Can Marijuana or CBD Assist With Ulcerative Colitis?

Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on December 17, 2020

There’s a lot of curiosity in medical marijuana and CBD to assist handle quite a lot of situations and signs equivalent to pain, nausea, and trouble sleeping. In the event you or a cherished one is fighting ulcerative colitis (UC) and its signs, you may marvel if marijuana or CBD might assist with these.

It’s helpful to grasp the distinction between marijuana and CBD. Marijuana comes from a plant that individuals typically use for leisure or medicinal functions known as Hashish sativa. It comprises two fundamental energetic components: THC (quick for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (quick for cannabidiol).

It’s the THC in marijuana that provides you a excessive. In the event you purchase CBD merchandise, they arrive from a hashish cousin of marijuana known as hemp. There shouldn’t be a lot if any THC in your CBD. So CBD may make you are feeling tired or make your mouth really feel dry, however you received’t get excessive from taking it.

Does both assist with UC? Some researchers and medical doctors are exploring the chance that hashish in a single type or one other helps folks with inflammatory bowel issues together with UC. Primarily based on the proof to date, the reply isn’t a easy sure or no.

“There’s a proportion of sufferers who use hashish and really feel higher,” says Jami Kinnucan, MD, a gastroenterologist on the College of Michigan. “Their signs — mostly abdominal pain or physique ache, diarrhea, urge for food, and nausea — enhance.”

Restricted Proof

However, Kinnucan says, this doesn’t imply utilizing hashish is an efficient method to deal with UC. That’s as a result of folks with UC have inflammation of their digestive tracts. This inflammation in addition to ulcers is tied to UC signs, together with diarrhea, ache, cramping, bleeding and fatigue. A major intention of remedy is to cease the irritation.

There’s some proof in mice suggesting that hashish might assist with irritation. This has to do with sure receptors that reply to different cannabinoids our our bodies make naturally. Hashish additionally could sluggish the digestive tract. Nevertheless it isn’t clear that smoking hashish or taking it in a capsule fights the underlying irritation in folks with UC.

In a single small clinical trial, folks with UC who took CBD capsules containing a small quantity of THC for 10 weeks weren’t any extra doubtless to enter remission than these taking a placebo. Smoking two marijuana cigarettes a day didn’t decrease indicators of irritation both.

“In the event you do blood work, imaging or stool samples, sufferers’ numbers don't change,” Kinnucan says. “Whereas they could really feel higher, their inflammatory burden isn’t enhancing.”

The CBD examine did report that the 10-week remedy improved high quality of life. However the examine’s members additionally reported unintended effects, together with dizziness, hassle paying consideration, headache, nausea, and fatigue. Dizziness was the commonest motive folks within the CBD examine dropped out. The marijuana examine didn’t report on unintended effects or high quality of life.

A current assessment of the 2 scientific Research concluded that the results of hashish and CBD in folks with UC stay unsure. There’s no proof that it might probably assist to place folks with UC into remission.

Nevertheless it’s too quickly to say whether or not it typically helps in different methods and the way protected it’s.

Kinnucan says it’s attainable that hashish might assist some sufferers with UC and never others. For these with UC that’s managed by remedy, she says there’s no motive to assume including hashish would assist. It’s by no means a good suggestion to interchange authorized medicines with hashish. There’s a danger that hashish might cover signs and encourage folks to cease wanted therapies.

“On the finish of day, if the hope is to manage irritation, there isn’t a knowledge to assist that,” Kinnucan says.

Weigh the Dangers

What’s most vital for folks with UC is to proceed with therapies that medical doctors know work. In the event you proceed to have signs, Kinnucan says a physician ought to consider your illness to ensure the therapies you’re taking are ample. However in case you or a cherished one are taking medications as prescribed to manage the UC, there’s an opportunity that hashish may assist with lingering signs like ache or nausea. She recommends taking hashish orally over smoking it due to the dangers of smoking and to start out with the bottom THC ranges.

Kinnucan says extra medical doctors and sufferers ought to speak about hashish, together with how and why sufferers may be utilizing it on their very own. However for now, it's tough for medical doctors to know the best way to advise folks with UC about how they could use hashish safely. Research of hashish for inflammatory bowel illnesses together with UC are ongoing, so extra knowledge is coming.

Along with whether or not it really works, medical doctors and sufferers even have authorized points to think about with regards to hashish. CBD is federally authorized so long as it comprises solely very low ranges of THC, though the foundations particularly states might change.

For marijuana, it’s extra sophisticated. For instance, in Michigan, leisure marijuana is authorized however medical marijuana requires a confirmed analysis from two medical doctors. UC is on the checklist of qualifying situations for medical marijuana. Marijuana will be labeled as medicinal or leisure. Each are authorized in some states. Different states have solely legalized medical marijuana. And in some, no type is authorized. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) additionally acknowledges marijuana, together with medical marijuana, as a managed substance.

“We’ve sufferers who stay in a single state and drive throughout state traces to acquire hashish however then illegally deliver it again in,” Kinnucan says. “You must discuss with your state legal guidelines. Crossing a border is usually a felony exercise.”


The information provided about this medicine is based on the medical literature of the medicine, however, it does not constitute a substitute for consulting a doctor.

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