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The Potential of Medical Cannabis in Managing IBD and IBS Symptoms

Recently Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) was added to the list of medical conditions approved for medical cannabis use in Ohio. IBS joins the list with other challenging and chronic gastrointestinal conditions like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Although patients suffering with IBD and IBS may have similar symptoms, they are distinct from each other in their causes and treatments. The conventional treatments for both may not always provide the relief desired. Increasingly patients are interested in how medical cannabis can help. We can show you how at Green Harvest Health. In recent years, medical cannabis has emerged as a potential option for managing symptoms associated with these conditions.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term describing 2 chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Because both are inflammatory in nature, symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue and reduced quality of life. Genetic, environmental triggers, and immune system factors play a role in their development. Current treatments for IBD often involve anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, lifestyle modifications and at times surgery. With these treatments, satisfactory relief of symptoms may not be accomplished for all patients.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) differs as it is classified as a functional gastrointestinal disorder, It doesn't involve inflammation or damage to the digestive tract, but rather irregularities in how the gut functions. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea). Its cause also is not clear but is often related to stress, diet, and possibly a gut-brain axis dysfunction. IBS is commonly associated with other conditions like Fibromyalgia. Conventional treatments often focus on symptom relief rather than addressing the unknown underlying causes.

Medical cannabis contains 100’s of active compounds. The two most well-known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These 2 cannabinoids as well as others influence the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a vital role in regulating all of our physiologic systems, including the gastrointestinal system. The ECS helps maintain gut balance and influences factors like inflammation, pain, and gut motility.

Research suggests that medical cannabis may offer relief for some IBD and IBS patients. Because cannabinoids, and in particular CBD are significant anti-inflammatories, they could potentially help reduce gut inflammation, the etiology of symptoms in IBD. The improvement in inflammation leads to fewer symptoms of gut dysmotility and diarrhea. Moreover, because CBD may also help alleviate anxiety associated with increased IBS symptoms, patients can see improvement in their irregular bowel movements. Medical cannabis through inflammation reduction as well as overall symptom reduction may help alleviate pain, a common and distressing symptom in both IBD and IBS.

Schedule your personalized and comprehensive evaluation with us in-person or virtually. You will receive a detailed treatment plan, with the best products to help you find relief and Reclaim Your Life and Wellness. You will see why we are a Top Business in Ohio and how We Do Cannabis Differently.

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