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Crohn’s Disease and CBD Oil: Current Research and Benefits

Crohn’s Disease and CBD Oil: Current Research and Benefits

People with Crohn’s disease must deal with abdominal pain and uncomfortability on a daily basis.

For an estimated 780,000 people in the U.S., Crohn’s disease is a daily reality, impacting sufferers’ ability to live a comfortable, pain-free life. Already proven to be a powerful natural anti-inflammatory, could CBD oil help calm the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

CBD oil is currently being used to help a number of conditions from rheumatoid arthritis to anxiety and Alzheimer’s. While current research is limited, CBD oil is fast becoming a popular research topic for its ability to encourage homeostasis in those who use it.

The most common medical treatments for Crohn’s disease are not always 100% effective, leaving people looking for answers elsewhere. This is where CBD oil comes in.

CBD oil may be able to provide a range of benefits to Crohn’s patients. If you’re dealing with this disease and are curious if cannabidiol (CBD) could help, here’s everything you need to know.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes swelling in the digestive tract and gastrointestinal tract. It’s uncomfortable at best, and can cause sufferers to experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, fevers, and loss of appetite. The causes of this life-long disease aren’t definitively known, making treating it an especially difficult endeavor. However, because it’s clear Crohn’s is inflammation-based, CBD oil may offer benefits without the side effects of traditional medications currently being used to treat Chrohn’s.

CBD oil’s well-known anti-inflammatory properties present the most potential for use with Crohn’s disease.

At the moment, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease and any medical intervention is aimed at reducing inflammation, suppressing the immune system, or surgically removing damaged tissue. CBD oil may offer some of the same benefits of pharmaceutical treatments without any of the side effects.

Because Crohn’s can present differently between individuals, treatments are often a matter of trial and error. And traditional medications, while they can be effective, may present a range of side effects.

Below, you’ll find a table outlining the most popular medications for Crohn’s disease and their uses, side effects, and potential interaction when taken with CBD oil.

Crohn’s Disease Medication What It Is Used For Possible Side Effects Side Effects of Using Medication with CBD Oil
Azathioprine Used as an immune system suppressant Nausea; vomiting; temporary hair loss; increased risk of cancer There are no known interactions between azathioprine and CBD oil
Mercaptopurine Used as an immune system modulator Nausea; vomiting; poor appetite; diarrhea Using CBD oil and mercaptopurine together may increase the risk of liver damage. Consult your doctor first.
Infliximab Used as an immune system suppressant Headaches; stomach ache; nausea Using CBD oil and infliximab together may increase the risk of liver damage. Consult your doctor first.
Corticosteroids like prednisone and budesonide Used as an immune system suppressant May cause confusion; restlessness; excitement There are no known interactions between CBD oil and corticosteroids.

Interestingly, CBD oil has been shown to inhibit the immune responses that cause the inflammation that triggers Crohn’s without producing side effects like those associated with the medications in the table above. For this reason, CBD oil may be a gentler treatment option to replace—or combine with—your current treatment plan.

The Effectiveness of CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

Thanks to the recent legislative changes included in the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD oil is now legal at the federal level, making medical research into its benefits something that can more easily be pursued.

Unfortunately, because Crohn’s is a varied and poorly understood condition, evidence as to how CBD oil can help is minimal, and most of its potential benefits must be gleaned from research into other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

One of the few studies specific to Crohn’s disease was conducted using cannabis and not CBD oil specifically, though the results were still promising. Of the 21 patients, half were randomly assigned to a placebo group, and the other half to a test group. All patients had Crohn’s that didn’t respond to steroids or immunomodulators.

After eight weeks, three of the 11 patients who’d received cannabis were no longer dependant on steroids, and five test subjects even reported complete remission. Improved symptoms were reported in 10 of the 11 patients who’d used cannabis, and all experienced improved appetite and sleep with no significant side effects.

A further study on patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) analyzed the role of cannabis on quality of life, disease activity, and weight gain. Again, this study used whole plant cannabis, as opposed to cannabidiol alone.

There were 13 patients involved in the trial who completed disease activity indexes and quality of life questionnaires, and had their body weight recorded both pre- and post-testing.

After 3 months, patients gained an average 4.3kg, showing that cannabis improved the gastrointestinal system’s function with regards to absorbing nutrients. Patients also responded better on quality of life questionnaires in areas including social functioning, ability to work, pain, and depression.

