The Science behind Marijuana and Crohn’s Disease

Researchers in the UK have shown that two compounds found within the cannabis plant – THC and CBD (Cannabidiol) – do interact with gut function.  This proves that, as many sufferers have testified, that medical marijuana does provide an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

Both of these disease are thought to be caused by a mix of environmental and genetic factors – so if you have the genetic susceptibility to the disease and are then subjected to environmental triggers, such as diet, stress, or bacterial imbalance, the chances are you will develop the defective immune response that leads to the unpleasant symptoms.

In very basic terms, people with Crohn’s disease have a defective barrier to their gut, which allows bacteria to leak into the intestinal tissue and set up an inflammatory response. It seems then that the answer to the problems posed by this illness is to restore integrity to the gut barrier.

Researchers found that plant-derived cannabinoids – that is, weed, encouraged tighter bonds between the cells that form that gut barrier, therefore making it less leaky.

While it has been known for a long time that cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory, the discovery that it actually reintegrates the intestinal lining is a new one.

What Type of Cannabis Helps Crohn’s Disease?

Patients using medical cannabis for the relief of ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease report that it is very good at relieving painful cramps and also for increasing the appetite.  This last effect is very important; Crohn’s patients are often undernourished because their leaky gut prevents them absorbing nutrients essential for health.

Indica strains of the plant are most beneficial due to their muscle relaxing properties.  Some of the cannabis strains said to help patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are:

  • Auntie Em
  • Blackberry
  • Black Domina (Sensi Seeds)
  • Blueberry
  • Blue Fruit
  • Chemo
  • Cripple Creek (Tom Hill Seeds)
  • Dynamite
  • G13 (appetite stimulation)
  • Mandala No 1
  • Ultimate Indica (Legends)
  • Purple Kush (appetite stimulation)
  • Santa Maria
  • Super Silver Haze (appetite stimulation)

Cannabis also helps these conditions


Author Dianne Morgan

More posts by Dianne Morgan

Join the discussion 17 Comments

  • donna doherty says:

    Does Charlottes web oil help crohns? I tried oil from the dispensery and it burned so badly that I had to stop. Trying the CW but have had a major flare 2 days into it. Is it worth continuing? Should I take it with food… Any help would be appreciated I am brand new to this in MA. I am a liitle nervous that the dispenseries aren’t educatw
    ed well enough. Some folks doing the consulting look like they are still in high school. Had one person tell me how to use their oil ad it was so wrong that it cased more problems than it helped.

  • Deena says:

    I have less then 6ft of intestine and go in twice a week for fluids, what can I use to help slow down the system? I have had crohns for 30 plus years and have gotten worse in the last few years and since this is now legal in most states wondering what I can take so as not to go in fluids so often.
    Hope to hear from someone soon.

    Thank you,

  • PY says:

    What do you do if you live in a state like New York were medical marijuana is not approved (yet) in the past I’ve used MJ for crohns with great results – although I had a bit of a “problem” ……it’s been 15 years since I’ve used MJ – and have had some serious bowel problems that ‘I believe’ could have been avoided…….What should I do?

    • PY says:

      Notice I’m replying to myself – let me make myself clear : I’m currently on disability (on medication) – For the last 15 years (all legal) – here’s the problem – my crohns symptoms began to come back after going on medication – following the ‘Modern Medical’ path….previous to that time I was on a holistic path, acupuncture, diet, exercise and light use of MJ – and being very careful especially of diet (I never used any street drugs) – MJ is ‘Mild’ Compared to the pharm. used to treat all forms of chrons – I won’t touch the immunosupressive drugs with a 10 foot pole – I think the philosphy the MD’s are following in that area are leading to Digestive organ transplants ( or worst case senario they are farming us for organ donations upon death – don’t donate your organs – I refuse to donate mine due to my Spirtual Belief’s {I want my soul to leave this plane of existance upon my death})

      So How do I get Medical Marijuana? and I don’t wanr Shit weed – I want the genentically modified type to best treat my condition – I need a real MD/Holistic physician who is experienced in this area – and a Lawyer (is it really leagal or just ‘de-criminalized) – I’m not looking for MJ just to have a party – I know of it’s anti-inflamitory, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, effects etcetera – and when I was on the ‘holistic path’ I was a more functional person……

      I’ve seen a 1 800 medical marijuana website – apperently it’s leagal in New Jersy and Roade Island – But I cannot move from where I live now – how do I get it (legally) even though I’m in the wrong state!?!?

      With out going into more details about my health condition – I feel I need to go back to the ‘old medicine’ (holistic) approach – I don’t want to Die in the next ten years from the meds. I’m currently on.

