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Cannabis for Cholera

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine by the toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 or O139. There are 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths occur each year around the world. Infections can range from the relatively mild to the severe and deadly. Watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps are common symptoms. Common treatment methods include rehydration therapy and antibiotics.

A 1978 study looking at cannabis and its relationship to cholera found that, as cannabis consumption reduces stomach acidity, it can increase one’s chances of contracting cholera. This is because stomach acid can protect against cholera. However, a more recent study has found that cannabinoids prevented cholera toxin-induced fluid accumulation. This can reduce diarrhea. Cannabinoids can also be useful for treating nausea and vomiting.

Whether cannabis treats cholera or makes it worse seems to depend on dose and the type and concentration of cannabinoids used. More research is needed.

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