Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and CBD Oil
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the subject of a large part of the medical research community. Several not-for-profit organizations such as: The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disease, and research institutions such as: Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital and UCLA Health are involved with advancing care for these patients.
As one would guess, millions of dollars each year are spent on trying to solve the problem of inflammatory bowel disease. Unfortunately, this process is long and often not able to create, either remission or, completely satisfied patients.
The two most frequently cited diseases of Inflammatory Bowel Disease is Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. While these diseases are different, they both are inflammatory based, causing severe pain, frequent surgery and loss of Quality of Life (QoL) in many circumstances.
Current thinking is that the inflammatory process causes ulcers, strictures and intestinal damage are stemming from an auto-immune and leaky gut syndrome. Several mechanisms are researched and targeted clinical therapy used to reduce these symptoms but, there is no known cure for it at present.
Prescription medicines often target immune transmission factors including cytokines such as infliximab (Remicade), steroids for inflammation reduction, salicylates, vedolizumab (Entyvio) for auto-immune suppression, anti-diarrheals, laxatives, antibiotics, probiotics, pain medications and anti-spasmodics.
However, even with all this effort, money and heartache, most patients do not seem to feel that the medicine is working as satisfactory as they believe it should. In fact more than 60% of the time, some of these medicines are not satisfactory despite these conditions and side effects:
Successes and Problems with Current IBD Treatments*
* Ref: Anson, P; Editor, National Pain Foundation, Survey of 1,300 Fibromyalgia Patients, 2014.
So if the average IBD patients is chronically ill, uses expensive medicines without total relief and still has Quality of Life (QoL) issues, what is one to do?
Many patients which struggle to balance life, doctor and disease turn to alternative additives to their daily regimens based on their individual needs. In fact 30-80% of patients use alternative care outside of their prescription medicines. This can involve, behavior feedback, meditation, yoga, exercise, acupuncture, vitamins, supplements, medical cannabis and CBD oil.
While humans developed their own internal system of cannabis producing chemicals and receptors about 400 million years ago, (the Endocannabinoid System) or ECS, this system has diminished in activity and effectiveness over the years due to environment and human intervention. The ECS was only discovered in 1993 so you can figure that there is a lot of catch up to do regarding research and confirmation. However, the ECS receptors have been identified in large amounts in the gut lining.
If there is some lower level of activity of the ECS, this is called a Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, or CECD, for short. Often times, if CECD is present, the lining of the gut causes a leaky syndrome called Leaky Gut Syndrome. This allows toxins and bad bacteria to penetrate the lining and cause inflammation; and you guessed it; ulcers and intestinal damage.
It bears common sense that if the ECS could be supplemented or, used to balance the system, maybe the Leaky Gut Syndrome could tighten to help the lining. In fact, cannabis and cannabinoids have shown to help this directly.
However, since the discovery of the ECS has been only recent, more work needs to be done in this area. The most advanced group so far seems to come from Israel. They have the longest history of government acceptance for research studies. This is where Sunhealth Therapeutics researches and collaborates to watch the successes of CBD and cannabis in IBD.
Many of the Israeli studies have sophisticated plants to conduct their research. Often times, these plants are specific for the research study. So, when there is medical cannabis studies which use specific plants in the health of IBD patients, it causes interest to us. But as you may know, medical cannabis is not available to many people. Nor does a significant population want to use the psychoactive molecule in medical cannabis called THC.
The reason for this is that daily activities such as work, children, school and driving could be impaired. Additionally, until 2018, cannabinoids were partially against the law. If the cannabinoids are derived from the medical cannabis plant – regardless of the amount of THC in it- then possession and use requires a cannabis license, at least in those states which is not recreational.
However, if the same cannabinoids are derived from the hemp plant, with a concentration of THC less than 0.3%, then it may be used under federal laws. Coincidentally, the science of extraction also become more sophisticated about the same time so CBD, or cannabidiol, can now be extracted in high quality form to utilize without the worry of a license requirement.
So, if we combine hemp derived CBD and low (less than 0.3%), or no, THC, then the combination of these sources can make these compounds available for use without a license.
The combination of using a hemp derived CBD formula which simulates other medical cannabis formulas in research, would make sense, no? It is this rationale that Sunhealth Therapeutics uses as help to support patients with IBD (www.sunhealth420.com). Only hemp derived CBD formulas are used without THC. CBD use and Sunhealth Therapeutics products should be used daily as medical research suggests.
Since there is no known cure, daily use is suggested. Most clinical research shows that daily use is meant to be at least eight weeks in duration before one can look back and see if there was any help to them.
When the average patient loses 2 days of work per month and over 70 days of the year with curtailed daily activities, many people turn their attention and research to possibly adding CBD to their daily regimens of life.
Most CBD products on the market today are tinctures. Tintures are like a shotgun approach to using CBD. It contains the plant in general but otherwise, non-specific. There are many organizations which track the successes and failures of CBD use for your resource. You can check out: www.thecannabisindustry.org, www.nationalhempassociation.org and www.projectcbd.org.
The benefits and use of CBD has been expanding quite rapidly as additional information becomes available. As the use and information has outpaced the regulations, the US FDA has been reviewing CBD even though the US Farm Bill of 2018 makes it legal.
Medical claims need to be carefully watched and wait for further regulatory guidance from the US FDA. Sunhealth Therapeutics will try its best to stay abreast of these changes and comply with labeling guidance which has yet to be promulgated.
In the meantime, the use of hemp derived CBD is available for those who wish to try it.
As always, Sunhealth Therapeutics recommends that users inform their medical professionals of their use to help coordinate care of their IBD.