Medical Marijuana as Treatment for IBS

Medical Marijuana as Treatment for IBS

First, I would like to start off with the fact that it has taken a lot of courage for me to even write about such a sensitive subject. However, I feel that it is important to bring awareness and provide proper knowledge regarding marijuana and its medicinal value when used as treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

As much as I would like to start off with discrediting the social stigma that surrounds the medical use of marijuana, I figured it would be too typical to do so. With the amount of unbiased-scientific research that proves its beneficial values, the increasing number of states in America (and many other parts of the world) that are legalizing the plant for medical use (and some for recreational use), and for the fact that there has not been any recorded deaths caused by marijuana alone in history; there is no need to try to convince people that marijuana is not as bad as the media and propaganda make it out to be. I am fighting myself to advocate against the negative stereotypes because I am a firm believer in marijuana as an herbal medicine and its other uses as a natural resource. However, my sole purpose with this article is to talk about the benefits of natural remedies, specifically medical marijuana, and how it helps with my IBS.

For thousands of years, herbs have been used as a main source of medication in many countries around the world. There are a large number of herbal therapies that are practiced for many different ailments. For instance, turmeric and ginger have widely been used to help with symptoms caused by arthritis and acid reflux. Many people prepare the roots of these plants in the form of tea or food as a way of consuming the medication. Aloe is also used as a natural treatment. This plant can be prepared in a form of a drinking liquid to help reduce bloating, or even used as a skin applicator for acne and rashes. Another is chamomile, which helps with many symptoms caused by irritable bowel syndrome, such as bloating and indigestion. Thanks to unbiased scientific research, it has been proven that marijuana has many chemical properties that allow it to have great medicinal value as well.

To be able to discuss the medical benefits of marijuana, I must talk briefly about the chemical compounds in the plant, known as cannabinoids, and how they work to trigger the cannabinoid receptors that are already present in our bodies. A lot of people are familiar with the most common cannabinoids called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are the components, along with many others, that help in alleviating pain. According to Crescolabs, which is a company that provides educational resources regarding medical marijuana, “THC, is also known for being an effective reliever of pain and nausea, which are two of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. CBD, the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid works as a powerful anti-spasmodic that also produces calming effects in patients.” To further explain the mechanism, when these cannabinoids enter our system they create a reaction that stimulates two cannabinoid receptors; CB1 and CB2. As a result of the CB1 receptors being activated, which are found in the nervous system, digestive tract, etc., the human body then undergoes a process that allows it to feel the ‘pharmacological effects’ produced by marijuana. These effects include “gastroprotection, reduction of gastric and intestinal motility and reduction of intestinal secretion”. This is great news for IBS sufferers because depending on if you’re going through bouts of constipation or diarrhea, medical marijuana can help relax your intestinal muscles so that it’s easier to have a bowel movement. Not only does medical marijuana help IBS patients, it also has been extremely beneficial to patients who suffer from other illnesses, such as Crohn’s Disease, Arthritis, GERD, and many others. (To find more information on the research being done on the effects of medical marijuana, refer to these websites:

For me personally, medical marijuana has changed my life significantly since I found out I had IBS. Just about every morning I suffer from nausea, instant diarrhea, and lots of cramps and sharp pains, but as soon as I take my medication (medical marijuana) my symptoms, especially my nausea and cramps, quickly start to fade. Also, I’m naturally a positive person, however as you can imagine, IBS makes it easy to be depressed due to the daily struggles it creates, but the ease that medical marijuana provides to me aids in maintaining my sense of optimism. I find that having a positive attitude helps me develop the strength to be able to fight through each day, even if I’m going through a bad flare up. Although it is nearly impossible to overdose on marijuana, I’ve been prescribed to only intake a small amount, which is more than enough to help with pain relief. Overall, when consuming marijuana appropriately (and legally), the effects can be very beneficial to an IBS patient if he/she is willing to go that route.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.
View References
  1. Di Carlo, Guilia, and Angelo A. Izzo. "Cannabinoids for Gastrointestinal Diseases: Potential Therapeutic Applications." Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs 12.1 (2005): 39-49. Web.