How to Use CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

Drops, tinctures, edibles, and gummies are all common options for using CBD oil for Crohn’s disease.

Edibles, gummies, and capsules are some of the most popular ways to take CBD oil. They provide a consistent dose and offer an administration route that is familiar to most people. These items are best used as part of a long-term treatment plan. They typically provide four to 6 hours of symptom relief, but because they have to pass through the digestive system before being absorbed into the bloodstream, they can be slow to show their effects.

CBD oil tinctures or drops can be a convenient and discreet way to take your CBD oil. Tinctures and drops can be worked into a daily supplement routine or used to address the onset of sudden symptoms. With tinctures and drops, the CBD bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed through the skin under the tongue. They can go to work in about 30 minutes and last for several hours. Taking CBD oil in this format also enables simple dosage adjustments. Because the CBD oil is administered through a dropper, the dose can be controlled right down to the drop.

The fastest acting and one of the most popular ways to take CBD oil is through inhalants. Using a CBD vape oil or CBD flower can provide some of the best relief for sudden pain, cramping, and inflammation. In this instance, the CBD is absorbed directly through the lungs, going to work almost instantly. The effects do not last as long as with the other delivery formats, but it is fairly easy to take more if needed.

Regardless of the delivery method you’re considering, always talk to a doctor before using CBD oil. Not only can CBD oil interact with some common medications for Crohn’s disease, but it can also interact with things like antidepressants and antibiotics. Even if you think you are in the clear, it is always best to ask first.

It is likely that in the not too distant future we will have a better understanding of CBD oil and all of the ways it can help manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Until then, keep an open mind, educate yourself, and talk to your physician. CBD oil could be the solution you’ve been seeking all along.

If you found this article helpful you may also be interested in:

Find out what are the benefits, effectiveness, the research, and science behind using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for Crohn’s disease.

Best CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease – November 2020

Can CBD oil help with Crohn’s disease?

  • Crohn’s disease is a prevalent inflammation of the digestive tract that is often recognized by symptoms of abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, malnutrition, fatigue, and weight loss. It is a common type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), affecting more than 3 million Americans in 2015 (1 ) .
  • Despite having no cure, doctors have developed therapies that may alleviate the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, allowing patients to function normally (2 ) .
  • One particularly promising treatment is CBD (cannabidiol), a compound from the Cannabis sativa plant that supposedly has several therapeutic applications (3 ) .
  • Several studies have shown that CBD can inhibit intestinal inflammation, provide pain relief, and improve the overall quality of life for patients with IBD (4-6 ) .
  • As with any medication, it is in the best interest of people to consult a doctor before incorporating CBD into their regimen.

Best CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

Spruce 750mg Lab Grade CBD Oil

Specifically formulated to be more palatable to CBD users
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Each bottle of the 750mg CBD oil tincture contains 25mg of CBD per dropper full. The oil is peppermint flavor to mask any unpleasant tastes related to CBD.

  • &nbsp Mid-strength
  • &nbsp Natural peppermint flavor
  • &nbsp Made from 100% organic and natural ingredients
  • &nbsp No other flavors
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NuLeaf Naturals 900mg Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil

Perfect for anyone who are looking for CBD products that promote a healthy body and mind.
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Natural remedy for various illnesses. NuLeaf Naturals’ CBD oil is a whole-plant extract containing a full spectrum of naturally occurring synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes.

  • &nbsp Pure CBD hemp
  • &nbsp All natural
  • &nbsp Approximately 300 drops total
  • &nbsp No other flavors
Discount pricing available? 20% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS20
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Sabaidee Super Good Vibes CBD Oil

4x the strength of a regular cbd oil
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Super Good Vibes CBD Oil provides the purest and highest quality Cannabidiol (CBD) on the market as well as other high quality phytocannabinoids, terpenes, vitamins, omega fatty acids, trace minerals, and other beneficial for your health elements, which all work together to provide benefits.

  • &nbsp Extra strong
  • &nbsp Significant benefits with just a few drops
  • &nbsp 100% Natural ingredients
  • &nbsp No other flavors
Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: CBDCLINICALS15
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cbdMD CBD Oil Tincture Natural 1500mg

Uses USA hemp that is grown on non-GMO farms, and is both vegan and gluten-free
Overall Clinical Score

cbdMD’s CBD oil tinctures are made using only CBD sourced from medical hemp and MCT oil as a carrier oil. Tinctures are offered in orange, mint, natural, and berry flavors. Safe for daily use, the oil tinctures are packaged with a built-in rubber dropper to adjust CBD dosage easily. The packaging is made to be easy to transport and discreet to use.

