crohn’s disease and cbd oil

December 15, 2021 By admin Off

Introduction : Cannabis use among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients is common. There are many studies of various laboratory models demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis, but their translation to human disease is still lacking. Areas covered : The cannabis plant contains many cannabinoids, that activate the endocannabinoid system. The two most abundant phytocannabinoids are the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the (mostly) anti-inflammatory cannabidiol (CBD). Approximately 15% of IBD patients use cannabis to ameliorate disease symptoms. Unfortunately, so far there are only three small placebo controlled study regarding the use of cannabis in active Crohns disease, combining altogether 93 subjects. Two of the studies showed significant clinical improvement but no improvement in markers of inflammation. Expert opinion : Cannabis seems to have a therapeutic potential in IBD. This potential must not be neglected; however, cannabis research is still at a very early stage. The complexity of the plant and the diversity of different cannabis chemovars create an inherent difficulty in cannabis research. We need more studies investigating the effect of the various cannabis compounds. These effects can then be investigated in randomized placebo controlled clinical trials to fully explore the potential of cannabis treatment in IBD.

Keywords: Cannabis; Crohn’s disease; inflammatory bowel disease; marihuana; ulcerative colitis.

New research conducted by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics at the University of Sydney reveals a quarter of Australians with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have used cannabis, predominantly from illicit sources, to manage their condition. They reported improvements in symptoms and reduced use of prescription medication.

In Australia, IBD is becoming more prevalent, more complex, and more severe, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report. It affects approximately 1 in 250 people aged 5-40. Almost 75,000 Australians have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, with this number projected to increase to 100,000 by 2022.

Professor McGregor said: “This case reflects the reality that many IBD patients do not have their condition adequately managed by existing drugs and so turn to alternative options, such as cannabis, to manage their condition.”

Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The condition can be difficult to manage with conventional treatment options, which is why some patients are turning to cannabis for symptom relief.

A statement from the Taylor family said: “Medicinal cannabis alleviated our daughters’ suffering after all conventional treatments failed. The survey reflects the lived experience in the community where vulnerable families resort to accessing unreliable products with no certainty of future supply. When doctors are so cautious about prescribing cannabis medicines and when current official products are unaffordable for patients, then either the law needs to change, or we need to have an amnesty for genuine medicinal users and their carers.”

Results from the anonymous online survey, published in the journal Crohn’s & Colitis, examined IBD severity, medication adherence, quality of life, as well as medicinal cannabis use and its perceived impact on these measures. The survey expanded on previous surveys by accessing a larger patient population. It also allowed separation of and insights into different IBD subgroups – Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or “IBD unclassified”; and different cannabis use populations – non-user, previous user and current self-prescribed medicinal cannabis users.

Principal investigator and academic director of the Lambert Initiative Professor Iain McGregor said: “The survey was inspired by the experiences of the Taylor family from the Blue Mountains: father Steven Taylor was arrested for growing cannabis to alleviate the suffering of his daughters Morgan and Taylor who suffered from severe IBD and found great relief from non-intoxicating cannabis leaf juice preparations.”

The first Australian nationwide survey – and largest ever survey on medicinal cannabis use in IBD patients – has revealed that 25.3 percent of the 838 respondents were using or had previously used medicinal cannabis to manage their symptoms.

IBD, which includes the conditions Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is caused by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and can be debilitating. It causes symptoms including weight loss, diarrhoea and bleeding, along with chronic pain, anxiety and stress that significantly impact a patient’s day to day quality of life.

Medicinal cannabis “alleviated suffering”

Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract can be debilitating. Photo: Pixabay.


Lead author Dr Melissa Benson from the Lambert Initiative said: “This survey is informative to future research in this field and to continuing the discussion around medicinal cannabis for IBD management – particularly so that clinicians may better understand what their patients’ may already be doing to self-manage their symptoms.”

Australians are illegally sourcing cannabis to manage their conditions. Photo: Pixabay.

The survey revealed:

This work was supported by the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, University of Sydney.