A new study found that cannabis oil significantly improves Crohn’s 腾讯娱乐disease symptoms. Surprisingly, the effect doesn’t seem to be due to cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties.
Anecdotal reports suggested to Dr. Timna Naftali, a gastroenterologist and a professor at Tel Aviv University, that cannabis seems to help people with Crohn’s disease. Naftali thought that the effect may be related to cannabinoid action that reduces inflammation in the gut, so she and colleagues set out to investigate this connection.What is Crohn's disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by inflammation of the digestive, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In fact, Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus, but it is more commonly found at the end of the small intestine (the ileum) where it joins the beginning of the large intestine (or colon).
It’s important to note that one shouldn’t confuse an IBD disease, such as Crohn’s, with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a different type of disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the bowel. IBS is not characterized by intestinal inflammation, nor is it a chronic disease.
The Israeli researchers performed a randomized, placebo-controlled study involving 50 participants with severe forms of the disease. Each participant was given a dose of cannabis oil containing a 4:1 CBD to THC ratio.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the dozens of cannabinoid compounds found in the cannabis plant. CBD interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system, predominantly the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found mainly in the brain and immune cells. Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the active substance found in marijuana, which is responsible for its psychoactive effect. Unlike THC, CBD is not only non-psychoactive, but it actually blocks the high one typically experiences when ingesting cannabis.
The researchers found that 65% of the participants who were given the cannabis oil entered clinical remission. This group also reported significant improvements in their quality of life. Only 35% of the placebo group met remission criteria at the end of the study.