Information about Colitis:
More people suffer from colitis than is often realized. Nearly 700,000 Americans may have this embarrassing disorder, and much more have the similar disease of irritable bowel syndrome.
Although colitis can be treated with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication, there are other options. Colitis can be treated with both medical marijuana and CBD. This article discusses the basics of colitis and details how CBD is used to treat it.
What Is Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that affects the colon or large intestine. It causes inflammation, or swelling and irritation. Eventually, this leads to ulcers, which are sores in the lining of the colon.
Also known as colitis, this disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease. However, it differs from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and others with similar symptoms. There’s no cure for it. And flare-ups generally occur off and on for a lifetime.
What Causes Colitis
The exact causes of colitis are currently unknown. In the past, doctors believed it may have been caused by stress or diet. Now, research shows that these may aggravate the disease, but do not cause it.
One possible factor may be related to a malfunction in the immune system. When it attempts to fight off bacterium or a virus, as an abnormal response, the cells in the digestive track may be attacked by the immune system.
Some researchers believe heredity plays a major role in causing ulcerative colitis. It has been found to be more common in patients with family members who also have the disease.
According to various researchers, there is an array of infections and illnesses that may cause colitis. These are the six most common possible causes of inflammation of the colon:
• Bacteria & Viruses – Both can cause infections in the colon. Most of the illnesses are food-borne, such as food poisoning. They can lead to dehydration and bloody diarrhea.
• Parasite Infections – Giardia and other parasites can get into the body through ingested infected water. The source could be just about any body of water, including a swimming pool. It leads to significant diarrhea.
• Pseudomembranous Colitis – Caused by Clostridium difficile, a bacterium. Generally found in hospitalized patients or those who have recently taken antibiotics. They alter the colon’s normal bacteria responsible for digestion. It also allows toxin to be produced in the body, which leads to diarrhea and a fever.
• Narrowed Arteries – Your arteries are responsible for supplying the colon with blood. If they become narrow, blood supply is limited or cut off altogether. This leads to inflammation.
• Low Blood Supply – There are various things that could lead to loss of blood supply to the colon. Volvulus, for example, is when the bowel twists itself. This would prevent the flow of blood to the affected area.
• Blood Clots – If a blood clot travels through the body, it could block an artery. This decreases or blocks blood flow to the bowel. Clots can also lead to a stroke.
Symptoms of Colitis
The number one symptom of colitis is bloody diarrhea. Those who have it may also see pus in their stools as well. Some of the secondary symptoms of the disease include:
• Skin sores
• Anemia (not enough red blood cells)
• Bright lights cause pain in eyes
• Canker sores
• Soreness or pain in joints
• Weight loss
• No appetite
• Painful stomach cramps
• Sudden urges to immediately empty colon
• Waking up in middle of night to have bowel movement
• Unable to hold stools in
• Feeling like colon is still full after using the bathroom
Colitis symptoms tend to flare up, and eventually go away. But, they come back again at some point. The time in between flare ups could be weeks, even years.
Current Treatments for Colitis
To come up with a definitive treatment for colitis, the physician must first know the cause. Some require resting the bowel using clear liquids and meds for the pain. Other patients’ acute illnesses require intravenous fluids and other medical means.
• Infections – When an infection is the cause of colitis, antibiotics are often prescribed. Antibiotics can worsen diarrhea, cause stomach pain, tendinitis, heart palpitations, respiratory problems and many other heal issues.
• Ischemic Colitis – This is generally treated with intravenous fluids to allow the bowel to rest. If that doesn’t work, physicians recommend surgery to remove parts of the bowel. Surgeries come with many risks, including those accompanying the use of anesthesia.
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – IBDs include such diseases as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Doctors use a combination of prescription drugs to treat inflammation and pain. If they don’t work, surgery is usually recommended to remove all or parts of the small intestine and colon.
• Diarrhea and Abdominal Pain – Initially, these are generally treated with a 24-hour clear fluid diet and Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain. If the problem persists, prescription meds are prescribed by physicians, each one having its own health risks.
CBD and Colitis
Cannabinoids (CBD) have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. This could play a major role in the life of someone suffering from inflammation and pain caused by colitis. The disease is an inflammatory reaction which occurs within the colon. It’s often autoimmune or an infection.
Experts say that CBD modulates the functions of endocannabinoid because it’s able to inhibit amide hydrolase, an enzyme fatty acid. It’s responsible for the hydrolysis of anandamide, which mimics THC. This inhibition causes an anti-inflammatory effect in the intestines. CBD has been known to counter the effects caused by inflammation.
In 2008, Capasso et al explored the role of CBD and this inhibition process. The study was conducted on selectively inhibited mice. CBD did increase the levels of endocannabinoid. This increase activator the receptors CB1 and CB2, which lead to anti-inflammatory effects.
