cbd oil for crohn’s canada

CBD for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The new “cure all” chemical has made its way into our fast food burgers, body lotions, tinctures, vape juices, edible treats, and even tampons. The recent enthusiasm for CBD has lead to a multibillion-dollar industry and a plethora of products. But does this controversial cannabis component live up to its claims related to chronic disease management?

What is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviated version of cannabidiol, a chemical that comes from the cannabis plant — also known as marijuana, hemp, hashish, and ganka. and used for a variety of purposes, depending on the part of the plant that is used and what is extracted.

Cannabis is derived from the hemp plant, used for centuries, for healing and recreational purposes. Currently, cannabis is being studied for its medical properties, such as chronic pain control.

Medical marijuana has shown to be useful for:

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound that is responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. Its presence in marijuana plants is the unique characteristic that distinguishes them from hemp. Standard marijuana contains about 25-30% THC.

CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so it is not associated with euphoria effects. It is a cannabinoid found in the seeds, flowers, and stems of the cannabis plant. It’s natural and can be extracted in oil form.

CBD has shown to provide many of the same benefits of THC but without any of the mind-altering effects associated with THC:

-Decreased short-term memory

-Change in sense of time

Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis contains cannabinoids , molecules which are similar to what you have in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in your body. The ECS system is a complex system that plays important roles in central nervous system.

Scientists aren’t completely clear on how CBD or THC affect the body, but they do know that the ECS appears to keep various functions of the body in balance including: regulating sleep, mood, memory, pain response, appetite, and inflammation.

Both types of cannabinoids also stimulate the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin , which might explain why they may be useful for managing mood problems like anxiety and stress, as well as gut function .

The endocannabinoid system is known to regulate pain and gastrointestinal motility. It’s receptors are located throughout the brain and body, including the gastrointestinal tract. Some research has suggested that an imbalance in this system may be related to irritable bowel syndrome.

CBD for IBD: What the Studies Say

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to the conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) differs from IBD in the way that IBS does not cause inflammation , ulcers, or damage to the gastrointestinal system.

Epidemiologic data and human studies have shown that cannabis can help with symptoms of IBD. However, it’s uncertain whether there are anti-inflammatory effects or if its due to the effects to “cover” difficult symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, and stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, very few studies, reviewing the effectiveness of CBD for IBD treatment, have been conducted. Most studies have tested cannabis which contains THC in addition to CBD.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation commissioned a review of clinical, scientific, and regulatory information on the role of cannabis in managing IBD. Some findings include:

  • There’s no definitive evidence that shows that currently CBD products can control inflammation. However, the use of cannabis has been associated with improvements in nausea, abdominal pain, and appetite.
  • About 10% – 12% of IBD patients (US, UK, Israel, Canada, Spain) are active cannabis users with the intention to decrease abdominal pain, appetite, and decrease diarrhea.
  • Several studies have shown improvement in symptoms associated with IBD, leading to an improvement in quality of life .
See also  cbd oil for sale freehold nj

CBD Side Effects

Side effects of CBD are rare but possible. If you take too much, you may experience dry mouth, low blood pressure, dizziness, depression, nausea, and tiredness. The long-term safety of chronic cannabis use has not been well defined.

The supplement and CBD industry is not well regulated. This means that anyone can make a CBD supplement without formal regulation or testing. Many companies violate federal law by spiking their products with unnatural or even dangerous ingredients.

If you’re interested in trying CBD, do your research when looking for a product and always consult your physician before trying any new supplement or drug.

Re- hash

Studies do confirm CBD may be a good option for managing stress, pain, insomnia, and nausea. There have been a few small studies that have shown an improvement, however, the medical use has been limited by lack of quality research and concerns about cannabis’s potential cognitive and respiratory effects.

CBD, and nothing for that matter, is a cure all — it’s important to balance supplements with a healthy lifestyle, that supports your medical condition and personal needs. Since CBD is an unregulated supplement, it’s essential to research the quality of the product, your state or country’s laws, and to check with your doctor before giving it a try.

This article has been written by Lisa Booth, registered dietitian and nutritionist, and co-founder of Nori Health. Content is based on her professional knowledge, and our collection of 100+ scientific research study papers.

About Nori Health

Nori is your digital assistant for a better life with Crohn’s or Colitis.

Have regular conversations with Nori, whenever you want to. She helps you to make better lifestyle choices. And improve your quality of life by decreasing Crohn’s or Colitis symptoms.

Can cannabis help with Crohn’s disease? Doctors and patients weigh in

Can cannabis help with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease? This is a popular question, with a myriad of articles claiming that cannabinoid-rich oil can bring relief—or even a cure—to those diagnosed with the disease. Claims like these sound enticing and exciting, but is there truth to them? Is there research to back up cannabis as a remedy? Does anecdotal evidence support the claims?

As it turns out, the results are not as straightforward as it would seem.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. This autoimmune disease affects the digestive track and in serious cases can cause life threatening complications.

For some, the disease presents mild to almost no symptoms, while for others, it can be a life-long battle. Some of the most common symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Digestive issues

In severe cases, Crohn’s disease can lead to losing sections of one’s colon, or even so much that a colostomy bag may be necessary.

It is clear to see why the hunt for a cure is so important for patients. Currently, there are no pharmaceutical medicines or medical treatments that offer a cure for Crohn’s disease. Immunosuppressants and steroids can be used to slow its progression, but do not entirely prevent flare ups and symptoms.

But what about cannabis? Can cannabinoids offer a better alternative to the pharmaceutical industry? Unfortunately, neither the results of research nor anecdotal evidence provide a clear answer to this question.

See also  how to wean off gabapentin to cbd oil for dogs

The research on cannabis and Crohn’s disease

There are currently no cures for Crohn’s disease, and that includes cannabis. That said, the real question is this: Can cannabis put and keep the disease in remission?

