Gastrointestinal Disorders And Cannabis
The use of medical cannabis is frequently required for gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. Irritable bowel syndrome, two inflammatory bowel illnesses (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are among these conditions (IBS).
The digestive process of food and host defense, which guards against external intruders like bacteria and viruses, are the two main jobs of the gut. These two crucial processes are tightly controlled by the endocannabinoid system, which is broadly dispersed throughout the digestive system. It works to maintain the homeostasis of gastric motility (the muscular contractions that function to move food through the colon), intestinal pain signals, intestinal inflammation, and maintenance of the barrier of the gut lining. It is located in the gut’s nerves and in the immune system’s cells.
The enteric nervous system, also known as the “second brain,” refers to the group of nerves in the gut that contain cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Since the enteric nervous system is thought to be involved in all gut ailments, these receptors are a desirable target for medication when illness is present. Cannabinoid receptor numbers have been observed to rise (upregulate) in some intestinal diseases, which suggests that the endocannabinoid system is responding to try to reestablish balance.
Cannabis is used to treat digestive disorders
In addition to cannabinoid receptors, the gut also contains additional receptors that play a role in intestinal pain and inflammation, including PPARs, GPR55, and TRPV1. Anybody using cannabis medication for gastrointestinal diseases should treat CB1 and CB2 as therapeutic targets since cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), interact with these receptors.
Your gut is where about 80% of your immune system is located. These immune cells contain the CB2 receptors and other components of the endocannabinoid system, which are available to operate when necessary to reduce inflammation. In contrast, if your endocannabinoid system is dysfunctional, it might not be able to mount the proper response to these triggers, which could result in chronic intestinal symptoms. It’s interesting to note that IBS and persistent abdominal pain are more common in those who have a mutation in the gene encoding for one of the endocannabinoid system’s components.
Effects of Cannabis
It’s critical for patients with gastrointestinal illnesses to comprehend that chronic inflammation takes time to heal after cannabis therapy. Despite the fact that many people report symptom relief in the first few weeks, it may take eight to twelve weeks to notice a meaningful benefit.