There are a number of chronic and debilitating illnesses that may be treated effectively with medical marijuana. In Pennsylvania, there are 17 conditions that can qualify a patient for medical marijuana use, including Crohn’s disease. These conditions can be painful, debilitating, and even life-threatening, but it is possible that marijuana use may alleviate some of the symptoms and bring relief to patients.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the lining of the digestive tract to become inflamed. It can cause severe abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss, fatigue, and malnutrition. The disease may affect as many as 700,000 Americans, and there is no confirmed cure for the disease. Treatments may be able to bring relief from symptoms and can help bring the disease into remission. Medical cannabis has been a recent topic of study to determine if it can be an effective treatment for those suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Several studies have found the use of cannabis or the cannabis-derivative tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to have positive effects for patients with Crohn’s disease. Cannabinoids can be anti-inflammatory and have been found to reduce pain, nausea, and general feelings of unpleasantness (Schicho & Storr, 2014). Cannabis use may also have positive mental and social effects and was discovered to have positive effects on patients’ general health perception, social functioning, and ability to work, as well as reducing physical pain and depression. The patients also reported an increase in body weight and BMI scores, which may indicate better nutrient absorption and increased appetite (Lahat, Lang & Ben-Horin, 2012). Other studies reported that patients found marijuana use to be very helpful to relieve pain, nausea, and diarrhea (Ravikoff, et al., 2013). In addition to reducing physical pain, cannabis may also increase appetite and encourage more restful sleep. These positive effects may even reduce the need for other medications to control symptoms (Naftali, et al., 2013).
While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, it is possible that medical marijuana use may greatly reduce symptoms or even bring symptoms into remission (Naftali, et al., 2013). For sufferers, this can be welcome news. Medical marijuana can be another option for patients who have had little success with traditional treatments.
Our Pennsylvania medical marijuana attorneys understand the powerful benefits for patients that medical cannabis can offer, and we are passionate about protecting the rights of these patients. At Sacks Weston LLC, we will work tirelessly to help you with your medical marijuana case.