Updated on December 16, 2022. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya.
Chronic pancreatitis, like many debilitating medical conditions, robs patients of their peace of mind and physical well-being. And because of the chronic nature of the illness, patients may have a hard time finding a regimen effective in mitigating its troublesome symptoms. As we will see going forward, medicinal marijuana has a way of easing even the most vexing symptoms of chronic pancreatitis. Continue reading to find out more about medical marijuana as a potential treatment for chronic pancreatitis.
What is Chronic Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is a severe condition where the pancreas of a person becomes inflamed. This inflammation increasingly gets worse and eventually leads to a stage of permanent damage. Quite unlike acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis requires continuous treatment.
To reduce the side effects of traditional medicines, medical marijuana was proposed as a possible solution for it. But is marijuana really an effective treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis? Let’s find out.
Can Medical Marijuana Treat Chronic Pancreatitis?
The therapeutic benefits of marijuana are well-established. Several studies have supported the efficacy of medical marijuana when it comes to treating various debilitating illnesses such as:
Therefore, it only makes sense to check whether medicinal cannabis could do the same for patients with chronic pancreatitis.
As per reliable studies, cannabis works effectively to ease the three main symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis:
- Nausea and Vomiting
Let us analyze how exactly marijuana treats these symptoms.
Recent advances in medicine have enabled us to use medical marijuana to our advantage by extracting the cannabinoids that have the most beneficial effects; THC and CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is outstanding when it comes to reducing inflammation. And it can be easily infused into medications to alleviate chronic pancreatitis-related inflammation.
A 2013 study on the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in mice with induced acute pancreatitis supports this theory. Results from the study revealed that CBD exhibited anti-inflammatory properties and improved the expression of GPR55 in the pancreatic tissue.
One of the main symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis is an intense and unbearable pain that sporadically flares up in patients. These painful episodes are a big reminder of how harmful such disorders can be.
Naturally then, Treating chronic pancreatitis entails treating chronic pain too. Fortunately, medical marijuana can be a potent option with few side effects for many people.
Patients who wish to avoid the psychoactive effects that medical marijuana with THC induces can opt for CBD exclusively.
Find out more about how medical marijuana works for pain.
Nausea and vomiting
The pancreas secretes enzymes responsible for breaking down sugars and starches in the food we consume. Therefore, when there is a problem with the pancreas, the entire digestive system gets adversely affected. These problems and any damage caused to the malfunctioning pancreas can result in frequent feelings of nausea and vomiting in patients.
Medical marijuana is commonly used to reduce nausea and vomiting among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It’s no surprise then that patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis also stand to gain from the antiemetic effects of cannabis.
Discover how exactly cannabis works to ease nausea and vomiting.
Is CBD good for pancreatitis?
Yes, CBD may mitigate the symptoms of pancreatitis because of its anti-inflammatory qualities. However, it is worth noting that the bulk of research on CBD for pancreatitis has been conducted in animals and not humans. As a result, we cannot conclusively say that CBD is the best remedy to ease the effects of chronic pancreatitis.
Are there any side effects of medical marijuana use for chronic pancreatitis?
Although cannabis is a natural form of therapy, misuse could lead to unfavorable side effects. That being said, patients can avoid possible side effects by using their medicine responsibly and following the directions given by their doctor. And that is why we implore patients to consult with a medical marijuana doctor before using cannabis as a form of therapy.
If you suffer from chronic pancreatitis, you can consult with a specialized cannabis doctor about alternative treatment options including medical marijuana. A conversation with a cannabis doctor is crucial for patients with chronic pancreatitis to get the most out of their treatment. Additionally, patients should go over the following tips before buying cannabis products.
Are edibles bad for your pancreas?
Despite the potential benefits of marijuana when it comes to easing the symptoms of pancreatitis, a 2017 study by Jodie A Barkin et al. revealed that cannabis is a possible risk factor for acute pancreatitis and recurrent acute pancreatitis. So, taking cannabis in any form, whether as edibles or joints, may put you at risk of acute pancreatitis. Nevertheless, as alarming as it sounds, this is a rare occurrence.
Additionally, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are two different medical conditions. Acute pancreatitis is a sudden and brief spell of inflammation, while chronic pancreatitis is constant over time.
As established, medical marijuana may be worth your consideration if you are diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. You can get started today by scheduling an appointment with one of our cannabis doctors. We help patients get medical marijuana cards online. And our healthcare practitioners provide effective treatment plans.
You are eligible for medical marijuana if you suffer from chronic pancreatitis and reside in any of the states below:
Is your residence missing from the list? No worries! You could still qualify for medical cannabis because of chronic pain or severe nausea in the other states we serve.
Bio: Mary Peck, a passionate blogger that loves to write about cannabis and marketing, wrote this article. Her other work includes content marketing and SEO. Mary says, “I believe in the therapeutic power of alternatives like medical marijuana and love to educate people about it.”