Ask The Doctor – can CBD help with Crohn’s Disease?

March 30, 2019

“Dear Doctor M,

I have suffered with chronic Crohn’s Disease most of my life, having had sections of my bowel removed. I have tried many medications which haven’t work, and I am prescribed Tramadol, which does little to alliviate the symptoms but leaves me feeling tired and sick. I want to try CBD oil as a more natural and less intrusive way of relieving my symptoms, will it help?”

Hi and thanks for your question. As I am sure you know, Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is a chronic condition which means there is currently no cure and the aim of any treatment is to make symptoms more manageable for the sufferer.

There needs to be more research into the effect of CBD on Crohn’s disease but there is plenty of research to suggest it can help alleviate some of the symptoms you are suffering.


CBD has been shown in numerous research papers to have a general anti-inflammatory effect. More specifically to Crohn’s, it has been shown to have a gut-specific anti-inflammatory effect, which could help reduce discomfort in your case.[1]


CBD has been shown to have strong analgesic properties, and has a significant effect on pain relief in chronic pain, and also in IBD type pain situations. Double-blind studies in humans have shown that cannabinoids can lower the dose needed of opioids such as Tramadol.[2]

Nausea and vomiting

CBD, used in correct doses, has been shown to be effective as an anti-emetic, in other words, it can be used to treat nausea and vomiting.

Improve appetite

CBD can have very positive influences on satiety and appetite regulation. This may help to improve food intake in people who suffer from low appetite.[3]

I can appreciate that living with Crohn’s can be difficult and that alternative sources of relief may sound appealing. Studies have shown that CBD may help with some of your symptoms. However, if you were to try CBD, I would suggest initially continuing with your normal medications. Then if you do notice a significant improvement, discuss the option of reducing your current prescription medications with your GP or specialist.

Doctor M.

[1] [2] [3]

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