I recently had the pleasure to speak with a new friend of mine, Derek Weinman, about his experience in using cannabis to treat his Crohn’s Disease since he was a teenager. In this blog I’d like to talk about my interview with Derek, give a brief background on Crohn’s, and discuss how cannabis can help those impacted by the disease.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s was discovered in the early 1900’s. It is a chronic disease that inflames the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and weight loss; symptoms that can immediately cause a drastic change in one’s lifestyle.
Prior to executing an activity, going to a public gathering or even just running daily errands, someone with the disease would always need to properly plan and be prepared for a flare up. Once diagnosed, they would then need to start taking different prescription medications and going to the doctor more often — all while dealing with unbearable pain.
Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease
Inflammation, stomach pain, and weight loss are all symptoms with which cannabis is known to help. Personally, I know I get the munchies after consuming certain strains. In fact, according to the Marijuana Doctors article, “Crohn’s Disease”, there were studies done that showed cannabis’ effectiveness in alleviating key symptoms of Crohn’s in the following ways:
- Reducing inflammation through anti-inflammatory properties
- Providing pain relief through analgesic effects
- Lowering anxiety levels
- Suppressing nausea and vomiting
- Increasing appetite
There are certain strains that are known to work better for Crohn’s Disease, but it’s important to note that everyone’s body chemistry is different. It is better to start by microdosing cannabis, so you can find a balance of cannabinoids that works best for you. “You Can Always Take More!” is a great mentality to have when it comes to microdosing.
Of course, there are always side effects when it comes to cannabis for Crohn’s patients, but it’s the same side effects anyone can experience (ie. munchies, red eyes, dizziness, giddiness, etc.) Finding what type of cannabis products (ie. flower, edibles, vape, etc), cannabinoids (CBD, THC, CDG, etc.), and terpenes (Limonene, Pinene,etc.) work for you and your body is a great approach for anyone to take.
Derek’s story is amazing because he’s just like so many of my friends. He came from a non-legal cannabis state, loved sports, traveled a ton after graduation, and now lives in Colorado. The only difference is, when he was 13 he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which changed his entire life. He was just entering into a great phase in any young man’s life, only to come to the realization that everything he enjoyed was now complicated.
Once Derek started using cannabis more regularly in his later teenage years, his symptoms were relieved and he was able to live a less complicated lifestyle. The only issue was that he didn’t have safe sensible access to quality cannabis-based medicine. But, he doesn’t have to stress about that anymore. Now that he lives in Colorado, he has unlimited access to legal cannabis.
Derek’s situation brings up the question: why, in some states can folks with diseases like Crohn’s have access to a plant that safely alleviates symptoms, while others can’t?
On a positive note, it’s great to see Derek living a comfortable life despite his disease. We’re beyond grateful to share his story!
Derek Weinman’s Social Media:
Listen to John’s talk with Derek by visiting: