One of the hottest– and most controversial!— political conversations that has arisen in the past several years has to do with one very potent plant: marijuana.
Humans have been using it since 6000 B.C. for food, medicinal purposes, and, sometimes, a good time, but it wasn’t until recently that certain local governments in the U.S. have started easing up on the strict laws that prohibit its use.
As of May 2018, an impressive 26 states have passed laws to legalize the sale of either recreational or medicinal marijuana. Although it’s not legal federally in any state, it’s safe to assume that it very well could be in the near future.
Now, whatever your own personal beliefs may be on the topic of marijuana, recreational or otherwise, it’s important to consider what the plant can do for those suffering from chronic illnesses, like Crohn’s Disease.
In a 2013 study published in the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers found that, in a test group of 21 severely-affected individuals, consistent use of medical marijuana quieted symptoms in most and even contributed to complete remission in about half of the participants.
So, why did the medical marijuana have such a positive effect on these Crohn’s patients? Researchers point to the plant’s natural anti-inflammatory properties for easing the often painful symptoms. The plant’s high THC account relaxes inflamed parts of the body, allowing patients relief from pain without any negative side effects to speak of.
Though this particular study only included a small pool of subjects, it has continued to get attention over the years as the prescribing of medical marijuana has become more and more prevalent. Simply put, it serves as a ray of hope for those who rely on side-effect-ridden steroids to keep their symptoms under control.
Now, it’s important to note that even the researchers who took part in the groundbreaking study urge that more thorough trials will need to be conducted, but these results sure do sound like promising ones!
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is an immune deficiency state that can be caused by a plethora of environmental, immunological, and genetic factors. Typically, Crohn’s Disease patients suffer from constant inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, an issue that can cause abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and fevers.
Sadly, there is no cure for Crohn’s Disease, though there are a host of plans available to patients, from the aforementioned medical marijuana treatments to dietary changes to medications to, in some cases, surgeries.
Currently, there are an estimated 400,000-600,000 patients who have been diagnosed with the disease in North America alone. Although medical marijuana for the treatment of Crohn’s Disease is still not widely-prescribed, with more thorough trials, one day it may just become powerful enough to replace the current, more invasive treatments.
Impressive stuff! We sure do hope that Crohn’s patients get the relief that they deserve!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this study. Do you suffer from Crohn’s Disease? If so, have you been prescribed medical marijuana? Do you have any advice for those beginning treatment for the disease?