Medical marijuana can offer relief to those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease

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A new study indicates that cannabis can help prevent large amounts of white blood cells from causing damage

A recent research project on the benefits of cannabis has revealed an interesting fact. Substances found in marijuana can help the body protect itself from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Two of the over 60 different cannabinoids found in marijuana, primarily cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), trigger receptors in the body that can help protect it from IBD. Cannabinoids in marijuana interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the immune system, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain to influence the receptors’ reactions.

Because of this, it has been recognized that the body is already hard-wired to respond to the stimulation caused by the cannabinoids through the network of receptors. This network has already been shown to play an important part in a number of the body’s functions, including metabolic regulation, immune system reactions and bone growth.

There have been previous reports that suggested marijuana as a possible source of relief for IBD. Marijuana users in the past have indicated that they saw a decrease in symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis as a result of their marijuana use. However, a study led by the University of Massachusetts and the University of Bath confirms these suspicions. The researchers were able to positively identify how cannabis impacts the ailments.

According to the researchers’ findings, “Although numerous IBD patients use cannabis products to help treat their illness, and the phenomena has [sic] been subject to some medical research, nobody knew exactly how the medically active parts of marijuana (known as cannabinoids) had an anti-inflammatory effect on irritated bowels before this study.”

The study explained, “Although the current research is in mice, it points to a possible result in humans as well. It would help explain why cannabinoids seem to provide relief for people with IBD, because they perform basically the same regulatory function as the endocannabinoids would if the body were producing them itself.”

Now that medical marijuana usage is being recognized across the US as a legitimate and valid source of relief, more studies are being conducted to determine the effect it has on the body. As research continues, more will be understood regarding the positive impact cannabis has and how resourceful it is at helping a great number of people live with a long list of previously debilitating ailments.