Cannabis oil significantly alleviates the symptoms of Crohn’s, and after 8 weeks has caused a 65% reduction in symptoms in patients. Does cannabis oil also do anything about inflammation in the intestines in Crohn’s disease?
Cannabis oil at Crohn’s
Significant relief of Symptoms
The results of the research were presented during the UEG Week 2018 in Vienna.
Author of the study, Dr. Timna Naftali:
“Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a range of medical conditions, and studies show that many patients with Crohn’s use the oil regularly to relieve their symptoms. The purpose of our investigation was to show whether the oil also causes a reduction in ignition. “
The cannabis oil that patients used in the study contained 15% cannabidiol and 4% tetrahydrocannabinol. At the start, during and after the study, the severity of the complaints and the quality of life were measured. Inflammation in the intestines was examined endoscopically and via inflammation markers in the blood and stool.
After 8 weeks of treatment, it appeared that there was a considerable reduction in symptoms of no less than 65%. The cannabis group also experienced a strong improvement in the quality of life.
Effect on inflammation
But what about the effect on inflammation in this study?
“We have shown before that cannabis provides measurable improvements in Crohn’s disease, but to our surprise we saw no improvement in endoscopic scores and inflammation markers. We know that cannabinoids have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, but this study indicates that the improvement of symptoms is not associated with an anti-inflammatory effect. “
The team will now investigate the possible inflammation-inhibiting effect of cannabis in Crohn’s.
“There are very good reasons to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a therapeutic target in Crohn’s and other gastrointestinal diseases. At present, we can only view medicinal cannabis as an alternative or complementary intervention that temporarily relieves some people with Crohn’s disease.”
Beneficial effects of cannabinoids in Crohn’s previously reported
Previous studies into the effects of cannabis in Crohn’s also report beneficial effects, including when smoking the plant. This would lead to an improvement in appetite and sleep, without relevant side effects. The beneficial effect was usually reported after 8 weeks, and an anti-inflammatory effect was not always absent.
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory
For example, THC would inhibit inflammation and slow down the motility of the intestines, which would improve symptoms. But also CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance with antioxidant properties. Through activation of the cannabinoid receptors, cannabinoids exert an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-motility effect. If these receptors are activated, this slows down the production of inflammatory substances.