How medical cannabis can help with Gastroenterological conditions


Gastroenterological conditions refer to any illnesses or issues affecting the digestive system, including but not limited to the oesophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine (also called the colon), the rectum and the anus. 

Such conditions are more common than you might think. For example, one in every 200 people in the UK have some form of inflammatory bowel disease, and that is just one sub-section of gastroenterological conditions. They can have a wide variety of ongoing symptoms that affect the person’s quality of life each and every day.

There are many different types of gastroenterological conditions, each with their own unique symptoms and treatment options. They include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Colitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Because gastroenterology refers to a range of different conditions, symptoms will likely vary from person to person and depending on the specific condition. However, there are some common symptoms to look out for. Patients may suffer from:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Recurrent constipation or diarrhea
  • Digestive issues
  • Experiencing difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden shifts in bowel movements

A person may experience all or none of these symptoms. For some conditions, symptoms can also be triggered by certain foods or by changes in dietary habits.

Treatment depends largely on the exact condition being dealt with, as well as the individual’s medical history and the severity and regularity of symptoms. Some common forms of treatment for gastroenterological conditions include:

  • Endoscopic ultrasounds that examine the upper and lower GI tract and other internal organs
  • Colonoscopies
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography 
  • Sigmoidoscopies
  • Liver biopsies
  • Capsule endoscopies
  • Double balloon enteroscopies to examine the small intestine

Most of these procedures are designed to examine and diagnose gastroenterological conditions. From there, treatment is often based in surgery or behavioural changes, such as adopting a different diet or avoiding certain foods.

How we can help

Medical cannabis can act as a potential alternative when conventional treatment options have failed for patients suffering from gastroenterological issues.

Treatment of gastroenterological disorders using medical cannabis centers on targeting the novel functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which studies have shown may be linked to the regulation of gastrointestinal motility. Issues within the GI tract can be altered through the consumption of cannabis-based medicines. 

Due to the distribution of CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors throughout the digestive tract, medical cannabis may also help to reduce intestinal inflammation, meaning that medical cannabis could also be a viable treatment option for a number of other gastroenterological conditions and symptoms.

One key example of how medical cannabis can help is Crohn’s disease. This study, ‘Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn’s disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study’, showed that “subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects”, thereby greatly improving overall quality of life for those patients.

The Medical Cannabis Clinics’ team is dedicated to raising awareness about how medical cannabis can help in treating gastroenterological conditions. Our experts are ready to cooperate with you and your individual needs to find a treatment plan that works for you. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we offer personalised treatment plans and private care for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who will guide you through the treatment options available from the clinic.

Appointments start from just £49. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to offer you targeted advice and treatment plans, unique to your needs and symptoms.

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