Cannabinoids and Crohn's disease

Research into the medical effects of cannabis is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, it is Medropharm's concern to keep you, the readers of our magazine, always up to date. We want to inform you about new achievements in the field of clinical application of cannabis. For this reason, in the following article we present a study that attempts to prove the efficacy of cannabinoids in the treatment of Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is one of the most common chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. In Switzerland, there are about 8000 people who suffer from the disease. In those affected, the disease usually breaks out for the first time at the age of 20-35. To date, it is not clear what triggers the disease. In addition, there is still no cure at this time. In most cases, the disease causes severe cramps in the lower abdominal region as well as watery diarrhea, which can sometimes last for weeks. Furthermore, symptoms such as fever, nausea, vitamin and iron deficiency, or digestive disorders may occur. Crohn's disease is mostly relapsing, i.e. phases with severe symptoms alternate with symptom-free phases.

Already in ancient times, cannabis has been proven to be used for the treatment of chronic intestinal diseases. In 2013, scientists from Germany and Austria took it upon themselves to help rehabilitate the reputation of the cannabis plant from a medical perspective and to prove the efficacy of cannabinoids in diseases such as Crohn's disease. To do this, they conducted a placebo-controlled study with 21 patients suffering from Crohn's disease, in whom conventional treatments had no effect. The study was able to demonstrate that an eight-week treatment with cannabis containing THC was able to significantly alleviate symptoms in 90% of patients. No side effects worth mentioning occurred in anyone. Specifically, the study suggests that cannabinoids, most notably THC, relieve the severe abdominal pain caused by Crohn's disease, greatly attenuate the feeling of nausea, and significantly suppress the feeling of malaise. Although the study focused on the effects of THC, it is reasonable to conclude that other cannabinoids such as CBD or CBG also have an impact, precisely because they have both been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Exactly how THC works in Crohn's disease patients has not yet been scientifically proven down to the last detail. Initial findings suggest that it is primarily the CB2 receptors of the human endocannabinoid system that play a role. It is possible that the cannabinoids docking there accelerate wound healing in the colon and thus reduce pain. In addition, they seem to stimulate precisely those receptors that ensure that the production of diarrhea is attenuated.

However, many more studies need to be conducted to better understand and describe the mechanisms by which a large proportion of participants in this first study experienced a significant improvement in symptoms.

Study link:

The information and data that served as the basis for the preparation of this article were taken from professional articles, trade journals or studies. Medropharm is not authorized to make any healing and/or efficacy promises related to their cannabis products.

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