Crohn's Disease and Cannabis

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posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 02:12 AM
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"NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Derivatives of the active compound in cannabis -- cannabinoids -- may have the potential for treating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, UK researchers report.

"The system that responds to cannabis in the brain is present and functioning in the lining of the gut," lead researcher Dr. Karen Wright, of the University of Bath, explained to Reuters Health. "There is an increased presence of one component of this system during inflammatory bowel diseases," she explained.

Reuters Report
This is very interesting to me as I have freinds and relitives who suffer from these kinds of conditions. I am glad to see that some progress is finally being made.




posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 07:57 AM
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Any theory for how cannabis would help Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis? These two diseases have significant differences between them, making me wonder what the mechanism of cannabis treatment would be. (Ulcerative colitis is inflammatory, ulcerative, and can lead to cancer, and Crohn's disease has a prominent granulomatous component not found in UC - i.e., Crohn's disease features slowly acting areas, or foci, of slower inflammation.)



posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 08:14 AM
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This might explain more

Excerpt:

Both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis - often referred to under the umbrella term of IBD - cause patients' immune systems to go into overdrive, producing inflammation in different areas of the gastrointestinal tract.

.........

Examining gut samples from healthy people and IBD patients, the researchers looked at two specific receptors, called CB1 and CB2, which are known to be activated by the presence of molecules found in cannabis.

They discovered that whilst CB1 is present in healthy people, the presence of CB2 increases in IBD patients as their disease progresses.



posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 08:33 AM
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So, does that mean the use of cannabis for these people activates the excess CB2 they are producing, reducing the level and providing relief? Is that how it works?



posted on Aug, 14 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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Not really...

CB1 and CB2 are receptors, not substances themselves, designed to recognise and "bind" to certain chemicals.

CB2 is activated by certain disease states; this means that when it's activated, it's able to recognise and bind to to the endocannibanoids (the ones which occur naturally in the body); this in turn means that if more cannibanoids are introduced to the system, the presence and activation of the receptor (CB2) allows for those chemicals to be recognised and effectively utilised by the body. If it's not active, it cannot recognise the substance and thus is unable to utilise it.

(Though this does oversimplify the process to a great degree, it's not a bad way to see it).





 
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