By:Brandon Marji, Staff Writer
There is an alarming number of people who suffer from Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease is defined as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. It affects the body by causing inflammation in the digestive tract. This leads to severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and severe fatigue. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of August 2017, about three million adults in the United States suffer from IBD. Scientists believe that cannabis can be used to treat Crohn’s disease.
There is a lot of speculation in regards to the medical use of cannabis. Its social use has overshadowed its medical use over the years. But with laws being passed that will eventually legalize it; it’s now starting to get recognition.
The root causes of Crohn’s disease are still debated. But according to WebMD, it could likely be caused by an abnormal response to the immune system. While there are many treatments available for the disease, scientists are now hoping that cannabis can be used as yet another viable option for patients.
Before I get into the study that illustrates how cannabis can treat Crohn’s disease, let me give you some background on the actual disease. As I mentioned, the cause is still under heavy debate. But research shows that the immune system is what triggers the disease. It attacks good bacteria and food in the gut, which causes it to become inflamed, WebMD mentions.
Crohn’s disease severely impacts the everyday lives of people who suffer from it. People take numerous trips to the doctor’s office. If someone is extremely active, that will change if they are diagnosed with Crohn’s. Working will also be extremely difficult, especially if the Crohn’s is triggered during work hours.
The study included 21 patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. There were 13 men and 8 women. The average age of the patients was 40. Each patient had previously tried treating their disease with anti-tumor agents, steroidal therapy, and immunomodulators. No one was successful with any of these treatments. Researchers split the patients into two groups. They began a 10-week study which included eight weeks of treatment and a follow-up two weeks later. One group was given rolled up cannabis containing 115mg of THC and they were instructed to smoke it twice a day. The placebo group was given the same instructions, but their cannabis contained no THC.