How to approach my doctor about using medical marijuana for crohns remission

by HelloMD

My son was diagnosed with crohns in 2011. He was mostly symptom free until December 2015 when he took an antibiotic for strep throat which led to a severe flare. He was prescribed 60mg of prednisone and placed on Remicade infusions. The infusions/pred made him feel awful, and he wasn't getting better. The pain was terrible and he was taking oxycodone just to get through the day. When the pain was more than he could take, we would make trips to the ER and spend 5-6 days in the hospital at a time trying to get the inflammation under control. Finally on April 15th of this year, he had surgery. Now we are wondering what to do to keep the crohns in remission. He doesn't want to do the Remicade anymore, and he is absolutely done with steroids. He has done a lot of research on medical marijuana and crohns, but doesn't know how to approach the subject with his doctor. It is something he wants to try, but doesn't think his doctor will be on board with it.


Answers


Answer - Doctor Mark Edmunds

Doctor's tend to like data, and a literature search on Crohn's disease and cannabis will reveal an abundance of data supporting cannabis for the treatment of Crohn's disease. You might want to bring in an article written for the lay-person that references several studies, such as "Worth repeating: medical mairjuana defeat's Crohn's disease" published in SF Gate on March 12, 2016.

As this article points out, there have been several studies using cellular, animal, and human models indicating that marijuana may not only be used for treating the symptoms of Crohn's disease (such as cramping, pain, and nausea) but may also reverse the disease process by modulating the immune system and decreasing inflammation. As a result, many patients have been able to wean off corticosteroids, opiates, and anti-inflammatory drugs and even potentially prevent surgeries necessitated by disease.