Chron’s disease

Why medical cannabis makes sense

Why medical cannabis makes sense

Today is a fascinating time with the emergence of new science in the field of medical cannabis.  Two of the plant’s most exciting features are its extreme low toxicity, as well as its broad effectiveness for many different types of medical conditions.  How is it that cannabis can help such a wide range of symptoms and health issues ranging from PTSD to cancer and arthritis, MS to Crohn’s disease and epilepsy, as well as insomnia, pain and muscle spasm?  The answer lies in our body’s endocannabinoid system, which acts like the internet of our body to help cells coordinate our immune response.   The endocannabinoid system helps our body organize itself by helping cells communicate better to create physiologic balance.acc-feature-cancer-patient

Unlike conventional drugs which can have very serious toxicity issues for patients, cannabis possesses very low toxicity.  Cannabis is far less toxic than aspirin or Tylenol for example.  No patient or recreational user has ever died from an overdose of cannabis.  In fact, cannabis is the least toxic of any pain reliever, which makes it an excellent option for folks who have chronic pain and are on long-term medications such as opiates.  Emerging science shows that folks using medical cannabis for their chronic conditions actually are able to reduce the amount of their more toxic medications.

Medical cannabis patients in chronic pain can use cannabis together along with their opiate based painkillers, and cannabis has the special ability to help pain medications work more effectively without adding toxic risk.  This translates to fewer accidental deaths from prescription medications.  In fact, states with legal medical cannabis show a 25% reduction in accidental opiate prescription deaths.  The low toxicity of cannabis can save lives by reducing patient dependence on more toxic medications.  This is an intelligent approach to medicine and allows patients to safely control their pain and reduce their risk of toxicity to the liver, stomach, and kidneys.

medmarijuanaNot all cannabis is the same, in fact there are more different types of cannabis than there are types of dogs.  The reduced psychoactivity of CBD-rich cannabis strains for example, makes these strains a terrific treatment option for patients seeking pain relief, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anti-spasm effects of cannabis without the sedation or head-high of other types.

Medical cannabis patients do not have to get high to experience pain relief, nor do they have to smoke cannabis to use it as medicine.  Delivery methods besides smoking include topical creams, edibles, raw juiced cannabis, and vaporization.  These methods provide patients a variety of options to tailor cannabis to their own special situations.

The healing power of cannabis gives patients a low-toxic alternative for many of their chronic medical conditions.  Because of its complexity, a proper medical cannabis recommendation requires more than just a few minutes of a doctor’s time, and includes information on cannabinoid content, strain selection, and delivery methods. If you’re not getting this information from your doctor, you’re not getting a real cannabis consultation and are missing information on the full value and healing potential of the plant.

70-DrJake-Office20110408-2197Yours in health – Dr. Jake Felice, ND, LMP

Seattle and Woodinville, WA


Complete remission of Crohn’s disease, improved sleep, appetite, and NO TOXICITY – welcome to the cannabis revolution

Complete remission of Crohn’s disease, improved sleep, appetite, and NO TOXICITY – welcome to the cannabis revolution

By Chris Weller at MedicalDaily

Crohn’s disease, one of several inflammatory bowel diseases, achieved “complete remission” in nearly half the subjects of one study that were exposed to smoking medical marijuana on a regular basis.

Smoking medical marijuana achieved remission in five of 11 subjects with Crohn’s disease who smoked twice a day for eight weeks, as part of a study.

Published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study examined the effects of consistent marijuana use on Crohn’s patients who suffered from severe cases of the disease. The results of the 21-subject study point toward the drug’s anti-inflammatory properties as being responsible for quieting symptoms in many patients, and even reaching total remission in others.

Mortar pestleThe Disease: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Often mischaracterized as an autoimmune disease, Crohn’s disease is in fact an immune deficiency state. Arising from a host of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors, the disease causes a chronic inflammatory disorder that attacks the person’s gastrointestinal tract — anywhere from the mouth to the anus — in order to fight the body’s antigens that otherwise do no harm. Symptoms of the disease range from mild abdominal pain to more severe cases of bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and fevers.

There is no cure for Crohn’s; however, various methods are aimed at limiting flare ups and keeping the disease in remission. Treatments, like disease severity, fall on a spectrum depending on the person. Simple dietary changes suffice for some, while invasive surgery to remove the affected area may be needed for others. Corticosteroids and other medications are also prescribed for less severe cases.

The disease affects around 400,000 to 600,000 people in North America, although many people do not get diagnosed until they’ve had the disease for years, simply because no symptoms were present.

The Study And Its Findings

Scientists at Meir Medical Center in Israel wanted to examine the effects of Cannabis sativa on patients with severe Crohn’s disease, relying on the underlying drug’s anti-inflammatory effects in treating other ailments, such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

“The marijuana plant Cannabis sativa has been reported to produce beneficial effects for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, but this has not been investigated in controlled trials,” the researchers wrote. “We performed a prospective trial to determine whether cannabis can induce remission in patients with Crohn’s disease.”

Twenty-one people with severe, intractable Crohn’s comprised the study. Out of those 21, 11 subjects smoked two joints a day for eight weeks. The other 10 made up the placebo group.

The results were particularly telling, according to the researchers. In total, five of the 11 subjects smoking marijuana daily achieved total remission of their Crohn’s. They reported greater appetites and sleep patterns. (People with severe cases of Crohn’s sometimes defecate 20 times per day, and may even wake up at night to do so.) Moreover, “a clinical response” was found in 10 of those 11. Only four of the 10 placebo subjects reported any improvements.

These findings, argued the researchers, demonstrate how “THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects.”

The researchers were hesitant to call the study a total success, however, saying that the “primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved,” despite the five of 11 people who reported those effects.

Still, they noted that their findings merit further attention. “Further studies, with larger patient groups and a nonsmoking mode of intake, are warranted,” they wrote, pointing to the potentially diminished effects of smoking marijuana, as opposed to extracting the anti-inflammatory drugs directly from the plant.

Source: Naftali T, Lihi BL, Iris D. Cannabis Induces a Clinical Response in Patients With Crohn’s Disease: A Prospective Placebo-Controlled Study. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2013.