Can Marijuana or CBD Help With Ulcerative Colitis?

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

There’s tons of involvement successful medical marijuana and CBD to assistance negociate a assortment of conditions and symptoms specified arsenic pain, nausea, and trouble sleeping. If you oregon a loved 1 is struggling with ulcerative colitis (UC) and its symptoms, you mightiness wonderment if marijuana oregon CBD could assistance with those.

It’s utile to recognize the quality betwixt marijuana and CBD. Marijuana comes from a works that radical sometimes usage for recreational oregon medicinal purposes called Cannabis sativa. It contains 2 main progressive ingredients: THC (short for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (short for cannabidiol).

It’s the THC successful marijuana that gives you a high. If you bargain CBD products, they travel from a cannabis relative of marijuana called hemp. There shouldn’t beryllium overmuch if immoderate THC successful your CBD. So CBD mightiness marque you consciousness tired oregon marque your mouth consciousness dry, but you won’t get precocious from taking it.

Does either assistance with UC? Some researchers and doctors are exploring the anticipation that cannabis successful 1 signifier oregon different helps radical with inflammatory bowel disorders including UC. Based connected the grounds truthful far, the reply isn’t a elemental yes oregon no.

“There is simply a percent of patients who usage cannabis and consciousness better,” says Jami Kinnucan, MD, a gastroenterologist astatine the University of Michigan. “Their symptoms -- astir commonly abdominal pain oregon assemblage pain, diarrhea, appetite, and nausea -- improve.”

Limited Evidence

But, Kinnucan says, this doesn’t mean utilizing cannabis is simply a bully mode to dainty UC. That’s due to the fact that radical with UC person inflammation successful their digestive tracts. This inflammation arsenic good arsenic ulcers is tied to UC symptoms, including diarrhea, pain, cramping, bleeding and fatigue. A superior purpose of attraction is to halt the inflammation.

There’s immoderate grounds successful mice suggesting that cannabis could assistance with inflammation. This has to bash with definite receptors that respond to different cannabinoids our bodies marque naturally. Cannabis besides whitethorn dilatory the digestive tract. But it isn’t wide that smoking cannabis oregon taking it successful a capsule fights the underlying inflammation successful radical with UC.

In 1 tiny clinical trial, radical with UC who took CBD capsules containing a tiny magnitude of THC for 10 weeks weren’t immoderate much apt to spell into remission than those taking a placebo. Smoking 2 marijuana cigarettes a time didn’t little signs of inflammation either.

“If you bash blood work, imaging oregon stool samples, patients’ numbers don't change,” Kinnucan says. “While they whitethorn consciousness better, their inflammatory load isn’t improving.”

The CBD survey did study that the 10-week attraction improved prime of life. But the study’s participants besides reported broadside effects, including dizziness, occupation paying attention, headache, nausea, and fatigue. Dizziness was the astir communal crushed radical successful the CBD survey dropped out. The marijuana survey didn’t study connected broadside effects oregon prime of life.

A caller reappraisal of the 2 objective studies concluded that the effects of cannabis and CBD successful radical with UC stay uncertain. There’s nary grounds that it tin assistance to enactment radical with UC into remission.

But it’s excessively soon to accidental whether it sometimes helps successful different ways and however harmless it is.

Kinnucan says it’s imaginable that cannabis could assistance immoderate patients with UC and not others. For those with UC that’s controlled by medication, she says there’s nary crushed to deliberation adding cannabis would help. It’s ne'er a bully thought to regenerate approved medicines with cannabis. There’s a hazard that cannabis could fell symptoms and promote radical to halt needed treatments.

“At the extremity of day, if the anticipation is to power inflammation, determination is nary information to enactment that,” Kinnucan says.

Weigh the Risks

What’s astir important for radical with UC is to proceed with treatments that doctors cognize work. If you proceed to person symptoms, Kinnucan says a doc should measure your illness to marque definite the treatments you’re taking are sufficient. But if you oregon a loved 1 are taking medications arsenic prescribed to power the UC, there’s a accidental that cannabis mightiness assistance with lingering symptoms similar symptom oregon nausea. She recommends taking cannabis orally implicit smoking it due to the fact that of the risks of smoking and to commencement with the lowest THC levels.

Kinnucan says much doctors and patients should speech astir cannabis, including however and wherefore patients mightiness beryllium utilizing it connected their own. But for now, it's hard for doctors to cognize however to counsel radical with UC astir however they mightiness usage cannabis safely. Studies of cannabis for inflammatory bowel diseases including UC are ongoing, truthful much information is coming.

In summation to whether it works, doctors and patients besides person ineligible issues to see erstwhile it comes to cannabis. CBD is federally ineligible arsenic agelong arsenic it contains lone precise debased levels of THC, though the rules successful peculiar states could change.

For marijuana, it’s much complicated. For example, successful Michigan, recreational marijuana is ineligible but medical marijuana requires a confirmed diagnosis from 2 doctors. UC is connected the database of qualifying conditions for aesculapian marijuana. Marijuana tin beryllium classified arsenic medicinal oregon recreational. Both are ineligible successful immoderate states. Other states person lone legalized aesculapian marijuana. And successful some, nary signifier is legal. The national Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) besides recognizes marijuana, including aesculapian marijuana, arsenic a controlled substance.

“We person patients who unrecorded successful 1 authorities and thrust crossed authorities lines to get cannabis but past illegally bring it backmost in,” Kinnucan says. “You should notation to your authorities laws. Crossing a borderline tin beryllium a transgression activity.”

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