A new study looking into the effects of marijuana on irritable bowel disease (IBD) has revealed some good news: Patients that took marijuana experienced fewer symptoms of IBD than those who didn’t.
IBD encapsulates two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. About three million adults are diagnosed in the US, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and examined patients with IBD and their history with marijuana. Researchers conducted an anonymous survey on patients with IBD who were over the age of 18 and made medical marijuana purchases on dispensaries in New York or Minnesota.
Survey questions ranged from the patients’ IBD symptoms to their medical marijuana habits, including their purchase history and adverse side effects.
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The results were mostly positive, with the majority of IBD cases ranging from mild to moderate, with the median frequency of medical marijuana use being about once a week. Most patients preferred to vape marijuana, mainly with high amounts of THC.
The study concluded that medical marijuana users experienced decreased IBD symptoms and fewer visits to the emergency room. Medical marijuana appeared to have a positive impact on patients’ lives, lessening their everyday IBD symptoms.
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In terms of side effects, the majority of respondents reported feeling euphoric (75.4%) after using marijuana, with only a small minority feeling negative effects such as drowsiness (4.2%), dry mouth/eyes (3.4%), and anxiety, depression, and paranoia (3.4%).
More studies are needed to paint a clearer picture of marijuana’s effect on IBD. For now, it appears like there’s an existing connection, showing that marijuana can have a positive impact on patients struggling with IBD.
According to the CDC, IBD is a generalized GI tract condition; it can target any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the intestines. The fact that medical marijuana can have a positive impact is good news, and should be studied further.