Is Cannabis effective in fighting Crohn’s Disease? Preliminary scientific evidence was presented in the occasion of the European Congress of Gastroenterology, held in Vienna.
The study on Crohn’s disease
46 patients were involved, all affected by Crohn’s disease in moderate and severe forms, who used therapies based on immunosuppressive medicines.
The patients were divided in two groups, the first was treated with a placebo solution, the second with oil containing 15% CBD and 4% THC.
The two groups were monitored for about eight weeks, at the end of which the symptoms of the disease and the quality of life of the patients were measured.
The patients treated with oil containing THC and CBD showed a reduction in the symptoms of the disease, in six cases out of ten criteria of remission were observed.
With remission of the disease is intended a reduction and an elimination of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and fatigue.
“We’ve demonstrated that cannabis can produce a measurable improvement of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease” Timna Naftali, gastroenterologist who coordinated the study, states.
However these symptoms are not detected at intestinal level or through the indicators of inflammation”.
This surprised us – doctor Naftali commented - as we actually know that cannabinoids can have an anti-inflammatory effect, which in this case, however, has not emerged”.
In the light of this, the conclusion the research team reached to was that “ we can consider therapeutic cannabis only as an additional therapy to standard therapy, to give temporary relief of the symptoms of the disease”.
The Study "Treatment of Crohn's disease with cannabis: an observational study"
A previous observational study, which analysed the role of cannabis in contrasting Crohn’s disease, was conducted in 2011.
Thirty patients were involved, with an average age of 36, and the objective was to establish if the consumption of cannabis could contrast chronic abdominal pain, in those cases in which conventional treatment showed ineffective.
The major part of the patients had cannabis in the form of cigarettes, four smoked it through "bongs" and one patient took it orally.
All patients referred that cannabis had a positive effect on their disease, with an increase on the 0-10 scale of wellbeing from 3,1 to 7,3. The average number of ‘intestinal movements’ passed from eight to five and the use of medical drugs was significantly reduced.
An effective reduction of the use of cortisone was registered, the number of patients using it passed from 26 to 4. Nine patients did not have a significant reduction of the symptoms.
The authors underlined the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis, the capability of contrasting ‘intestinal movements’ and in particular the symptoms of dysentery. The researchers established that the positive effects of Cannabis on the activities of the disease last an average of 3.1 years.