At some point in life, three out of four Americans (both men and women) will experience hemorrhoids. Generally, it’s more common to develop hemorrhoids if you’re between 45-65 years old. However, it still is possible to develop hemorrhoids at a younger age.
In many cases, hemorrhoids are uncomfortable and painful, which can lead to embarrassment. However, hemorrhoids are not only common, they’re treatable. Although some individuals undergo surgery to remove painful hemorrhoids and others consume pharmaceutical medications for pain-relief, cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) are alternatives that can deliver natural relief. Read on to learn more about hemorrhoids, some of its causal factors, and the positive impact cannabis and cannabidiol have on hemorrhoid treatment.
Background on Hemorrhoids and Symptoms
Hemorrhoids are defined as bulging and/or swollen veins in the body’s anus. They’re similar to a varicose vein, but they’re located in a very sensitive, yet active, part of the body. Oftentimes, hemorrhoids are referred to as “piles”, but essentially, they’re swollen veins in the body’s anus and lower rectum. In most cases, hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, but some individuals don’t experience many adverse complications from them. How does one get a hemorrhoid?
According to the Mayo Clinic, hemorrhoids can occur due to a variety of factors including: pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, sitting for a long period of time, obesity, chronic diarrhea, persistent constipation, anal intercourse, and a low fiber diet. Additionally, there are three different types of hemorrhoids that people can get. All hemorrhoid types bring their own level of pain and discomfort to individuals, and they’re classified as internal, external, and thrombosed.
Different Types of Hemorrhoids & Treatment Options
Each type of hemorrhoid is different in its own way. For example, internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum, and it’s normally the mildest type since it doesn’t cause a great deal of discomfort. However, it’s possible for internal hemorrhoids to endure straining and/or irritation, which can result in bleeding. External hemorrhoids typically form under the skin and around the body’s anus, and can usually be seen and felt. Overall, external hemorrhoids can be very painful and physically sensitive, which can lead to difficulties in going to the bathroom, walking, and even sitting.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when an external hemorrhoid forms a blood clot. From here, the hemorrhoid normally becomes swollen, changes color (purple or blue), and has a risk of bursting.
Sometimes, individuals with painful hemorrhoids undergo out-patient surgery. Due to the surgery’s painful recovery process, many doctors prescribe opioid painkillers. Not only are these painkillers extremely addictive, they even cause constipation, which is something hemorrhoids sufferers should avoid. As an alternative to opioids, some doctors prescribe high doses of Tylenol, which can be ineffective.
If individuals are looking for alternatives to opioids and Tylenol, cannabis and cannabidiol are both medically beneficial options.
Cannabis & Cannabidiol Consumption To Help Treat Hemorrhoids
Both medical cannabis and CBD cannot prevent hemorrhoids from occurring. However, different cannabinoids can deliver significant pain and inflammation relief. Based on the severity of pain a hemorrhoid causes, some individuals feel anxious, stressed, and/or may struggle to fall asleep. Fortunately, though, cannabis acts as a stress and anxiety reliever in addition to helping combat insomnia.
Furthermore, cannabis can provide natural pain and inflammation relief since it contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Consuming cannabis and CBD for pain and inflammation relief is recognized and even suggested by some doctors. Specifically, Dr. Perry Soloman, HelloMD’s Chief Medical Officer stated the following about cannabis treatment, “…it can be a part of an effective regimen for dealing with the pain and inflammation that often come with hemorrhoids.”
For pain-relief, tinctures can be used. However, topical cannabis products can be effective too since the individual can apply the product directly onto the body part that needs localized relief. Additionally, inserting a suppository into the body is another option. Some suppositories contain only CBD whereas, other ones contain a combination of THC and CBD. It’s up to the user to decide what works best for them, but this treatment method can deliver various medical benefits.
Also, several cannabis strains that could be worth trying out if you have a hemorrhoid are Cannatonic, Critical Mass, and Harlequin. However, do your research beforehand to ensure that these strains would work for you.
Overall, if you or a loved one have been looking for alternative treatment options to relieve the pain and discomfort hemorrhoids cause, medical cannabis and derivatives of it like cannabidiol could be especially helpful. If you want to avoid addiction, naturally combat pain and inflammation, and reduce stress and anxiety, try taking the natural route by consuming cannabis over opioids and other pharmaceutical medications.