From Pills to Cannabis – Combating Chronic Illness

For most of his life, B.J. has battled a chronic digestive illness. Different doctors have given various diagnoses, including gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, or other possibilities. The effects of this disease have significantly inhibited B.J.’s ability to lead a normal life.

In addition to perpetual symptoms like nausea, headaches, intestinal issues, and digestive problems, which are common in inflammatory digestive conditions, headaches and joint pain also burdened B.J. Just eating is a chore, and he usually can only consume certain foods that do not exacerbate symptoms.

From Pharmaceuticals to Cannabis

B.J. has tried a multitude of pharmaceuticals, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, hyocyamine sulfate, amitriptyline, donnatal, and several others, but none of them did anything to help his condition. In fact, they worsened his quality of life by adding side effects to the litany of things he already had to deal with.


Cannabis is the only medicine that has relieved his symptoms. According to B.J., smoking or vaporizing cannabis works almost immediately for nausea relief, and the benefits are maintained for hours. Three or four sessions of cannabis use per day is often enough to deal with the pain, nausea, and digestive issues.

In addition to regaining his appetite, the cannabis actually seems to enhance digestion. Essentially, when eating a certain quantity of food, he will gain more weight when he smokes cannabis than when not.

B.J. says that consuming cannabis edibles has been more useful for improving sleep and reducing pain more so than treating anxiety and nausea.

Research has shown cannabis may inhibit gastric and intestinal motility through activation of CB1 receptors, which allows food to remain in the digestive system longer and thus become better absorbed. B.J. has also experienced relaxed muscles and reduced nightmares during sleep with cannabis.

Northern Lights is among the most famous strains of all time.

Northern Lights is among the most famous strains of all time.

B.J. says the side effects from cannabis have mostly been positive, such as laughing, talking, and eating more. However, using the wrong strain at the wrong time of day can induce fatigue or demotivation. The wrong dose can also induce anxiety. By carefully tracking his personal responses to different strains and doses, B.J. can avoid these symptoms while maximizing therapeutic effects.

B.J. has found that sativa-dominant strains like Durban Poison and Skunk #1 are best for the day, and heavier hybrids or indicas like Northern Lights and Kush are best for the evening. He tailors each bowl to meet his needs at the time.

Looking to Cannabis Oil in the Future

Although B.J. has reported experiencing significant symptomatic relief from smoking, he still struggles with the disease and believes his overall health is declining. His goal is to move to Colorado, where he could access the concentrated cannabis oil that he believes may actually heal the root causes of his condition.

Given the incredible anecdotal and clinical evidence of cannabis being able to fight inflammatory intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease, it is likely that full extract cannabis oil or juicing raw cannabis would indeed benefit B.J. even more than smoking.

Have you had success with using cannabis for chronic digestive illness? We want to hear from you! Click here to send a quick note to one of our producers. Your experience could directly influence the healing of another person.

About the Author

Justin Kander

Justin Kander is a cannabis extract activist who has attended and presented at numerous medical conferences throughout the world. His recent book Enhancing Your Endocannabinoid System details the best ways to improve the effectiveness of cannabis medicine.

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