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Crohn's Patients Report Symptomatic Relief From Cannabis

NORML, 18th November 2005

Patients with Crohn's disease report subjective benefits from cannabis, including pain relief and increased appetite, according to survey data published in the autumn issue of O'Shaughnessy's: The Journal of Cannabis in Clinical Practice.

Twelve patients were self-selected to participate in the survey, which assessed subjective changes in volunteers' symptoms after the use of cannabis. "For all signs and symptoms evaluated in the study, the patients described marked improvements with the use of cannabis," concluded co-author Jeff Hergenrather of the California Society for Cannabis Clinicians. "Beneficial effects were reported for appetite, pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, activity, and depression. Patients also reported that cannabis use resulted in weight gain, fewer stools per day and fewer flare-ups of less severity."

Authors also found that patients' use of cannabis was associated with a decrease in their use of other pharmaceutical medicines.

The pilot study is the first to examine the therapeutic use of cannabis in patients with Crohn's disease.

Pre-clinical data published this past summer in the journal Gastroenterology found that cannabinoids may promote healing of the gastrointestinal membrane, and could offer relief to patients suffering from inflammatory disorders such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Previous trials in animals have demonstrated that the activation of cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal tract protects the body from inflammation and modulates gastric secretions and intestinal motility, among other functions.

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