Right now "we don't fully understand the endocannabinoid system,"
Dr Mark Silverberg presented his review this week at Digestive Disease week, and although it isn’t unreasonable to try medical cannabis, a lot more research is needed to fully understand the effects on IBD.
Right now “we don’t fully understand the endocannabinoid system,” Silverberg said, so it is difficult to manipulate the system with cannabis.
Regarding available evidence, he noted that only three studies have been published to date about cannabis and Crohn’s disease (CD), and one on cannabis and UC. Researchers conducting the CD studies found a higher clinical response rate in the cannabis group, compared with a placebo group, after 8 weeks. There was no difference in clinical remission rates and there was a higher rate of adverse events among cannabis patients. He added that regarding the UC study, the researchers did not divulge any clinical differences after 10 weeks and also recorded more adverse events among cannabis patients.
Dr. Timna Naftali, MD, whose team investigated the use of cannabis to treat UC, said that the control participants of her study — who were consuming two .5 gram cannabis joints per day — reported significant improvements in their Disease Activity Index (DAI) over the placebo group.
“It’s not a magic bullet, but it certainly does have an effect, and I think should be explored further.” — Timna Naftali, MD, of Meir General Hospital and Tel Aviv University in Israel
“Tetrahydrocannabinol-rich cannabis is safe and can induce clinical as well as endoscopic improvement in moderately active UC,” the team concluded.
The results “didn’t surprise me,” she said, explaining that she started the study because she had several patients who were already self-medicating with cannabis and figured she may as well examine it.
Source – MedPage
Image – Pixabay