  • &nbsp Various delicious flavors to choose from
  • &nbsp Has vegan, organic, and gluten-free ingredients
  • &nbsp Free shipping for this particular product within USA
  • &nbsp World-class customer service team
  • &nbsp cbdMD uses MCT as its carrier oil so individuals who are allergic with coconuts should consider other brand options
Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15
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Why Some People Are Turning to CBD for Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the digestive tract characterized by severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, malnutrition, and fatigue. It is one of the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects more than 3 million American adults in 2015 (7 ) .

The disease is often associated with a decreased quality of life and frequent complications that require hospitalization and, sometimes, surgical procedures. Although Crohn’s disease has no cure, there are several therapies available that may reduce its symptoms and allow patients to function well (8 ) .

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, may be a promising solution for people with an IBD , such as Crohn’s disease. CBD is one of the primary compounds of the cannabis plant that, according to research, has several therapeutic applications (9 ) .

Researchers of a study in 2011 found that CBD might inhibit inflammation in the intestine of mice with ulcerative colitis, another common IBD. They also learned that the compound reduced intestinal damage by counteracting the inflammatory environment caused by the disease (10 ) .

Another study on rats with colitis has shown that CBD, together with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), was able to reduce inflammatory markers in the subjects (11 ) . THC is also another chemical compound obtained from cannabi s (medical marijuana). THC is often used together with CBD for medical conditions.

The study further showed that this combination of compounds lowered the occurrence of colitis symptoms . Scientists learned that CBD enhanced THC’s effects in alleviating the inflammatory bowel disease in rodents (12 ) .

A study in 2012 showed that applying CBD topically to mice with colitis led to significant improvement in the subjects’ health conditions (13 ) . Meanwhile, rodents in another trial were given CBD orally to treat colitis, resulting in the reduction of injury and bowel movement commonly linked to IBD (14 ) .

The studies mentioned were performed on animals. Further research would be necessary to see if the same outcomes can be obtained from studies conducted in human subjects.

Additionally, CBD is reported to engage with a re ceptor kn own as GPR55, which plays a vital role in intestinal inflammation (15 ) .

Scientists believe that the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is in charge of numerous body functions, is a potential therapeutic target for treating IBD. They also think that its compatibility with cannabinoids , like CBD , is how these compounds bring about their therapeutic effects.

How CBD Oil Works to Help with Crohn’s Disease

The ECS assumes a crucial role in controlling many fundamental functions of the body. It also affects the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) by managing gut homeostasis and movement (16 ) .

In people with Crohn’s disease, the ailment interrupts the ECS receptors designed to ensure efficient gastrointestinal operations. These chemical structures are expected to protect the gut by preventing the formation of inflammation and reducing intestinal motility.

One of the main goals of the ECS is to promote balance in the body, primarily through its CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBD, being a cannabinoid that is compatible with these structures, may help in accomplishing this objective.

Scientists believe that dosing with CBD can stimulate the cannabinoid receptors in charge of anti-inflammatory effects (17 ) . By activating these chemicals, cannabis products , like CBD oi l , may inhibit inflammation and provide pain symptom relief.

This reduction in inflammation should contribute to regulating gut pain and irritation while normalizing bowel movement – all of which are clinical signs associated with Crohn’s disease.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

The Pros
  • Cannabinoids , like CBD , interact with the ECS to bring about their purported therapeutic benefits, one of which is providing balance in the digestive tract .
  • CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which scientists believe can reduce the common symptoms of IBD.
  • According to a study, cannabinoids, such as CBD, may alleviate abdominal pain and diarrhea, two common symptoms of Crohn’s disease (18 ) .
  • CBD is a natural compound acquired from the cannabis plant. It does not have mind-altering effects, unlike THC.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration encourages and supports scientifically-based research on CBD (19 ) .
The Cons
  • There is a distinct lack of human clinical trials on CBD for Crohn’s disease, as most of the studies were conducted on rodents.
  • Some of the animal studies show inconclusive results on CBD’s efficacy for IBD.
  • The FDA does not approve a marketing application on cannabis products for treating any disease or health condition (20 ) .
  • Epidiolex is the only CBD product that the FDA allows . It is a prescribed drug for treating two rare forms of epilepsy (21 ) .

