Cannabis can be an effective, natural, and safe treatment against gastritis. The herb contains cannabinoids, that bind to CB1 receptors within the gut, resulting in tissue repair.
Modern science is unveiling how cannabis can work within the human body in a very specific way in order to successfully treat and possibly even cure a wide variety of illnesses, ailments, and conditions. One condition, that the herb seems to help treat is gastritis, a group of symptoms, that are all caused by inflammation of the gut.
WHAT IS GASTRITIS?
Gastritis is characterised by inflammation occurring within the gut, and can manifest in multiple forms. The inflammation at the root of the condition is most commonly caused by a strain of bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori, which is one of the most common bacterial infections. However, only a select amount of people who become infected by the bacteria suffer with symptoms of gastritis. This could be because of numerous factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
When it comes to lifestyle choices, gastritis can spring up after the use of alcohol, spicy foods, anti-inflammatory drugs, autoimmune issues, radiation therapy, and Crohn’s disease.
These factors can lead to inflammation of the gut lining, leading to inflammation of the mucosa. The condition can eventually damage this protective layer, leading to stomach acid damaging the stomach lining.
TYPES OF GASTRITIS
Gastritis, that appears suddenly is known as acute gastritis and can be directly linked to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). This is due to inhibition of an enzyme, that is responsible for synthesis of eicosanoids within the stomach, which can lead to the formation of stomach ulcers. Drugs such as aspirin can also lead to reduced production of prostaglandin, which actively helps to protect the stomach. Physiological stress from hypoxia and trauma can also lead to acute gastritis.
Gastritis, that appears slowly over a long period of time, is known as chronic gastritis. This can be caused by autoimmune disorders, where the body creates proteins and antibodies, that perceive the stomach as a foreign threat and begin to attack and deteriorate the stomach lining. Autoimmune gastritis is more common in patients experiencing Hashimoto’s disease, type 1 diabetes, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Chronic gastritis can also be caused by bile making its way into the stomach, connective tissue disorders, and liver or kidney failure.
Old age is also a contributing factors, considering, that the stomach lining tends to thin with age, and the older population is more likely to experience Helicobacter pylori infections than the younger population.
SYMPTOMS OF GASTRITIS
Gastritis can lead to an array of uncomfortable symptoms, which can in some cases eventually lead to stomach ulcers and even an increased risk of stomach cancer. One major symptom of the condition is a burning ache or pain, that manifests in the stomach region and within the upper abdomen. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, bloating, belching, indigestion, and loss of appetite.
HOW CANNABIS CAN HELP
Avoiding certain foods, such as acidic fruits and high-fat food may help with the condition, along with halting lifestyle habits such as smoking, consuming caffeine, and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
Certain antibiotics may also be used in order to target Helicobacter pylori bacteria. However, such medications may actually result in side effects, that are similar to the symptoms of gastritis itself, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Cannabis is a safe and natural medicine, that acts as an excellent option for some people that are dealing with the condition. The herb can offer some of the benefits of conventional medicines used for the condition, yet without many of the damaging and uncomfortable side effects, that can reduce the patient’s quality of life.
Cannabis can act to reduce some of the symptoms caused by the condition, and may actually act at a deeper level to quell the inflammation at the root cause of gastritis.
Cannabis is well known to assist in nausea and vomiting, two symptoms of gastritis. THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid within the cannabis plant, has been prescribed since the 1980s for the treatment of nausea, and is often employed to combat it after bouts of chemotherapy. Its effectiveness is believed to be linked to how the cannabinoids effect centres within the brain, that control both nausea and vomiting.
Loss of appetite is another symptom of gastritis, and one, that cannabis can definitely assist with. The plant is associated with the famous stereotype of inducing the “munchies”, a ravenous appetite, that can occur after ingesting THC, resulting in the raiding of many fridges.
Research has shown that gastritis is associated with mood disorders, such as anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Cannabis is commonly prescribed for these mental conditions and may be of great assistance to gastritis patients who are suffering from them.
As we have discussed, the primary cause of gastritis is inflammation of the gut lining. Cannabis produces numerous cannabinoids with potent and proven anti-inflammatory properties, such as CBD.
What’s more, a 2005 study conducted at the University of Bath and Bristol in the United Kingdom, showed that cannabis is effective in cases of inflammatory bowel disease and gastritis. The researches explained that cannabis influenced cannabinoid receptors within the gut and brain, resulting in effective treatment.
Cannabinoid receptors can be found all throughout the body, and make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are activated by numerous cannabinoids within the cannabis plant. The endocannabinoid system is partly made up of CB1 receptors, which can be found within the brain and the lining of the gut. These receptors are reported to help repair the gut lining when it becomes damaged.
During the study, researchers purposely damaged gut tissue, resulting in inflammation. Synthetic cannabinoids were then administered to the tissue, resulting in the healing process. It is believed, that cannabinoids created within the body, or endocannabinoids, are released from endothelial cells of a healthy gut, which go on to bind to CB1 receptors and assist in the repair process when damage occurs. When patients use medical cannabis, external cannabinoids may help to fulfil the same purpose.