Using cannabis to treat diarrheal diseases in youth

Published Oct 24, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Dr_Microbe

Some of the infant mortality rates in developing countries can be attributed to intestinal bacteria. The colon is attacked by bacterial pathogens, and that can cause severe diarrhea and inflammation. Chronic diarrhea kills over 2000 children daily. This number is higher than the number of children who die from malaria, AIDS, and measles combined.

Sadly, the second leading cause of death among young children under the age of five is a diarrheal disease. Unfortunately, the antibiotics and diarrhea medicine used to treat this sometimes deadly disease often do more harm than good to the patient. Not all bacteria within the body are harmful. It’s the activation of specific genes capable of producing a protein that can cause pathogenic intestinal bacteria to colonize and multiply. Cannabis has been studied and is reported to be able to shut down these genes.

Many years ago, scientists found that the human body's endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in controlling intestinal inflammation. Scientists believe that the endocannabinoid system could influence the balancing of specific gut bacteria. A long history of extracts from the cannabis plant are being used to help relieve chronic diarrhea and gastrointestinal conditions. Some of those include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Bacteria is capable of sensing the presence of our endocannabinoid system through specific receptors. When stimulated by extracts of the cannabis plant, bacterial virulence is noticeably reduced. The results from a preliminary study indicate that effective therapies for severe childhood gastrointestinal infections could be based on the ability of our endogenous cannabinoid system to influence the way that the three pounds of bacteria react in our colon.

According to other studies, THC is capable of slowing down your digestive tract. If using oils or edibles, the ingredients could cause the THC to react either quicker or slower on how your digestive tract reacts. There are many states in the U.S. that have approved medical marijuana for specific conditions. Some of those include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, both of which can produce chronic diarrhea. Medical cannabis has proven beneficial in treating bowel and stomach problems.

How to stop diarrhea

Cannabis is a motivator that can speed up the digestive tract to help patients recover from a bout of chronic diarrhea. The cannabinoid receptor agonist delays gastric emptying and may also hinder gastric acid secretions. Other natural and synthetic cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties too. The cannabinoids within cannabis help to stop the cramping that is often associated with chronic diarrhea. The bodies' cannabinoids called anandamides, affect the neurological system, which controls the gastrointestinal system. These cannabinoids can help to slow down gastrointestinal secretions also.

Researchers are still working to show that medical cannabis can relieve gastrointestinal system disorders that cause low appetite and nausea. Activated cannabinoids can help the digestive system by:

  • Relax digestive muscles
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Decrease spasms
  • Improve intestinal motility

Final thoughts

Let's take a look at some of the best strains to use for controlling diarrhea in youths and adults, including a Sativa x Indica hybrid.

  • Afgooy

  • Strawberry Cough

  • Purple Kush

  • Blue Fruit

The method of consuming cannabis for diarrhea can be provided in a dose to suit all ages. Whether using dry herb oils or edibles, cannabis can be the alternative diarrhea medicine that helps to combat chronic diarrhea in our youth and adults today.

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