As recent as May 2018, 26 U.S. states have legalized the sale of recreational or medicinal marijuana. People have been using the plant for thousands of years for medicinal purposes and in food. Local governments have started loosening restrictions on its usage. Marijuana isn’t legal in any state; it could become so shortly.
Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana, it’s important to consider the anti-inflammatory effects for those with chronic conditions like Crohn’s Disease.
First, what is Crohn’s Disease? Between 400-600,000 people suffer from this still incurable illness in the United States. Crohn’s disease is an immune deficiency. It can be caused by a number of environmental, immunological, and genetic factors. Patients with this illness suffer from “constant inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.” This can lead to bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fevers, nausea, and vomiting.
To help ease the discomfort of this illness, doctors can prescribe dietary changes and medications. In some severe cases, surgery is necessary.
Results of recent studies have found using medical marijuana has eased patients symptoms significantly or rid them of their illness completely.
The results of a 2013 study were published in the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology; researchers found that out of 21 severely affected subjects, regular usage of medical marijuana quieted their symptoms or resulted in complete remissions. Researchers warned though more investigations were needed to test this further.
Why did marijuana work so well? The anti-inflammatory properties helped ease the discomfort subjects experienced. “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.”
Since the publication of this study, physicians have begun to prescribe medical marijuana. Perhaps this plant won’t be looked upon with such disdain once more research is done to prove the positive effects it can offer those in chronic pain.