According to a new study, endocannabinoids, which are molecules involved in our systems’ processing of cannabis, may have the capacity to control and prevent intestinal inflammation in mice.
While the research may not necessarily apply to individuals, it does provide light on why some cannabis users believe the medicine helps them control the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The term IBD refers to a group of diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, in which the immune system erroneously assaults the lining of the gut.
Millions of people worldwide are affected by these illnesses, and some have turned to marijuana, a drug with anti-inflammatory properties. Let’s examine whether using cannabis for gut health issues is a good idea.
Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD)
There is now a significant unmet need to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using traditional pharmaceutical treatments. Despite substantial improvements in disease severity, some patients have persistent clinical symptoms that negatively affect their quality of life. Patients have begun to seek alternative therapies (including cannabis) to help control persistent IBD symptoms (J.K., 2018).
According to cannabis use studies conducted among IBD patients in the United States and Canada, 15% to 20% use cannabis regularly, with up to 40% of people using cannabis to alleviate IBD symptoms. Also, according to these retrospective investigations, many IBD patients indicate that cannabis alleviates symptoms such as discomfort, hunger, and diarrhea. Patients were given cannabis orally as well as inhaled in these studies (J.K., 2018).
A performed short research that determine whether smoking cannabis might bring Crohn’s disease patients who had failed to react to steroids, immunomodulators, or anti-TNF medicines into complete remission. Clinical response was seen in ten patients aged in the cannabis group vs. four in ten in the placebo group. Three cannabis group members were able to wean themselves off of steroid usage. Those who used cannabis reported increased hunger and relaxation, as well as no significant side effects.
Contrary to popular belief, cannabis oil has been shown in the first study of its kind to reduce Crohn’s disease symptoms and improve patient care significantly, but it does not affect intestinal inflammation.
In this randomized, placebo-controlled trial, Israeli researchers discovered that cannabis might induce clinical remission in up to 65 percent of individuals after eight weeks of therapy. This improvement does not seem to be due to a reduction in the basic inflammatory process. The research team plans to look into the potential anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis in the treatment of IBD in the future.
Moreover, Irving and colleagues studied the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of once-daily oral CBD-4 percent THC. Adjuvant treatment for patients is confirmed ulcerative colitis (N=60) who received a steady dosage of mesalamine therapy for ten weeks. The CBD-rich extract was shown to be less acceptable than the placebo, and there were many protocol breaches throughout the study. Either group did not meet the primary goal of clinical remission. There were no differences in remission rates between the two groups (28 percent for the CBD-rich extract and 26 percent for the placebo) (28 percent for the CBD-rich extract and 26 percent for placebo). When CBD-rich extract was utilized, the per-protocol analysis revealed an improvement in patients’ overall perception of change and a tendency toward better quality-of-life ratings.
Other Gastrointestinal Symptoms And Disorders
In the medical world, the use of medicinal cannabis for pain relief is also a heated issue. Vaporized cannabis seems to improve the analgesic effects of opioids and cannabinoids, possibly lowering the opioid dosage required for chronic non-cancer patients (Lynch and Clark 2003; Abrams et al. 2011).
Those who suffer from nausea and vomiting may find it helpful, as well. In 28 trials, including 1,772 people with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, cannabis was shown to be superior to either an active comparator or a placebo in reducing nausea and vomiting (Whiting et al., 2015).
Unfortunately, treating irritable bowel syndrome is still a mystery. It seems to help with diarrhea and stomach discomfort in clinical trials, but further study is required.
Recommendations For Safety And Side Effects
Here are some instances of short-term adverse effects of using cannabis for gut health:
- The mouth feels parched
- Short-term memory impairment
- The motor skills of the elderly are diminishing
- Reaction times have decreased
- Pounding of the heart
- Too high or too low blood pressure
When often used over a long period, it can:
- Your lungs will be damaged, making breathing difficult (if smoked)
- Make you physically dependent on someone or addicted to something
- Affect your mental health
Remember to always utilize a vaporizer if you’ve determined that inhaling is the best method to prevent exposure to harmful chemicals produced by burning. As a consequence, long-term risks will be minimized.
Collaboration with a physician or nurse practitioner to develop a tailored treatment plan to improve a patient’s health and well-being – no two people need the same cannabis combination.
Understand the dangers and side effects of cannabis, as well as potential drug interactions, just like you would with any other medication.
Moreover, your health care practitioner will choose the finest cannabis products for you based on your GI condition, medical history, and current medications. For chronic disease, oral forms of cannabis are the best choice. However, if you want to use the inhaled forms, use a vaporizer to reduce your exposure to the toxic chemicals released by the burning. Through this, the long-term risks will be minimized.
Furthermore, patients should not use medicinal marijuana for the following reasons:
- Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (which is characterized by a history of substance abuse/drug trafficking)
- Previous mental health issues
- Psychosis runs in the family.
- Liver and heart disorders
You should see a doctor if you have any health problems, are taking cannabis for medical purposes, or are concerned about how cannabis impacts your health.
Despite a lack of high-quality data owing to restrictions, some study suggests that cannabis for gut health may help gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as severe nausea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and chronic pain. Nevertheless, talking to your doctor for the right dosage would still be best before taking any form of cannabis.