Crohn’s disease, one of several inflammatory bowel diseases, achieved “complete remission” in nearly half the subjects of one study that were exposed to smoking medical marijuana on a regular basis.
Published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study examined the effects of consistent marijuana use on Crohn’s patients who suffered from severe cases of the disease. The results of the 21-subject study point toward the drug’s anti-inflammatory properties as being responsible for quieting symptoms in many patients, and even reaching total remission in others.
The Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments
Often mischaracterized as an autoimmune disease, Crohn’s disease is in fact an immune deficiency state. Arising from a host of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors, the disease causes a chronic inflammatory disorder that attacks the person’s gastrointestinal tract — anywhere from the mouth to the anus — in order to fight the body’s antigens that otherwise do no harm. Symptoms of the disease range from mild abdominal pain to more severe cases of bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and fevers.
There is no cure for Crohn’s; however, various methods are aimed at limiting flare ups and keeping the disease in remission. Treatments, like disease severity, fall on a spectrum depending on the person. Simple dietary changes suffice for some, while invasive surgery to remove the affected area may be needed for others. Corticosteroids and other medications are also prescribed for less severe cases.
The disease affects around 400,000 to 600,000 people in North America, although many people do not get diagnosed until they’ve had the disease for years, simply because no symptoms were present.
– Read the entire article at Medical Daily.