Bronx, NY: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) report symptom mitigation and fewer emergency room visits following the use of cannabis products, according to data published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.
Investigators affiliated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City surveyed a cohort of 236 IBD patients registered in the state’s medical cannabis access program.
Respondents “reported fewer emergency room visits in the 12 months after versus before MC [medical cannabis] use and less impact of symptoms on daily life.” Subjects in the study were most likely to consume THC-dominant products via vaporization. Minor adverse effects, specifically drowsiness, were reported among a minority (4.2 percent) of subjects.
Authors concluded: “MC users with IBD perceive symptom benefits and report decreased emergency room visits without serious adverse effects. Further studies are needed to confirm these results with objective measures of healthcare utilization and disease activity.”
Observational trials have previously documented that cannabis use is associated with “decreased inpatient health care utilization” in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and with fewer disease-related hospitalizations in patients with Crohn’s. In a randomized placebo-controlled trial involving 21 patients with refractory Chron’s disease, nearly half achieved disease remission following their use of herbal cannabis.
Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis use patterns and adverse effects in inflammatory bowel disease,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Additional information on cannabis and IBD is available from NORML.