Crohn’s disease is something of a medical mystery. Despite the fact that it’s a relatively common ailment, we still don’t understand exactly where it comes from. We have some hints to the disorder’s origin. For example, there seems to be a strong genetic component to the disorder. But the condition is complicated by the fact that genetics only seem to offer one mitigating factor among many others.
A mysterious origin wouldn’t normally be much of an issue. Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease is both a mystery and a special case within the medical establishment. The fact that we don’t know what triggers Crohn’s disease also means that we don’t know exactly what to target in order to provide relief from the condition. However, the stress there is on the word “exactly”. The mystery of Crohn’s disease is slowly unraveling. What we’re finding is that treatments for Crohn’s disease need to focus in large part on breaking a casual chain. We might not understand every aspect of the disorder. But we do know how some symptoms manifest and give rise to further problems. We’ve even found a remarkably potent medicine for it from a surprising source – medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana is being used in Florida to treat symptoms of Crohn’s disease. And so far we’re seeing some remarkably positive results. This hasn’t come as a surprise for researchers who’ve been honing in on the role of the immune system in Crohn’s disease patients. Crohn’s disease has been classified as an autoimmune disorder for a long time now. But it’s only recently that we’ve been able to track down one particular chemical pathway which influences this response in the intestines.
Our intestines have more CB1 cannabinoid receptors than any other organ in the body. When various parts of the body have an overabundance of receptors for it then this is usually due to some increased level of importance. Researchers have noted that importance, seen that the autoimmune system is targeting intestinal tissue, and created a theory. What if Crohn’s disease is in part due to an imbalance of endocannabinoids in the body. This might cause systems which are particularly reliant on them to register as broken in some way. And when the body notices tissue not behaving as it should the usual response will involve our immune system. This is an apt description of what we see happening in Crohn’s disease. We also see other issues rising from the role of the autoimmune system’s incorrect targeting of intestinal tissue.
With all of that in mind, what can we hope to see when people with Crohn’s disease use medical marijuana? One of the biggest hopes is that the phytocannabinoids in marijuana will modulate the incorrect autoimmune response in people with Crohn’s disease. If the theory about receptors in the intestine are correct then this particular reaction might offer a huge amount of relief.
We can also hope to see the inflammatory response associated with Crohn’s disease decrease in severity. This could happen through multiple channels. Firstly, a dampened autoimmune response will decrease the damage causing inflammation in the first place. Secondly, marijuana contains oils called terpenes. These terpenes can lower inflammatory responses.
Marijuana also reduces pain, nausea and vomiting across people with a wide range of medical problems. These three issues are heavily associated with Crohn’s disease. As such, marijuana should offer a strong treatment option when dealing with this aspect of the disorder.
We should even see a reduction of mental issues associated with Crohn’s disease. The condition is stressful and tends to make people depressed. This is further complicated by the fact that people have trouble eating when their symptoms flare up. Marijuana can help all of those symptoms.
The only thing people with Crohn’s disease need to try out medical marijuana is a medical marijuana card. The sheer number of connections between symptoms and potential relief makes it a valid treatment option. As such, getting approved is usually a fairly simple process.