Weed’s reputation for being able to create medical miracles keeps growing as more and more research is done on the plant. With well over half the country having a legal medical marijuana industry, breakthroughs in weed related medical science has the ability to impact millions of people around the U.S. and the world. Recently some news into the research of medical marijuana was released from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. A group of researchers there believe that CBD, a compound in marijuana, has the ability to treat irritable bowel syndrome and a host of stomach upsets. The researchers are testing it in gum form as a treatment.
How Weed Gum Treats IBS
A U.S. company called AXIM Biotechnologies, Medical Marijuana Inc.’s big investment firm, creates the weed gum that will be used in a trial next month. It is a new weed gum called CanChew Plus and is already available to the public as a nutraceutical. It is believed to treat stomach cramps and bloating and normalize stool. These are all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well and therefore it is designed to also treat the debilitating disorder. The study aims to examine the relationship between CBD and irritable bowel syndrome in depth using the weed gum. Their preliminary studies indicate that the antispasmodic effects of CBD could help ease intestinal spasms and treat the unpleasant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
“IBS is a very common and often painful disorder which is still difficult to manage,” Renger Witkamp, a nutrition and pharmacology professor at Wageningen University, said in a statement about the research they are conducting at the school. “People often experience sudden flare-ups and for many it has a negative impact on their quality of life. CBD has shown to have promising effects, but there has been a clear need for practical and effective formulations.” While CBD comes in many forms, including oils and pills, Witkamp believes that a gum is the best way to receive a sustained release dosage of CBD in a more bioavailable form.
Symptoms of IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome symptoms affect approximately 1 in 5 adults. Symptoms may vary from person to person and range in severity. For this reason many people don’t ever see a doctor for the condition. Instead, it is managed through diet, lifestyle and over the counter medication. With irritable bowel syndrome, the contractions in the walls of the intestines that people normally experience are more severe and last a longer time. Alternatively, they may be weaker, slowing digestion right down, causing constipation. Generally the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include cramping, stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
Approximately 3.5 million Americans are believed to suffer from severe irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, $21 billion a year is spent on medical expenses and loss of work due to irritable bowel syndrome. These severe symptoms affect approximately 15 percent of the world’s population. It makes up 12 percent of doctor visits, leading to anywhere between 2.4 and 3.5 million doctor visits each year. 60 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome are women and 40 percent are men. It’s an extremely common disorder that devastates millions of people around the country every year. There is no known cause and no available cure. Diet and lifestyle are the main solutions put forward when looking at how to treat the disorder.
This makes the research extremely important and a big step forward for irritable bowel syndrome and its sufferers. “This is the first advancement in cannabinoid research for treatment of IBS in medical history and gives a clear example of how far ahead AXIM is in its clinical development programs,” says Dr. Stuart Titus, CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Looking Beyond the U.S. for Answers
Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level and is classified by the DEA to be a Schedule I drug making it as dangerous as heroin and having no medical value. Research for the purpose of uncovering marijuana’s medical benefits has been outlawed until now in the U.S. Even with those restrictions lifted, hopeful U.S. researchers are finding they still must navigate a series of loopholes to receive necessary approval. Once an officially sanctioned study is done proving it’s benefits, the DEA will need to look at rescheduling or even descheduling marijuana. For those who just want to accurately examine the benefits of marijuana on irritable bowel syndrome in order to help themselves or someone else, this study should finally be able to give some answers and relief. That’s another reason this research is so important for so many around the world.
Details of the Testing
The trial will involve giving 40 sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome, aged between 18 and 65, the marijuana infused gum, as well as placebo gum, so as to accurately ascertain the exact effects of the CBD compound on symptoms. The specific symptoms being examined are stomach cramps, bloating, abdominal pain and changes in stool.
The weed gum in the trial will contain 50mg of CBD per serve. Participants in the study will be permitted to chew up to 6 pieces of gum per day as the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome present themselves throughout the day. There is speculation within AXIM that the weed gum treatment may also work for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Should the trial prove to be effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, AXIM will move forward with a pharmaceutical grade product for the public.
Another Type of Weed Gum
AXIM also makes another kind of marijuana infused gum for medical purposes. It’s called MedChew Rx, which is another controlled release gum that is made of a combination of both CBD and THC and is currently being studied to see if and how it can be used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis-related pain and spasticity. THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana that leads to the high. AXIM’s CanChew gum on the other hand only contains the CBD compound and doesn’t give users any psychoactive effect.
Should the trial be successful, many sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome around the country and world may finally get some relief.