Ulcerative Colitis is one of the most common chronic inflammatory bowel diseases that target the inner lining of the large intestine. It is estimated that people belonging to the age group of 15 to 30 are the ones most prone to developing Ulcerative Colitis. Now, it is time to come to the big question, can cannabis provide effective relief from symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis? Letâs take a look at the topic from a broader perspective to find an exact answer.
The Impact of Cannabis on Ulcerative Colitis
According to verified sources, cannabis has around 150 cannabinoids present including CBD and delta-9 THC which are the two most studied cannabinoids. The most prominent impact of the cannabinoids is on the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the ECS. These receptors are known to create the brain-gut connection.
Studies have also revealed that both CB1 and CB2 greatly influence the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. So, when cannabis is used, it aids in relieving UC symptoms such as nausea/vomiting, chronic pain, intestinal emptying, and increased appetite.
Potential Risks of Using Cannabis for UC
Even though the use of cannabis has a pretty solid ground when it comes to treating certain Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, consulting the gastrointestinal physician who is working on your case before consuming cannabis is the right thing to do. It is important to note that the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis have been tested on animal subjects but have yet to produce credible results with a prominent effect on CRP (C-Reactive Protein) results.
Apart from this, the following are some potential downsides associated with the use of cannabis,
- Using cannabis for a long time often increases the risk of getting surgery.
- Consuming cannabis is not ideal for pregnant ladies.
- Potential short-term memory loss.
- Impaired coordination and control.
- Potential increase in anxiety.
Types of Ulcerative Colitis
Now that we have established a link between the use of cannabis and its beneficial impact on Ulcerative Colitis, letâs take a look at some of the most prominent types of UC.
1. Extensive Colitis
Extensive Colitis can be labeled as the most extended type of UC. Instead of a certain part or section of the large intestine getting affected, Extensive Colitis impacts the whole large intestine causing symptoms like bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, generalized abdominal pain, and considerable weight loss.
2. Left-sided Colitis
Left-sided Colitis is not as severe as Extensive Colitis, but the inflammation usually begins in the rectum near the sigmoid region leading all the way to the bend in the colon, near the spleen. Prominent symptoms include left-sided abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, and loss of appetite.
3. Ulcerative Proctitis
Ulcerative Proctitis affects only six inches of the rectum, which is the last part of the large intestine. The inflammation is quite concentrated and doesnât have a notable chance of developing cancer in the long run. Prominent symptoms include rectal bleeding, rectal bleeding, and urgent bowel movements.
Current Research on Cannabis and UC
Quite recently, many researchers have started to further study the impact of medical cannabis on treating IBDs like Ulcerative Colitis. So far, the studies are bringing mixed results with most of the patients claiming that the use of cannabis does in fact have brought some positive changes in their symptoms. Still, we need more groundbreaking research in this sector to establish a strong link between cannabis and its impact on the ECS leading to gastrointestinal relief.
So, does cannabis indeed provide relief for prominent ulcerative Colitis symptoms? Well, based on what the majority of the patients have to say, yes, it does. But still, donât forget to consult your gastrointestinal physician before trying out any cannabis product.