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For patients where surgery isn’t an option, Israeli researchers show that there’s another contender to combat the disease: cannabis.
In a study conducted by scientists at Meir Medical Center in Israel, 21 patients with severe Crohn’s disease were studied. The researchers made sure to gather patients with an unmanageable case of Crohn’s to fully be able to study the effects of cannabis sativa on the disease.
Of the 21 participants, 11 of the subjects were to smoke two joints a day over an eight-week period while the control group, made up of the remaining 10, was told not to.
After the eight-week period ended, five of the 11 participants who had access to the cannabis experienced almost complete relief of certain Crohn’s symptoms. They noted that they had increased appetites and better sleep patterns. Typically, patients with severe Crohn’s disease experience a lack of appetite since the disease can cause nausea and vomiting. Also, because of the disease’s ability to induce an overactive bowel system, patients often lose sleep or experience irregular sleep patterns, as they may have to defecate throughout the night.
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The researchers also said that the study shows how, “THC-rich cannabis produced significant, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects.”
Cannabis is not necessarily a cure for Crohn’s disease, but studies like the one examined in Israel proves that the drug has the ability to treat the disease inflicting hundreds of thousands of people each year.