Ulcerative Colitis Sufferers Are Amazed by the Benefits of Medicinal Marijuana
Ulcerative colitis, one of the most well known irritable bowel diseases, can cause severe fatigue, urgent diarrhea, pain, loss of appetite and unhealthy weight loss. Many of the traditional medicinal treatments have side effects much like ulcerative colitis itself, with severe side effects from long-term use.
Most patients with ulcerative colitis (and their doctors for that matter), believed they were stuck with traditional medication treatments. The side effects were just one more issue on top of a severe medical problem with no final solution or cure. The same can be said for several diseases: multiple sclerosis, cancer and other patients believed that, to have a better quality of life, they needed the traditional treatments – even if those treatments were sometimes worse than the actual disease.
As medicinal marijuana laws change, however, another treatment is being bandied about – not by the medical profession, but by those patients using cannabis as a way to relieve symptoms and reduce (or omit) the need for pharmaceutical medication. Ulcerative colitis sufferers are no different.
Called “anecdotal evidence”, testimonials from ulcerative colitis patients, cancer patients and more have been filling medical articles. As well, were one to search IBD and medicinal marijuana online, they would find much “anecdotal evidence”. Those afraid to share their stories due to the illegal nature of cannabis are now eager to share the benefits they’ve found from the use of medicinal marijuana. Unfortunately, many are still unwilling to share their real names, but the surprise and pleasure they’ve found in relief from symptoms is unmistakable.
“In my short experience with medicating with marijuana to treat my Crohn's disease I've found that in general it seems to stabilize my digestive system even when I'm not high. Many times I get severe cramps after eating, and even when I'm sober if I medicate at least once a day I don't get those cramps, or if I do it's not nearly as bad. Marijuana helps with inflammation in your digestive system, it doesn't just help when you are high, it helps 24/7.”
In an online Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis support group, a member asked if anyone had used medicinal marijuana to help relieve symptoms. Although most answered no, due to the illegal nature, a few gave a resounding yes:
“Yes! After only two weeks, I have gone from 20 to 25 bathroom trips/day to 2 trips per day. I was smoking (2 to 3 hits, is all) every night just before bedtime. I'm now trying to do it only every other night. We'll see how/if my symptoms return.”
“It's been right at 2 months since my doc recommended medical MJ. I am only smoking it every three or four days and my symptoms are still in total remission. I can't believe how well I feel. I have my life back! Those of you in states where it is still forbidden need to lobby your representatives for a compassionate use bill. THEN, the feds need to get on board!”
“There's another huge thread discussing MMJ in the forums already. I read through it in my research about medical MJ. I can tell you that since i got the recommendation, i have had much success with it. It immediately stops symptoms and lets you relax. In my personal experiences i find it to be more useful in maintaining remission than causing it, but this is because i cannot use it as often as some suggest. Once at night every other day or so is my usual regiment.”
The high level of anecdotal evidence, such as the above, has caused more than ulcerative colitis patients to take note. Scientists and medical researchers are now trying to answer the question of whether medicinal marijuana may actually help in the disease or if it only covers up the symptoms. Several reports have pointed to the distinct potential application of medicinal marijuana in ulcerative colitis patients, but have yet to give a definitive answer.
For ulcerative colitis patients, however, the answer is already there. Although many face the possibility of arrest because they either don’t live in an area where medicinal marijuana is legal or because their doctor won’t give them a prescription, the resounding sentiment is summed up by this last commentator:
“Marijuana has helped me live without flare-ups when nothing else seemed to work. I am a law abiding Christian and I sometimes second guess myself for using an illegal drug to treat my UC. That feeling only lasts until I stop using marijuana, then have a flare! It's pretty simple: smoke a little pot and don't have cramps and/or bloody stool or don't smoke and be miserable.
Marijuana has helped me LIVE with this chronic disease. In fact, a couple of puffs a night have put my disease in remission. I hate breaking the law, and don't consider myself a criminal but I know that this works for me.”
Most agree that there are ways to used medicinal marijuana other than smoking, such as baking or using a vaporizer. Most also agree that the possibility of medicinal marijuana helping everyone is unlikely. As well, even though they are neither medical doctors nor law enforcement, many point out that it is best to know where the cannabis is coming from and what strain it is. However, all agree – in varying states of shock, surprise and relief – that they have benefited from the use of medicinal marijuana to help control their ulcerative colitis symptoms, if not put them into remission.
Information Resources:Online Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis support group
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