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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.
As you can see, ulcerative colitis in any form can be painful and reduce your quality of life significantly. Thankfully, however, there is promise in treating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis with marijuana.
a picture of marijuana leaves close up

Ulcerative Colitis and Medical Marijuana?

Active compounds in cannabis can have an impact on the reduction of ulcerative colitis symptoms. Specifically, THC and CBD each interact with our bodies on receptor sites that are part of a larger endocannabinoid system that is a natural part of our bodies. The THC and CBD found in cannabis are considered phytocannabinoids (plant-based) and can have several effects on our bodies. CBD can reduce inflammation, while THC can help alleviate nausea. These are the two primary ways cannabis can help reduce the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Marijuana treatment is not a cure, however, nor is it fully understood yet. Studies on the usage of cannabis to treat ulcerative colitis and other irritable bowel diseases are ongoing but show promise. Specifically, evidence of inflammation reduction is a primary way ulcerative colitis and marijuana can interact. Inflammation is associated with pain, and the reduction of inflammation can lessen the pain of ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative Colitis and marijuana – How Ozark MMJ Cards can help

As one of the 18 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use in Arkansas, you should bring up ulcerative colitis symptoms with a doctor. From there, the doctor will determine whether medical marijuana for ulcerative colitis is the right move. If you are ready to pursue treatment of the symptoms of ulcerative colitis with marijuana, begin your certification process with Ozark MMJ Cards today.