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December 21, 2020
Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia are both chronic conditions that plague millions of Americans. Crohn’s disease affects three million people, while fibromyalgia affects four million. Although they are different problems, CBD is proving effective to reduce symptoms for both conditions in some patients.
Crohn’s, an inflammatory disease, is diagnosed when a patient’s intestinal tract has an area that is inflamed and ulcerated. Crohn’s can include an autoimmune reaction in which the immune system attacks healthy cells.
Fibromyalgia is neither an inflammatory disease nor an autoimmune disorder. It is a nerve condition. Patients feel inflamed but can test normal for inflammation. Fibromyalgia is a hypersensitivity in the nervous system that causes chronic and widespread pain.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) without a known cure, though it can go into long-term or even permanent remission. Crohn’s is often treated with anti-inflammatories, steroids, and immunosuppressants. Statistically, the presence of IBD increases the risk of colon cancer.
Fibromyalgia is commonly associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Specifically, fibromyalgia occurs in up to 60 percent of people with IBS, and up to 70 percent of IBS sufferers have fibromyalgia.
IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder, not a disease. Patients experience chronic bloating, gas, constipation, mucus, or pain. IBS does not increase the chance of colon cancer and is not an inflammatory disease, but does correlate with low-grade and systemic inflammation.
Both Crohn’s and fibromyalgia are incredibly uncomfortable and can interfere with sufferers’ lives. Getting an accurate diagnosis can be a challenge. Medical treatments and medications are limited, and some patients struggle with side-effects.
At Jampha, we’ve had several different clients with either fibromyalgia or Crohn’s disease report improvements in their quality of life after three to six months of specific CBD tinctures and topicals. Here is what science tells us about how this might work.
Known to researchers since 1999, the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) modulates and helps maintain balance in the brain, hormonal system, immune, and digestive systems. It has receptor sites and neurotransmitters throughout the body that are powerfully influenced by CBD and plant terpene molecules.
Scientists are investigating what they call an “ECS deficiency” as a likely source for fibromyalgia, migraines, and insomnia. An under-functioning or overactive ECS will fail to modulate and balance the body’s systems.
CBD is effective to help balance the endocannabinoid system. It interacts with receptors throughout the body to activate and regulate the ECS. Additionally, research shows CBD to be effective against common fibromyalgia symptoms, including for relief of chronic pain, insomnia, and migraines.
Crohn’s disease is not an indication of an ECS deficiency, but Crohn’s does seem to interact with the ECS.
The ECS regulates gut homeostasis, motility, and inflammation -- all very important to managing Crohn’s and other IBDs. Research so far indicates the endocannabinoid system is promising in the treatment of IBD.
CBD provides effective pain relief for many patients. It also can provide neuropathic pain relief, a difficult-to-manage symptom of nervous system damage or dysfunction.
Research finds CBD to be effective against chronic pain and inflammation. In clinical trials, patients do not seem to build up a tolerance for CBD. Where effective, it continues to work with few to no side-effects.
Repeated studies demonstrate CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties through multiple systems of the body. It supports your immune system’s ability to manage unhealthy levels of inflammation. It also can assist with cell apoptosis, or killing off cells that are malfunctioning but haven’t been removed by the body’s immune system.
By interacting with receptors in the endocannabinoid system, CBD helps modulate and balance immune activity. Researchers in 2008 were fascinated to discover it could stimulate T-cells to boost immune activity or do the opposite and act as an immunosuppressive to ameliorate the body’s attack on healthy cells. CBD can stimulate immune function or help your body calm down an overactive immune response.
The endocannabinoid system has receptors that stretch from head to toe, including through the central and peripheral nervous systems. CBD’s calming effect on the central nervous system is apparent in its well-studied anxiety and depression-relieving properties. CBD can also improve sleep.
In addition to relieving pain, supporting healthy digestion, and regulating sleep, CBD helps to balance mood disorders by modulating serotonin and other hormone levels.
CBD’s unique relationship with the human endocannabinoid system and body-wide anti-inflammatory effects make it an excellent candidate to reduce symptoms of both fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease. Please speak with your doctor before combining CBD with existing medications, especially if your medication comes with a grapefruit warning. CBD can influence how your body absorbs drugs.
At Jampha, we carefully combine our organic, full-spectrum CBD oil with an array of plant terpenes. You can see research on the health benefits of these remarkable molecules in our Glossary of Terpenes.
For the symptoms discussed in this blog, our Balance, Relieve, and Calm CBD oil tinctures include plant terpenes selected to enhance the pain-relieving, mood-balancing, and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
To apply CBD directly to affected areas for pain relief and to reduce inflammation, we recommend our terpene-enhanced Relieve and Icy Blue topicals.
Individuals struggling with Crohn’s disease or fibromyalgia may be approaching healing from every possible angle: diet, lifestyle changes, medication, and education. CBD may be one piece in the puzzle of your wellness picture. If you have any questions about our CBD products, please give us a call.
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