Doctors of Natural Medicine

Medical Marijuana For Crohn's Disease

In this article we hope to help you understand how medical marijuana can help you treat your Crohn’s symptoms. As you already know, Crohn’s Disease has no cure and is typically a relapsing-remitting condition. This being said, we’re here to show in what situations medical marijuana could be helpful.

marijuana and crohn's

Can Medical Marijuana Ease Crohn’s Disease Symptoms?

There are many symptoms one can endure when Crohn’s is active.  As you know, Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As of right now, many doctors are prescribing medical marjuana for Crohn’s symptoms. Although the research is scarce in this field of medicine, some studies have reflected that medical marijuana, also known as cannabis, can relieve Crohn’s Disease Symptoms.

Common symptoms  that vary in severit which are experienced by patients are:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain and cramping
  •  fatigue
  • nausea and loss of appetite
  • and weight loss

Medical Marijuana Can possibly reduce Inflammation

There have been some studies that have shown that medical marijuana can help reduce inflammation. However, it is important to note that no conclusive evidence has been widely accepted for medical marijuana at this time.

3 Separate Studies

The first study took 21 patients with active Crohn’s. Half of the group smoked medical marijuana and the other a placebo, both once a day for 8 weeks. The results concluded that the medical marijuana group were more likely to achieve remission. Doctors considered the side effects to be mild.

The second study was conducted with 22 people with active Crohn’s and marijuana/placebo oil. The study found no difference in clinical remission rates.

The final study was conducted with 50 active Crohn’s patients and medical marijuna/placebo oil. The study measured whether the patients’ symptoms were relieved and if the quality of their lives improved. In this study, the results were positive! Scores for quality of life were higher.

medical marijuana for crohn's disease

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Which Crohn's Symptoms are alleviated?

Not all symptoms will be alleviated when trying medical marijuana. However, the evidence that has been thus far provided shows that the following symptoms can be relieved:

  • Reduction in abdominal pain
  • an increase in appetite
  • a reduction in diarrhea
  • controlled nausea

The evidence is not conclusive

Although, there have been studies to show positive improvements in Crohn’s patients, like most medical marijuana studies, there simply hasn’t been enough for medical marijuana to be widely accepted by the whole medical community as a common medicine. If you would like to see if medical marijuana may be right for you, book a medical card appointment and consult with one of our medical marijuana doctors today!

CBD & THC: Cannabinoids

CBD and THC are two of the cannabinoids found in medical marijuana that we know the most about at this moment in time. You may be wondering, how does this information help my Crohn’s? The answer is simple. Both compounds alleviate different symptoms, so it’s good for you to know which one may be more helpful for you and your Crohn’s.


CBD is know for its anti-inflammatory and immune properties. Since Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease, CBD is always a good way to go. CBD has been known to reduce inflammation and treat insomnia, sleep apnea,  spasticity and pain. 


THC is better known to treat the patients mental state. More specifically, THC is the compound most well-known for alleviating nausea, improving appetite and treating chronic pain. 

Choose or Combine

There is no correct way to try medical marijuana. The best option is to try with short small doses and see what may work best for you and your body.

cannabis for crohn's

Potential Side Effects worth considering

According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Crohn’s patients (IBD patients in general) should be aware of several potential side effects that may occur while trying medical cannabis.  Each patient is different, so these may or may not appear for you. The side effects are:

  •  severe nausea and vomiting
  • impaired short term memory
  • altered judgment
  • difficulty concentrating
  • impaired coordination
  • anxiety
  • mood changes/irritability
  • long term problems with behavior and reasoning particularly in adolescents.
No one knows your body like you know your body. When considering using medical marijuana for Crohn’s please consider the following precautionary measures:
  1. Start slow.
  2. Start with a low dose.
  3. Talk with your Doctor about other medications you are taking
  4. Refine your process over time

Getting healthy takes time. Sometimes the need to feel relief can cause us to move needlessly fast. In moments like these we urge each patient to go slow for their own safety. If you are interested in getting a medical marijuana card and consult with a medical marijuana doctor, consider booking an appointment with our medical marijuana clinic today!