CBD for Crohn’s Disease


What would be the pint of using CBD for Crohn’s Disease? Sonia B. Glover described her experience with Crohn’s disease in an interview with GI Society as a daily “torment.”

“Upon graduation, I got a job right away as a reporter and news anchor for a radio station…It was another dream coming true,” said Glover. “I experienced sporadic weakness, diarrhea, and unbearable pain in my tummy. I lived with this torment daily, as I dragged myself out of bed at 4 or 5 o’clock every morning. I cried one minute and laughed the next.”

Crohn’s can cause a significant reduction in quality of life with painful or even embarrassing symptoms. Today, we’re going to discuss using CBD for Crohn’s Disease.

CBD for Crohn’s at a glance:

What the claims are: In certain doses, using CBD for Crohn’s can result in the improvement of symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Issues sleeping

What the studies show: There is a need for more clinical trials to be done, but research suggests that use of CBD can help alleviate symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

What the facts say: CBD has the potential to significant quality of life increases and help with the pain and discomfort associated with Crohn’s. In one study, CBD use resulted in clinical remission in 45% of patients in eight weeks of treatment compared to only 10% of patients who received a placebo.

What exactly is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes your digestive tract to become inflamed. Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, malnutrition, and extreme diarrhea. In severe cases, Crohn’s disease can have complications including delayed growth in children and inflammation of the liver. Crohn’s disease is a chronic and incurable condition and treatment is focused on alleviation of symptoms. 

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, over 500,000 people have Crohn’s disease in the United States alone. Evidence suggests that Crohn’s disease is slightly more prevalent in women than men. The symptoms of Crohn’s disease often come in waves with periods of times with severe symptoms followed by times with mild or even no symptoms. Research suggests that stress, antibiotics, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin can trigger relapses in Crohn’s disease symptoms.

While the exact cause of Crohn’s isn’t known, there are some factors that seem to play a part in developing this disorder:

  • Problems with the immune system
  • Family history of the disease
  • Smoking

Crohn’s disease can, in severe cases, increase the risk of colon cancer, anal fissures, and ulcers. Crohn’s disease can cause absenteeism in the workplace and one study concluded that productivity was significantly impaired. Crohn’s can even lead to issues like increased anxiety and stress due to fear of a flare up in public.

How can CBD be used for Crohn’s Disease?

In the past, we’ve mentioned several studies that have shown CBD can help relieve hard to manage pain, but there is also evidence to suggest it can help with anxiety, which is commonly caused by the impact Crohn’s symptoms can have the lives of those suffering from this disease. Crohn’s flare ups are often a result of stress, which CBD can also help relieve

In addition to the aforementioned clinical studies suggesting the efficacy of using CBD for Crohn’s Disease, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that CBD can be effective in reducing the symptoms of Crohn’s, possibly even resulting in a remission of symptoms. 

Is there a potential downside to using CBD for Crohn’s? 

Most people are able to take CBD without significant downsides but there is a small chance for side effects such as dry mouth, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. It’s important to note that diarrhea can occasionally result from CBD use in those who are sensitive to it. This would be especially difficult for those suffering with Crohn’s, who already have a propensity toward bowels issues and would want to avoid triggering them at all costs.  

Many people are apprehensive about using a product that comes from the marijuana plant due to preconceived notions. Despite where it comes from, though, unlike THC, CBD is not psychotropic which means you don’t have to worry about it getting you high or causing impairment.  

CBD is commonly regarded as a safe treatment for alleviating some symptoms of Crohn’s disease and most anecdotal evidence supports it having a positive effect on Crohn’s symptoms. However, there are also some who haven’t found using CBD for Crohn’s to be effective in treating their symptoms. 

On the whole, the positives of using CBD for Crohn’s disease seem to outweigh the negatives and using CBD may result in a significant improvement of symptoms. In some cases, it could even result in a full remission of symptoms.

Should I give CBD for Crohn’s a try? 

Crohn’s can be a potentially debilitating condition that significantly impacts your quality of life. Trying CBD for Crohn’s is definitely something to consider as it can result in a remission of or reduction of symptoms. CBD is believed to be a safe option that can potentially have a huge positive impact on your life if you suffer from Crohn’s disease.

As with any change to your medical routine, before you try CBD for Crohn’s, you should speak to your healthcare professional and tell you if CBD for Crohn’s is right for you. You should also talk to your pharmacist to make sure you aren’t taking any medications that might interact with CBD.

Lastly, especially in diseases and disorders that involve irregular bowel movements, we suggest starting with small doses to ensure that CBD does not trigger diarrhea.  

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Last modified: December 18, 2019