Cannabis & Crohn’s: Part II

Recalling the pertinent caveats from a previous post Cannabis & Crohn’s: Part I, let us consider some different types of sources in our quest to determine if a personal n=1 experiment is warranted. I will divide my inquiry into scientific studies, representative anecdotal testimonies, and first hand reports. Finally, sources for further consideration will be indicated. Ultimately, it is the patient who should make the decision.

Medical Studies

The first observational study to consider the treatment of Crohn’s with Cannabis was an Israeli research team headed by Dr. Nafatli in 2011.[1]A significant number of patients reported better health after the use of cannabis. Two criticisms come to mind. The sample size was small and it was not placebo controlled. A second follow-up study in October 2013, by the same team of researchers, controlled for placebo effect. TCH cigarettes, not concentrated CBD oil was used, as before in the initial study.[2]Though remission was not reported, how could it be with such a short duration, “THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a nonsmoking mode of intake, are warranted.” Steroid-free is a huge improvement in and of itself. Steroid psychosis is a serious affliction, having a cascading effect of more drug intervention.

A contrary view of the studies is discussed by Dr. Herafrth et al.[3]A major concern expressed by these researchers was that the lessening of the symptoms might mask the progress of the disease and thus the risk for surgery might increase as a result. I ask, what are the goals of current treatments? Do any purport to ‘cure’ the patient? Are they not also merely reliveing symptoms, while the underlying disease continues to progress. Crohn’s patients, ask yourselves, how has your health progressed with standard medical care?

Dental health is an excellent gauge of body health. Cavities Conundrum: Analysis & Practical Advice see previous post. A telling statement to the contrary is this article. “Although symptoms may improve over the short-term in these patients, intestinal structural damage might continue without the addition of provenbiologically active drugs, and individual patients may suffer significant deleterious consequences.” Provenis a very curious word to use in an academic paper. Where is the humility? Where is the circumspection typical of a well-reasoned opinion?

Anecdotal & Living Testimony

Let us turn our attention to a second path of knowledge, a phenomenological/statistical consideration. The Internet is extremely helpful in this regard. Coltyn Turner, age 15, treats his Crohn’s disease with cannabis oil. A CBS News report purports that Turner’s dramatic colon improvements documented by medical images is a result of taking cannabis oil.[4]The story ran in January 2017 and was part of a larger report on the health benefits of cannabis set with a medical symposium.

            A second consideration to note is the stigma of those who use medical marijuana. Consider the story of “Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson for violating their substance abuse policy. … But if you dig a little deeper, there’s a lot more to this story. The substance in question is marijuana, and Henderson was prescribed the drug by his doctor to treat Crohn’s disease.”[5]Henderson, like the contributor Natasha Dunbar[6], has found cannabis useful in treating his disease. One point to note is how the benefits of cannabis outweigh the costs of using it. If there were better alternatives, these Crohn’s sufferers would have chosen that route.

First Hand Reports

Given the societal costs of using cannabis, my first hand reports are minimal but frequent. I have had individuals tell me of the benefit to using cannabis. An employee of a major health supplement company privately said, “That the greatest improvement seen by them for Crohn’s patients are by those individuals who use cannabis”. It is worth noting, this company does not sell cannabis in any form to my knowledge, as of this blog. A doctor has seen first hand the benefits of the drug, but for fear of prosecution, will not publicly state it.

Conclusion

Two separate questions emerge: The first question, does cannabis help in the healing process of Crohn’s. I think there is compelling evidence for an n=1 experiment with a sober approach. The second question, which is more fundamental, is who gets to make this decision. Is it the patient, doctor, government?[7]I side with the party most affected by the decision, to make the decision. No bureaucrat or doctor has to live with the ultimate result of treatment. Yes, there might legal consequences, but the person most affected is the patient.

Ongoing Studies & Personal Testimonies

“Patients were assigned randomly to groups given cannabis, twice daily, in the form of cigarettes containing 115 mg of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or placebo containing cannabis flowers from which the THC had been extracted.”[8]

“The first clinical trial involving cannabis and its effects of IBD, researchers discover that the cannabinoids present in cannabis were able to provide anti-inflammatory and symptom reduction for the vast majority of IBD patients.

“… an 8-week treatment with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich cannabis caused a decrease in the Crohn’s disease activity index in 90% of patients without producing significant side effects.[9]

Active Comparator: THC 5 mg/ml and CBD 50 mg/ml.

olive oil containing THC 5 mg/ml and CBD 50 mg/ml. which will be taken twice daily.[10]

Treating Crohn’s Disease & Diabetes with Cannabis January 2017[11]

“These individuals are successfully treating their Crohn’s disease and diabetes with cannabis!”

“For the past few months, a handful of doctors here in Texas have been legally prescribing medical marijuana to patients with epilepsy.

But a growing number of health and wellness stores across the state have begun selling a different kind of cannabis that anyone can buy.

The customers have quickly become regulars.

“It’s completely life-changing,” says Ginni Dingeldein, 33, of Canyon Lake.

“This is the best I’ve felt in so long,” says Lauren Connell, 35, of New Braunfels.”[12]

A provocative radio show by Dr. Jennifer Daniels, a Harvard graduate, medical school Univ Penn, MBA Wharton School of Business

RBN: Scientifically Proven?? Really? Whose science?  March 25, 2018 show

              [1]https://www.ima.org.il/FilesUpload/IMAJ/0/39/19985.pdfaccessed May 23, 2018

              [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648372accessed May 23, 2018

            [3]https://www.cghjournal.org/article/S1542-3565(13)01649-2/fulltextaccessed May 23, 2018

             [4]https://youtu.be/txtk5yAMv1sAccessed May 23, 2018

            [5]https://themighty.com/2016/12/seantrel-henderson-suspended-crohns-disease-marijuana/

 [6]https://themighty.com/2016/12/medical-marijuana-cannabis-crohns-disease/#conversation

            [7]https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/congress-oks-letting-terminal-patients-try-unapproved-drugs-n876606accessed May 23, 2018

            [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648372Accessed May 23, 2018

            [9]https://www.medicalcannabisclinic.com.au/medicinal-cannabis/crohns-disease-treatment/

            [10]https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01826188Accessed May 23, 2018

            [11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwRlsKlecUQAccessed May 23, 2018

            [12]http://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/new-cannabis-oil-shop-creating-a-lot-of-buzz

Addendum

Who decides? Patient, doctor, government?

“A Georgia couple who says they gave their son marijuana to treat his seizures, is fighting to regain custody of him. The state took custody of Matthew and Suzeanna Brill’s15-year-old son, David, in April when he tested positive for marijuana. They are charged with reckless conduct and facing jail time.

The Brills say their 15-year-old son David went from having up to 10 seizures a day to being seizure free for 71 days after he began smoking marijuana, reports CBS News’ Omar VIllafranca. The couple said he’s never gone that long without a seizure before. “

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/georgia-couple-loses-custody-of-15-year-old-son-after-giving-him-marijuana-for-seizures/

 

 

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