Inflammatory bowel disease
CBD and THC in marijuana are both effective for reducing the inflammation of IBD. Marijuana can also relieve other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea and fatigue. IBD patients in a 2012 study reported that marijuana improved their quality of life, decreased flare-ups, reduced their depression and relieved their pain.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of autoimmune conditions, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. Altogether, about 1.6 million Americans are affected.
The cause of IBD is not well understood but genetics and diet are factors. The microbiome of the digestive tracts also seems to be involved.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe internal cramps or muscle spasms in the region of the pelvis and weight loss.
Conventional treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics. Extreme cases may require surgery.
IBD is a lifelong condition without a cure, but remission is possible with successful treatment.
A 2014 survey of IBD patients found that, of those who were users, a majority reported that marijuana was “‘very helpful’ for relief of abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea.” Of those who were not marijuana users, half reported an interest in trying it if it was legal in their state.