IBD & IBS (Crohn's Disease)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an inflammatory autoimmune condition in the GI tract, is an often debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is thought to be a combination of abnormal GI tract motility and a disruption of the communication between the brain and the GI tract. IBS comes with its own discomfort, affecting as much as 20% of the population in Western countries. [21,51]

IBD (Crohn's Disease), IBS, and Your Endocannabinoid System

Cannabis has been observed to be beneficial to patients with IBD. The known anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and immunomodulatory properties of cannabinoids combined with the ECS’ significant presence in the GI tract provides a foundation for further research. [44]

Cannabinoids have been shown to be anti-inflammatory, mainly through CB2 receptors. In IBD, cannabinoids shift the balance of pro-inflammatory cytokines (immune system secretions)  to anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as down-regulating the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. [37]

Research suggests that abnormalities in the quantity and breakdown of endocannabinoids (2-AG and anandamide) and endocannabinoid-like fatty acids may be related to whether a patient has diarrhea dominant vs. constipation dominant IBS. [21]

For IBS, pure THC is not effective in treating symptoms, suggesting that whole plant medicines or medicines combining THC with CBD are preferable. [21]

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Medical Cannabis Guidelines

Combining delivery methods may be beneficial to get quick and lasting relief. Pulmonary is the fastest acting delivery method, followed by sublingual. Medicine taken orally can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to take effect, however usually lasts longer.

DOSING STRATEGY

Start low and go slow to avoid uncomfortable levels of intoxication with THC.

Desired Effect

Anti-Inflammatory

Active Compound

THC [38, 55, 70], THCA [39], CBD [22, 38, 41]
B-Caryophyllene [54, 55], Myrcene [55]

Delivery Method

Pulmonary, Sublingual, Oral, Topical (localized relief)
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Desired Effect

Improved Bowel Function

Active Compound

CBD [41], THC [37]

Delivery Method

Pulmonary, Sublingual, Oral
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Desired Effect

Decrease Gut Spasms

Active Compound

THC:CBD Balance [21],
THC (Based on clinical observation)

Delivery Method

Pulmonary, Sublingual, Oral
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Desired Effect

Decrease Need for Rx Medication--IBS/IBD

Active Compound

THC, THC:CBD Balance
(Based on clinical observation)

Delivery Method

Pulmonary, Sublingual, Oral
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Desired Effect

Pain Relief

Active Compound

THC:CBD Balance [1, 2, 7, 19, 55, 56], THC [1, 2, 19, 55, 56], CBD [55]

Delivery Method

Pulmonary, Sublingual, Oral
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