US scientists recently demonstrated in a smaller study with 24 test persons that cannabis and CBD products have a positive effect on severe gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroparesis. As there is currently no promising treatment therapy for gastroparesis, the scientists rate their current study results as a significant breakthrough for medicine.
Gastric paralysis is one of the most severe gastrointestinal diseases in humans. The gastroparesis is a partial paralysis of the stomach, which also means a significant life quality impairment for those affected. It brings severe pain and discomfort. Specifically, gastroparesis diagnosis means that patients suffer from significant gastric emptying disorders that can be expressed in various symptoms.
However, gastroparesis and its associated symptoms are only the tips of the iceberg. Patients who suffer from this unique form of stomach paralysis have to struggle with completely different health problems in the long term. Above all, these include dangerous weight loss and a threatening nutritional deficiency. However, bleeding and the formation of carcinomas are not uncommon side effects of long-term gastroparesis.
The typical symptoms of gastroparesis include:
- Frequent nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Mild to severe abdominal pain
- Moderate to severe heartburn
- Vomiting undigested food
Heartburn, bleeding, and carcinoma can be caused by reflux oesophagitis, an inflammation in the lower part of the esophagus caused by gastric juice’s reflux. Reflux esophagitis often occurs with gastric paralysis or gastroparesis.
If gastroparesis is suspected, a doctor can make the diagnosis by determining the gastric emptying time. If this is prolonged, this is the first sign of incomplete gastric paralysis. 99mTc-labeled protein particles determine the exact gastric emptying time. Older diagnoses were partly made with 13C-octanoic acid or with 13C-sodium acetate. However, these are rarely used today.
The diagnosis of diabetic gastroparesis, a unique form of incomplete gastric paralysis, is difficult and, for practical reasons, is often carried out with the help of test meals, ultrasound and blood sugar measurements.
Gastroparesis study with cannabis, dronabinol and CBD products
The scientists involved in the study work in Bridgeport Hospital, Connecticut, Westchester Medical Center New York, Cleveland Clinic and New York Medical College. The doctors treated a total of 24 test persons with therapy-resistant gastroparesis over 60 days with cannabis flowers, dronabinol or CBD products such as CBD oil.
As the scientists write in the renowned Cureus Journal of Medical Science, all treatment approaches have delivered promising results and brought about significant relief of symptoms and a significant increase in patient well-being.
Fact check: Cannabis, Dronabinol and CBD
Why the scientists carried out tests on different substances becomes clear when one knows the differences between cannabis flowers, dronabinol and CBD.
The female flowers of the hemp plant are colloquially simply referred to as cannabis. The fact that cannabis has a healing effect on various diseases has already been proven several times in numerous international studies.
Dronabinol, better known as tetrahydrocannabinol, is, like the female cannabis flower, a psychoactive substance classified as a cannabinoid. According to the current state of science, dronabinol is assigned the central part of the intoxicating effect.
When people talk about CBD products, they usually talk about CBD oils. In contrast to the other two substances, these are entirely legal in the US and have no intoxicating effect. High-quality CBD oils are available either in pharmacies or a little cheaper on the Internet. You should pay particular attention to the processing quality or buy from high-quality and well-known premium brands from the start.
Previous therapies for gastroparesis
As already mentioned, therapy in gastroparesis is complicated. Strictly speaking, gastroparesis patients were previously even considered untreatable. To alleviate the symptoms and the consequences of the severe gastrointestinal disease, in most cases, a change in diet takes place at the beginning of therapy. It should, among other things, ensure the patient’s nutrient supply.
In addition to the change in diet, two different drugs are administered: antiemetics and prokinetics. The first drug is only intended to suppress nausea but has no direct effect on the functioning of the digestive system. On the other hand, prokinetics are supposed to stimulate the peristalsis of the gastrointestinal tract and thus promote gastric emptying in a controlled manner.
In particularly severe gastroparesis cases, patients are fed artificially with a tube or parenterally (intravenous nutrient supply). The conventional gastroparesis treatments did not show any effect or did not bring the desired success in any of the study patients.
In their study, the scientists report that even these problematic patients experienced a significant improvement in cannabis, dronabinol, or CBD treatment symptoms. The medical professionals were able to record tremendous success with cannabis flowers.
A breakthrough in the treatment of incomplete gastric paralysis
How positively CBD oils or cannabis have a direct effect on the body and in the treatment of diseases is undisputed today. The fact that the medicinal plant’s natural substances also help with severe gastrointestinal diseases such as gastroparesis – and that even so significantly – has not yet been known to doctors.
Since the symptoms improved in all patients in the study and their well-being and quality of life improved, the scientists discovered a new therapeutic approach for gastroparesis with cannabis treatment, which soon made life easier for many affected patients by relieving dangerous and unpleasant symptoms.