Inflammatory Bowel Disease, often referred to simply as IBD, is a fairly common condition that impacts the lives of millions of Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 3 million individuals suffer from IBD, with approximately 100,000 of these people being residents of the State of Ohio. While there is currently no known cure for this chronic condition, there are new treatments being explored all the time to help alleviate the pain and other symptoms. One of the new treatment methods that are garnering approval from the medical community is that of medical marijuana. This is great news for individuals living with IBD in Ohio, as the Ohio Board of Medicine has approved IBD as a qualifying condition for eligibility for medical marijuana.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, is a chronic condition that is caused by an inflamed digestive tract. Chron’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis, are the two most common forms of IBD. This condition leads to symptoms like chronic diarrhea, severe pain in the abdomen, fatigue, weight loss, and much more. As a result of this discomfort, It can be challenging for sufferers to lead a normal life, and many sufferers of IBD get sick very easily due to a compromised immune system.
Treatment options available for IBD right now are primarily focused on alleviating the symptoms, such as helping to block the inflammation that leads to pain and other symptoms. Naturally, anti-inflammatory drugs are often used, such as corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and other biologic agents. Changing of one’s diet to include more water and balanced nutrients is usually recommended, and some IBD patients also try herbal therapies to help keep the gut bacteria balanced. None of these treatments are shown to have a significant impact on the disease, and most patients rely on over-the-counter pain relief to help them get through their days.
Is IBD the Same as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
Though the two conditions share some similarities, notably pain, Inflammatory Bowel Disease refers to a different type of condition than Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As such, they are not inherently the same disease. IBD does fold Ulcerate Colitis and Crohn's Disease under its umbrella, but since the colon is technically functioning normally with IBS patients, the two ailments are categorized as separate conditions.
IBS, often referred to as spastic colon or spastic bowel, is unique in that many test results do not catch any error in the colon or other internal functioning. As a result, there is no inflammation, nor are there ulcers or other elements that damage the colon. Rather, IBS includes side effects such as chronic pain from cramping, bloating, gas, mucus in the stool, constipation, and diarrhea.
Patients suffering from IBS do still qualify for medical marijuana in Ohio if their IBS results in chronic pain that is either severe or intractable.
How Can Marijuana Help Ohio Patients With IBD?
There are many receptors throughout the body that react to cannabis, and some of those receptors are in the gastrointestinal tract. When these receptors come into contact with cannabis, symptoms such as pain are often relieved. Studies have also shown that marijuana use can help reduce inflammation in the intestines, which is a significant driver of IBD itself.
A study performed by the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that rats with colitis suffered much lower rates of inflammation on THC, rather than rats given a common anti-inflammatory medication. Similar studies in Italy and Israel also showed excellent anti-inflammatory results for CBD, or medical marijuana. One study even showed that patients were able to give up their other regular medications entirely thanks to the relief provided by medical marijuana.
More research is still being conducted on the use of medical marijuana in treating IBD, but it is clear that the results we have now are very promising. In addition to relieving inflammation and pain, this treatment could help reduce weight loss and help patients get better sleep to reduce fatigue. As the laws surrounding cannabis change in Ohio and other states, it will become easier for further investigation to reach more concrete conclusions about medical marijuana’s impact on things such as Crohn's Disease and Colitis.
3 Easy Steps
Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly marijuana doctors at any location throughout the State!
Visit our office for your
in-person evaluation with a state-certified medical marijuana doctor.
With the doctor's approval, you'll receive your card via email from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.
Medical Marijuana Doctors Can Help
While marijuana is not a cure for Irritable Bowel Disease, it can help make people with the condition much more comfortable. As with any medication, you should always discuss cannabis with a physician before initial use. If you are interested in using cannabis to help manage your symptoms, schedule an evaluation with an Ohio Marijuana Card doctor today!