When you have Crohn’s disease, you experience inflammation and irritation in your gastrointestinal system. This chronic disease usually impacts the small intestine and beginning of the large intestine (colon). However, it can also cause problems anywhere in the digestive tract, including your mouth or anus.
Estimates reveal that over half a million Americans live with Crohn’s disease. It can develop in anyone at any age, but appears more frequently in people who smoke, are between 22-29 years of age, or have a family member with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Our team at Metro Pain and Vein Centers understands that Crohn’s disease can worsen over time and come with periods of remission lasting for weeks or even years. One tool we use to treat this chronic pain condition is medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana comes from a group of plants, known as cannabis, with therapeutic benefits.
What makes this plant unique involves the more than 500 chemicals — especially the active phytocannabinoids or cannabinoids — it contains. These unique compounds interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, involved in processes that include:
As a result, doctors use medical marijuana as a therapy for numerous conditions, ranging from seizures and sleep disorders to chronic pain conditions like Crohn’s disease.
As we mentioned above, Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition, so you shouldn’t consider medical marijuana a cure.
Instead, this therapy can ease many symptoms associated with this disease, such as:
This is largely due to the THC and CBD — two specific cannabinoids that medical marijuana contains. On its own, THC can improve appetite and relieve nausea and pain. On the other hand, CBD provides more benefit to the immune system by reducing inflammation, spasticity, and pain.
Together, they deliver valuable medicine to the endocannabinoid system when treating IBD conditions like Crohn’s disease.
If you have Crohn’s disease that hasn’t responded to other treatments, it could be time to try medical marijuana. To see if you’re a good candidate for this therapy, we perform a comprehensive assessment, discuss your symptoms, and review your treatment history.
After we determine medical marijuana is right for you, we help you fill out the paperwork to apply for your medical marijuana license. Once you’re approved, you can pick up your medication at a state-approved dispensary.
Based on your symptoms and overall health, we could recommend a variety of formulas and forms, such as:
To ensure you find the perfect formula and dose, we regularly monitor your response to the medication and make adjustments based on your reactions.
Are you looking for relief from your Crohn’s disease symptoms? Contact one of our six offices in New York and New Jersey to see if medical marijuana is right for you.