A new study shows that cannabis oil can improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory bowel disease that causes severe stomach pain and chronic diarrhea.
The study was led by Dr. Timna Naftali, an Israeli gastroenterologist who also teaches at Tel Aviv University.
50 individuals with moderately severe forms of Crohn’s disease participated in the randomized, placebo-controlled study that lasted eight weeks.
The group that received cannabis oil containing a four to one CBD to THC ratio showed clinical remission in almost 65% percent of the individuals. They also reported improvements in their quality of life. Surprisingly, cannabis oil did not reduce gut inflammation.
“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 with the placebo group,” said Dr. Naftali.
“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.”
Next, the research group will study the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis to treat the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
“There are very good grounds to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target in Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal diseases,” said Dr. Naftali.
“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.”