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2023 Study: Cannabinoids for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Cannabinoids for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A 2023 study entitled "The Use of Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): A Review of the Literature" that was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cureus explored the potential efficacy of medical cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease.

A schematic displaying an inflamed colon.
Do cannabinoids help IBD?

The study defined IBD as "a broad term used to describe a group of conditions that cause chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. IBD may affect as many as 200 persons in every 100,000 adults in the context of the United States (U.S)." The researchers explained that there are two primary types of IBD: Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

Cannabinoids for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Conclusions

The scientists concluded the following regarding the potential efficacy of hemp- and cannabis-derived cannabinoids in the treatment of CD and UC:

"This systematic review established that although the efficacy of cannabinoid use in IBD treatment was reported in most studies, outcome generalizability from the review was highly likely to be restricted. In addition, very few adverse effects were documented but these documentations were not enough to form opinions on the adverse effect profile for cannabinoid and cannabis use in patients with IBD, including UC and CD.

A man holds a veg-stage cannabis plant.
More cannabinoid research is needed.

"Also, follow-up data post-study was inadequate. However, the selected studies' point of convergence is that they confirmed the promising role of cannabinoids in steering improvements in IBD treatment through some objective clinical rating scales such as weight gain, Harvey-Bradshaw Index, Mayo score, CDAI score, and general well-being.

"The selected studies' point of convergence is that they confirmed the promising role of cannabinoids in steering improvements in IBD treatment."

"They also report very limited clinical complications following treatment with cannabis. In the future, the focus of research should be on treatment parameters associated with cannabis and its derivatives to validate its effectiveness and safety in IBD treatments as well as confirm the ideal doses, dose intervals, and routes of administration in IBD treatment based on patient characteristics such as age, gender, and the severity of IBD symptoms."

View the original study.

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