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If you, or someone you know, suffers from Crohn’s Disease, then you are likely well aware of the devastation and difficulty this disease can bring. Often, those suffering become desperate for a solution. Unfortunately, conventional drugs, therapies, and surgeries rarely offer a comprehensive “cure”. They are excellent for managing severe symptoms and offering relief, but for long term solutions allopathic medicine falls short.
For that reason, people suffering from Crohn’s Disease look for alternative treatments like diet, supplements, and herbal remedies. In this article, we will be focusing on whether or not CBD can help Crohn’s Disease.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound or “cannabinoid” found in hemp. It has been found to positively influence humans, dogs, cats and even horses. This is because mammals share what is called an Endocannabinoid system.
This system is involved in a variety of bodily functions. Long story short, this system keeps your body in a state of balance and harmony. CBD positively influences this system. CBD can be like a “key” in your endocannabinoid system, unlocking doors to health and wellness. Which door needs to be opened depends on many factors, which is why people report such a wide variety of benefits from CBD.
In a simple explanation, through its positive effects on the endocannabinoid system, CBD reduces inflammation. An unhealthy inflammatory response is quickly being recognized as the root of many modern diseases, including Crohn’s Disease.
Some of the benefits of CBD include…
- Pain reduction
- Healthier skin
- Healthier Digestion
- Healthier brain function
- Reduction in anxiety, stress and depression
- Improved sleep
A Brief Overview Of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s Disease is part of a classification of conditions called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Typically, it affects the small intestines, however it can affect any part of the GI tract.
Over 700,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s Disease, and most are between the ages of 15 and 35. Allopathic treatment for Crohn’s Disease is generally limited to drugs and invasive surgeries. There are no known cures for Crohn’s Disease, however natural therapies, especially diet, play an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Due to its mysterious nature, Crohn’s Disease is still being studied extensively.
Common Symptoms Include…
- Urgent and frequent need for Bowel movements
- Abdominal cramping
- Bloody stool
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Causes of Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s Disease is an autoimmune inflammatory disease. Immune systems attack harmless, healthy gut bacteria / bodily tissue. Inflammation is a natural response to this attack. Overtime, this leads to chronic inflammation, and cause other problems in the body, and long-term damage to the intestines.
The exact cause is unknown, but it is widely accepted that diet and stress are common triggers. Genetic, lifestyle, and environmental factors are all important factors in developing this disease.
A 2016 study at Case Western University found that higher amounts of Candida, e. Coli and other harmful gut bacteria were present in those suffering from Crohn’s disease. Further research is needed to find the root cause of this illness.
CBD And Crohn’s Disease
Is CBD a cure for Crohn’s Disease? Anecdotal evidence says no. Although, CBD can definitely help some individuals suffering from Crohn’s. This is likely due to CBD’s benefit on inflammatory response, as well as its general beneficial effects on stress and the digestive system. Stress is a key component in any disease, especially when it comes to IBD. CBD’s beneficial effects on stress alone make it a worthwhile investment for anyone suffering from IBD.
Some initial studies of CBD and Crohn’s Disease have been promising. This study shows CBD to have a positive effect not only on inflammation in general, but specifically on intestinal inflammation. This is great news for anyone suffering from IBD, and confirms that CBD can help Crohn’s Disease.
As we spoke of earlier, the endocannabinoid system is important in overall health. Intestinal health is no exception. The Endocannabinoid System has been shown to have protective effects on intestinal tissue. Endocannabinoids, including THC and CBD, can help those suffering from Crohn’s Disease, as well as other forms of IBD, like colitis. Try experimenting, to see if THC and CBD together are the right fit for you.
An important note… THC is the compound in marijuana that gets people high, so it may not be the best option for everyone. However, if you are willing to try a combination of THC and CBD, you may find greater therapeutic benefit than just CBD. You will need to be in a medical or recreational marijuana legal state for this.
CBD and Colitis
Colitis is another form of IBD. It is similar to Crohn’s Disease in symptoms, as well as treatment. However, Colitis generally only affects the colon. There have been several studies that have looked at the beneficial effects of CBD on colitis. Initial results are promising. As always, correlation does not equal causation, however this is a good indicator that CBD is a promising natural therapy for IBD.
When it comes to colitis and Crohn’s, they are close cousins. For that reason, it is worth running your own anecdotal “experiment”, to see if CBD can help your Crohn’s Disease. We personally have found that the benefits of CBD on colitis and Crohn’s seems to be similar. However, this will vary for individuals. A diagnosis like colitis or Crohn’s is a “sweeping” one. Underlying conditions, such as diet, genetics, gut bacteria, and other complex factors make for a difficult treatment.
