Crohn’s Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects around 115,000 people in the UK. It can occur in men and women of all ages, although the most common age to develop symptoms is between the ages of 60 and 80.
At present, there are no licensed medications for Crohn’s Disease available containing CBD.
However, since CBD oil may offer some anti-inflammatory benefits, scientists are keen to explore if this could one day be a potential treatment option for the condition.
Individuals may choose to explore CBD products as a potential treatment option for conditions like Crohn’s Disease.
Before adding any supplements to your daily routine, it’s important to consult with your GP or pharmacist to ensure there is no risk of an interaction.
Choosing a high-quality CBD supplier is also essential. Since CBD is not a licensed medicine, it is not subject to strict checks.
This means there is the risk that CBD products from less reputable suppliers may contain illegal levels of THC or contaminants.
As Crohn’s Disease causes a sensitive digestive tract, avoiding potential microbial contaminants is essential. This is why sourcing high-quality CBD from reputable sources is essential.
In this guide, we will explore how CBD might help those living with Crohn’s Disease to manage their symptoms and optimise their health and wellbeing during periods of remission.
What's in this Guide?
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a condition that affects the digestive tract. Inflammation in the lining of the digestive system makes it difficult to digest food.
Inflammation can happen at any point in the digestive system, but it is most common in the last section of the small intestine and in the large intestine. Many people living with Crohn’s Disease can go a long time without symptoms and then experience a flare-up.
The causes of Crohn’s Disease are unknown, but it is thought to have something to do with genetics, the immune system and environmental factors.
Lifestyle choices like smoking can also result in more severe symptoms.
This condition is most common in white people than in Black or Asian populations. It is also prevalent among Jewish people of European descent.
What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
During a Crohn’s Disease flare-up, the most common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood and mucus in the stool
- Weight loss
- Fatigue and tiredness
Many people can go for weeks and even months without any symptoms. This may be followed by periods of relapse when the troubling symptoms return again.
Children with Crohn’s Disease grow at a much slower rate than other children. This is likely the result of the body being unable to absorb essential nutrients.
What Treatment is Available for Crohn’s Disease?
There is currently no cure for Crohn’s Disease, but there are steps individuals can take to help control flare-ups and symptoms. Being aware of potential triggers is often the first line of defence against Crohn’s Disease. Lifestyle changes may also help.
Steroids are commonly prescribed as the initial treatment. This treatment plan may help to reduce the severity of a flare-up and help individuals to manage their symptoms.
Once in remission from the symptoms, the most common treatment is to identify and eliminate potential triggers. Some foods may aggravate symptoms and should therefore be avoided.
Smoking is also thought to make symptoms worse and more frequent, so quitting is an important step.
Surgery may be recommended in cases where the benefits would outweigh the risks. An ileostomy procedure diverts waste away from the digestive tract to give the inflamed area time to heal.
During this procedure, the end of the small intestine is disconnected from the colon and directed to an opening in the wall of the abdomen called a stoma. Waste is collected in a bag attached to the outside of the body.
When the body has had a chance to heal, the procedure is reversed and the stoma is closed. This may be sufficient to help reduce the severity of symptoms and the frequency of flare-ups.
Is CBD Oil for Crohn’s Disease Effective?
CBD oil is not a treatment or cure for Crohn’s Disease, and it cannot be marketed as such. However, research is ongoing to see if this cannabis extract could one day be helpful to those living with Crohn’s Disease.
Instead of seeing CBD oil as a cure, you should instead think of it as a way to support your body and an active lifestyle.
CBD may also help individuals to maintain good health during periods of remission, which will enable them to make the most of their life.
We know that CBD helps to support the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved with maintaining balance throughout the body.
The ECS is also integral to inflammation response, and some believe that a deficiency could contribute to a variety of inflammatory conditions that seemingly have no other underlying cause.
While there is still a lot we don’t know about Crohn’s Disease and how CBD oil might help those living with the condition to manage their symptoms, it is generally safe for most people to add to their daily routine.
Like a vitamin supplement, CBD oil can be added to your daily routine to help support a sense of wellness.
And since an all too common side effect of CBD is that it can make you sleepy, it may be helpful for improving sleep quality during a flare-up or remission.
How Much CBD Should I Take for Crohn’s?
Before adding CBD to your daily routine, there are a few important steps to take. First, you need to check that you have sourced your CBD from a good supplier.
All good suppliers will offer a certificate of analysis that outlines what cannabinoids are present in the product and at what concentration. This is how you know you are getting a product with the right percentage of CBD.
It will also help you to confirm that the product has legal and safe levels of THC. If you want complete peace of mind, choose a product marked as “broad-spectrum”. This means it contains CBD and other beneficial cannabinoids, but no THC.
Another important step is to ensure that your CBD product will not interact with other medications you are taking. If your medication contains a “grapefruit warning”, you should not take CBD. Consult with your GP or pharmacist if you aren’t sure.
There is no recommended dosage for taking CBD oil for Crohn’s Disease. Instead, individuals will have to determine what is the right dose for them.
Those new to CBD should start with a low dose and slowly increase.
Pay close attention to how you feel so that you can identify when you have reached your ideal dosage.
You can also play around with the number of daily doses and the time of day you take your CBD. Some people like to take CBD before a meal containing healthy fats, as this is thought to increase bioavailability. Others will take CBD before bed, as they find it helps them to sleep.
Keeping a symptom diary can help you to identify when you have reached the right dosage for your needs.
What Happens if I Take Too Much CBD Oil?
Taking very large doses of CBD can lead to some unpleasant side effects, but it isn’t thought to be fatal. And the dose required would be more than is contained in a single bottle.
The Food Standards Agency recommends that individuals do not exceed more than 70mg of CBD per day. A drop of CBD is typically around 0.05 ml.
So a 500 mg bottle of CBD containing 10 ml of oil would provide 2.5 mg of CBD per drop.
So, you would have to take 28 drops of CBD to hit the daily recommended limit. We recommend starting with around 15 mg of CBD per day and gradually increasing.
Is CBD oil for Crohn’s Disease Safe?
Yes, CBD oil is generally considered safe for most people, provided it is from a reputable source. The most important thing to check when sourcing your CBD is that it doesn’t contain high levels of THC.
If a company does not provide a certificate of analysis, it would be best to avoid them and find another company that can confirm the contents of their products.
If in doubt about any CBD products, always consult with a GP or pharmacist before adding it to your daily routine.
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