Comments

View Comments (11)
  • Emily
    6 months ago

    I just started using CBD a few days ago. I’m having a flair up of IBS-D. How long does it take to help control it? And you mentioned a small amount. How much is that? Thank you.

  • Emily
    6 months ago

    I should clarify. I’m using CBD oil tincture. Right now I’m using .25 ml twice a day.

  • metamorefosi
    1 year ago

    thanks for sharing. You wrote about this, ie the use of cannabis a year ago. Is it still working and do you have any updates?
    John

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    You’re welcome, metamorefosi! Thank you for taking the time to read! I am currently still using medical marijuana as treatment and it definitely is still working for me. To be honest, I don’t have much of an update other than the fact that it is the best treatment I have used for my IBS. I have written a more recent article on the topic if you’re interested. Here is the link: https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/13-reasons-for-medical-marijuana/ . I hope you find it useful and please know we’re always here for support. – Hess (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team)

  • mmmoresco
    1 year ago

    Hi there,
    This article was very helpful. Can I please ask what form of cbd you use? a vape pen? or an edible? etc? thank you!

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hey mmmoresco!

    I’m glad to hear you thought my article was helpful. To answer your question: i use the flower and vape pen. I find these methods to work best for my condition. Thanks for being a part of the IBS community and please know we’re always here for support.

    Best,
    Hess (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team and Author)

  • nathan
    1 year ago

    Hi HessP,

    Thanks for your reply, the article was helpful. I think I’ll stop by a dispensary and let them know what I’m looking for. Thanks for the well wishes and response, take care!

  • nathan
    1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing your story HessP.

    I’m in a similar position- nausea and diarrhea in the morning, coupled with severe cramps and pain. I was researching medical marijuana for IBS and had already decided to pursue it when I came upon your article. It has really encouraged me in my decision to try it out.

    I wanted to ask you a question about it- I was researching CBD vs THC and wondering if there is a medical marijuana solution that wouldn’t get me high/would allow me to be fully functional still. I saw that CBD supposedly does that, but it looks like it’s not as much for nausea as THC is. In your experience, are you still able to function after you medicate for your IBS? Where did you find out which strain/balance of CBD/THC to take?

    Thanks in advance, I’m just really looking for relief so anything helps.

  • HessP moderator author
    1 year ago

    Hey Nathan!

    Thanks for reading my article! In my experience, and to my knowledge from doing research, CBD is just as effective as THC when it comes to relief of symptoms. However, as you’ve mentioned, the major difference is that you wont feel the psychoactive effects with CBD as much as you would with THC-dominant strains. I use CBD-dominant strains all the time for my nausea, and any other symptoms related to IBS.

    The great thing about medical dispensaries is that they have a menu (online or paper-form) where they provide information about each strain they have in inventory. Based off of that information is how I would choose which strain I’d prefer for my condition/s.

    To answer your original question: I am still able to function after I medicate for my IBS, but that is because I have developed a certain level of tolerance over the years (as a person would with any prescription/OTC drug). However, even with that being said, you really don’t need to consume much in order to feel the pharmacological effects of medical marijuana.

    Here is a source I use that provides more information on cannabinoids and their therapeutic and medicinal values: http://hempedification.blogspot.com/p/cannabinoids.html . I hope you find this information useful and helpful.

    Thank you for your question. Wishing you much strength, endurance and success during your journey to finding relief.

    Best,
    HessP (IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team)

  • zynapen
    2 years ago

    Great Article!

  • HessP moderator author
    2 years ago

    Hi Zyna!

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it! Stay tuned for more content!

    Best,
    Hess (Author & IrritableBowelSyndrome.net Team)

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