Cannabis As A New Treatment For Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a medical condition that over 180 million women suffer from worldwide. It is a painful disorder that occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of a woman’s uterus, called the endometrium, grows on the outer walls of the uterus and sheds to other areas of the body, most often in the pelvic area. Once this tissue is broken down during the menstrual cycle, it has no way of exiting the body, causing inflammation and, in many cases, a great deal of pain. Along with painful cycles, endometriosis can lead to fertility problems.
Most often associated with pain in the pelvis during and just before menstruation, symptoms include painful bowel movements, bloating, constipation, pain during intercourse, blood in the urine, or pain with urination, and possibly abnormal vaginal bleeding. It is important to note that not all women with the condition experience symptoms.
Endometriosis can only be accurately diagnosed by a doctor who has performed a laparoscopy and taken a sample of a suspected tissue abnormality. Endometriosis is very difficult to diagnose and often goes undiagnosed. Physicians will attempt to discover the root of the pain with a pelvic exam or a vaginal ultrasound. However, laparoscopy is the most definitive way to diagnose.
Treatment - Traditional Vs. Cannabis
While there is no cure, treatment options include medication to manage the pain, hormone therapy or surgery to remove the tissue.
Cannabis has shown promise in the treatment of endometriosis. In fact, after the brain, the female reproductive system is home to the most endocannabinoid receptors in the human body. Medical cannabis has been associated with pain management and shown to stop or slow the proliferation of endometriosis.
Lumir Labs and Gynica, a research & development collaboration in Israel dedicated to researching cannabis for women’s health purposes, have announced plans to study the link between endometriosis and medical cannabis. “Currently, the vast majority of the cannabis products available in various markets have no scientific basis, which prevents the medical community from supporting the legitimacy of treatments based on cannabis,” says Yotam Hod, “we aim to provide tools and solutions that are not currently available.” As CEO and co-founder of Asana Bio Group, an Israeli holding company specializing in medical cannabis ventures and a major shareholder in Lumir Labs, Hod is also the son of Tel Aviv University, medical school professor of obstetrics and gynecology Moshe Hod who leads Gynica.