Can Medical Marijuana Improve Crohn’s Disease Symptoms?
Studies have found benefits and risks to using cannabis for Crohn’s disease. Here’s what you should know before you give it a try.
With medical marijuana now legal in a large number of states, many people with Crohn's disease may be wondering if they should give it a try. After all, this drug is often touted for its ability to relieve both pain and anxiety — both of which are common in Crohn’s, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.
A large body of research points to potentially therapeutic substances in marijuana that could help with Crohn’s symptoms, and some studies have even found a direct link between marijuana use and certain benefits in people with Crohn’s. But many experts still urge caution.
"There really isn't data to tell us that it’s effective for Crohn's disease," says Mark Gerich, MD, a gastroenterologist and the clinical director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at the University of Colorado in Aurora. That means that while using marijuana may improve your appetite or reduce your perception of pain, there's no clear evidence that it actually reduces the gut inflammation at the core of the disease, he says.
What’s more, using marijuana has been associated with certain worse outcomes in people with Crohn’s disease. So before using this drug, it’s important to understand its potential risks and benefits to the best of your ability. Here’s what you should know about marijuana and Crohn’s.
The Benefits of Marijuana for Crohn’s Disease
Cannabis or marijuana (aka pot or weed) is a group of plants that can be used medicinally in a number of ways, including smoking, ingesting edibles, using a vaporizer (vaping), and applying topically. While cannabis contains nearly 500 chemicals, the best known ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), according to a review published in the March 2019 issue of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
There have been a few studies of marijuana in people with Crohn’s disease in recent years. But because different studies have looked at different doses of different chemicals from the plant, it’s hard to draw firm conclusions about how this drug may or may not help with Crohn’s management.
In one review of three different studies, published in November 2018 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the authors found that overall, the effects of marijuana on Crohn’s disease were unclear or mixed. Some beneficial effects were found in individual studies, such as a greater likelihood of reduced Crohn’s disease activity in people who smoked marijuana containing THC compared with those who smoked a version with the THC removed. But certain risks also emerged from the three studies, such as a higher likelihood of sleepiness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating among marijuana users.
Some other studies have simply looked at people with Crohn’s disease who already use or don’t use marijuana, instead of randomly assigning participants to be in one group or the other. One such study, published in October 2019 in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, compared hundreds of otherwise similar marijuana users and nonusers with Crohn’s disease between 2012 and 2014. It found that marijuana users were less likely to have active fistulizing disease or an intra-abdominal abscess, or to require a blood product transfusion, parenteral nutrition, or a colectomy.
But a larger study with a similar design, published in June 2019 in the journal Annals of Translational Medicine, had more mixed results. It found that while cannabis users with Crohn’s disease had lower risks for colorectal cancer, anemia, and needing parenteral nutrition, rates of active fistulizing disease or intra-abdominal abscess formation were actually higher in this group.
The Risks of Marijuana for Crohn’s Disease
Most studies on marijuana and Crohn’s disease have had major flaws, such as a small number of participants or a brief follow-up period, according to Waseem Ahmed, MD, who coauthored a review article on the topic — published in November 2016 in the journal Gastroenterology & Hepatology — as a resident in internal medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
What’s more, marijuana use also comes with certain risks. For one, its symptom-soothing effects may actually mask ongoing inflammation in Crohn’s disease, making people think their disease is in remission when it's not, according to the article by Dr. Ahmed.
And a study published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases found that using marijuana for more than six months at a time to help with symptoms was a strong predictor of needing surgery in people with Crohn's disease. Of course, it’s possible that people with worse symptoms and more advanced disease were more likely to use marijuana, so this doesn’t mean the marijuana contributed to the risk of needing surgery.
Marijuana use also carries risks of dependence, psychosis, and — with long-term use — neurocognitive impairment, says Ahmed. He therefore suggests considering it to help control pain or other Crohn’s symptoms only if you don’t respond well to other types of treatment.
