Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

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In 2011, Congress recognized the physical, emotional, and financial turmoil caused by Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and declared December 1st - 7th as Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 3 million people are living with a form of irritable bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s and Colitis.

Both Crohn's Disease and Colitis are gastrointestinal disorders that belong to a family of disorders known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Here are a few key differences between the two:

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The symptoms and effects depend on where the disease occurs in the bowel and its severity. Although there is no known cause to Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis, treatment options are available through prescription medication, surgery and diet changes. Sadly, many people suffering from Crohn’s Disease and Colitis suffer from additional side effects of prescription medications and are often left to manage the condition on their own.

Fortunately, Crohn's disease is specified as one of the 17 serious medical conditions for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

IBD patients have been shown to have more cannabinoid receptors in the tissue of the colon than people without IBD, which means that people affected by Crohn's Disease and Colitis are likely to respond to the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana.

According to a statement issued by The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, compounds found in the marijuana plant closely mimic endocannabinoids and have been shown to play an important part in decreasing gastrointestinal inflammation.

If you or someone you know is suffering from Crohn’s Disease and is looking for a medicinal alternative, it is important to consult with an approved recommending physician to determine if medical marijuana is an appropriate treatment option for you.