Medical Cannabis for Crohn’s Disease

Cannabis has many known health benefits that can help treat Crohn’s disease symptoms. Cannabis contains over 60 different compounds, many of which have properties that can be applied in a medicinal capacity. Two of the known compounds that provide health benefits are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that is responsible for delivering mind-altering effects. CBD is responsible for other health benefits like anxiety, pain and nausea relief.

Some of the cannabis health benefits that address Crohn’s disease effects and symptoms include:

Reducing inflammation through anti-inflammatory properties
Providing pain relief through analgesic effects
Lowering levels of anxiety
Suppressing nausea and vomiting
Increasing appetite
marijuana crohns studies
Researchers continue to examine the connection between cannabis and Crohn’s disease treatment. Numerous studies indicate cannabis is an effective way to alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Here are three separate studies that have yielded encouraging results for Crohn’s disease patients seeking alternative therapies:

1. Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease: O’Shaughnessy’s, a scientific journal, published a 2005 study, “Cannabis Alleviates Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease,” that reported that patients saw significant improvements with the use of cannabis. The study examined 12 questionnaires completed by Crohn’s disease patients. The participants were asked about their experience using cannabis on an ad-lib basis (at their own leisure). They described improvements or changes to their signs and symptoms by rating them on a scale from zero to ten. For each sign or symptoms evaluated, the patients described marked improvements in appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, depression, fatigue and activity levels.

2. Cannabis as a Treatment for Chronic Colonic Inflammation: In 2004, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published a study titled “The Endogenous Cannabinoid System Protects Against Colonic Inflammation.” It reported that medical marijuana is a powerful anti-inflammatory that “represents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of intestinal disease conditions characterized by excessive inflammatory responses.”

3. Cannabis Improves Disease Activity: In 2011, the Israel Medical Association Journal published a study conducted at the Meir Hospital and Kupat Holim Clinic. The study, “Treatment of Crohn’s Disease with Cannabis: An Observational Study,” examined 30 Crohn’s disease patients who consumed cannabis. All patients stated that they felt as though consuming cannabis decreased their disease activity. Twenty-one of the patients showed significant improvement in disease activity, including a reduction in symptoms and signs such as lowered frequency of bowel movements.

The study’s authors had several proposed explanations for the improvement, including the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabinoids as well as the general sense of well-being that consuming cannabis provides.

In another study conducted in 2013, subjects that were treated with medicinal cannabis found that their Crohn’s symptoms went into remission and even reported increased appetite compared to patients taking a placebo.