      Politically this is a strange situation – so I’m not about to make any drastic changes (over the weekend) this is a very serious matter and I’m not making any foolish mistakes – – – – – – – – – – – My case is well documented.

      Any comments? – or is this just one of those situations where I have take care of everything myself?

      • Anthony says:

        Have you tried fish oil for Chrohns? It has done wonders for me.

      • Tom says:

        If you don’t want to donate your organs, that’s your right, but don’t spout tinfoil-hat, wing nut crap. Doctors are purposely mistreating people so they can harvest their organs? You have some religious belief that if they take a heart or a liver after you die your soul is going get buried with your body? Seriously? And if your health was fine with the holistic treatment (symptom free) why would you go back to the drugs? Why not just go back to what you were doing?

  • Pall says:

    Can you tell me if smoking pot will work? Still not sure. Living in Switzerland and growing and smoking marijuana will be legal here on the 1st of jan and I will do whatever to make me feel better.

    Any update on this issue?

  • Anthony says:

    I have just learned recently that I have Crohn’s Disease.

    Medical marijuana without a doubt helps my symptoms to reduce or sometimes completely takes it away for a period of time. I have found that when I smoke marijuana it reeks havoc on my stomach due to coughing which leads to me vomiting (gastroduodenal crohns) I have since then bought a vaporizer and that helps reduce that act from happening. Smoking and or vaping is nice and all that. But it really only helps keep the nausea at bay and helps me want to eat since I am horrified sometimes to eat only because I know I will have hours and hours of discomfort and pain. What I have found best is eating it. edibiles are definitely the way to go if you have crohns. It makes my body act normal in every aspect.

    Instead of going to bathroom 8plus times a day, it makes it normal, like twice day. Also edibiles take away even the harshest of cramps, and of course no vomiting. I found that butter works better than hash oil for eating marijuana foods for people with crohns. What I think is the ultimate form of medicating for someone with crohns is by using a medical marijuana product called “Alta California’ It is a tincture so no need to smoke it, or eat it. Just simply put a drop or 2 from the bottle under your tounge, or mix into a drink. There are alot of tinctures out there, but this is the only one i found that is actually potent and does its job most perfectly. Only downside is that it is 80$ but it could be 200 and I would still get it. Because you can’t put a pricetag, on a healthy normal life. And thats what it gives you. I am only speaking from my experiences and what I have found works best for me.

    As with anything in life, it will be trial and error until you find what works best for you and your life with crohns. If you are reading this because you typed in crohns disease because you think you might have it. (as i did when i was 1st getting symptoms) Relax…everything will be ok. does it suck majorly?…yes it does. I will not sugar coat anything. Of course consult your dr and get the right tests done, make a list of foods that you eat and then cross off what works and doesn’t work for you as far as eating. And water, water, water drink lots of it. No smoking cigs, no alcohol, and try to stay not stressed and relaxed because you don’t want to induce a flare up. This isn’t the end of your life, its just the start of a new different one.

    Good luck everyone and stay medicated!!!

  • Melissa says:

    I’m 17 and in high school in a state where medical marijuana is still not legal so I think it’s easy for people to say that I’m just another stoner kid looking for an excuse to smoke but honestly, I have very severe chrons disaese and smoking a little weed seems to b the only thing that helps.

    If I didnt I would probably weigh like 80 pounds from never eating and be curled in a ball from all the pain in my stomach, it’s tw only thing that allows me even on a sick day to b able to still do some of the activities I love , cuz really at my age who wantsto have to miss school all the time so they can lay on a couch curled in a ball with fever cramping bloating and throwing up .. ?

    I’m so pro medical marijuana but I have no idea how to tell my mom I use it for that purpose.. What do I do?

    • RUBEN says:


  • mike says:

    Indica hybrids work better than 100 mcg/hr duragesic and i’m no longer killing my liver and have better quality of life all around.

  • C.Lemos says:

    How do you all use it?
    Hate smoking!
    Where can I find more info?

    • Ryan says:

      There are many different ways to ingest and consume marijuana. im 16 and my state does have medical marijuana. if u go to a dispensary they usually can tell u alternatives to smoking. such as using a vaporizer or thc and kief lolly pops they have a large remedy of treatment options for those who cannot smoke. hope this helped 🙂

  • TfromAst says:

    Update: It is working amazingly well. Hopefully it will be legal here soon. 🙁

  • TfromAst says:

    I don’t know what strains of pot I’m smoking (It’s homegrown from multi-generation seeds that I think are sativa, not indica), but you can follow my blog on how it is affecting my ulcerative colitis at

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