Medical Research on Medical Marijuana and Colitis
Cannabinoids (CBD) are one of the two major chemical compounds found in medical marijuana, or cannabis. Unlike the other main compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it doesn’t cause a euphoric high effect. However, it does have some anti-inflammatory benefits that could effectively relieve symptoms and pain caused by colitis.
A study was published online by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. The study was investigating the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabinoid receptors. Mice were used to conduct the experiment.
The research shows that CBD helped improved “pathological changes” in those with DSS colitis (dextran sulfate sodium colitis). Plasma levels of MPO, IL-6 and TNF-a activity were decreased within the colon. Researchers say this is confirmation that CBD does have anti-inflammatory effects necessary in treating colitis. Part of this has to do with its ability to inhibit p38MAPK, scientists say.
Another study was conducted at Shanghai, China’s Tongji University School of Medicine. Researchers say the results confirm that activating CBD receptors can provide protections against colitis. This study was a follow up to one published by the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters medical journal, which had the same findings.
FASEB Journal recently published another study. This study shows that cannabis does indeed possess anti-inflammatory properties. In other words, the CBD found in medical marijuana could be very beneficial in the treatment of chronic inflammation.
Medical Research on CBD and Colitis
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps the body regulate many things. Those that effect patients with colitis include immune function, stress response, emotions, gastrointestinal (GI) motility, appetite and pain. It’s a combination of cannabinoids produced by the body naturally called endocannabinoids.
ECD stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in the body. These receptors are located in various parts of the body, including fat, muscles, brain and the entire GI tract.
One study began by inducing colitis (intestinal inflammation) in rodents. The effects of the commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory drug, sulphasalazine, was compared to that of THC and CBD. Researchers found that both THC was effective by itself, but caused the euphoric high. CBD was very effective when combined with a lower dosage of THC. The prescription drug was slightly effective.
Another animal study found that administering CBD before a flare-up help to prevent it from happening at all. Biopsies shows that CBD was effective as an anti-inflammatory medication in patients with ulcerative colitis.
CBD vs. THC
Cannabinoids actually counteract the euphoric, high effects caused by the THC found in medical marijuana. CBD products contain no THC. So, people suffering from colitis can reap its anti-inflammatory benefits, without feeling loopy or high.
THC is just as effective for treating inflammation caused by the symptoms. However, not everyone wants to feel like they’re on drugs. Not to mention, THC is the chemical that will ensure that you fail the employment drug test.
For inflammation caused by colitis without the euphoric effect, experts recommend using a product high in CBD, with zero THC content. This will help to decrease the inflammation in the colon or large intestine, while also helping to relieve the pain caused by colitis.
How to Take Medical Marijuana for Colitis
There are multiple ways to take medical marijuana, with the most common being to smoke it. This is done by rolling it in papers or cigars, or smoking it from a weed pipe or bong. Many people also use vaporizers these day, as they only emit about 5% of the smoke.
Edibles are also a popular way to take medical marijuana. They come as pastries, candies, dairy products, spices, etc… There are also raw cannabis juices, which can be quite healthy for you. However, for someone suffering from colitis, diet can be a major issue.
For those suffering from colitis who don’t want to smoke medical marijuana, experts recommend CBD oils. This cannabis product gives you options. Place a couple of drops on your tongue, in your drinks, foods, etc… CBD oils contain high levels of CBD, but no THC.
CBD Oil for Colitis
CBD oil is just as effective for treating inflammation caused by colitis as medical marijuana. These oils provide users with natural remedies that contain high-levels of CBD. However, since there’s no THC in cannabidiol oils, there’s no high after effects to deal with. And, you can still ace that drug test.
Using CBD oil is much more convenient than smoking weed. You don’t have to carry paraphernalia around with you, roll up the weed, clean or buy filters, etc… These oils can be conveniently stored in your fridge or nightstand. Then, when you feel a flare-up coming on, just put a couple of drops in your mouth, and wait for the CBD to do its job.
Growing Your Own Colitis Medication
Want to grow your own colitis medication? Well, if you plan to use it to help relieve the inflammation and pain caused by your disease, that’s probably a good idea.
Growing your own medical cannabis brings convenience to your back door. Your colitis medicine is right there, in your reach, whenever you need it. You’ll also have the option of buying medical marijuana seeds that contain the amounts of CBD and THC that’s best for you.
If getting high is not an issue, try a CBD heavy indica such as Cheese and Blueberry. It will relieve inflammation and give its users the munchies – good news for those suffering from trouble eating or stomach cramps, such as colitis sufferers.
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The founder of I Love Growing Marijuana, Robert Bergman, is a marijuana growing expert that enjoys sharing his knowledge with the world. He combines years of experience, ranging from small-scale grows to massive operations, with a passion for growing. His articles include tutorials on growing... [read more]