Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease are both common forms of Irritable Bowel Disease. Both Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are most prevalent in developed countries. Those who are diagnosed with these forms of Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) suffer from an autoimmune response that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The symptoms of irritable bowel disease can be debilitating and affect many aspects of daily life and in some cases, require hospitalization or surgery.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for irritable bowel disease. Those who are diagnosed with a form of IBD will likely go through periods of remission as well as a flair-up of symptoms from time to time.

Some studies have shown that medicinal cannabis can be a useful tool in calming the symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

An observational study done in 2011 in Israel looked at the effects of cannabis on 30 patients who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. They saw a significant improvement in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease in 21 of the 30 patients. These results indicated that there may be some positive effect when using cannabis to help manage Crohn’s disease symptoms.

In 2013, a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology looked at 21 patients who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and who were not getting any relief of symptoms with the standard treatments. 11 participants were given THC twice per day while the rest received a placebo. The group who was given THC reported a decrease in their Crohn’s symptoms versus the group who had been given a placebo. They also reported an improvement in their quality if sleep.

Irritable bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease affects people everyday here in Canada. The symptoms can have a negative impact on your day to day life as well as to your overall health. If you think that medicinal cannabis is a suitable treatment for your IBD symptoms, speak with your doctor about the possible benefits to incorporating medicinal cannabis into your current treatment plan. Medicinal cannabis is not for everyone and so it is important that you are being closely supervised by your care physician while using medicinal cannabis.