Article by Gooey Rabinski, Green Flower
“It’s no fun looking at food and wondering what it’s going to do to me,” said the 44-year-old Crohn’s patient to me during our interview.
“Can I eat it? Am I going to be in deep pain?’ Fears of what you can and cannot eat…they get to you. Marijuana helped me want to eat,” he said gratefully.
Those were the words of Al Graham, a Crohn’s patient in Ontario, Canada, who has successfully managed his disease for more than a decade with the aid of cannabis.
As a legal cultivator under federal law in the Great White North, Graham is able to focus on particular strains in an effort to target his condition with specific cannabinoids.
In other words, Graham has been able to treat his condition with cannabinoid therapy.
What is cannabinoid therapy?
FACT: Cannabinoids are the special therapeutic molecules found within the resinous trichome glands of the cannabis plant’s mature flowers.
As of 2016, researchers have uncovered more than 110 cannabinoids possible in this plant.
That is a lot of cannabinoids. And we are discovering more about them and their therapeutic value every week.
As you began to learn about the nature of customized cannabinoid consumption, you will come to better understand how this unique and powerfully medicinal plant interacts with the human body by way of the endocannabinoid system.
If you’re not yet familiar with the endocannabinoid system, prepare to have your mind blown.
“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the last decade of the 20th century has provided the rational basis for understanding the therapeutic value of cannabis and its various components.” – Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D.
How to tailor cannabinoid therapy for a specific illness
Cannabis is a very complex medicine. With so many cannabinoid combinations, it can be confusing to the newcomer.
But tailoring cannabinoid therapy for any illness can be simple once you understand the medical properties of cannabis and how to consume it.
In fact, your biggest challenge may likely be safe access to this medicine (why we must keep pushing to end federal prohibition).
In the following case study on Crohn’s disease, we look at the two major cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) – and an important acidic precursor, THC-A.
More specifically, we will examine:
- What is Crohn’s disease and how does it affect patients?
- Does cannabis have efficacy in the treatment of Crohn’s?
- If a patient were to adopt cannabis to treat their Crohn’s, how would they do so?
- What major cannabinoids should be used to target Crohn’s and its specific symptoms?
- What are the best sources of these cannabinoids?
- What are the specific benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC?
- What are the specific benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD?
- What are the specific benefits of THC’s acidic precursor, THC-A?
- What options are available to patients in terms of the consumption of these cannabinoids?
- How to consider cannabis therapy within the overall holistic context of mind, body, and spirit.
Diagnosis: Crohn’s Disease
Imagine the following scenario: Your friend Susan, who you met in college, is a 44-year-old software development project manager in Houston, Texas. She has recently been diagnosed with the most common form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s is a potentially fatal condition of the gastrointestinal tract involving inflammation, pain, nausea, and often extreme weight loss (the type experienced by sufferers of wasting syndromes like HIV/AIDS).
Scientists believe that Crohn’s is caused by a combination of factors, including malfunction of the immune system, one’s environment, and inherited genetics. It may also be triggered by extreme anxiety.
About half a million people in North America suffer from this painful condition, which can also result in chronic diarrhea, bloody stool, fatigue, malnourishment, and even arthritis.
In terms of real-world ramifications, severe manifestations of Crohn’s can result in disability, loss of employment, financial hardship, deterioration of family relationships, substance addiction, and depression.
Susan wishes to treat herself with cannabis and minimize her use of pharmaceutical drugs, but doesn’t know where to begin.
Unfortunately, Susan’s primary care physician is opposed to her use of cannabis, citing prohibitionist rhetoric like addiction and lung cancer–both of which have been disproven by multiple research studies and a wealth of anecdotal evidence.