A 2018 study conducted by the University of Western Ontario assessed the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in inducing and maintaining remission in patients with Crohn’s. The results, however, were inconclusive.

Dr. Dustin Sulak , a leading clinician in the field of cannabis medicine, weighed in on the topic with an optimistic outlook. He confirmed that there are no current studies which show conclusive evidence that cannabis is treating the underlying symptoms of Crohn’s, but there are several successful animal models which show a clear, positive correlation.

“We’ve treated maybe 400 people with inflammatory bowel disease. We’ve seen people who are on biologic drugs that have been able to achieve better control when adding cannabis. And for some, cannabis doesn’t work.”

Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather is a medical cannabis physician from California who continues to pursue knowledge and new research. When last touching base, Dr. Hergenrather spoke of a 500-person study on Crohn’s at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv that may reach as many as 1,000 participants. Time will tell the outcome of said study, but Dr. Hergenrather had a positive outlook on his observations thus far.

Both Dr. Hergenrather and Dr. Sulak’s spoke of encouraging results with their own patients.

“We’ve treated maybe 400 people with inflammatory bowel disease, [and] we’ve seen a whole range,” says Dr. Sulak. “We’ve seen people who are on biologic drugs that have been able to achieve better control when adding cannabis, and then over time get off those drugs and retain their remission. We see people who just don’t tolerate those drugs because they have a lot of side effects and they come here for alternatives, and cannabis works well. And [for some], cannabis doesn’t work.”

Dr. Hergenrather spoke of his own clinical experience, stating, “[About half of] the patients that I’m treating with cannabis seem to be able to eliminate the use of conventional medications. The use of CBD-rich strains and various blends will undoubtedly make this medicine more acceptable to a wider population of Crohn’s sufferers.”

So why doesn’t cannabis seem to work for everyone, and how can a patient know if it will work for them? Unfortunately, it seems to be a bit of trial and error.

“There’s no single approach that can specifically address the symptoms,” says Dr. Sulak. He says it’s a matter of individualized treatment for each patient, and that dosing and cannabinoids play a role. For example, he says a low does of CBD isn’t likely to help a chronic patient, whereas THCA is an important cannabinoid that should be included in treatment.

Are there risks associated with cannabis use and Crohn’s?

Unfortunately, without clear evidence or treatment options that can guarantee results, using cannabis as a treatment can leave patients feeling as though they are taking a gamble with their health.

Angela Bacca is a journalist with over 12 years of experience in cannabis media, business, research, and policy advocacy. She’s also been living with Crohn’s disease for 15 years.

“It’s a reaction to being lied to about pharmaceuticals for so long, I think,” said Bacca about the impulse to buy into the idea that cannabis oil is a cure-all. “What I have learned is that you can’t look at cannabis to ‘cure’ or ‘treat’ your disease the way a pharmaceutical drug promises to. Those drugs don’t either, but they usually suppress the problem—at greater long-term cost—so that you don’t have to do anything else to address your symptoms. [You’re] usually discouraged or kept in the dark about more natural things you can do to address symptoms.”

See also  the best cbd oil for psychosis

Ultimately, Bacca experienced negative consequences from believing all she needed to treat her Crohn’s was consume cannabis oil. She says there’s a lot more to non-Western healing than simply replacing drugs.

Still, Bacca feels cannabis fits into a larger picture of health, not just for those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but for anyone suffering from any autoimmune disease.

“There are a lot of other ways to upregulate my endocannabinoid system without cannabis,” Bacca said. “You will also notice that the things that upregulate the endocannabinoid system are things everyone should do, especially if they have any sort of disease, illness, or discomfort—get sleep, get water, eat a whole food diet, avoid chemicals, get exercise, meditate, [and] manage stress.”

“Cannabis should be your gateway to healthy living. You would be surprised how many people’s conditions reverse with clean whole food diets, herbs, exercise, sleep, and hydration.”

Bacca believes it’s time to move past asking questions such as, what strain can cure my Crohn’s disease? “That is a pharmaceutically minded way of looking at natural medicine,” she says. “Cannabis should be your gateway to herbalism and healthy living. You would be surprised how many people’s conditions reverse with clean whole food diets, herbs, exercise, sleep, and hydration. We need doctors to realize most [people] know little to nothing about cannabis because they know nothing about plants, diet, and the world around us.”

So how can patients talk to their doctors about adding cannabis to their treatment of Crohn’s? Dr. Sulak has some great advice for breaking the ice.

“My number one suggestion is always to use the word ‘cannabis’ and avoid its other name because doctors are more comfortable with that,” Sulak says. “I like to have patients say something to the extent of, ‘Would you be willing to learn more about the benefits of cannabis and whether that can help me?’ They can also say, ‘Do you understand how the potential risks and benefits of cannabis compared to some of the other treatments you’re suggesting?’”

So how can cannabis help?

So if cannabis is not a cure, and evidence for its ability to put Crohn’s into remission is inconclusive, in what ways do we know cannabis can help patients with Crohn’s disease?

“All health should be about eliminating the conditions that cause the disease state as well as treating it,” says Bacca. “No, cannabis doesn’t cure [Crohn’s], but it makes a lot of symptoms go away.”

Cannabis can relieve symptoms of nausea and digestive issues, it can stimulate appetite to prevent weight loss, it can relieve pain , and assist in getting good sleep to help fight fatigue. When we look at cannabis in this light, we can see how it can greatly benefit people with Crohn’s—even if it can’t cure the disease.

Further research is needed to draw any conclusive evidence about the risks and benefits associated with cannabis and Crohn’s. Although the search for a Crohn’s cure continues, it’s worth acknowledging that cannabis can at least bring relief and a better quality of life to those suffering the disease.