Crohn’s disease is one of the qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in Florida. Marijuana Doctor has helped many Crohn’s disease patients across Florida gain access to Florida medical marijuana dispensaries.
This article is for Crohn’s patients who are curious as to how medical marijuana may be used to alleviate its potentially debilitating symptoms.
The Crohn’s Disease Cycle
Although much research is being undertaken to determine the cause of Crohn’s disease, this condition still remains somewhat of a mystery. Genetics seems to play a role in the likelihood that a person will contract Crohn’s. But it’s not the only mitigating factor.
Crohn's disease can unleash a chain of events that causes a downward spiral in health. And medical marijuana might be the key to breaking that chain for some Crohn’s patients.
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition. This means that the body’s immune system attacks tissues mistaken to be invasive. The reason the body perceives intestinal tissues to be invasive is unclear. However, researchers suspect Crohn’s might be triggered by invasive microbes, allergic reactions to certain foods, or possibly environmental pollutants.
The human endocannabinoid system (ECS) itself might also play a role in Crohn’s. The human intestines have the highest concentration of CB1 cannabinoid receptors of any organ. Some researchers suspect that an imbalance in endocannabinoids produced by the body might be involved in a patient’s susceptibility to Crohn’s and that supplementing the diet with the phytocannabinoids found in marijuana might bring the gut back into balance.
Crohn’s causes damage to the lining of the colon which manifests as ulcers. This in turn produces an inflammatory response. Inflammation of the intestines can cause gut pain, plus diarrhea or constipation, which can, in turn, affect appetite and nutrition. It can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Crohn's can also cause a condition called leaky gut syndrome in which ulcers allow undigested food to enter the bloodstream. This systemic stress can result in migraines, body pains, lethargy, and much more. Leaky gut can also bring with it oxidative stress resulting in tissue and genetic damage throughout the body potentially leading to cancer.
An imbalance of gut probiotics is also associated with Crohn’s disease. New research suggests that a microbiome imbalance can actually lead to depression. Stress and anxiety can also exacerbate Crohn’s disease. Activities such as relaxation, meditation, exercise, have been shown to be beneficial to Crohn’s patients.
How does medical marijuana help break the cycle of Crohn’s disease?
There are multiple links in the Crohn’s chain where medical marijuana might intervene. For one thing, the intestines have the highest concentration of CB1 cannabinoid receptors of any human organ. Moreover, cannabinoids are known to play a role in immune response, inflammatory response, pain response, and much more.
Here are some of the ways that medical marijuana might be used to address the processes unleashed with Crohn’s disease:
Modulates autoimmune response
Active compounds in marijuana called phytocannabinoids have been shown to play a role in modulating the activity of the immune system. Medical marijuana might help to prevent the onset of Crohn’s or slow its progression for some patients.
Modulates inflammatory response
Cannabinoids and essential oils called terpenes produced in marijuana have been shown to help tame the inflammatory response in some patients and reduce Crohn’s ulcers.
Modulates pain response
The human endocannabinoid system is involved in the perception of pain. Medical marijuana is widely used for its pain-relieving properties.
Tames nausea and vomiting
The endocannabinoid system is involved in the perception of nausea. Medical marijuana has been shown to be more effective at reducing nausea and vomiting than prescription medication Zofran.
Reduces oxidative stress
Cannabinoids and some terpenes are powerful antioxidants that can help mitigate cellular and genetic damage caused by Crohn’s and leaky gut.
Reduces stress and anxiety
When used properly, medical marijuana may help patients to relax and to reduce the stress and anxiety that can exacerbate Crohn’s.
Improves mood, relieves depression
When used properly, medical marijuana might help to reduce depression and improve moods which can, in turn, break the Crohn’s cycle. Cannabinoids are also believed to help balance the gut microbiome and improve mood.
The ECS plays a role in appetite. Medical marijuana might improve appetite in some Crohn’s patients.
Medical marijuana has been shown to help reduce the incidence of diarrhea and constipation in some Crohn’s patients.
How is medical marijuana used by Crohn’s disease patients?
Several options exist for Crohn’s patients who are interested in using medical marijuana to help alleviate their symptoms.
First, not all marijuana is created equal. Different cannabis strains produce varying ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes. The flowers, extracts, and concentrates of some strains might be more suitable than others for individual patients.
Second, cannabis-infused products such as oils, tinctures, capsules, and edibles come in a wide array of formulations, each with its own balance of cannabinoids and terpenes. Some contain high levels of THC and can cause intoxication. Others are low in THC and high in CBD or other non-intoxicating cannabinoids.
Third, different delivery methods have different benefits and drawbacks. For example, smoking and vaping offer a fast onset time which helps address sudden onset symptoms such as nausea and anxiety. However, these methods can be harmful to the lungs and are known to increase blood pressure.
Oral capsules and edibles, while they might take longer to take full effect, can deliver cannabinoids directly into the intestines to help address inflammation, reduce cramping, improve motility, and help balance the gut biome. The effects of edibles are also longer-lasting.
In order to find the ideal formulas and delivery methods, patients should discuss their condition and their lifestyle with a qualified budtender at a licensed Florida dispensary.
Schedule an appointment for an evaluation with a Florida Marijuana Doctor
Crohn’s disease patients who are interested in obtaining a Florida medical marijuana card are encouraged to make an appointment with one of our board-certified doctors at our over 20 Marijuana Doctor offices located throughout Florida.
Schedule a risk-free appointment online at marijuanadoctor.com or call Marijuana Doctor at 844-442-0362. If a patient does not qualify for a Florida medical marijuana card, there is no charge for the evaluation.