“Excessive inflammatory responses can emerge as a potential danger for organisms’ health.
Our results indicate that the endogenous cannabinoid system represents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of intestinal disease conditions characterized by excessive inflammatory responses.
The major active constituent of the plant Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, and a variety of natural and synthetic cannabinoids have been shown to possess antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities.
For millennia, Cannabis preparations have been used in folk medicine for the treatment of a wide variety of disorders, including those affecting the gastrointestinal tract. A century ago, extracts of Cannabis were used in the US to treat gastrointestinal pain of different origins, gastroenteritis, and diarrhea. There are also anecdotal reports suggesting that marijuana may be effective in alleviating symptoms of Crohn disease.
In conclusion, this study shows that the endogenous cannabinoid system is physiologically involved in the protection against excessive inflammation in the colon, both by dampening smooth muscular irritation caused by inflammation and by controlling cellular pathways leading to inflammatory responses.
These results strongly suggest that modulation of the physiological activity of the endogenous cannabinoid system during colonic inflammation might be a promising therapeutic tool for the treatment of several diseases characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.”
“A mouse study demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation. As a result, a hypothesis that phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be useful in the risk reduction and treatment of colorectal cancer has been developed.” http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq#section/_7