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Can Cannabis Help Treat The Symptoms Of Haemorrhoids?

Cannabis is used for many health conditions when it comes to managing pain and inflammation, making it a potential treatment for the symptoms of haemorrhoids.

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swellings containing enlarged blood vessels that occur in the anus and rectum. Haemorrhoids are both a common and embarrassing occurrence impacting a massive 75% of adults from time to time. The good news is that haemorrhoids are relatively easy to treat and are mostly free of complications. Factors such as lifestyle changes and home treatments can be administered to get rid of them. Another natural treatment for symptoms is cannabis, largely due to its well-known anti-inflammatory effects.

HAEMORRHOID SYMPTOMS

Haemorrhoids don’t always cause symptoms, and many people can have them without even knowing they are there. However, in other cases, they become very apparent and cause discomfort in the form of itching and pain around the anus. Seeing blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after going to the bathroom are also possible indications of haemorrhoids. Symptoms can also manifest as swelling around the anus as well as painful and sensitive swellings near the anus.

TYPES OF HAEMORRHOIDS

Haemorrhoids can manifest in different ways, with different types resulting in slightly different symptoms. Internal haemorrhoids occur inside of the rectum and usually cannot be seen or felt. They rarely cause any discomfort, and for these reasons, usually go undetected. Straining when passing stool can sometimes cause internal haemorrhoids to bleed. Sometimes, intense strain can push a haemorrhoid through the anus, resulting in a protrusion or prolapse.

External haemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus and emerge as bumps that can be physically felt. They often result in itching and bleeding.

Thrombosed haemorrhoids are caused by a blood clot forming within an external haemorrhoid. This can result in severe pain, swelling, and inflammation. The blood clots can dissolve on their own, but may leave behind irritated patches of skin.

WHAT CAUSES HAEMORRHOIDS?

Haemorrhoids have numerous causes, and people are more likely to experience them if other members of their family have had them before. One cause for haemorrhoids is a buildup of pressure within the lower rectum that affects blood flow. This can result from excess weight seen in obese or pregnant individuals.

Straining during bowel movement and intense exercise and weight lifting can also cause haemorrhoids to emerge. Sitting for long periods of time on a frequent basis can also increase the risk of developing haemorrhoids.

Other causes include chronic diarrhoea, constipation, and a low-fibre diet.

PREVENTION STRATEGIES

Haemorrhoids can be prevented by following certain lifestyle practices. The risk can be reduced by avoiding sitting for extended periods. If you have an office job, try to take a brief intermittent walk every now and then. You could also consider investing in a standing desk. Frequent exercise can also help by assisting an individual in losing excess weight, which might be contributing to their condition.

Eating food high in fibre will help with decreasing strain when going to the toilet. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will contribute to less painful passing of stool. Staying hydrated throughout the day will help too.

HOW CAN CANNABIS HELP WITH HAEMORRHOIDS?

In places where medical cannabis is legal, it is prescribed for many different health conditions, including those characterised by pain and inflammation. Cannabis has soothing properties in this domain. The herb won’t provide a magic bullet cure for haemorrhoids, but cannabinoids may help to bring down inflammation and may ease pain when they flare up. The plant can be an effective part of a broader strategy of dealing with haemorrhoid symptoms.

A 2015 paper published in the journal _Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry_ discusses the potential anti-inflammatory nature of CBD. The cannabinoid has been shown to influence the endocannabinoid system—a series of receptor sites found upon many different cell types throughout the body—in an indirect manner. The anti-inflammatory actions of the cannabinoid have been studied in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, suggesting a potential positive impact.

Cannabis may also be effective at relieving the pain associated with haemorrhoids, as the herb has been used for cases of pain for thousands of years. A 2007 paper published in the journal _Chemistry and Biodiversity_ showed improvements in the sleep of patients with pain-induced insomnia resulting from conditions such as peripheral neuropathic pain and rheumatoid arthritis.

Cannabinoids can be administered directly or close to the site of external haemorrhoids by using a topical cream. Suppositories can also be used to administer them inside of the anus.

Cannabis is well-known for its soothing properties when it comes to pain and inflammation, two symptoms closely associated with cases of haemorrhoids.

The positive impact CBD has on hemorrhoids

Don’t be embarrassed, just reach for this natural alternative

According to the Mayo Clinic, hemorrhoids can occur due to a variety of factors including: pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, sitting for a long period of time, obesity, chronic diarrhea, persistent constipation, anal intercourse, and a low fiber diet. Photo by BrindleBerry / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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    At some point in life, three out of four Americans (both men and women) will experience hemorrhoids. Generally, it’s more common to develop hemorrhoids if you’re between 45-65 years old. However, it still is possible to develop hemorrhoids at a younger age.

