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 people commonly develop Crohn’s between 60 and 80.
At present, there are no licensed medications containing CBD for Crohn’s Disease.
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.
In this guide, we’ll explore how the topic of CBD oil for Crohn’s:
- Can you use CBD oil for Crohn’s?
- How to take CBD for Crohn’s
- Which is the best CBD oil for Crohn’s?
In this guide:
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a condition that affects the digestive tract.
The causes of Crohn’s Disease are unknown, but it’s thought to be a combination of genetics, the immune system and environmental factors.
Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can also result in more severe symptoms.
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
There’s currently no cure for Crohn’s Disease, but there are steps you can take to help control flare-ups and manage symptoms.
Steroids are commonly prescribed as an initial treatment to reduce the severity of flare-ups and help individuals manage their symptoms.
Once in remission from these symptoms, the next step is to identify and eliminate potential triggers. Some foods may aggravate symptoms and should therefore be avoided.
Surgery may also be recommended when the benefits outweigh the risks. An ileostomy procedure diverts waste away from the digestive tract to give inflamed areas time to heal.
Does CBD oil help Crohn’s disease?
CBD oil isn’t a treatment or cure for Crohn’s Disease and shouldn’t be marketed as such.
However, ongoing research is looking into whether this cannabis extract could one day be helpful for those living with Crohn’s Disease.
Instead of seeing CBD oil as a cure, view it as a way to support your body and help you maintain an active lifestyle.
CBD may also help individuals maintain good health during periods of remission, enabling them to make the most of their lives.
We know that CBD helps support the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in maintaining balance throughout the body.
The ECS is also integral to inflammation response, and some researchers believe a deficiency could contribute to many inflammatory conditions – which seemingly have no other underlying cause.
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How to take CBD for Crohn’s disease
There are a number of ways you can take CBD oil to help manage your Crohn’s disease. Let’s take a look.
Ingesting CBD oil is a great way to incorporate the cannabinoid into a regular supplement or medication cycle. CBD oil can also be used occasionally to help ease symptoms of Crohn’s – as and when they flare up.
CBD oil works best taken sublingually, dropped under the tongue, and held there for 45-60 seconds before being swallowed.
With sublingual ingestion methods, CBD bypasses the digestive system and is absorbed directly through the sublingual gland under the tongue.
This results in a fast-acting solution: it usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes for sublingually ingested CBD oil to begin to take effect, with each dosage lasting for hours.
It’s also easy to regulate dosages of CBD oil, as the formulations are administered through a dropper.
Edibles and CBD capsules are another good way to add CBD into your daily routine.
They may produce between 4-7 hours of symptom alleviation. However, because they have to pass into the digestive system before entering the bloodstream, edibles can be slow to offer any results.
Vaping CBD can be a good option if you’re looking for rapid symptom relief and can provide comfort for sudden pain, cramping, and swelling.
When someone vapes, CBD is ingested directly into the lungs. This means the active ingredients work almost immediately.
However, the impact won’t last as long as tincture drops, and the concentrate will be CBD isolate – meaning you won’t benefit from the entourage effect, or in turn extract the maximum therapeutic potential of the CBD.
How much CBD to take for Crohn’s
There’s no official guidance detailing the amount of CBD you should take for Crohn’s.
However, the Food Standards Agency (which regulates CBD in the UK) recommends that people do not exceed more than 70mg of CBD per day.
What does that mean in practice?
Well, a drop of CBD is typically around 0.05 ml. 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 daily and gradually increasing that dose until you find what works for you. But always stay within the maximum dosage guidelines.
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 meals containing healthy fats, which is thought to increase bioavailability.
Others will take CBD before bed, as they find it helps them sleep.
How long does it take for CBD to work for Crohn’s?
CBD won’t cure Crohn’s, but it might help ease some symptoms.
The time it takes for CBD to take effect will vary due to the choice of ingestion method.
But if you’re looking to integrate CBD into your routine as a long-term wellness supplement, we’d advise that it will take around a month for the cannabinoid to build up in your system and ‘work’ as a daily supplement.
Which CBD is best for Crohn’s UK?
While it’s impossible to say which CBD is ‘best’ for Crohn’s, there are multiple factors you can consider when choosing which type of CBD to take.
- Choosing broad-speectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD oil will allow you to benefit from the entourage effect. If you’re taking CBD for Crohn’s, this should be a priority – as you will be looking to extract the maximum therapeutic benefit from your supplement.
- You must also check that you have sourced your CBD from a reliable supplier that offers a certificate of analysis that outlines the cannabinoids present in the product and their respective concentration.
- On that note, ensure the product you buy has been subjected to third-party lab testing – so you know that the manufacturers and sellers of the product are being truthful about the quality and origin of your CBD.
- Always check with a medical professional to ensure that your CBD won’t interact with other medications. If your medication contains a “grapefruit warning”, you shouldn’t take CBD.
- We also recommend you choose an organic product – allowing you to be safe in the knowledge that your product is free from pesticides, fungicides and GMOs that may worsen your condition.
Final thoughts on CBD oil for Crohn’s
While CBD oil can’t cure Crohn’s, it may be an effective way to naturally boost your endocannabinoid system and relieve some of the discomfort associated with this condition.
We still need more research to prove that CBD oil can reduce inflammation or ease symptoms in the long run.
So, even as CBD’s biggest fans, we’d advise you don’t expect the earth. And if you think CBD might be right for you, always talk with a doctor before giving it a go