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Crohn’s Disease

Herbal treatments , like aloe vera juice, chamomile, and peppermint , are said to ease the symptoms associated with IBD. Meanwhile, probiotics may help in increasing the naturally good bacteria in the gut and restore balance (22 ) .

Naturopathic therapies involving dietary changes are also said to successfully manage IBD, including Crohn’s symptoms (23 ) .

Meanwhile, studies on CBD have shown that the compound contains properties that might help in alleviating chronic pain and fighting inflammation.

Today, CBD products are mixed with aloe vera, chamomile, peppermint, and other herbs to bring about the maximum effect in counteracting the symptoms of Crohn’s disease activity. CBD infused with probiotics are also popular in helping maintain a healthy intestinal tract.

How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

There are three main types of CBD products that people can consider in easing IBD and Crohn’s disease symptoms.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all of the chemicals present in cannabis , including varying amounts of THC. These usually are sold as CBD tinctures, vaping oils, creams, and edibles.

According to federal law, this type of CBD is only allowed to have a maximum of 0.3% THC content.

Meanwhile, broad-spectrum CBD also has the compounds of cannabis except for THC. The psychoactive compound is removed to cater to individuals who do not wish to consume it together with their CBD.

Finally, there are CBD isolates that are made of pure cannabidiol. These are often obtained from hemp plants and do not contain the other compounds of medical cannabis .

Users should seek medical advice from a doctor before deciding to use CBD for Crohn’s disease.

Here are several tips to help choose the safest and most reliable form of CBD today:

  1. Buy high-quality CBD products only and find legitimate brands that sell them. Most reputable companies grow their hemp or purchase them from reliable producers.
  2. Read up on product reviews before buying from an online shop. If they are a physical store or dispensary, check whether the store is allowed by the government to sell.
  3. Compare company claims with third-party lab reports by obtaining a certificate of analysis (COA) for each CBD product purchased.
  4. Be aware of the precise legal stipulations associated with CBD use in the area where one is going to buy and consume the extract.
  5. Look for certification codes for CBD products. There are certification authorities that approve only certain CBD goods after they have undergone thorough screening tests.

CBD Dosage for Crohn’s Disease

Since CBD is a relatively new medical treatment of Crohn’s disease, healthcare providers are still figuring out the right dosage that is both effective and safe for users. It may be helpful to look at the dosage used in past clinical trials to get the proper amount.

One small study concerning CBD for treating ulcerative colitis had its participants take 50 mg of CBD oil twice each day, increasing the dose to as much as 250 mg. Researchers found that users that took CBD had significant clinical remission and improved quality of life (24 ) .

Additionally, the study revealed that the participants did not experience severe side effects after ten weeks of treatment with cannabis use.

Meanwhile, other health experts recommend a starting dose of 40 mg and gradually increase the amount from there.

Like with any medication, the best advice would be to start at the lowest effective dose and gradually increase this as needed. Keep in mind that lower doses often have lower side effects compared to higher ones with increased risk.

How to Take CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease

CBD products are available in various delivery formats. The following are the forms of CBD that can potentially relieve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • CBD capsules and pills – Studies done on using CBD capsules for IBD have shown improved quality of life in the human subjects consuming the product daily.
  • CBD edibles – These CBD products may be found as gummies or chocolates. They are ideal for users that have trouble swallowing capsules.
  • CBD oils and tinctures – These are often applied under the tongue and are known to take effect immediately.

Conclusion

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is known to affect more than 3 million Americans. This health condition is often linked to a poor quality of life for its patients and regular complications that lead to hospitalization and surgery.

The symptoms that are associated with the disease include abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, malnutrition, weight loss, and fatigue.

Although there is no cure for Crohn’s disease, there are several forms of therapy that could help reduce symptoms and allow IBD patients to function normally. CBD is one promising solution that, according to research, can alleviate the pain and gut inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease.

However, most of the studies that were made for the disease were carried out on animals. No direct evidence exists that proves CBD as an effective treatment for IBD and Crohn’s disease.

Interested users should seek advice from a medical professional before deciding to incorporate CBD into their diet.

Can CBD oil help with Crohn's disease, and if so, how? Crohn's disease is a prevalent inflammation of the digestive tract that is often recognized by symptoms of abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, malnutrition, fatigue, and weight loss.