For individuals grappling with the persistent symptoms of Crohn’s disease despite being in treatment, the exploration of alternative therapies become a reasonable consideration. In recent times, two options have garnered increasing popularity: marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD). Derived from different varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant, these alternatives pose questions and considerations for individuals seeking relief beyond conventional treatments.
Understanding Cannabis and CBD
The umbrella term “cannabis” encompasses both marijuana and cannabidiol, both originating from the Cannabis sativa plant. The products derived from hemp are often referred to as CBD. Notably, individuals dealing with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s, have turned to cannabidiol products for potential symptom relief. While there is some evidence suggesting benefits such as improved appetite and sleep, the broader impact on the disease itself remains a subject of scrutiny.
Forms of CBD for Crohn’s Disease
For those seeking relief from Crohn’s disease symptoms through CBD, there are various forms available. CBD pills can be taken daily for effective symptom management, while vaping offers a quick and convenient option for sudden flare-ups. Edibles and crohn’s disease also work quite together, and gummy-like candies or chocolates, offer an alternative approach.
Additionally, oils and tinctures, when placed under the tongue, absorb quickly into the bloodstream, making them suitable for individuals facing challenges with pill consumption. Lastly, skin creams and lotions, originally designed for joint problems and skin conditions like eczema, may also contribute to symptom relief.
Selecting CBD Types for Crohn’s Disease
When using CBD products for Crohn’s disease, it’s important to know the different types. Here are the main three:
- Full-Spectrum CBD:
- Contains all compounds from cannabis, including varying amounts of THC.
- Found in oils, tinctures, vaping oil, edibles, and creams.
- Legally limited to 0.3 percent THC, but actual amounts may vary between products.
- Broad-Spectrum CBD:
- Similar to full-spectrum but with all THC removed.
- Less common and typically available as an oil.
- CBD Isolate:
- Pure CBD derived from hemp plants.
- Contains no other compounds and is available in oil, tincture, or powdery form.
It’s important to note that the choice between these types depends on individual preferences, tolerances, and legal considerations. As regulations on CBD products are not as stringent as standard medications, users should carefully assess products for their THC content and overall composition.
Examining the Studies
It must be noted that the information regarding cannabis’s effectiveness for Crohn’s disease is inconclusive, primarily based on three small clinical studies involving less than 100 individuals with active Crohn’s. While one study suggests potential benefits of marijuana cigarettes for non-responsive cases, the two studies on CBD oil did not provide conclusive evidence for its efficacy in controlling Crohn’s disease.
Contrastingly, a separate small study indicated that CBD oil in pill form might offer relief for Crohn’s disease symptoms. Additionally, some research proposes that CBD could contribute to reducing inflammation associated with colitis.
What to Consider
Distinguishing between feeling well and achieving remission is crucial. If Crohn’s symptoms are effectively managed and in remission, there is no significant reason to anticipate additional benefits from cannabidiol. However, for those with obvious symptoms, incorporating CBD products alongside prescribed medications might have potential benefits, although unproven.
In conclusion, deciding to use CBD for managing Crohn’s disease is a complex and individualized journey. At the same time, there is optimism that healthcare providers will be better equipped to offer more informed guidance on the potential benefits of cannabidiol for Crohn’s disease. With ongoing advancements, there is a growing possibility that cannabidiol may indeed emerge as a valuable ally in the management of Crohn’s disease symptoms.