is that it only targets the inflamed area of the intestine and leaving healthy areas untouched.  

It may also work by influencing opioid receptors by activating them. As a result, it controls secretion and motility. Moreover, activating the said receptors blocks the contraction of the digestive tract which is known to facilitate digestion.

Hence, CBD can be consideredngood for Crohn’s disease with its promising therapeutic effects for inflammatory bowel disease. However, further research is still needed of its possible side effects. On the contrary, such findings are already encouraging that CBD can exert potentials in anti-inflammatory, anti-motility and analgesic effects that CBD can able to help a person who had been suffering from Crohn’s disease.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)

Like CBD, THC is also found to have an anti-inflammatory and anti-motility effect. Researchers have indicated that THC could reduce inflammation in the gut using a rat as a sample. It is also known to control diarrhea by binding body receptors, particularly CB2 receptors. It reduces cytokines including the proinflammatory cells that can inflame the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, it binds with the CB1 receptors of the enteric nervous system (a group of neurons in the gastrointestinal tract). It regulates the gastrointestinal tract which alleviates symptoms of the said condition such as diarrhea.

With the information above, THC and CBD can be a promising alternative treatment that can help a person with Crohn’s disease. Moreover, studies indicated that combining CBD and THC can work together to relieve symptoms.

CBD has clearly proven that it reduces gastrointestinal inflammation and other related symptoms that are closely associated with Crohn’s disease. With that, it is up to you to weigh the given evidence to determine which type of medical marijuana is good for your condition. Talk closely to your trusted healthcare provider. However, when you are thinking to include either of the two cannabinoids as part of your treatment, please do contact your doctor first. Get educated concerning medical cannabis and get well soon.   

Medical Cannabis for Crohn’s Disease

Cannabis sativa, or marijuana, is a type of herb that has hundreds of chemical compounds named cannabinoids. They still have branches of chemical content, and two of those are THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). The former is the psychoactive compound of the plant that gives the intoxicated feeling to the user, while CBD is the non-psychoactive content. Both of them have been reported to have medical benefits. It’s just that THC is more controversial than CBD.

Medical cannabis is known to be an effective treatment if used in moderation and the right dosage. Some of its benefits work to relieve severe pain and reduce inflammation from different conditions such as cancer, chronic illnesses, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and depression. Although there are pieces of evidence of its effectivity in the medical industry, federal law still prohibits its use because of its psychoactive effect to the brain.

Understanding Crohn’s Disease

According to a study, 780,000 Americans are known to have Crohn’s disease. For a better understanding of this condition, it belongs to the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) which cause abnormalities and malfunctions on the digestive tract. This type of condition may also lead to further complications such as colon cancer, fistulas, anal fissure, toxic megacolon, severe diarrhea, and malnutrition.

If you are a patient who has this disease, you might encounter symptoms like stomach pain, unexplainable weight loss, bloody stool due to infected intestines, inflammation of the eyes, and severe fever. Wandering how Crohn’s disease begins? Factors such as immune system activity, genes (heredity) (hygiene), and environment are some of the things that could trigger a flare-up of this illness.

However, gastroenterologists, or the specialists of the digestive tract, with the help of some scientists, conducted a clinical trial to treat the disease or cure it if possible. Medications come through the use of immunosuppressants, steroids, natural medicines and many other drugs that can be given as pills and injections.

One of the treatments that your doctor might suggest is to undergo a surgical operation to repair, or entirely remove, a part of your digestive tract. This appears to be necessary if your condition becomes harmful and cannot be cured by the medications listed above.

Thus, recent studies have posted a report regarding the use of medical cannabis for relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and preventing the distressing symptoms that Crohn’s could bring to the body.

The Use Of Medical Cannabis To Crohn’s Disease

Aside from the recreational use of cannabis, many people have been using it for almost centuries as a treatment to reduce pain and prevent symptoms due to various ailments. Cannabinoids, being the chemical compound of cannabis sativa, possesses anti-inflammatory properties that may help with chronic inflammatory diseases. It has been used to treat abdominal pains, anorexia, diarrhea, blockage of intestines due to inflammations, and even diabetes.

