One of the many different effects that prompts some folks to use cannabis is its ability to significantly improve one’s appetite. Due to this appetite enhancing effect, marijuana is famously being used as a form of treatment to reduce symptoms associated with a number of different gastrointestinal problems that are related to certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. However, cannabis could also be used to treat a number of other gastrointestinal problems like the ones listed below. While we don’t claim that cannabis is a cure for these conditions, each of them has a number of different symptoms that could potentially be relieved with the use of marijuana and its related products.
Gastroenteritis is when your stomach and intestines become irritated and inflamed, usually due to a viral or bacterial infection. The main symptoms of gastroenteritis can include watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, cramps, fever, and a headache. One can get gastroenteritis by eating or drinking tainted foods and contact with those already exposed to the “bug.”
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of one’s digestive tract. This regular inflammation will often lead to abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, loss of energy, weight loss, and even malnutrition. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease usually spreads deep into the layers of bowel tissue and can be both painful, debilitating, and may lead to life-threatening complications in some severe cases.
Diverticulitis is the inflammation or infection of small pouches called diverticula that develop along the walls of one’s intestines. While the formation of these pouches is generally benign, those suffering diverticulitis may develop anything from small abscesses in some of the pouches to the risk of massive infection or bowel perforation. When these diverticula are inflamed, they can cause significant pain, constipation, and bloody stools among other symptoms.
Gastroparesis is a disorder where the movement of food from your stomach to your small intestine is slowed or stopped entirely even though there is no physical blockage in either. Gastroparesis symptoms often include feeling full quickly after beginning a meal, still feeling full long after having finished eating, nausea, and vomiting. While diabetes is the most common known cause of gastroparesis, viruses, hypothyroidism, and certain medications may also trigger this condition.
Ulcerative colitis is another chronic inflammatory bowel disease where colon becomes inflamed and develops tiny sores, or ulcers, that go on to produce pus and/or mucous. The combination of inflammation and ulceration can cause abdominal discomfort and frequent emptying of the colon. Symptoms of ulcerative colitis can very often include bowel movements that are looser and much more urgent, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, and bloody stools. Those diagnosed with ulcerative colitis also often experience loss of appetite along with unwanted weight loss and a general feeling of fatigue.
Do you believe that marijuana can be an effective form of treatment for these conditions? Can you think of any other digestive problems where those suffering could potentially benefit from cannabis use?