Israeli researchers have have found that long-term consumption of whole-plant cannabis may be very effective in reducing symptoms in IBD patients. As a result, they’ve found that cannabis reduces the reliance for prescription drugs, which is particularly helpful for patients with treatment-resistant IBD.
The study was published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and it analyzed long-term effects of daily cannabis consumption among 127 IBD patients. The subjects involved in the study typically had either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and less than 70% of them were consuming cannabis.
According to the study:
The average dose used was 31 ± 15 g/month. The average Harvey-Bradshaw index improved from 14 ± 6.7 to 7 ± 4.7 (P < 0.001) during a median follow-up of 44 months (interquartile range, 24-56 months). There was a slight, but statistically significant, average weight gain of 2 kg within 1 year of cannabis use. The need for other medications was significantly reduced. Employment among patients increased from 65 to 74% (P < 0.05). We conclude that the majority of inflammatory bowel disease patients using cannabis are satisfied with a dose of 30 g/month. We did not observe negative effects of cannabis use on the patients’ social or occupational status.
Cannabis use by inflammatory bowel disease patients can induce clinical improvement and is associated with reduced use of medication and slight weight gain. Most patients respond well to a dose of 30 g/month, or 21 mg Δ9-tetra- hydrocannabinol (THC) and 170 mg Cannabidiol (CBD) per day.
IBD affects some 1.6 Americans, many of whom are diagnosed before turning 35. Considering how young most patients are, IBD can easily disrupt one’s quality of life. Though IBD isn’t curable, there is treatment available, though most of it is in the form of anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs.
In many cases, these medications don’t work for many people, or even have side effects. In severe cases, some patients may need to turn to surgery. That is why it has become increasingly important to find natural solutions, and cannabis has shown to be promising for a great deal of patients.
Studies dating as far back as 2010 already show that the compounds in cannabis are beneficial for treating IBD.
was conducted in October 2013 and was published in the journal, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, involved the use of the effects of the marijuana plant aka Cannabis Sativa, had on patients’ and their symptoms of Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD.) It included 21 patients (13 men and 8 women) suffering from Crohn’s disease and other IBD’s in a controlled setting.
By the end of the study, the researchers found:
- Complete remission in 5 of the 11 subjects in the THC cannabis group
- Clinical responses in 10 of the 11 subjects in the Cannabis THC group, meaning their Crohn’s Disease Activity Index went from >200 to >100
- 3 out of the 11 subjects in the cannabis THC group were weaned form steroid dependency.
- Every one of the 11 participants in the THC group reported having improved sleeps and appetite, with no notable side effects.
Coltyn Turner, at the time 15 year old boy who, as a result of his battle with Crohn’s disease (a severe type of inflammatory bowel disease), was so ill that he had to be confined to a wheelchair, recently testified before the Colorado State Legislature that he’d “rather be illegally alive than legally dead.”
This is because he used cannabis to treat his disease, which is illegal in his home state of Illinois. Simply in order to treat their son with cannabis, his family was forced to re-locate to Colorado.
“He’s a prisoner in the state of Colorado because of medication. Coltyn can’t go, he can’t go back home, he can’t go see his friends, he can’t go see his family, he is stuck in the state of Colorado… He can’t live a normal life in the place where he grew up and the place where he has six generations of family. It’s just tough.” (source)
Over the past year, Coltyn has used cannabis oil on his path to healing. He developed Crohn’s disease (that was believed to be a result of a bacterial infection), and his condition deteriorated at a rapid pace. At that point, doctors recommended turning towards holistic remedies, which is why his family began to consider cannabis oil their best option.
You can rad more about that story here.
The list of studies and examples is long.
Below is also another very informative lecture from Dr. Alan Low.