    The positive impact CBD has on hemorrhoids Back to video

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    In many cases, hemorrhoids are uncomfortable and painful, which can lead to embarrassment. However, hemorrhoids are not only common, they’re treatable. Although some individuals undergo surgery to remove painful hemorrhoids and others consume pharmaceutical medications for pain-relief, cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) are alternatives that can deliver natural relief. Read on to learn more about hemorrhoids, some of its causal factors, and the positive impact cannabis and cannabidiol have on hemorrhoid treatment.

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    Background on Hemorrhoids and Symptoms

    Hemorrhoids are defined as bulging and/or swollen veins in the body’s anus. They’re similar to a varicose vein, but they’re located in a very sensitive, yet active, part of the body. Oftentimes, hemorrhoids are referred to as “piles”, but essentially, they’re swollen veins in the body’s anus and lower rectum. In most cases, hemorrhoids are uncomfortable, but some individuals don’t experience many adverse complications from them. How does one get a hemorrhoid?

    According to the Mayo Clinic, hemorrhoids can occur due to a variety of factors including: pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, sitting for a long period of time, obesity, chronic diarrhea, persistent constipation, anal intercourse, and a low fiber diet. Additionally, there are three different types of hemorrhoids that people can get. All hemorrhoid types bring their own level of pain and discomfort to individuals, and they’re classified as internal, external, and thrombosed.

    Different Types of Hemorrhoids & Treatment Options

    Each type of hemorrhoid is different in its own way. For example, internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum, and it’s normally the mildest type since it doesn’t cause a great deal of discomfort. However, it’s possible for internal hemorrhoids to endure straining and/or irritation, which can result in bleeding. External hemorrhoids typically form under the skin and around the body’s anus, and can usually be seen and felt. Overall, external hemorrhoids can be very painful and physically sensitive, which can lead to difficulties in going to the bathroom, walking, and even sitting.

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    Thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when an external hemorrhoid forms a blood clot. From here, the hemorrhoid normally becomes swollen, changes color (purple or blue), and has a risk of bursting.

    Sometimes, individuals with painful hemorrhoids undergo out-patient surgery. Due to the surgery’s painful recovery process, many doctors prescribe opioid painkillers. Not only are these painkillers extremely addictive, they even cause constipation, which is something hemorrhoids sufferers should avoid. As an alternative to opioids, some doctors prescribe high doses of Tylenol, which can be ineffective.

    If individuals are looking for alternatives to opioids and Tylenol, cannabis and cannabidiol are both medically beneficial options.

    Cannabis & Cannabidiol Consumption To Help Treat Hemorrhoids

    Both medical cannabis and CBD cannot prevent hemorrhoids from occurring. However, different cannabinoids can deliver significant pain and inflammation relief. Based on the severity of pain a hemorrhoid causes, some individuals feel anxious, stressed, and/or may struggle to fall asleep. Fortunately, though, cannabis acts as a stress and anxiety reliever in addition to helping combat insomnia.

    Furthermore, cannabis can provide natural pain and inflammation relief since it contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Consuming cannabis and CBD for pain and inflammation relief is recognized and even suggested by some doctors. Specifically, Dr. Perry Soloman, HelloMD’s Chief Medical Officer stated the following about cannabis treatment, “…it can be a part of an effective regimen for dealing with the pain and inflammation that often come with hemorrhoids.”

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    For pain-relief, tinctures can be used. However, topical cannabis products can be effective too since the individual can apply the product directly onto the body part that needs localized relief. Additionally, inserting a suppository into the body is another option. Some suppositories contain only CBD whereas, other ones contain a combination of THC and CBD. It’s up to the user to decide what works best for them, but this treatment method can deliver various medical benefits.

    Also, several cannabis strains that could be worth trying out if you have a hemorrhoid are Cannatonic, Critical Mass, and Harlequin. However, do your research beforehand to ensure that these strains would work for you.

    Overall, if you or a loved one have been looking for alternative treatment options to relieve the pain and discomfort hemorrhoids cause, medical cannabis and derivatives of it like cannabidiol could be especially helpful. If you want to avoid addiction, naturally combat pain and inflammation, and reduce stress and anxiety, try taking the natural route by consuming cannabis over opioids and other pharmaceutical medications.

    TheFreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site, that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

    Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Subscribe to the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network.

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    Don’t be embarrassed, just reach for this natural alternative