By: Madison Cassel
I glance down at the needle invading my vein. I gaze up at the IV bag full of chemicals that are now flowing freely through my bloodstream. I am sitting in the infusion center of the Lancaster General Health Campus. I stare at my mother, who works constantly in order to pay for my medical bills. I can’t help but wonder that there has to be a safer, cheaper, and better way for me to receive treatment for my Crohn’s disease. I reach for my iPhone and search Twitter; I type in the search bar #crohnstreatment. My Twitter feed is bombarded with tweets with articles about complex methods to treat my illness. Finally, I find an interesting tweet with an article about research results of Medical Marijuana and its positive effects on Crohn’s.
In a 2013 experiment on patients with Crohn’s, half of the patients were given cannabis and the other half a placebo. After the experiment concluded, 45% of the patients who had taken the cannabis had achieved remission and 90% had significantly reduced symptoms with no harmful side effects. This was staggering and fantastic news for me. I was reading for the first time, a treatment plan for Crohn’s that was natural, holistic, and free from harsh side effects.
I kept reading. In another blog post a young man with Crohn’s disease stated that he owed his life to cannabis because it saved him from malnutrition. Not only does marijuana alleviate the overall symptoms of Crohn’s but it can also assist with the unfortunate side effects of Crohn’s: pain and loss of appetite. Untreated or improperly treated Crohn’s disease can lead to malnutrition due to the ulcers that line the intestines and the feeling of nausea that plagues Crohn’s victims. However, these feelings evaporate when patients medicate with cannabis. Cannabis can help increase appetite and decrease the feeling of nausea so patients are able to eat and absorb the proper nutrients.
On my twitter I also discovered that Pennsylvania was the 24th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. I am grateful to live in Pennsylvania, a state that legalized the use of Medical Marijuana for the treatment of Crohn’s. I am optimistic that with such a treatment as medical marijuana I can return to a healthy and happy life free of Crohn’s symptoms and the harsh chemicals currently used to treat them. I am ready to use this new treatment and finally pull this needle out of my vein.