What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease causes inflammation in the digestive system, which can range between mild and severe – not only from person to person but between individual flares in the same person. This inflammation primarily affects the small intestines and colon but can be seen elsewhere.
Crohn’s presents in flares and remissions. During flares, sufferers experience severe symptoms which may make it impossible to fulfill their daily obligations. During periods of remission, there are little to no symptoms.
Symptoms & Complications
Many of the symptoms which occur with Crohn’s disease are debilitating and can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. These include:
- chronic diarrhea, with or without the presence of blood and mucus
- weight loss
- pain, tenderness, fullness, and cramping in the abdomen
- rectal bleeding
- night sweats
- loss of menstrual cycle in women
Along with these primary symptoms are commonly associated complications. These can occur during any flare or during the beginning of a remission period. These include:
- intestinal strictures
- small intestine bacterial overgrowth
How Does CBD Help?
Talk to any Crohn’s sufferer and they can offer a long list of medications, home remedies, and lifestyle alterations they’ve used to try managing their disease. It is important to note that CBD is not a cure for the disease, but has been shown in numerous studies to be an incredibly effective form of management which does not require the use of synthetic chemicals.
The reason CBD helps is that it contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Since inflammation is the primary cause of symptoms in Crohn’s reducing it greatly benefits the patient. When inflammation is reduced the associated pain is also eased.
A secondary benefit is that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to promote relaxation. When the body is relaxed people are better able to sleep. During sleep, the body is able to focus all its energy on healing any damage caused by flares.
If you’d like to read further on the effects CBD has on Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases (like Ulcerative Colitis) you can check out this study here, or this one here.
How To Use CBD for Crohn’s
There are many different ways to use CBD, but the most effective method will depend on what it is being used for. In the treatment of Crohn’s Disease, you will need to orally ingest the cannabidiol, so topical applications will not work.
Tinctures and capsules are the best way to go for daily treatment. The strength you need will depend on your weight and the severity of symptoms. The strength needed for a 200-pound man with severe symptoms will not be the same as for a 100-pound woman with mild symptoms.
You can also cook with CBD or purchase edibles. These should be used sparingly but can be incredibly helpful for periods when your symptoms are at their worst. There are recipes for edibles online and guides on cooking with cannabidiol.