Ulcerative Colitis and Marijuana
Can medical marijuana for ulcerative colitis be a valid option to reduce the symptoms of the disease? Evidence suggests cannabis can help manage symptoms of ulcerative colitis. To understand why, we need to know what ulcerative colitis is and what the symptoms are.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that results from a misfiring immune system. The misfire involves your white blood cells attacking good bacteria, food, and the cells that line your colon. This results in inflammation and ulcers. Ulcerative colitis risk factors include age and family history, with food and stress serving as triggers for flare-ups. Medical marijuana for ulcerative colitis can help reduce these potential triggers.
WebMD outlines several forms of the condition as well. These variations are based on where in the body your symptoms occur.
- Ulcerative proctitis: The form is considered to be most mild and located in the rectum. Rectal bleeding is generally the only sign of the disease.
- Proctosigmoiditis: More severe, this form occurs in the rectum and lower end of the colon. Its symptoms include bloody diarrhea, cramps, and pain.
- Left-sided colitis: This form causes pain on the left side of the belly as it affects the rectum to the left side of the colon and can result in pain, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss.
- Pancolitis: Pancolitis affects the entire colon and can include the symptoms of other forms in addition to fatigue.
- Acute severe ulcerative colitis: The rarest of the forms of ulcerative colitis, this form affects the entire colon and can include bleeding and fever.