Meanwhile, scientists conducted a clinical trial in Israel. The intervention included 30 patients who suffer from Crohn’s disease and had become the subject of the analysis. Before proceeding to the said trial, they initiate medical examinations such as laboratory tests, blood tests, colonoscopy, biopsy, and general check-ups. These intend to know the condition, symptoms, and even determine whether the patients already went to any surgical operations before.

The clinical trial aims to develop and gather information about cannabis as a treatment for Crohn’s disease and whether it has a positive or adverse effect to the patients. As the process for the trial start, they gave 1-3 marijuana cigarettes daily as an average content to each patient. It lasts for about a couple of months, and after the tests, almost all the patients claimed to have a better quality of living upon using medical marijuana. According to them, it radically diminished severe pain and decreased the severity of their other symptoms.

Hence, there are 21 out of 30 patients who declared a major improvement. This includes a significant reduction of prescribed medicines due to the positive effect of cannabis in the treatment of their condition. Moreover, the results of the trial stated that cohorts had lessened the medication upon using marijuana, while the rest had completely stop using prescribed treatment for IBD. Lastly, chances of surgical operation to remove a part of the digestive system for some patients had been decreased. This was because of the numbers of daily bowel movements showed to be much lower than before.

Side Effects of Cannabis on Crohn’s Disease (Positive & Negative)

Even though several studies claimed the benefits of medical cannabis, side effects are still there. They just vary depending on the condition of the patient before they use the plant as a treatment.

There are two phases of side effects that medical cannabis could give to a patient who has Crohn’s disease. First are the short-term side effects. Due to its psychoactive compound, THC, it could provide a short-term memory problem, anxiety, paranoia, behavioral problems, panic, hallucinations, and lowered reaction time. However, all of them are still manageable and tend to just develop within 10-30 minutes after the cannabis had been taken. This could only happen if the dosage that a patient received were not appropriate to his or her condition.  

Then, the second phase of side effects that cannabis could bring includes a lower quality of satisfaction, increased heart rate, distorted perception of time and space, euphoria, calmness, and impaired coordination and concentration. However, the long-term side effects of cannabis on patients with Crohn’s disease still vary in how they make use of the plant.

Thus, the intake of large quantities of medical cannabis without any prescription from medical experts may lead to serious side effects such as the long-term ones. Remember that marijuana tends to affect the central nervous system of a patient who considered its use as a treatment.

Furthermore, Crohn’s disease is a severe condition that could lead to many serious complications. Besides, the use of cannabis is still illegal under federal law. This only means that your doctor’s prescription, medical examinations, and the law on your location are the things that you should consider before doing such actions.

Risk Factors for Crohn’s Disease: The Top 5 You Should Know

The World Health Organization claimed a risk factor as an attribute, exposure, or characteristic of an individual that may increase the likelihood of developing a disease and injury. Undeniably, there are such things that may contribute to the possibility of developing an illness, like in this case, in Crohn’s disease.

The Top Five Risk Factors for Crohn’s Disease: Things You Should Know

While the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is still unknown, stress and diet already topped the possibilities of developing this condition. In all honesty, any potential trigger-factor, as long as it makes sense, can become a possibility. For instance, research suggests that it’s a result of an interaction between several factors such as immune system malfunction response, environmental factors, genetics, lifestyle, and age. They are considered as such because they are more likely to play a role in its development.

1. Immune System Malfunction Response

Inflammation is the main characteristic of Crohn’s disease. It’s a result of the immune system fighting against invaders like bacteria, viruses, and others which the body sees as foreign. Hence, as it appears, this event may be normal at first. However, when the immune system fails to shut it off after resolving a supposedly existing problem, this may result in chronic inflammation. Hence, it’s a sign that may lead to Crohn’s disease.

