Marijuana and IBS
People often ask us about marijuana and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Marijuana is sometimes considered an alternative medicine for IBS. It is illegal in most states of the U.S., though a few states allow its use for medicinal purposes. Canada and European countries may be more lenient, but you should check with your doctor about its use as an alternative medicine for IBS in your area.
Studies have found that cannabis (marijuana) can block pain in many cases, including the abdominal pain common with irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been used by many to quell nausea and stop diarrhea, both symptoms of IBS. It does not seem to make much of an impact on other symptoms, such as constipation and gas.
Marijuana and IBS medications are generally not used for prevention, but prevention is a key part of managing irritable bowel syndrome.
The best way to prevent symptoms of IBS is by managing the diet. There are a number of foods that can trigger episodes of irritable bowel syndrome, including:
Try eliminating these from your diet, then add them back into your diet one at a time and see which, if any, trigger IBS symptoms. Eliminate the culprits from your diet for good.
Also eat a diet high in fiber, and make sure you drink plenty of water.
We will now cover treatment, including alternative medicine for IBS.
Marijuana and IBS is a controversial treatment because of the legal issues involved with marijuana use. Also, when the drug is purchased illegally, there is no way to be sure of the strength or purity of it. Like any drug used to treat a chronic condition, its use should be monitored by a physician, but because of the legal issues, not many physicians will recommend it or supervise its use. Long term use of marijuana, like smoking cigarettes, can have severe side effects.
There are other, more standard treatments available than marijuana and IBS.
Stool softeners are often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome to prevent or relieve constipation.
Anti-spasmodic medications are used to treat diarrhea. The problem with these medications is that they can lead to constipation, and in that way can even make symptoms of irritable bowel disease even worse.
Anti-depressant medications are sometimes prescribed as well. Anti-depressants can be effective but can have a lot of side effects, including drowsiness, upset stomach and anxiety. Anti-depressants may also cause constipation. Some are habit-forming and have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them.
Over-the-counter medications such as laxatives may also be used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, but should be used only under the supervision of a doctor. They can have side effects too, and are also habit-forming and not safe to use long-term.
Be careful about mixing marijuana and IBS medications. Cannabis may have negative reactions when combined with other drugs.
Because of the side effects from standard medical treatments and the risks involved with cannabis use, many people prefer to try an alternative medicine for IBS. There are several effective natural treatments available. An added benefit to natural treatments is that they contribute to overall health, as well.
If you think you may have irritable bowel syndrome, see your doctor for a diagnosis and to discuss treatment. Ask your doctor about marijuana and IBS if you are interested in using that. Also ask about alternative medicine for IBS.
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