How Can Medical Marijuana Help Those Suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?

How Can Medical Marijuana Help Those Suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Inflammatory bowel diseases affect 1.6 million Americans and includes a number of disorders. Crohn’s disease is one of the qualifying conditions for a Florida medical marijuana card and falls under the category of inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflammation and pain can be intense with these disorders and the human internal endocannabinoid system is one of the bodies natural ways of reducing inflammation. When a patient mixes in medical marijuana into their system, the cannabinoids can help the body reduce the inflammation and pain. Have you researched whether Florida medical marijuana can help you? Click here to find out more about Florida’s medical marijuana program.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a broad term that describes conditions with chronic or recurring immune response and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.”

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that is limited to the large bowel (the colon)… The first symptom of ulcerative colitis is a progressive loosening of the stool. The stool is generally bloody and may be associated with cramping abdominal pain and severe urgency to have a bowel movement… Loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss are common, as is fatigue.”

Crohn’s disease is a condition of chronic inflammation potentially involving any location of the gastrointestinal tract, but it frequently affects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the large bowel… Symptoms include persistent diarrhea (loose, watery, or frequent bowel movements), cramping abdominal pain, fever, and, at times, rectal bleeding… Two-thirds to three-quarters of patients with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point during their lives.”

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Patient Education Committee stated the following in the Jan. 2012 “CCFA Medical Position Statement on Medical Marijuana,” emailed to ProCon.org on Mar. 4, 2013:

“Experimental evidence suggests that endocannabanoids, molecules found in the body that closely resemble compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, may play a role in limiting intestinal inflammation. IBD patients have been found to have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in their colonic tissue. Several small studies have shown that a significant proportion of patients with IBD report smoking marijuana to relieve IBD-related symptoms, particularly those patients with a history of abdominal surgery, chronic abdominal pain, and/or a low quality of life index. However, the medicinal use of marijuana is limited by potential side effects, the risk of smoking, and the lack of direct scientific evidence of clinical effectiveness for intestinal inflammation.

The CCFA does not endorse the smoking of marijuana by IBD patients, any current state-based medical marijuana programs, or the legalization of marijuana. The CCFA does support the calls by the various health organizations urging review of marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance, with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and the potential development of cannabanoid-based medications.”

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