Gastrointestinal pain is shockingly common with up to 74% of Americans experiencing some kind of GI problem on a regular basis. What’s even more disturbing is that half of these individuals have never even discussed the issue with their doctor.
While there are a few different medical treatments available on the market, medical marijuana is being adopted by more and more patients, urging to a source of pain relief. In this article, we will discuss Gastrointestinal Pain and review 5 marijuana strains that can help deal with the day to day pain that is associated with this medical condition.
What is Gastrointestinal Pain and Why is Marijuana a Good Option?
The phrase ‘gastrointestinal pain’ can relate to a variety of issues in the abdominal region including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. If you suffer from one of these issues regularly, you need to visit your doctor because it could be a symptom of a more severe problem such as Crohn’s disease, EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency), celiac disease, and more.
EPI, in particular, is a concern because it is a condition that involves your pancreas not functioning properly. It is unable to produce the enzymes required for digestion and is associated with medical conditions such as diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
Perhaps the most common issues that result in gastrointestinal pain are Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). IBS is an intestinal disorder which causes symptoms such as gassiness, diarrhea, stomach pain and bloating. IBD is also known as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. The former causes inflammation of your large intestine’s lining while Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the lining and wall of the large intestine.
What Are The Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Pain?
If you go to the Healthline website, for example, you’ll find dozens of potential symptoms and over 150 reasons why you have gastrointestinal pain! One of the most common symptoms is a cramp-like pain with comes and goes. You may also experience ‘localized’ pain in one area of your abdomen. This pain may be caused by problems with a certain organ.
Various conditions carry their own set of symptoms. For example, symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding. In all cases of gastrointestinal pain, it is time to visit your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Bloody stools
- Blood in your vomit
- Problems breathing
- Severe tenderness of the abdomen or swelling
- Yellowing eyes or skin
- Persistent vomiting or nausea
- High fever with a temperature of 101+ degrees Fahrenheit
What is Life with Gastrointestinal Pain Like?
Even if your gastrointestinal pain is not a symptom of a more serious condition, it does make life extremely uncomfortable. It is possible that you suffer from a functional GI disorder known as ‘mediated abdominal pain syndrome’ (CAPS). It is a frustrating condition because neither x-rays nor lab findings can discover the cause. If you’re unlucky enough to have CAPS, the pain is so severe that it can negatively impact your ability to go about your daily business.
If your GI pain is caused by a more serious condition, there’s a possibility that the illness will remain undetected for years unless you either schedule a medical check-up or else the condition becomes too painful to ignore. Gastrointestinal pain can strike you anywhere; at home, at work or even while driving.
Traditional Remedies Are Used to Treat Gastrointestinal Pain (Not Marijuana Related)?
Assuming that your gastrointestinal pain is not caused by another illness, there are numerous remedies available. Since it is such a broad condition, there’s a strong chance that your treatment of choice will be ineffective.
This acronym stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce & Toast. The purpose of the diet is to force you to eat low-fiber, high-binding foods to help with an upset stomach, diarrhea, and nausea. The bland food should allow you to eat without further upsetting your stomach.
Peppermint or Chamomile Tea
The menthol in peppermint is a natural pain reliever so a cup of peppermint tea can reduce feelings of nausea. Chamomile tea acts as an anti-inflammatory which helps your stomach muscles relax; the result could be reduced cramping and spasms.
Bitters & Soda
This unusual concoction is said to provide relief from nausea. Mix 5-6 drops of cocktail bitters with cold ginger ale, tonic water or soda water. The majority of bitters contain herbs such as fennel, mint, and cinnamon.
If you’re suffering from gas, common over-the-counter (OTC) medications include Gas-X and Mylanta. For heartburn, try Xantac 75, and for other types of pain, regular medication choices include Panadol and Tylenol. Avoid NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin because they can irritate the stomach.
Medical Research on Marijuana for Gastrointestinal Pain
The illegal status that marijuana has in many locations has made it extremely difficult to conduct thorough medical research. Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal pain for centuries in the east and more than 100 years in the west.
One of the reasons why marijuana could be effective in treating GI pain is because it interacts with endogenous cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract which results in reduced pain and spasms.
A 2004 study by Hornby and Prouty shows that cannabinoid treatments have the potential to manage conditions such as IBS because cannabis can eliminate nerve pain and it also possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
A scientific review published in Current Gastroenterology Reports in February 2015 looked at how cannabinoids performed when used in the treatment of gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, nausea, and visceral pain. The report found that specific targeted cannabinoid therapies could be useful in managing GI pain.
There have been human clinical studies on the effects of cannabis’ ability to stimulate food intake and weight gain in healthy individuals since the 1970s. These studies found that cannabis was able to fight the painful cramping that accompanies GI pain because cannabinoids do an excellent job of relaxing contractions of the muscle of the intestines.
With the legalization of medical marijuana in an increasing number of regions, we believe the enhanced level of research into cannabis’ positive effect on gastrointestinal pain will pay dividends.
Top 5 Marijuana Strains For Gastrointestinal Pain
1 – Tangerine (Hybrid Marijuana Strain)
With a THC content of 22%, Tangerine is a potent marijuana strain and is a hybrid. Proponents of this strain say its aroma is akin to walking through an orange grove after it has just rained! Although it isn’t sedative, it will help your mind and body relax, and you should find that any pain or tension you feel dissipates.
2 – Tutankhamen (Sativa Marijuana Strain)
Also known as ‘King Tut’ this marijuana strain is 80:20 in favor of sativa and has an incredibly high THC content of between 27-29%. As soon as you smoke this marijuana strain, you’ll be hit with a massive head rush which leaves you feeling hazy. Then your body will become numb and completely relaxed which makes it perfect for handling chronic pain.
3 – Gigabud ( Indica Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This is an indica dominant strain (60%) known for its enormous nugs. As well as making you feel happy, Gigabud provides you with an energetic feeling for a while until it really kicks in and completely relaxes your body. It is an excellent strain to take before bed as it takes the edge off your GI pain.
4 – Silver Kush (Sativa Marijuana Strain)
This strain is 70:30 in favor of sativa and has a THC content of 22%. We have to warn you; Silver Kush is NOT to be taken when you have something to do because it will make you giggle! It helps bring on a feeling of lethargy that soothes your pain and enables you to relax.
5 – Thor’s Hammer (Sativa Marijuana Strain)
This marijuana strain is 90:10 in favor of sativa. Combined with a THC content of 22%, Thor’s Hammer is fast-acting and begins by giving you a burst of energy that helps get you through the day. It overrides any GI pain you are feeling while helping you focus.
Final Thoughts about Marijuana & Gastrointestinal Pain
GI pain is worryingly common and is occasionally debilitating. Research suggests that cannabis can significantly improve your gastrointestinal health and help reduce chronic pain. It’s important to remember, before any cannabis consumption, consult with your primary doctor or with a marijuana doctor to understand what’s best for you.