Can Cannabis help with IBS?
Over the years, people are cultivating different strains of the cannabis plant for a variety of purposes. Cannabis has been use for medicinal purposes worldwide for around 5000 years.
Marijuana may be useful in treating certain conditions due to its effect on the endocannabinoid system. For example, the endocannabinoid system coordinates some bodily functions. It influences pain perception, inflammation, and appetite control.
There has been some evidence that smoking marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Conventional treatments for the disease primarily work by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation. However, due to a lack of treatment options, people forcibly undergoes surgery to remove inflamed sections of their bowels.
While the best treatment for IBS management is really a change in lifestyle and nutritional habits, read this for more:
But if there are ‘short- cut’s’, shouldn’t you try them? Especially during flare-ups.
Because cannabinoid receptors exist all over our bodies, including our stomachs, it's possible that ingesting cannabis-derived products, such as CBD, may help with digestive symptoms.
In fact, one out of every six IBD patients who use marijuana reports that it helps.
But here is the catch…
Firstly, you cannot really have a double- blind placebo study to test for cannabis. The control group will know they are not ‘high’. So what if the results are only based on the study participant’s ‘anticipation’ of the benefits of cannabis?
If you actually look at measurable markers like a blood test for inflammation, a CRP test, there was no difference between the control group and the cannabis group.
While in another placebo-controlled study, the patients with Crohn's disease were given their treatment for eight weeks. They were then monitored for two weeks after the treatment was stopped. The results again showed no differences in any laboratory tests performed at the end of the eight weeks. The tests included haemoglobin, albumin, and kidney and liver function tests.
While CBD appeared to be safe on a short term, the authors said it had no beneficial effects on Crohn's disease. While some participants reported feeling better, CBD did not affect inflammation. That is, the CBD did not address the underlying cause of the IBD.
Despite its widespread use, the long-term negative consequences of cannabis use for IBD are unknown. Currently, there has been very little research on this topic. Also, many of the published studies are contradictory or of poor quality.
Worsened psychological issues, the onset of anxiety or paranoia, psychosis, and addiction are termed as negative effects of using CBD for IBD. However, many of these issues remain contentious and are frequently discussed among researchers.
There is some evidence that CBD may have health benefits, such as anxiety relief and pain relief. However, whether CBD can help with IBS symptoms is still up in the air.
It is best that you didn't assume that what worked for a friend would help you. Why not give lifestyle changes and a healthy nutrition a try instead? We certainly know that doesn’t carry any side effects.
Trust this helps,