Cannabis Improves Crohn’s Disease Symptoms Without Affecting Gut Inflammation

A group of researchers recently found that cannabis oil significantly improved symptoms of Crohn’s disease and patients’ quality of life. Shockingly the cannabis was found to have no effect on gut inflammation commonly associated with the disease, despite causing profound improvement in patient condition.

The Israeli researchers conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled study finding that cannabis use produced clinical remission in up to 65% of Crohn’s patients after 8 weeks of treatment, however this improvement does not seem to result from any reduction in the disease’s inflammatory process. Use this link to learn and see more about its medical uses.

Lead researcher Dr. Timna Naftali said at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna that, “Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and studies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms. It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to investigate this.”

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In the study, the researchers studied 46 patients with moderately severe Crohn’s disease by randomly assigning them to 8 weeks of treatment with either cannabis oil or placebo. The cannabis oil group was issued 15% cannabidiol (CBD), or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You can purchase UltraCell full spectrum hemp oil from Elite Health Products’ website.  Parameters measured prior to, during, and after treatment included quality of life, symptom severity, and gut inflammation. The latter was measured endoscopically and by assessing inflammatory markers in stool and blood samples.

At the close of the 8-week treatment cycle, the cannabis oil group showed significant reduction in Crohn’s disease symptoms in comparison to the placebo group, with 65% of those in the cannabis group meeting criteria for clinical remission, and only 35% of those in the placebo group doing the same. The cannabis-treated patients also displayed significant improvements in quality of life compared to those in the placebo group.

Going forward, the researchers plan to explore already known and potential anti-inflammatory qualities of cannabis compounds in inflammatory bowel disease treatment. “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.”

Crohn’s disease is a particularly severe type of inflammatory bowel disease, with long-term symptoms that affect 1.6 million people in the United States a year. In inflammatory bowel diseases, one’s own immune system attacks the tissue lining the gastrointestinal tract and cause painful inflammation. Though most therapies look to remedy this inflammatory aspect of Crohn’s disease, cannabis surprisingly reduced symptoms while having no effect on this inflammation.

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“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.”

Sources: EurekAlert, MedicalNewsToday