Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Crohn’s disease affects more than 700,000 Americans. Those with this inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience severe symptoms related to their gastrointestinal system. No one knows the exact cause of the digestive tract inflammation caused by Crohn’s, but it can have serious side effects.
Some severe complications that arise because of Crohn’s disease are decreased appetite, weight loss and even malnutrition. Because of these digestive issues, patients are left without any desire to eat. However, eating is even more important for patients, as it keeps their strength up and prevents more serious health issues.
If you or a loved one struggle with loss of appetite because of Crohn’s disease, marijuana might be the answer. More states are allowing patients to seek medical marijuana treatments for conditions like Crohn’s. It has proven appetite-inducing properties that can help patients keep a healthy diet. Cannabis also treats the pain, nausea and inflammation that cause patients to lose their appetites in the first place.
Crohn’s disease directly affects the digestive system. Although every patient reacts differently to the condition, symptoms often present similarly. It can cause inflammation throughout the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to rectum. This creates severe side, some of which affect an individual’s ability to eat such as:
Patients go through times of remission where there appears to be no symptoms. Then, all the sudden, extreme symptoms present themselves, called flare-ups. Although there’s no indication that flare-ups are caused by food, patients tend to eat less when these occur because they fear food will trigger stomach pain or diarrhea.
One of the most dangerous complications that arises because of Crohn’s is malnutrition. This occurs when the body is unable to get the vitamins and nutrients it needs. It could be caused when patients eat nothing or when the body can’t use the food they do eat. This complication leads to loss of weight or muscle mass and lack of appetite.
There are several possible causes of malnutrition:
In extreme cases, malnutrition leads to physical or mental disabilities. That’s why if you have malnutrition caused by Crohn’s, it’s important to act. Speak to your doctor about how to get essential nutrients back into your body.
For Crohn’s patients, eating a healthy diet can help them keep strong and fight the illness. However, painful symptoms keep their hunger at bay. Medical marijuana has three essential qualities that will help patients get the nutrients they need:
Here are some strains that are well-documented as hunger inducers:
Before choosing a medical marijuana medication for your Crohn’s disease symptoms, talk to your marijuana doctor. They’ll make product recommendations and help you find a strain that suits your needs.