Medical marijuana is the use of chemicals from the cannabis plant, such as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), for medical purposes.
Medical marijuana can treat a number of health issues by reducing their symptoms when used under a doctor’s supervision. Medical marijuana is allowed in New York State, but only with a doctor’s recommendation.
The State Health Department announced regulations, and the New York State Medical Marijuana Program was put into effect in January 2016, which only allows residents of New York State to be authorized.
Today, we know of at least 70 cannabinoids, which are the parts of the plant that have pharmacological effects.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the most drug-like of the phytocannabinoids, is likely to have many effects on the brain and other parts of the body.
The interaction between endogenous cannabinoids, or cannabinoids made in a lab, and phytocannabinoids, or cannabinoids derived from plants, affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates numerous bodily functions.
Medical marijuana may help with chronic pain, nausea (especially nausea caused by chemotherapy for cancer), and the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, for example).
How Does Medical Marijuana Work for Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
The chronic inflammatory disorder called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is made up of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is marked by inflammation that goes away and comes back, mostly in the digestive tract.
Traditional treatments for IBD, like biologics, corticosteroids, aminosalicylates, antibiotics, and corticosteroids, mostly work by suppressing the immune system. Before the ECS was found, a lot of people used medical marijuana, which led to more research into cannabis as a possible IBD treatment.
Marijuana use changes the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which affects mood, hunger, pain, the way the digestive tract moves, how the body responds to stress, and even how the immune system works.
This means that marijuana can impact a wide range of gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal conditions and their symptoms.
Medical marijuana is used to treat the pain and cramping that come with IBD diseases like ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), as well as the stress, poor sleep, anxiety, and loss of appetite that can come with them.
All animals, including humans, have the ECS, which is dispersed throughout tissues and organs. Endogenous cannabinoids are made by the body and are part of the ECS. They act on receptors and are made and broken down by enzymes.
G-protein-coupled cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 (CB1 and CB2) receptors are where cannabinoids work. Anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are two examples of endogenous cannabinoids that are made and released locally. They work on both CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Even though we don’t know exactly how CBD works, we do know that inhibiting endogenous anandamide reuptake makes some of its effects stronger.
CB1 is mostly found in the brain and nervous system of the gut. This is where it has its well-known effects on the mind. CB2 is found in the enteric nervous system, immune cells (macrophages and plasma cells), and the cells that line the digestive tract.
However, CB2 is found in the immune cells, not in the brain.
In cases of colon cancer, diverticulitis, and celiac disease, CB1 and CB2 receptor concentrations rise in the human gut.
But other research shows that cannabinoids make inflammation worse and that their immunomodulatory effect depends on how much, how often, what kind, and on which cells they act.
Endocannabinoids acting on CB2 result in a reduction in the inflammatory response.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Causes And Symptoms
According to the CDC, the actual cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown. IBD conditions are regarded as autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases happen when the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue because it thinks there is a threat from the outside.
The body attacks the intestines, which causes terrible pain, inflammation, and, in the end, the destruction of the tissues in the intestines.
When the immune system isn’t able to respond properly to signals from the environment, the GI tract gets inflamed.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is of several types, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. Because of UC, the inner lining of the person’s large intestine and rectum gets inflamed and painful for a long time.
Another illness that results in inflammation is Crohn’s disease, which affects the entire length and lining of the digestive tract before deeply infiltrating the affected tissues.
Both diseases often cause severe diarrhea, cramps, stomach pain, feeling tired, a fever, losing your appetite, and losing weight. Both of them have the potential to cause severe, potentially fatal consequences.
The precise causes are yet unknown, but risk factors include things like age, race, family history, smoking, anti-inflammatory drugs, and environmental factors, including a person’s location.
Can I Get A Medical Marijuana Card for Inflammatory Bowel Disease In New York?
Even though New York State agrees that using and owning marijuana is against the law in the U.S., it also agrees that making medical marijuana available to people with qualifying illnesses and conditions that are incapacitating and life-threatening is a good thing.
To that end, you can get a medical marijuana card in New York if you have any of the conditions listed below.
Cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, Parkinson‘s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain that affects health and function as an alternative to opioid use, substance use disorder, Alzheimer’s, muscular dystrophy, dystonia, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, or any other condition, at your doctor’s discretion.
But an appropriate person over the age of twenty-one (21) must submit the application on behalf of applicants who are under the age of eighteen (18) or who are otherwise unable to give informed permission for medical treatment.
In New York, the laws and rules about using and having medical marijuana cover a wide range of topics, such as where it is legal to use or consume these products, what kinds of products can be sold legally, how cannabis can be transported, and who is considered a certified patient.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these rules in advance if you’re interested in getting a medical marijuana card, so that you’ll feel more at ease.
Also, the amount of each cannabinoid is changed to meet each patient’s needs. Medical marijuana comes in many different forms, such as creams or ointments that you put on your skin, tinctures that you put under your tongue, pills or capsules, powders that dissolve, and inhalers. Please be aware that health insurance does not cover medical marijuana products by itself.