Marijuana has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and the larger condition of inflammatory bowel disease. Beyond just pain relief, medical marijuana has also been shown to decrease other symptoms of the disease, such as diarrhea and inflamed bowels.
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How effective is effective?
In a small study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, in a 21 patient study using placebos, of the eleven patients given marijuana, 5 patients experienced total remission and 90% experienced a “clinical response” meaning partial or total alleviation of symptoms.
The patients were smoking THC heavy strains, and reported an increase in both appetite and sleep with no significant side effects.
But many more studies have echoed this one’s findings. A study of 13 people found that all thirteen people reported an increase of quality of life, less frequent diarrhea, and helped with weight gain. Respondents also reported an increase in overall happiness.
A 2013 study found many Crohn’s patients are already self-medicating; the study found a little more than 50% of patients either were or had been using marijuana to alleviate their symptoms.
Currently, the majority of medical marijuana research is being done outside the United States, where it is still strictly monitored. Recent legislation, including the 2015 bipartisan Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act seeks to make it easier for such research to occur.
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