“Recreational dispensary near me” is becoming a popular search term. More and more, people are using cannabis to treat their illnesses, and this includes those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, a debilitating condition with unknown origins. No cause to speak of, no abnormalities in the system, just extreme discomfort, a constant need for relief, and a long search for cannabis in Los Angeles.
Understanding Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is extremely common. This is a long-term, even lifelong, disorder that causes intense abdominal pain, extreme bloating from too much gas in the stomach, constipation, even diarrhea. To be clear, IBS is not related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or IBD, which includes Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, issues notoriously for their very noticeable, easily measurable auto-immune changes.
IBS is different. Nobody knows what causes it. Scientists are studying all of the different factors in an attempt to identify the origin of this illness. They have yet to find success in determining its cause, but there is some evidence that some individuals might have a genetic predisposition to developing IBS. Despite not knowing the source of this condition, much literature exists about its effects on the body.
IBS and the Gut-Brain Axis
As stated in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “The gut-brain axis, or GBA, consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions. This interaction between microbiota and GBA appears to be bidirectional, namely through signaling from gut microbiota to the brain and from the brain to gut microbiota, by means of neural, endocrine, immune, and humoral links.”
The brain and spinal cord form part of the central nervous system. However, the enteric nervous system is a network of neurons responsible for controlling the gastrointestinal tract. The above observation is crucial since it helps to understand just how the relationship between the brain and the gut affect those suffering from IBS since communication disruption between them might trigger issues like IBS.
Currently, no cure exists for IBS. Victims of this horrible condition do have several treatment options available, but not all of them are effective for everyone. These conventional therapies include:
The digestive system relies heavily on millions of different bacteria living inside the gut to function. However, not all bacteria and good. Some may cause adverse symptoms, which is where probiotics can help. Some probiotics do a stellar job of regulating the digestive system, alleviating many IBS symptoms.
- Prescription Medications
If IBS is especially severe, doctors may prescribe conventional drugs to treat the symptoms, such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. These drugs do nothing to treat IBS, just mitigate its effects. They typically include anti-diarrheal, antispasmodic, even laxative medications.
- Behavioral Therapy
Because of the extreme pain and debilitating symptoms of IBS, it can wreak havoc on the psyche. In severe cases, patients also suffer anxiety, depression, and other mental issues. The psychological effects of IBS can leave sufferers afraid to leave the house, angry, emotional, and very irritable, upsetting the entire family structure. Many choose behavioral therapy or counseling to help cope with their illness.
Role of Endocannabinoid System in IBS
Despite there being no cure for IBS, marijuana shows much promise in alleviating the symptoms and greatly improving the quality of life. It does so by influencing the body’s own endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which contains an abundance of cell receptors triggered by naturally occurring endocannabinoids, or neurotransmitters that affect certain processes. Marijuana cannabinoids support this system.
Phytocannabinoids, or those from plants, are compatible with our own endocannabinoids. They are very similar and perform familiar functions. Of all the cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, are the most famous and widely researched of them. They affect the body differently, treating different issues in different ways.
Using Cannabis to Treat IBS
Research is still ongoing, with a very little study into the effects of marijuana on IBS. Despite this, there are clinical tests that hint at its effectiveness, much of which seems related to a group of illnesses that frequently cluster together. By supporting the endocannabinoid system to ensure it functions optimally, one can relieve the symptoms of IBS significantly:
- According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a study published in 2008 by the Neuro Endocrinology Letter found, “Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS, and related conditions display common patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”
- Another study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine in 2016 by Neuropharmacology, concluded that “Cannabidiol, or CBD, the main non-psychotomimetic component of marijuana, exhibits anxiolytic-like properties in many behavioral tests.” Anxiolytic drugs treat anxiety, which suggests that CBD can lower the stress-like symptoms associated with IBS.
- Then, a review published in 2016, this time in Liebert Publications, looking into illnesses related to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency, stated, “GI propulsion, secretion, and inflammation in the gut are all modulated by the ECS, providing a rationale for cannabinoids as treatment candidates for IBS. As examples, GI propulsion is under tonic control of the ECS 21, and cannabis was one of the first effective clinical interventions in the 19th century for the intense secretory diarrhea associated with cholera, a finding which was more recently validated with modern methodology.”
Although it is clear that more research is paramount, many anecdotal stories of IBS sufferers show them improving enormously from the controlled, low-dose application of cannabinoids. For some patients, this may well prove one of the very many promising benefits of cannabis. However, you should always discuss cannabis therapy with your doctor, as it can interfere with the efficacy of certain medications.
Finding Cannabis in Los Angeles
If IBS is destroying your life, then simply type “recreational dispensary near me” into your search engine. You should find many companies offering cannabis in Los Angeles. This is great if you want to try it now, but IBS does qualify you as a medical marijuana patient too. Discuss these options with your physician beforehand, so you can work together to maximize the benefits of cannabinoid therapy.