Study Summary: Cannabis Decreases Inflammation in Crohn's Disease

Updated: Jul 10

Welcome to Higher Learning LV's Study Summary series. This series reviews and summarizes peer-reviewed research studies and was developed specifically for cannabis industry professionals. These study summaries provide easily digested quick reads for a variety of important issues regarding the commerce and chemistry of legal cannabis.

A 2017 study entitled "Cannabinoid Receptor-2 Ameliorates Inflammation in Murine Model of Crohn’s Disease" that was published in the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis explored the potential role of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) in treating Crohn's disease and related conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


The Study

This pre-clinical scientific investigation involved rodents (mice), not humans, but gathered valuable data necessary for future studies involving human participants. "We investigated the effect of targeting CB2 [receptors in the ECS] in a preclinical IBD [Inflammatory Bowel Disease] model."


The study identified a distinct anti-inflammatory role played by the CB2 receptors of the ECS that results in positive outcomes for patients suffering Crohn's, IBD, and other disease of the gut involving inflammation.

"Cannabinoid receptor stimulation may have positive symptomatic effects on inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] patients through analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects," reported the study.


The Results

The research identified a distinct anti-inflammatory role played by the CB2 receptors of the ECS that results in positive outcomes for patients suffering Crohn's, IBD, and other disease of the gut involving inflammation.

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"An important aspect of this study is the striking similarities in the decreased expression of the CB1 and CB2 [receptors] in...human chronic inflammation as compared with healthy controls," reported the study's authors. The researchers also identified "increased expression of CB1 and CB2 [ECS receptors] in active, non-remission [Crohn's] patients."


The research observed that the CB2 receptors of the ECS are expressed "primarily on immune cells, including...T cells" and that conditions such as Crohn's and IBD are "induced by active inflammation in both humans and mice."


"The compilation of past evidence and our current results validate the ECS as a promising therapeutic target in inflammatory conditions such as IBD."

The study concluded that the human endocannabinoid system plays a valuable role in controlling inflammation and inflammatory responses. "The compilation of past evidence and our current results validate the ECS as a promising therapeutic target in inflammatory conditions such as IBD" reported the scientists.


They reported that their study "elucidates a possible mechanism in the anti-inflammatory pathways of the ECS, which will contribute to the interpretation of data and greatly benefit the ongoing clinical trials in cannabinoids [for] IBD."


View the original study.


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