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Crohn’s Disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, that causes often-severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Although there’s no known cure for Crohn’s Disease, treatments include diet and lifestyle changes, and a variety of medications aimed at reducing symptoms. But, those medications can have severe side effects, and for some people, they may not be effective. Recent research suggests that compounds in cannabis can help to reduce inflammation and relieve some of the major symptoms of Crohn’s Disease.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is a chronic condition. Common symptoms include pain and cramping, diarrhea, fever, and fatigue. Crohn’s sufferers may also experience fatigue, loss of appetite, blood in the stool or mouth sores. Fever can also accompany these symptoms, and so can weight loss. People with severe Crohn’s Disease can also experience inflammation in the eyes, skin or joints, and Crohn’s sufferers are also more likely to develop other health conditions such as colon cancer. 

It’s not clear what causes Crohn’s Disease, but doctors think that it may arise from an abnormal immune response to a virus or bacterium. When the immune system ramps up to fight the invader, it also attacks healthy cells in the digestive tract. Crohn’s Disease may also have a genetic component, since it seems to be more common in people with family members who also have the condition.

Crohn’s Disease is more likely to affect people under 30, and it’s more common in white people and those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Environmental and lifestyle factors can also predispose a person to developing Crohn’s Disease. Smoking, living in an urban or industrialized area, or taking certain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or NSAIDs, can also raise the risk of developing Crohn’s.

Treatments for Crohn’s Disease depend on individual circumstances and include medications from several different drug classes, diet and nutrition regimens, and lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and reducing stress. When other treatments don’t work, surgery to remove damaged areas of the intestine or repair Crohn’s-related problems such as intestinal blockage might help to relieve symptoms. In some cases, a temporary feeding tube can give the bowel time to heal. But, cannabis may be able to relieve many of the common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease without the side effects of conventional medications.

How Can Cannabis Help Crohn’s Disease?

Research reveals that cannabis can relieve many Crohn’s Disease symptoms that interfere with daily life, although researchers don’t know exactly how. Cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can work with the body’s endocannabinoid system to support healthy immune function.  That can help to reduce the incidence of flare-ups, which trigger abdominal pain and other symptoms.

Cannabis compounds, especially cannabidiol, or CBD, also help to regulate digestive system motility, which can reduce episodes of diarrhea and constipation. And, because people with Crohn’s Disease frequently experience anxiety or depression, cannabis can help to promote feelings of calm and relaxation. Scientists are still searching for a cure for Crohn’s Disease, but for now, cannabis may offer relief for many of its symptoms.

Crohn’s Disease Patients Qualify for Medical Marijuana Use in Utah

Crohn’s disease is a qualifying condition for Medical Marijuana in Utah. To get your Medical Marijuana Card, you’ll need to meet with a medical provider who can certify your qualifying condition and enter your information into the state user database. For more information, or a consultation, schedule an appointment with us today. 

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