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Home » Medical Marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease

Medical Marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease

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Medical marijuana has been shown to ease the pain and symptoms of those who suffer with inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease. Here at Sensible Seeds we are in the process of analysing and presenting research into the cannabis strains and treatments that will offer the most benefits to sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Sensible Seeds is committed to bringing beneficial cannabis strains and related medical marijuana information to you, and all medical marijuana patients. We continue to update our website as new discoveries come to light. We have sourced information from a variety of well-established medical marijuana websites and a summary of this information can be found below.

  • Click here to see our strains that could help inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease

    The Sensible Seeds team are constantly updating the list of marijuana seeds available for sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease and other medical marijuana related conditions. Keep checking back at the Sensible Seeds websites for updates on medical marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, crohn's disease If you have found a cannabis strain which you found beneficial please let us know and we will list it here.


What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (also known as IBD) is the term that is used to describe two diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both of these diseases are chronic, meaning that they are long term diseases that involve inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine (the colon) while Crohn’s disease affects the whole digestive system, from the mouth to the anus. Some people suffer from indeterminate colitis, where it is hard to tell which type of IBD a patient is suffering from. Who is affected?

IBD is slightly more prevalent in women than men and is known to affect about one person in every 250. Diagnosis is more common in people in their late teens and early 20s but it can make an appearance at any age. In the UK there are approximately 120,000 people with ulcerative colitis and 90,000 with Crohn's disease. IBD affects over 1.5 million people in the United States and approximately 0.5% of the Canadian population.

IBD is more common in white people than in black people or those of Asian origin. The condition is most prevalent among Jewish people of European origin. 

What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

There is a similarity between the main symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, notably:

·         Tummy pain

·         Weight loss

·         Tiredness, fatigue or exhaustion

·         Diarrhoea that is frequent and/or bloody

·         Nausea and/ or fever

Most sufferers of IBD find that they have a mix of flare-ups and remission. 

What are the causes of inflammatory bowel disease?

It is not exactly clear what the causes of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease are although there are a number of factors that have a role. If you have a close relative with IBD you are more likely to develop the condition yourself. If there is any disruption to your immune system – perhaps caused by another illness – IBD can be caused when the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the gut while trying to fight off another virus or infection. 

Conventional treatment for inflammatory bowel disease

There is no known cure for IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Treatment only helps to relieve symptoms and tries to prevent them from returning. Medications used to treat ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease may include amino salicylates and corticosteroids which reduce inflammation, or immunosuppressants which block any harmful activity in the immune system.

Unfortunately an estimated 20% of people have severe symptoms that don't respond to medication and occasionally surgery is required to remove inflamed sections of the digestive system. Approximately 60-75% of people with Crohn’s disease will need surgery to repair the damage that has been done to their digestive system. 

Medical marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease

While there are a variety of treatments available for sufferers of IBD available on the market today, many sufferers are opting to become medical marijuana patients. In Canada, for example, one 2011 survey has found that 50% of patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease had tried marijuana and of those, 33% with ulcerative colitis and 50% with Crohn’s disease said that the use of medical marijuana helped them to deal with symptoms, particularly abdominal pain, diarrhoea and a reduced appetite. It appears that medical marijuana patients recommend MMJ as an effective treatment option for sufferers of IBD because it offers fewer side-effects and can also reduce the need for surgery. 

Endocannabinoids and Bowel Regulation

Humans naturally produce cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors are located in various parts of the body – this is known as the endocannabinoid system. This system helps in a number of digestive processes, including food intake, protection of the intestinal tract and inhibition of nausea and vomiting. Research has shown that endocannabinoid and cannabinoid receptor levels in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease become abnormal.  Other studies have identified higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in colon tissues sampled from patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Patient Education Committee stated in March 2013, in an email to

"Experimental evidence suggests that endocannabinoids, molecules found in the body that closely resemble compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, may play a role in limiting intestinal inflammation. IBD patients have been found to have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in their colonic tissue. Several small studies have shown that a significant proportion of patients with IBD report smoking marijuana to relieve IBD-related symptoms, particularly those patients with a history of abdominal surgery, chronic abdominal pain, and/or a low quality of life index.”

They added the caveat that the medicinal use of marijuana is limited by its potential side effects – particularly in relation to smoking – and the lack of direct scientific evidence of clinical effectiveness for intestinal inflammation.

However, researchers believe that the endocannabinoid system could be targeted in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease so that gastrointestinal over activity, inflammation, abdominal pain and other symptoms associated with the disorders, can be regulated.

In animals, studies demonstrated that cannabinoids can reduce over activity of the intestinal tract caused by inflammation, and normalize the gastrointestinal movements in IBD sufferers. A 2010 published study noted that treatment with THC, or a combination of THC and CBD, could be more effective at reducing intestinal over activity than sulfasalazine which is a drug that is widely-prescribed for patients with IBD.

Cannabinoids have strong anti-inflammatory properties and therefore both THC and CBD are able to reduce intestinal inflammation and damage in rats, and CB1 or CB2 receptors result in a reduction in abdominal pain.

The most recent research on humans (Meir Medical Centre, Israel, 2013) has indicated that smoking cannabis twice a day over an 8 week period helps to relieve symptoms of Crohn’s Disease in 10 out of the 11 MMJ patients. Five of the MMJ patients achieved complete remission during the length of the trial, with medical marijuana patients reporting improved sleep and appetite and no significant side-effects.

An observational study of 30 MMJ patients with Crohn’s disease, published by Israeli researchers in 2011, found that 21 of them experienced significant improvements after using medical marijuana. A decrease in the number of bowel movements made per day was matched by a reduced requirement for other medications and surgical interventions. 

Medical marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease – Sensible Seeds

The Sensible Seeds team are constantly updating the list of marijuana seeds available for inflammatory bowel disease sufferers and other medical marijuana patients. Keep checking back at the Sensible Seeds websites for updates on medical marijuana for inflammatory bowel disease or contact us for advice and further information.


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Sensible Seeds source all their medical marijuana information from related MMJ sites on the web. This information comes from reliable sources though we cannot be 100% certain of its accuracy. Medical Marijuana strains listed for helping certain medical conditions are again sourced from other medical marijuana web sites and are not officially approved by any government organisation. Recommended strains usually come from individuals that discovered that a particular strain helped them for a particular condition though this may vary from person to person. Our Medical information serves only as a guideline and customers are advised to make their own independent research. Sensible Seeds are not qualified medical practitioners and source any medical info from information already present on the internet. We cannot accept any liability for any issue arising for information provided on our website.

The Service provides general information about medical conditions and treatments and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

You must not rely on the information provided by this Service as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by this Service.

Reliance on any information provided by Sensible Seeds employees, other parties privy to the Service, or other users of the Service is solely at your own risk.


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