For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a patient suffering from Crohn’s / Colitis will have a very different diagnosis in the method of TCM. For some, the symptoms may originate from a spleen disorder, yet from others it may be in the liver. TCM is complex, and tends to have a “whole body” approach to treating disease. Thus, diagnostics are not as simple as “crohn’s disease” or “colitis”.
Should You Try Taking CBD To Help Your Crohn’s Disease?
Yes. The evidence is clear that CBD has beneficial effects on intestinal tissue, as well as intestinal inflammation. As you know, Crohn’s Disease is intimately linked to inflammation in your digestive system. Although no one can guarantee that CBD will help your Crohn’s Disease, it is always worth a shot. Results will vary for each individual. Furthermore, CBD is extremely safe (more on that below…).
We recommend taking CBD for a minimum of 30 days to see if you notice any benefits. It can take time for the CBD to do its work in your body. For some the benefit is instant, for others it can take a few weeks to notice. Consider investing in enough CBD for up to 3 months, and keep a journal to see how your symptoms improve.
Is CBD Safe For Crohn’s Disease?
CBD is extremely safe. The common side effects are sleepiness due to its relaxing effects. Some people experience anxiety when they take too much CBD. For that reason, we suggest starting slow and working your way up. However, beyond that there are no observed toxic effects. even from massive doses of CBD. As always, do not take this article as health advice. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before taking CBD for your Crohn’s Disease.
CBD is non-psychoactive, which means you will not get high from it. However, if you are expecting a drug test, make sure to take zero THC CBD, to avoid the risk of testing positive for THC on your drug test.
Dosage will vary, but a good start is 7.5mg 1-2 times per day. Increase as needed. If you are experiencing a flare-up, consider doubling or even tripling your regular dose.
What Kind Of CBD Is Best For Crohn’s Disease?
There are a million different CBD products on the market, so which is best for you?
Well, first look for full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD, NOT CBD Isolate. This is because full and broad spectrum products have a wide variety of active constituents not found in CBD isolate. These constituents work together to increase the effectiveness of the CBD. This is called the Entourage Effect. At Patriot CBD, we focus on broad spectrum, so you can enjoy the benefits of CBD with the risk of testing positive for THC.
As for products, we suggest taking oral CBD oil. This is because the oil will go deeper into your digestive system, when compared with smoking or vaping. Look for CBD edibles, capsules, or oil tinctures. Vaping and smoking are good for immediate relief, especially from stress and anxiety. Oral CBD generally takes 15-45 minutes to take effect.
Besides CBD, Here Are Some Other Ways To Help Your Crohn’s Disease…
In order to treat Crohn’s Disease with natural therapy, it will take a multi-pronged approach. CBD is a great addition to your health regime. Consider researching further the following suggestions to find what works best for you. We highly suggest working closely with an acupuncturist, functional medicine doctor, or naturopath. Make sure your health expert specializes in digestive problems.
Diet Is Key
Focus on alkaline, fiber rich foods. Avoid fried foods, dairy, gluten, soy and other allergens. Low FODMAP foods appear to benefit those suffering from IBD. Try cutting out things like garlic, onion, avocado and other high FODMAP foods to see if your symptoms improve. If you eat nuts, seeds, and grains, make sure that they are soaked and sprouted for easier digestion. Increase your probiotic intake by consuming sauerkraut, kimchi and other probiotic foods. Bone broth and collagen are also great foods to help heal your gut lining (and to keep it healthy).
Stress Is A Killer
Make sure to manage your stress. Breathing practices, meditation, yoga, and time in nature are all great stress reducers. Light exercise will keep your body healthy, strong and stress free. Spend time with loved ones, and make sure to spend time everyday to enjoy yourself! Learning to manage your emotions is key to reducing stress.
Supplements To Help Your Crohn’s Disease
According to various studies, CBD will most likely help your Crohn’s Disease, or other IBD issues. That being said, it is likely not a cure. CBD will support the relief of symptoms, and reduce inflammation. However, you will need to implement other health strategies such as diet, stress reduction and supplementation in order to help your Crohn’s Disease from a holistic way.
Consider taking THC with your CBD for additional support. Make sure you find a high quality CBD oil, ideally full or broad spectrum. Avoid cheap oil, quality is far better than quantity in the world of CBD.
Studies on CBD and IBD: