Cannabis, a potential treatment option in pediatric IBD? Still a long way to go
The onset of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children is rising. Current treatment options are based on immunomodulatory therapy. Alternative treatment options are upcoming since they appear to be effective in individual patients. Cannabis might relief IBD symptoms in these cases and improve quality of life. Recent evidence suggests a potential anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis. Areas covered: This review presents an overview of recent literature on the use of cannabis in IBD focussing on pediatric IBD patients. Background information on the role of the endocannabinoid system within the gastrointestinal tract is presented. Other modalities of cannabis and its purified ingredients will be discussed as well, with attention to its applicability in children with IBD. Expert opinion: More research is needed on the efficacy and safety of cannabis in pediatric IBD. Studies are well underway, but until then the use of cannabis in pediatric IBD cannot be recommended.