Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1% (3 million people) in the US suffer from IBD. Unfortunately, like many inflammatory diseases, there is no telling when the next flare-up might occur.
What Is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is defined as persistent inflammation of the colon (large intestine). The level of inflammation can range from mild to severe. When the inflammation becomes severe, the colon’s inner lining can develop painful lesions and sores.
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
The symptoms of colitis include:
- Loose and urgent bowel movements
- Persistent diarrhea
- Bloody stool
- Abdominal pain/cramping
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Low energy and fatigue
- Inhibited growth and development (in children)
Somewhat unusually, ulcerative colitis’s symptoms are not persistent. Instead, a person with the condition may be symptom-free for several weeks or even months. Then, suddenly, a severe flare-up can occur.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
To date, doctors and researchers have been unable to identify an exact cause for ulcerative colitis. One theory is that the condition stems from an immune response to a bacterial or viral infection of the colon. In most cases, the inflammatory response will subside after the infection has cleared. However, for those who develop symptoms of the disease, inflammation can persist.
Genetics also appear to play a significant role as the condition can run in families. Another feature of ulcerative colitis is that it is bimodally distributed. What this means is that it can occur at a younger age, i.e., when a person is in their twenties or thirties, and then again when the person is older, i.e., in their sixties or seventies.
Differences Between Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
As already mentioned, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two types of inflammatory bowel disease. While there are similarities between the two conditions, there are also significant differences.
For example, Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, whereas ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the colon only. Crohn’s causes inflammation of all layers of the digestive tract, whereas ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the inner lining only.
The unpredictable and debilitating nature of colitis has led to more and more patients considering marijuana for relief. With this in mind, let’s take a look at our top 5 cannabis strains to help alleviate the symptoms of colitis!
#1 ACDC – The ‘Clear Head’ Marijuana Strain
ACDC is an evenly balanced hybrid (50:50) that has won the hearts of medical cannabis users across America. This strain has a high CBD to THC ratio (20:1). Therefore, patients can reap the medicinal benefits without becoming high.
Medicinal consumers also believe that ACDC has anti-inflammatory properties.
They say that ACDC is a very social strain, too, which is why so many sufferers gravitate towards it. Some say that it can help to alleviate nausea and pain, and also can clear your head.
Earthy and sweet in both smell and flavor, ACDC is a strain that will have you coming back for more. With modest THC levels of only around 1%, there is a reduced risk of groggy cannabis side effects.
#2 Lemon Haze – The Expert Cannabis Strain
Amongst our top five is the fresh and zesty Lemon Haze. It packs a punch in more ways than one. With its THC levels reaching a hefty 22%, this is not for the faint-hearted. We recommend that only more experienced cannabis smokers try this strain!
Lemon Haze is a sativa-dominant hybrid (70:30) that is a cross between Lemon Skunk and Silver Haze. Lemon Haze is the opposite of the first strain on our list, i.e., ACDC. Whereas the ACDC strain can have a CBD: THC ratio of 20:1, Lemon Haze typically has a THC: CBD ratio of 20:1. Therefore Lemon Haze’s effects are very different and much more potent than ACDC’s effects.
Everything about Lemon Haze is full-on. From the taste and effects to its vibrant yellow and green appearance, with amber hairs throughout.
This strain is famous for its freshly cut lemon aroma and flavor. It is one of the more pleasant tasting buds out there.
Colitis patients reach for Lemon Haze for its range of potent effects. These effects have a very rapid onset, and users quickly experience Lemon Haze’s mood-enhancing effects. Lemon Haze also provides a welcome energy boost too, which is why it is so highly regarded as a ‘wake-and-bake’ strain.
Many patients find Lemon Haze’s potency helps them to relax and de-stress, as well as to combat fatigue and pain.
#3 Granddaddy Purple – The Pain Killer Strain
Granddaddy Purple (GDP) is the world-renowned cross of Big Bud and Purple Urkle. Ken Estes, a legendary figure in the cannabis world, created this strain way back in 2003. We’re sure that you’ll agree, GDP is one deliciously distinctive indica-dominant bud. A GDP plant’s dense nugs are super-sized and come in deep purple hues.
Not only does GDP look and taste amazing, but it is incredibly potent, too. GDP boasts up to 23% THC, which is offset by a modest CBD content of under 1%.
GDP is also famed for its purported medicinal benefits. Apart from this strain’s uplifting effects, medicinal consumers say that it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, too. These properties may make GDP a good choice for those suffering from ulcerative colitis’s debilitating symptoms.
Take note; however, GDP is also a very popular choice for insomniacs due to its soporific effects. For this reason, this strain is only suitable for evening time use.
#4 Blue Cheese – The Stinky Cannabis Strain
We appreciate that not every flower can smell as delightful as GDP. However, don’t be put off by this strain’s name. While one of Blue Cheese’s parent strains, i.e., UK Cheese, has a pungent, cheesy flavor and aroma, its offspring doesn’t. Blue Cheese’s taste and fragrance are more a fusion of both of its parent strains, i.e., Blueberry and UK Cheese. This combination gives it a slightly sweeter flavor and aroma, which makes this strain more palatable than UK Cheese, in particular.
As well as being a perfect pick-me-up, Blue Cheese is also a potent medicinal strain.
It is a THC-packed indica-dominant (80:20) strain known for its uplifting and body relaxing effects. Some medicinal consumers say that it is useful for pain relief; therefore, it may help with the symptoms of colitis.
Take note that Blue Cheese is a slow onset strain. This can often lull its users into overconsuming. While this strain generally doesn’t cause couch-lock, consumers who overindulge are likely to find themselves glued to the couch. Also, overconsuming can cause some adverse reactions, such as dizziness, and heightened paranoia. Therefore, it is essential to be careful with the dosage when consuming this strain.
Also, Blue Cheese is best suited to evening time use. The reason for this is that this strain’s latter effects can cause its consumers to become drowsy.
#5 Purple Kush – The Powerhouse Strain
Purple Kush is a pure indica that boasts THC levels of up to 27%. This strain is a potent cross of the legendary Hindu Kush strain and Purple Afghani. High Times magazine named Purple Kush as one of the Top 10 Most Powerful Strains in the World in 2016!
This strain’s pure indica genetics provide its consumers with deep body relaxation and sedation. Medicinal consumers say that Purple Kush has potent analgesic properties, which may help to relieve the symptoms of colitis.
The earthy and sweet aroma of Purple Kush draws you in, but it’s the rich flavors that keep you coming back for more! With earthy and red wine tones, it is one of our favorites to smoke!
It is vital to keep Purple Kush’s potency in mind. This strain is so potent that it is not suitable for a novice cannabis consumer. Also, this strain has strong sedating and soporific effects. Therefore, it is only suitable for evening time use and consumption by a seasoned cannabis user.
Couch-lock is extremely likely with this strain, as are other adverse reactions. Some consumers have reported experiencing a headache, heightened paranoia, as well as dizziness after consuming this strain.
Final Thoughts on the 5 Best Cannabis Strains for Colitis
Colitis is one of the lesser-discussed conditions out there. This is a surprise considering how many people are affected by the disease in the US alone!
We hope that our top five strains help to alleviate the symptoms of those who have colitis. It is always tricky to pick just five strains; however, only the best of the best made our final list. Bear in mind that some of the strains on the list are incredibly potent and are not suitable for novice cannabis consumers.
Remember to consult a medical professional before changing or stopping a medication. We are not medical professionals, nor do we condone the use of cannabis in replacement of any prescribed medications.