Conditions
Gastroenterological
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) medical cannabis treatment

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a long term condition that causes the immune system to attack the digestive system, which in turn causes inflammation. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the most prevalent inflammatory bowel disease conditions in the UK, and both have shown promising results when treated with IBD medical cannabis treatments.

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10 million

people around the world live with IBD

90%

agree IBD symptoms improve with cannabis based treatments

Over 3/4

said medical cannabis IBD treatments improved abdominal cramping

23%

have used cannabis for symptom relief from IBD

“The Releaf+ subscription simplifies the entire process of my medical cannabis treatment.“

Nigel, Releaf Patient

October 2023

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Articles on Inflammatory bowel disease (ibd)

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05. 08. 2023

Exploring the potential benefits of CBD for IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of conditions that cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Depending on their level of severity, they can be anything from frustrating inconveniences to life-altering health issues with potentially dangerous consequences.

29. 08. 2023

Understanding the link between cannabinoids and the digestive tract

While cannabinoids have a broad spectrum of bio interactions across the body, some of the most interesting and potentially beneficial occur in the gut. As the importance of digestive health in overall well-being has come into sharp focus in recent years, this is an excellent time to have a close look at the relationship between cannabinoids and the digestive tract, and the role that these natural compounds may have in aiding digestive health.

05. 08. 2023

Is CBD a safe treatment option for gut inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful stimuli like injuries and infection. It effectively quarantines the site of the injury and infection in order to attack any invading bodies or contaminants. In the modern world, however, there are more negative stimuli that can trigger inflammation than ever, from stressful living and working conditions to processed foods and airborne pollution. These can cause the immune system to attack healthy tissue.

Symptoms

Tummy pain

Persistent diarrhoea

Blood or mucus in your poo

Bleeding from your bottom

Unintentional weight loss

Fatigue

If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you may have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Please speak with your GP to find out more.

Treatment options:

In the UK, inflammatory bowel disease symptoms are conventionally treated using prescribed anti-inflammatories and steroids. In some extreme cases surgery is recommended to physically remove parts of the bowel, but this can be costly, and the recovery process can take a long time.

5-aminosalicyclic acids

Immunomodulators

Corticosteroids

Biologics

If you are struggling to manage your symptoms and have already tried two conventional treatments for IBD, cannabis-based treatments may be suitable for you. Use our free eligibility tool to find out now.
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A word from our specialist

"There is increasing evidence that medical cannabis can reduce the intensity of symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, albeit without altering what the condition looks like under the microscope. Irritable bowel syndrome similarly, although a distinct condition from both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, can be calmed down considerably by means of cannabinoid therapy."

Dr David Tang

Gastroenterological Specialist

How can medical cannabis help inflammatory bowel disease?

Medical cannabis inflammatory bowel disease treatments typically target the inflammation caused by IBD, and influence the responses initiated by the immune system in people with IBD. 

Some cannabis-based treatments have shown to decrease the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut, which is believed to contribute to the development of Crohn's disease, whilst others may reduce inflammation in the colon and rectum, which can alleviate some of the painful symptoms associated with IBD like diarrhoea and rectal bleeding. 

Other evidence suggests medical cannabis treatments can help decrease the perception of pain, which may make IBD less of a hindrance when going about daily routines and activities, and self-reported quality of life scores also tend to improve after patients start cannabis-based treatments. 

Prescribed cannabis treatments are considered a suitable treatment option for patients with inflammatory bowel diseases in the UK if they have been unable to manage their symptoms with conventional, licensed medications. To find out if medical cannabis may be able to help you, fill out our free online eligibility checker today. 

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