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Medical Marijuana and Ulcerative Colitis

Medical marijuana has been shown to provide symptom relief for those suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. It can help reduce inflammation in the gut, reduce pain and discomfort, and improve overall quality of life for people with UC. Studies have found that cannabis extracts containing both THC and CBD are effective in reducing inflammatory markers, providing analgesic effects, and blocking cellular pathways involved in the progression of UC.
ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis can be debilitating. The pain and discomfort, diarrhea that could wake you up from sleep, and even weight loss and fatigue are serious. In some cases, ulcerative colitis (UC) can pose life-threatening complications. While you may not have thought about ulcerative colitis and marijuana in the same sentence before, it could provide some benefits.

For ulcerative colitis, marijuana may offer several potential benefits, but first, we need to understand what is ulcerative colitis?

What is Ulcerative Colitis and What Causes It?

UC is an inflammatory bowel syndrome, also referred to as an IBD. This can cause ulcers (sores) along the digestive tract. It can be painful. It can cause significant discomfort. It can cause diarrhea, even to the point where you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it to the toilet in time.

Now, what cause ulcerative colitis? It’s unclear. Currently, doctors and medical researchers simply don’t know what causes UC, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some very good treatments available.

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis

If you are experiencing some symptoms of ulcerative colitis, medical marijuana may be able to help. However, you must consult a doctor first! What are some ulcerative colitis symptoms?

These can include:

    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Despite an urge to go (defecate), you just can’t
    • Rectal pain and/or bleeding
    • Abdominal pain (including cramping)
    • Diarrhea (that won’t respond to treatments, and may tend to include some bleeding
    • Weight loss
    • Having to constantly rush to the bathroom

If you have any blood in your stool, it is imperative that you get to a doctor immediately. This could be a sign of ulcerative colitis, or something even more serious. Now, let’s discuss some ulcerative colitis treatment options available.

Treatment Options

When you’re struggling to know how to treat ulcerative colitis, perhaps what your doctor has already tried isn’t working. Perhaps you’ve heard about marijuana and diarrhea, such that using medical marijuana may help to minimize the uncomfortable aspects of diarrhea.

It is possible, but there are also other benefits (to medical marijuana) and treatment options available.

Medication is one of the first things your doctor may recommend. Unfortunately, when treating ulcerative colitis, medical marijuana hasn’t usually been at the top of the list for most doctors. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. It simply means not enough doctors are aware of the benefits.

Immunosuppressive medications attempt to slow down your immune system responses. It’s these responses that are causing the colon to swell. You may also be prescribed biologics, which focus on reducing inflammation.

Surgery is another option your doctor may discuss. This would usually follow medication efforts and only be advised if your body is not responding to prescription medications. With this, part or the entire colon would be removed.

A third option involves cannabis for ulcerative colitis.

How Does Medical Marijuana Help Ulcerative Colitis?

It isn’t a cure, since doctors aren’t sure what causes UC, but yes, using medical marijuana for even CBD for ulcerative colitis can help.

Does Marijuana Treat Diarrhea?

If you’re asking, ‘Does marijuana help with diarrhea,’ the answer is a ‘maybe.’ It depends on several factors, including your body, your health factors, and the blood work and observation your doctor conducts.

There is still a limit on the amount of research conducted regarding CBD oil and ulcerative colitis, but overall, it may offer some relief from lower levels of inflammation.

In 2012, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America released a statement that showed some of the compounds found in marijuana mimic important endocannabinoids in the human body. This is important in helping reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal area.

Now, back to the question, ‘does weed help with diarrhea,’ using medical marijuana has been known to cause some constipation among users, so it could have some benefits for those with UC.

CBD Oil for Ulcerative Colitis

CBD and ulcerative colitis may not have a strong connection in the medical community overall, but that’s because its usage is still relatively recent. That doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.

In fact, using tinctures, sprays, or even edibles with CBD in them has the potential to reduce inflammation and lower pain levels. This could be extremely helpful for someone dealing with a UC flare-up.

Best Marijuana Strains for UC

Sativa strains of medical marijuana are often best suited for those seeking relief from depression, chronic pain, headaches, nausea, and depression.

Indica is more ideal for those looking for some relief from tremors, sleep trouble, muscle spasms, swelling and stiffness in the joints, and even anxiety.

Side Effects and Risks

There are some side effects and/or risks involved in any medical treatment, including the use of marijuana. That doesn’t mean it isn’t something you should discuss with the right doctor, though.

Some of the more common side effects can include:

    • Dry eyes
    • Dry mouth
    • Increased heart rate
    • Trouble perceiving time
    • Diminished capacity to solve problems
    • Trouble remember certain things
    • Slower digestion, which leads to constipation

If you notice that last potential side effect, it could actually help with UC because it slows digestion, ultimately providing some potential relief from constant diarrhea.

Should I Take Marijuana for Ulcerative Colitis?

This is a question you should discuss with a trained, licensed, and experienced medical professional. While there is research indicating that medical marijuana can help with some of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, it is not a cure.

How to Get a Medical Card for UC

If you want to learn more about how medical marijuana may be able to help you (or someone you love who is dealing with UC), we can connect you with a doctor who has direct experience with this medical condition (and who knows quite a bit about the benefits of medical marijuana).

The last thing anyone wants while contending with health challenges like ulcerative colitis is enduring the pain and discomfort when there is a reasonable and effective treatment option available.

Let us connect you to a doctor so you can get a medical card for this type of UC treatment (if that is what your doctor and you ultimately decide on, of course).

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