Other studies show that the lining of the intestinal tract becomes really affected when there is excess inflammation. This interferes with the function of the immune system and eventually causes Crohn’s disease to develop. In a manner, it’s almost the same with other autoimmune disorders, and this is what makes the diagnosis a little complicated. On the other end, activation of the immune system due to attacks on certain protein and carbohydrate structures may invade the body’s tissue. Although this appears to be a small risk factor of this condition.

2. Diet Or Nutritional Factors

Diet seems to be the most common risk factor in developing Crohn’s disease. It’s manifested through the excessive consumption of animal fat, sugar, and linoleic acid. These are considered to be one major cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) where it also belongs. However, getting enough nutrition and having a proper diet may help patients to improve their condition. After all, in any situation, eating right is really beneficial.

3. Environmental Factors

Some environmental factors have been associated with Crohn’s disease. With a rising number of incidence, it appears that it becomes more common in both industrialized communities and urban areas. Statistics indicated that people who are living in northern climates are more likely at risk of this condition. This is believed to be due to pollution and stressors to the immune system. Hence, even a western diet may give a great impact on a person’s health. The products are local, after all. Moreover, researchers discovered that when particular genes interact with a certain thing from the environment, such risk also increases.

4. Hereditary Factors

Experts are convinced that genetics plays a significant role in developing Crohn’s disease. As per Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, people who usually develop it has a first-degree relative having the same condition. Additionally, five to twenty percent of people with Crohn’s disease is perceived to be caused by genetic-related factors. As for the geological location, it is more likely common in people of Northern Europe, as well as Anglo-Saxon descents. It also occurs much less in southern and central Europe as well as in South America, Africa, and Asia. With these findings, they conclude that heredity may contribute as a risk factor.

5. Smoking Cigarettes

Research suggests that people who severely smoke are more prone to develop Crohn’s disease than those people who do not smoke. This is due to the interaction between the immune system and smoking, together with various factors such as environmental factors and hereditary factors. Furthermore, when you already have it and still smoke, you will be at constant risk. Hence, medication can be challenging to the point that it may require surgery.  

The Bottom Line

Generally speaking, the listed factors are all just possibilities in developing Crohn’s disease. Being exposed to them is not really guaranteed that you’ll develop this condition. However, it’d be best if you could at least avoid increasing your risk by considering them. Although of course, you can argue that not all of them are really avoidable. After all, your immune response, diet, environment, and genes can be difficult to determine. Bad habits like smoking cigarettes is a different story though as you can easily let go of it if you may.

Nevertheless, if it happens that you already developed this condition, please do visit your doctor as soon as possible. Seek your physician’s advice and get well soon. The help can really start from yourself you know. Being willing to be treated is only a step you can just take and no one else. If you wish to better, then that’s good for you. It’d even be best if you receive support from people you care the most like your family or friends.

Although if you think that you don’t have any of them, you should realize that it’s not just you who could suffer from this condition. In fact, there are many other individuals out there whose case is even worse. For all you know, the only thing that’s keeping them to hold on is the fact that they wanted to recover. You can always do the same.

Foods That You Should Not Eat When Having Crohn’s Disease

Being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease is not a fun fact to know. It is an illness that could stop you from doing activities, prevents you from eating your favorite foods, and can even change your whole world.

Crohn’s disease is a disorder of the digestive tract that can cause loss of appetite, diarrhea, and even lead to many other complications. So, you must go and visit a doctor to treat it right away.  

Factors for Having Crohn’s Disease

If you are a patient diagnosed with this illness, your physician might suggest to you a long rest to compensate for the fatigue that you may encounter during the medication process.

Some factors of having Crohn’s disease require you to undergo a lot of medical examinations such as laboratory tests, x-rays, colonoscopy, and even biopsy. They may help doctors to know the condition of your illness and your body. Then, the medical team might give you the list of the foods and beverages you should and should not eat.

Even your daily routine can be affected because of the pains you might experience. These include muscle pain, back pain, stomach pain, and a lot more that Crohn’s could give to your body. The environment where you’re living will be not as enjoyable as before, as things will never be the same again. Hospital visitations will be more often, sports and travel will partly diminish on your bucket list.

Your doctor will strictly prohibit junk foods, beers, and fast foods favorites such as burgers, fries, and other fried ones. Then, if your disease continues to flare-up, there is a big possibility that you are going to be hospitalized for more intense observations and medications. Solid foods may be one of the things that you will miss because it’s possible that you’ll only be fed and nourished through feeding tubes.

Additionally, there is a medical process that you may encounter, like surgery, to remove or repair some part of your digestive system. Blood testings will be done every other day to make sure that the medicines really work well on fighting against your symptoms.

Diet That You Should Consider

Food choice is a big factor during the treatment process. Every meal you take may either add up to the nutrients of your body or worsen your condition. A good diet choice contributes to your healing process as a Crohn’s disease patient.

There are foods that you should avoid such as processed and red meat, dairy products, fiber-rich products, alcohol, caffeine, and food that can cause gas. However, there are still some foods under the categories listed above that you can eat. Although you can only have them with a specific condition.

Maintaining well-balanced nutrition and diet for your body is the goal of this article. Consider talking to your physician about the list of foods you may or may not have.

Foods to Eat and Not to Eat

Upon the process of treatment for your disease, even if you are confined inside a hospital or taking a good rest at your home, there are still foods and things you shall avoid. This article aims to give you information and throw all the confusions out of your mind regarding the foods you are allowed and not allowed to eat.

If you are a dairy-lover but have Crohn’s disease, you can have products with a low content of lactose like cheddar cheese, probiotic yogurt, and whey protein. This helps to prevent nutrient deficiency and balance the vitamins like calcium, protein, vitamin A, D, potassium, and phosphorus.

Then, if you are one of those veggie-lovers but not allowed to eat food that is high in fiber, you may consider having a restricted-fiber diet. This type of diet aims to maintain the vitamins that your body needs even though you are in medication for treating Crohn’s disease. Low-fiber products include white bread, plain white pasta, crackers, white rice, vegetables, and fruits without pulp and are well-cooked, eggs and tofu.

For your beverages, you can consider drinking a lot of water and liquids. Flavored drinks are fine as long as caffeine is not included. Even though you have Crohn’s disease, you should always eat often and take plenty of water for your body to balance everything. Hence, you need proper supervision from a medical expert concerning the nutrients that you need to have.

Vitamins and Nutrients For Crohn’s Disease Patients

While in medication, you are not allowed to eat many foods unlike before. That means, your body is not getting the right nutrients that it must have.

Here is a list of some vitamins and nutrients that you can have during the treatment:

Calcium

Medications for Crohn’s disease include steroids. This kind of drugs can lessen the strength of your bones. There are findings that many patients with this kind of illness frequently encounters calcium deficiency as their body is not absorbing all the nutrients from the food they take. Thus, you can still get calcium without worsening your symptoms by means of low-lactose products.

Vitamin B12

This type of vitamin can be given through shots or pills if you have done surgery to repair and remove some part of the lower layer of your small intestine. Foods like beef liver, seafood, and chicken may not be adequate at all.

Iron

One of the complications that Crohn’s can cause to your body is the continuous bleeding of the intestine which may lead to anemia. This is why you need to regain blood and take Iron supplements to fight and prevent any other complications due to the vast loss of blood.

Folic Acid

During the treatment for your illness, you might encounter the medications like methotrexate. This type of drug can drastically lower the folic level of your body and can cause deficiencies. Foods such as bananas, papaya, chicken, avocado, beef liver, and seafood are some source of folic acid that you can take.

However, taking any of those foods and vitamins must depend on the condition of your disease. Your doctor’s prescription upon the treatment process is a must to consider.

What Does It Mean to Have Crohn’s Disease?

Benjamin King, a Disney channel star, called Crohn’s disease as a “hidden condition.” He describes it as “…like a broken arm that people can see the cast…but it is a condition that affects your digestive system.” He also added that “They don’t even realize the struggles that a patient has unless they come out and say something about it.” His statement only suggests Crohn’s disease as something not visible outside the body that can be seen by the naked eye.

Many individuals have suffered from it in silence. This may be because they don’t want to give more burden to their loved ones. However, because of this, diagnosis is not properly administered. Hence, it’d sure help if they finally got the courage to tell a doctor about their condition so that they can start with a treatment plan.

You see, understanding what your condition really is the best way to start living; despite being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. For all you know, it might be the healthiest decision that you can make. Don’t keep the pain inside you that can be caused by chronic inflammation. Instead, tell your doctor everything you feel that concerns your condition.

Understanding What It Means to Have Crohn’s Disease

The name Crohn’s comes from Burrill Crohn, the very first American gastroenterologist who described it in 1932. It is one of the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that affects the small and large intestines or the entire digestive system. It is primarily characterized by chronic inflammation. Hence, in some cases, it also affects the eyes, skin, and joints. Having it means that you experience chronic symptoms frequently.

Crohn’s disease is commonly diagnosed among teens, but it can also come at any point in one’s life. While it’s usually recurrent and severe, it can still cause minimal symptoms which can be managed with or even without medication. Furthermore, having it means that the body’s immune system and gastrointestinal system (bowel) are involved in attacks and damage.

When medical experts have indicated that Crohn’s disease as chronic, they mean that the condition is long-term. It hinders the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Also, it affects your ability to digest food as well as gets rid of waste. Besides, it may involve any part of the gut. Although the most commonly affected is the last part of the small intestine which is the ileum.          

As mentioned earlier, inflammation is the main characteristic of this condition. For this reason, you might experience some symptoms such as diarrhea, urgent bowel movement, bleeding rectum, trouble with bowel movement, abdomen pain, belly cramps, tiredness, and weight loss. In addition, this condition may come in any form which can affect you in many ways.

This only shows that it’s Crohn colitis if it involves the large intestine (colon), and it’s  Crohn’s enteritis if it’s your small intestine. Hence, when it’s both of them that are involved, it is called Crohn’s enterocolitis.

A Life After Diagnosis: A Right Perspective Toward Crohn’s Disease

After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the next step is to deal with some aspect of the condition including treatment and medication. Thus, it is beneficial for you to stay connected to your family, friends, and trusted healthcare provider. It’s for promoting faster recovery and further understanding of your condition. After all, it will be more motivating to have their support.

Treatment and management of this condition may require an integrated approach. This includes coordination between patients and healthcare providers for effective results. Also, enough knowledge of Crohn’s disease can be a tool to address it from the moment of diagnosis to the administration of appropriate medication.       

The possibility of having flare-ups can be life-interfering. They can make you refuse to socialize, travel or do stuff that you usually enjoy. However, planning it ahead of time can be a big help for you to feel more comfortable and less anxious. Hence, knowing what to expect from this condition can help a lot. Having the right perspective can even give you a proper mindset about medication. Wherein, they could help you improve your health while in treatment.

Proper diagnosis, medication, understanding, and perspective of this condition would be beneficial for faster recovery. After all, many individuals who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease were able to continue living. While in medication, they could still keep going to work, school, and enjoy a social life.

Medical experts said that when you are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it doesn’t mean that you will now stop from being productive. You can still recover by helping yourself through the support of your loved ones and under your doctor’s supervision.  

All of these serve as just a reminder to you to be true to yourself. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you are diagnosed with this condition. Seek support from your family, friends, and doctor. If you know a person who had been suffering from it, you can share your situation to him or her so that you may be able to gain more knowledge about the disease. With that, you can deal with it more easily. Educate yourself concerning Crohn’s disease, consult your doctor immediately and get well soon.