Obtaining Medical Marijuana to Treat Crohn’s Disease
Even if you might be inclined to try marijuana for your Crohn’s disease, you may face legal or logistical barriers in acquiring it depending on where you live in the United States. In a November 2018 statement, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation warned that both patients and healthcare providers “need to be aware of the unique state laws pertaining to prescribing and use of cannabis,” and that your employer’s policy regarding marijuana use should also be a consideration.
As of October 2019, 33 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have comprehensive medical marijuana programs — but each program works differently. You can find out whether your state or territory has such a program, along with certain details about how each specific program works, at the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
Ultimately, though, your best resource for discussing the medical and practical reasons for and against using marijuana for your Crohn’s disease is likely to be your doctor. If you think cannabis might be an option worth considering, bring up the topic at your next appointment.
Swissx CBD Products Can Help Treat Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
CBD has garnered widespread recognition in recent years for its ability to treat numerous chronic health issues. One of the leading conditions that the cannabinoid has been known to relieve is crohn’s disease. Patients can now find solace in taking Swissx’s unique blend of CBD plants to help treat their crohn’s disease symptoms.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It most commonly occurs in the small intestine and the colon, but it can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Its symptoms vary and can change over time, and include diarrhea, increase in frequency of bowel movements, abdominal cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever and fatigue.
CBD acts as a therapeutic treatment by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates cardiovascular, nervous and immune system functions. CBD also binds to and activates receptors in the brain that create a therapeutic effect in the body, which helps users find relief from painful symptoms of bipolar disorder, without feeling impaired. CBD is also a known antimicrobial and antioxidant.
Using Swissx CBD to treat crohn’s disease doesn’t lead to adverse health effects. In an assessment on CBD, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted that CBD is generally well tolerated, and doesn’t show any indicators of potential for abuse or dependence.
One of the most highly effective forms of CBD to use in order to help treat symptoms of crohn’s disease is hemp oil, of which Swissx sells several forms. One such product is the OG Skywalker Blend CBD Gold Label oil, which is sold in one gram syringes. Swissx’s Gold Label is considered to be a part of the upper elite of the available CBD oils, as it contains a CBD share of 50% and 3% THC. Swissx Gold Label CBD Oil, which is made in accordance to legal measures, is being sold in glass syringes for $50. (Note that due to its highly potency, consumers shouldn’t use more than the suggested amount.)
For people who prefer not to use syringes, Wingra Farms Hemp Extract Tincture is one of Swissx’s most popular, affordable hemp oil drops. The product, which is made from 100% American-grown hemp, are approved by Swissx’s labs. The drops combine all-natural peppermint flavor with the company’s proprietary fast absorption technology to deliver the safest and most effective benefits of CBD.
One of Swissx’s most popular CBD products is Delta-8 CBD joints. The joints feature all the benefits of smoking premium Delta-8 CBD hemp flower, and are infused with the terpenes of OG Skywalker, a premium Cannabis flower.
Swissx users can now purchase six of the company’s finest 0.7 gram Delta-8 joints, which are richly-flavored with premium terpenes, and contain less than 0.3% THC 18%. The pre-rolled CBD joints also contain over five grams of Swissx’s Raspberry OG KUSH, WaterMelon Skittles, Headband Og and Wedding Cake. Swissx’s Delta-8 joint six-pack, which typically retails for $60 USD, is now on sale for $50 USD on the company’s official website.
Swissx is one of the leading companies in the world that supports affordable and healthy cannabis use. Its CBD products improve the quality of life of people who have genetic predisposition to such ailments as anxiety, depression and insomnia, as well as general physical pain. For more information on Swissx, which was founded and run by Greek billionaire-CEO, Alki David, visit the company’s official website.
In addition to its CBD products, Swissx has also become known for its popular streaming service, Swissx TV. The streaming service enables viewers to watch live and recorded UK and international television shows, movies and music videos in a variety of genres, including news, sports, drama, comedy, horror, lifestyle, shopping, pop, EDM and blues. For more information on Swissx TV, visit the service’s official website.