The effect of medical cannabis in inflammatory bowel disease: analysis from the UK Medical Cannabis Registry
Inflammatory bowel disease is an umbrella health term for two conditions – Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Daily administration of cannabis products is associated with improved symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, according to data from an observational trial published in the journal Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
UK researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of cannabis products in 76 patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Study subjects were registered with the UK Medical Cannabis Register and each had medical authorization to use cannabis. Study participants consumed either cannabis extracts, THC-dominant flowers, or both for a period of three months.
The authors reported: "The introduction of medicinal products based on cannabis has been associated with improved quality of life short-term health-related, with statistically significant improvements in IBD-specific and general health-related quality of life one month and three months after starting treatment. Participants who had ever used cannabis had greater improvements in HRQoL and fewer adverse effects than naïve people. These results highlight the usefulness potential of CBMPs as a therapeutic option short-term adjuvant, especially in patients who continue to experience debilitating symptoms despite maximal medical therapy. »
Longitudinal data from Israel also reported that long-term use of whole cannabis plants is associated with both symptom improvement and reduced prescription drug use in patients suffering treatment-resistant inflammatory bowel disease.
Subjects on the UK Medical Cannabis Registry, suffering from post-traumatic stress or depression, also showed symptomatic improvements after cannabis therapy. Patients treated with CBMPs for refractory symptoms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis demonstrated short-term improvement in IBD-specific and general HRQoL. Previous cannabis users reported greater improvement compared to cannabis-naive individuals.