Cannabinoid Therapy For Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammation that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from locations such as the mouth to the anus, which is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms usually include:

  • Abdominal pain;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Fatigue;
  • Fever;
  • Malnutrition;
  • Weight loss.

The inflammation caused by Crohn's disease tends to spread to the deepest layers of the intestinal tissue, leading to acute pain, weakening and even in complicated cases threatening the patient's life. Several reports testify regarding the effectiveness of CBD oil to calm the aforementioned symptoms.

Crohn's Disease and The Role of CBD in Your TreatmentIt is estimated that within Europe more than 2 million people suffer from this disease, registering nearly 2,000 cases each year in Spanish territory. According to the estimates offered by the Annual Congress of the European Organization of Colitis and Crohn (ECCO), there has been an exponential growth in the number of cases in recent years, especially in younger people.

What Is Cannabinoid Therapy?

Cannabinoids are molecules found in Hemp plants. They have detected more than 110 cannabinoids, finding a very special one among them known as Cannabidiol or also called CBD. This molecule has been studied with enough intensity thanks to the amazing therapeutic effects it has. Not only is it able to activate and modulate our endocannabinoid system, it also has the ability to buffer and negate the effects of molecules such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the molecule responsible for the psychotropic activity of hemp.

"The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System in the last decade of the 20th century has provided us with the rational basis for understanding the therapeutic value of hemp and its components" Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D.

Integrating cannabinoid therapy for Crohn's disease may be feasible when it comes to food complements such as CBD oils and even in presentations with higher concentrations such as CBD capsules. On the other hand there are more sophisticated methods for this type of alternatives, which are usually much more expensive, in such a case, the most sensible thing is to go to a specialist in this topic to seek advice on the best plan of action. Among the results reported after the use of cannabinoid therapy are:

  • CBD neutralizes the side / side effects of medications (prescription anti-inflammatories) that seek to treat Crohn's disease.
  • CBD reduces pain, inflammation and nausea in patients with this disease.
  • A study in Israel published in the magazine “Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology” revealed that 45% of subjects experienced a "complete remission" of Crohn's symptoms after 8 weeks of treatment with cannabinoids.

Diet For Crohn´s Disease

Due to all the complications in Crohn's disease presents, patients must take special care with the type of food they eat, and above all, try to consume the right number of calories to maintain a healthy weight and muscle mass. Obviously, this is quite complicated due to the aforementioned symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no specific diet that is efficient enough for patients with this disease. The nutritional recommendations must be individualized, depending on the severity of the disease and the location of the possible affected areas.

The objective with a diet for Crohn's patients is to achieve a nutritional and caloric balance. Among the most suitable foods are recommended those easily digested such as almond milk, eggs, oatmeal, vegetable soup, salmon, avocado and peanut butter, to mention a few examples. With respect to nutritional supplements, CBD oils were mentioned above as an alternative to integrate cannabinoids in the diet.

CBD has the great potential to alleviate and ameliorate inflammatory syndromes in different disease models, including, of course, Crohn's disease. The mechanism of action of CBD oils is based on its ability to activate and modulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our Endocannabinoid System, responsible for regulating the anti-inflammatory and even anti-tumor response to external and internal stimuli. CBD oil has been shown to be a potential ally in patients with Crohn's because it not only relieves inflammation at the intestinal level, it also increases appetite, decreases chronic abdominal pain and provides the nutrients that could be missing in a balanced diet, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. This alternative gives hope to those patients who constantly have the worry and anxiety produced by the simple fact of consuming food, constantly wondering if what they are to consume will produce some kind of pain or unwanted effect.

"In Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome, cannabinoids activate CB1 and CB2 receptors, helping to relieve motility and inhibit stomach secretions that cause inflammation. They cause the functioning of the digestive system to improve considerably." Mara Gordon, M.D.

Gordon also points out that cannabinoids are not a cure, rather represent a very valuable utility for the treatment of a large number of diseases and are a powerful alternative for the well-being of patients.

In Summary

We could conclude that thanks to the discovery of our endocannabinoid system and the predominant presence of the CB1 receptor in the brain and central nervous system, cannabinoids such as CBD are designed to work together with our bodies to sustain the well-being and health of every subject, regardless of suffer or not a disease or acute chronic condition.

The action of Cannabidiol in CBD oil forms as a dietary supplement is to relieve inflammation and improve appetite in those with Crohn's disease, as a consequence, brings a mental well-being to these patients, giving them the hope of having a mentality clear and free them from the constant and frustrating worry of not knowing if a food will cause them some kind of damage or discomfort.

Please, visit Medical Hemp for more information on CBD research.

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  1. Hemp Finds Its Way into Treatment of Crohn's Disease, Schicho R., Storr M. Revista Pharmacology, 2014