"(S) tudies have shown that many people with Crohn's disease use cannabis to regularly relieve their symptoms," Dr. Timna Naftali,…
“(S) tudies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis to regularly relieve their symptoms,” Dr. Timna Naftali, an Israeli gastroenterologist who also teaches at Tel Aviv University, said in a written statement. “
Crohn’s disease is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can cause severe belly pain and chronic diarrhea.
Dr. Naftali, whose study was being reported as the first of its kind, found that an eight-week treatment with cannabis oil containing a four to one CBD to THC ratio produced clinical remission in up to 65 percent of individuals with Crohns disease. The randomized, placebo-controlled study involved 50 people with moderately severe forms of the disease.
Interestingly, however, cannabis was found to have no effect on the gut inflammation that underscores the disease.
“We have previously demonstrated that cannabis can produce measurable improvements in Crohn’s disease symptoms but, to our surprise, we saw no statistically significant improvements in endoscopic scores or in the inflammatory markers we measured in the cannabis oil group compared to the placebo group, “Dr. Naphtali explained. “We know that cannabinoids can have profound anti-inflammatory effects but this study indicates that the improvement in symptoms may not be related to these anti-inflammatory properties.”
Going forward, Dr. Naftali and her research team plan to further investigate cannabis’ potential anti-inflammatory properties to treat IBDs.
“There are very good grounds to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target in Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal diseases,” Dr. . Naftali said. “For now, however, we can only consider medicinal cannabis as an alternative or additional intervention that provides temporary symptom relief for some people with Crohn’s disease.”