Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves the digestive system. It causes severe symptoms, including bloating, diarrhea, and severe cramping that can be debilitating. Over the last several years, United State experts have been studying numerous treatments for patients with Ibd. With the development of cannabis products for many conditions, many sufferers of Chron’s are asking, “Can CBD help with Crohn’s disease?”
Hemp is a versatile plant with an assortment of wellness benefits. It contains over 500 naturally occurring compounds, one of which is CBD, a phytocannabinoid. There are more than 140 cannabinoids with similar advantages to CBD. However, the non-intoxicating CBD is the most studied, 100% legal, and readily available across the country.
Another reason researchers are asking about CBD for Crohn’s disease is the hemp compound is well-tolerated by most consumers. Additionally, it has very few mild side effects. These qualities make it a viable option for individuals with related symptoms when the FDA begins approving hemp extracts for medicinal use.
What Do the Current Studies Show for CBD and Crohn’s Disease?
There are several studies involving CBD and inflammation. However, most involve animal research. Crohn’s disease symptoms are the result of inflammation. Most research indicates the popular hemp compound may reduce inflammation.
In a study in PLOS One, “Cannabidiol Reduces Intestinal Inflammation through the Control of Neuroimmune Axis,” researchers found positive results.
“CBD is able to control the inflammatory scenario and the subsequent intestinal apoptosis through the restoration of the altered glia-immune homeostasis. CBD is therefore regarded as a promising therapeutic agent that modulates the neuro-immune axis, which can be recognized as a new target in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders.”
One of the issues experts found is in bioavailability. Individuals with IBD may experience trouble absorbing the CBD, which reduces the effectiveness. Scientists are working on fixing these issues by enhancing cannabinoid delivery. In 2018, researchers noted in Molecules, a medical journal, that a more localized method might be the answer to improving bioavailability. The study found improved results through transdermal applications.
“Interesting and promising transdermal administration results can also be found in the use of terpenes (from the same source) as CBD and THC penetration enhancers, and thus improve the effectiveness of the therapeutic components.”
Brands may be able to achieve these improvements in products through nanotechnology. Currently, many companies are exploring the benefits of nanotechnology to boost the effectiveness of their CBD formulas for capsules and edibles. These changes can reduce the onset time of oral CBD use. However, more research is necessary to confirm these results.
Different Ways to Use CBD for Crohn’s Symptom Relief
One of the confusing aspects of hemp products is the numerous ways to use them. So here’s a quick guide to how each may help encourage a happier and calmer digestive system.
Oils or Tinctures
The traditional method for using CBD is sublingual. This process involves placing a few drops of the tincture under your tongue. It absorbs through the membranes and into the bloodstream for fast-acting relief. Consumers should notice the onset in about 15-20 minutes. Oils last about 4 to 6 hours.
Soft gels are more common for customers that prefer a conventional yet tasteless approach. The capsules are infused with CBD oil. This method requires the hemp compound to go through the digestion process before working, taking between 30 to 90 minutes. Similar to the tincture, it has a 4- to 6-hour duration.
Edibles are a tasty and very popular way to use CBD. However, people with sensitive digestive systems should pay close attention to the other ingredients in the product. Edibles high in sugar might cause upset, offsetting any benefits of the phytocannabinoid. If you choose to try these products, they work the same as capsules. It takes about 30 to 90 minutes to work and lasts around 4 to six hours.
Topical Creams, Lotions, and Salves
These are applied to the skin to provide localized relief. Consumers might be able to rub it into the lower abdominal area to reduce cramping pain. These don’t enter the bloodstream, so that you can use them throughout the day. The onset is about 20 to 30 minutes, and the duration is much shorter than oils, edibles, and capsules, with only 3 to 4 hours. Many brands use a CBD blend that includes other natural ingredients that can improve the effectiveness, such as lavender that relaxes the body and myrcene with anti-inflammatory properties.
There is limited research on transdermal patches for Crohn’s disease. These are similar to the over-the-counter capsaicin patches for inflammation or nicotine pages that people use for quitting smoking. However, unlike traditional topical applications, these can break the skin’s barrier to enter the bloodstream. The patch is applied in the problem area and offers a localized approach. Transdermal patches have a fast onset, but the duration varies by product. Some provide 4 to 6 hours of relief, while others claim to work for 12 or more hours.
Suppositories present researchers with a potential product that’s ideal for treating IBD. These are inserted in the rectum. For individuals experiencing nausea, stomach upset, or vomiting, suppositories might be the best option for bioavailability. Unfortunately, information on these products is limited. Onset is thought to be fast because it absorbs into the bloodstream quickly. However, similar to transdermal patches, the duration can vary by brand.
Many consumers are vaping CBD. It’s safe, easy, discreet, and offers fast relief. Vaping produces very little vapor, and it dissipates quickly. Vaping has an onset of a minute. However, the duration is much shorter, averaging 60 to 90 minutes maximum. You can continue to take a few puffs of your vape device to continue experiencing relief safely.
What are the Side Effects of CBD for Crohn’s disease?
Many consumers prefer an all-natural option because of the limited adverse reactions. Nevertheless, reports and testimonials show the known side effects include irritability, sleepiness, and sometimes, nausea. Individuals that experience nausea should consider another method.
So, to answer the question, “Can CBD help with Crohn’s disease?” CBD may be an all-natural option for consumers with associated symptoms. But studies are still ongoing, and more research is necessary to improve the delivery of CBD oils and edibles for individuals with gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, experts need to determine hemp products’ short- and long-term effects. Always check with your physician before adding any new daily wellness products to your routine.