There has been a lot of talk recently about the supposed benefits of using medicinal cannabis in the treatment of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), aswell as Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. There are two main principal differences between UC and Crohn’s disease in terms of the location of the condition, and in terms of inflammation. Crohn’s disease is a condition that affects any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. Although, the vast majority of cases tend to start in the terminal ileum. UC on the other hand tends to form in colon and the rectum.
Both of these debilitating conditions are thought to form when there is a mix of both environmental factors and genetics. This means that if you have the genetic makeup for UC or Crohn’s, aswell as an environmental stress such as your diet or imbalance of bacteria in your gut, there is a chance you could be affected by these conditions and suffer from some rather nasty symptoms.
Can Cannabis Help?
As far back as 2005, scientists have believed that cannabis can have a positive effect on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Because of this positive effect, scientists hypothesized that there must be cannabinoid receptors in the intestines which respond to these cannabinoids to produce the observed effect. When a study was conducted, they found CB1 cannabinoid receptors, which are known to be in the brain. These CB1 receptors are located in the lining of the gut and are tasked with repairing the lining of the gut if and when it becomes damaged.
In their experiment, the researchers intentionally caused damage to the lining of the gut which lead to inflammation of the lining of the gut. The researchers then inserted cannabinoids, which resulted in the healing of the gut. It is widely regarded that these CB1 receptors also slow gut motility, which reduces diarrhea. In this study, they also identified CB2 receptors, which are only present in the guts of IBS sufferers. When these CB2 receptors bind with cannabis, the effects of IBS are reduced.
Research which took place in the UK has identified that two components of cannabis – namely THC and CBD, are known to interact with the functionality of the gut. This means that medicinal marijuana is able to provide a treatment for IBS and other such diseases such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.
What Strains of Cannabis Help these Conditions?
Now that we know that cannabis can help UC and Crohn’s disease, it is vitally important to choose the right strains. My advice would be to select a strain that is relatively high in THC and CBD such as Purple Kush. Other alternatives to consider include:
- Super Silver Haze
- Black Domina
In conclusion, it appears that sufferers of conditions such as Crohn’s disease have improper barriers in their gut, which enables bacteria to cause inflammation. When using cannabis, the THC and CBD within cannabis bind to the receptors to repair the gut lining, thus reducing inflammation and reducing the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.