Cannabis and the Gastrointestinal Tract

“Cannabis has been used for its medicinal purposes since ancient times. Its consumption leads to the activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 that, through specific mechanisms can lead to modulation and progression of inflammation or repair. The novel findings are linked to the medical use of Cannabis in gastrointestinal (GI) system.

Purpose: The objective of the present paper is to elucidate the role of Cannabis consumption in GI system. An additional aim is to review the information on the function of Cannabis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Methods and results: This review summarizes the recent findings on the role of cannabinoid receptors, their synthetic or natural ligands, as well as their metabolizing enzymes in normal GI function and its disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and possible adverse events. The synergism or antagonism between Cannabis’ active ingredients and the “entourage” plays a role in the efficacy of various strains. Some elements of Cannabis may alter disease severity as over-activation of Cannabis receptors CB1 and CB2 can lead to changes of the commensal gut flora. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) contributes to gut homeostasis. The ability of ECS to modulate inflammatory responses demonstrates the capacity of ECS to preserve gastrointestinal (GI) function. Alterations of the ECS may predispose patients to pathologic disorders, including IBD. Clinical studies in IBD demonstrate that subjects benefit from Cannabis consumption as seen through a reduction of the IBD-inflammation, as well as through a decreased need for other medication. NAFLD is characterized by fat accumulation in the liver. The occurrence of inflammation in NAFLD leads to non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis (NASH). The use of Cannabis might reduce liver inflammation.

Conclusions: With limited evidence of efficacy and safety of Cannabis in IBD, IBS, and NAFLD, randomized controlled studies are required to examine its therapeutic efficacy.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32762830/

https://journals.library.ualberta.ca/jpps/index.php/JPPS/article/view/31242

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Association Between Cannabis Use and Healthcare Utilization in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Cureus | LinkedIn“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a frequent cause of abdominal pain and altered bowel habits, which is associated with significant healthcare utilization.

The effects of the active compound of cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), on gut motility and tone have been studied in several experimental models. It is unknown whether these effects correlate with improved healthcare utilization among cannabis users.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of cannabis use on inpatient length of stay and resource utilization for patients with a primary discharge diagnosis of IBS.

Cannabis users were less likely to have the following: upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (17.9% vs. 26.1%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.51 [0.36 to 0.73]; p<0.001) and lower gastrointestinal endoscopy (21.1% vs. 28.7%; aOR: 0.54 [0.39 to 0.75]; p<0.001). Additionally, cannabis users had shorter length of stay (2.8 days vs. 3.6 days; p=0.004) and less total charges (US$20,388 vs. US$23,624). There was no difference in the frequency of CT abdomen performed.

Cannabis use may decrease inpatient healthcare utilization in IBS patients. These effects could possibly be through the effect of cannabis on the endocannabinoid system.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32528750/

“Our study provides evidence to suggest that cannabis use may decrease healthcare utilization and costs among hospitalized patients with IBS. These findings are likely attributable to the effects of cannabis’ active compound, THC, on gastrointestinal motility and colonic compliance. The role of cannabis in the treatment for IBS has potential for significant impact at the individual and population level given the burden of IBS on individual quality of life and healthcare expenditures.”

https://www.cureus.com/articles/30417-association-between-cannabis-use-and-healthcare-utilization-in-patients-with-irritable-bowel-syndrome-a-retrospective-cohort-study

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Cannabis and Canabidinoids on the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: Going Beyond Misuse.

ijms-logo“Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by a chronic and recurrent gastrointestinal condition, including mainly ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Cannabis sativa (CS) is widely used for medicinal, recreational, and religious purposes. The most studied compound of CS is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Besides many relevant therapeutic roles such as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, there is still much controversy about the consumption of this plant since the misuse can lead to serious health problems. Because of these reasons, the aim of this review is to investigate the effects of CS on the treatment of UC and CD. The literature search was performed in PubMed/Medline, PMC, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases. The use of CS leads to the improvement of UC and CD scores and quality of life. The medical use of CS is on the rise. Although the literature shows relevant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that could improve UC and CD scores, it is still not possible to establish a treatment criterion since the studies have no standardization regarding the variety and part of the plant that is used, route of administration and doses. Therefore, we suggest caution in the use of CS in the therapeutic approach of IBD until clinical trials with standardization and a relevant number of patients are performed.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32331305

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/8/2940

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Cannabinoid receptor 2 agonist promotes parameters implicated in mucosal healing in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Issues“Cannabis benefits patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Cannabinoid receptors are expressed in gut immune cells and in epithelial cells of inflamed guts.

Mucosal healing (MH) requires epithelial layer restoration.

CONCLUSION:

Using ex vivo and in vitro human models, we demonstrated that manipulating the cannabinoid system affects colon cells and secretome characteristics that facilitate MH in IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32213014

“Experimental studies and recent clinical trials suggest that treatment with cannabis benefits patients with IBD.”

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050640619889773

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An overview of cannabis based treatment in Crohn’s disease.

 Publication Cover“Cannabis use among inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients is common. There are many studies of various laboratory models demonstrating the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis, but their translation to human disease is still lacking.

Areas covered: The cannabis plant contains many cannabinoids, that activate the endocannabinoid system. The two most abundant phytocannabinoids are the psychoactive Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and the (mostly) anti-inflammatory cannabidiol (CBD). Approximately 15% of IBD patients use cannabis to ameliorate disease symptoms. Unfortunately, so far there are only three small placebo controlled study regarding the use of cannabis in active Crohns disease, combining altogether 93 subjects. Two of the studies showed significant clinical improvement but no improvement in markers of inflammation.

Expert opinion: Cannabis seems to have a therapeutic potential in IBD. This potential must not be neglected; however, cannabis research is still at a very early stage. The complexity of the plant and the diversity of different cannabis chemovars create an inherent difficulty in cannabis research. We need more studies investigating the effect of the various cannabis compounds. These effects can then be investigated in randomized placebo controlled clinical trials to fully explore the potential of cannabis treatment in IBD.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32149543

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17474124.2020.1740590?journalCode=ierh20

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Role of cannabis in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Image result for Ann Gastroenterol“For many centuries, cannabis (marijuana) has been used for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Currently, there are about 192 million cannabis users worldwide, constituting approximately 3.9% of the global population. Cannabis comprises more than 70 aromatic hydrocarbon compounds known as cannabinoids. Endogenous circulating cannabinoids, or endocannabinoids, such as anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol, their metabolizing enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol lipase) and 2 G-protein coupled cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, together represent the endocannabinoid system and are present throughout the human body. In the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the activated endocannabinoid system reduces gut motility, intestinal secretion and epithelial permeability, and induces inflammatory leukocyte recruitment and immune modulation through the cannabinoid receptors present in the enteric nervous and immune systems. Because of the effects of cannabinoids on the GI tract, attempts have been made to investigate their medicinal properties, particularly for GI disorders such as pancreatitis, hepatitis, and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The effects of cannabis on IBD have been elucidated in several small observational and placebo-controlled studies, but with varied results. The small sample size and short follow-up duration in these studies make it difficult to show the clear benefits of cannabis in IBD. However, cannabis is now being considered as a potential drug for inflammatory GI conditions, particularly IBD, because of its spreading legalization in the United States and other countries and the growing trend in its use. More high-quality controlled studies are warranted to elucidate the mechanism and benefits of cannabis use as a possible option in IBD management.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32127734

http://www.annalsgastro.gr/files/journals/1/earlyview/2020/ev-02-2020-03-AG4866-0452.pdf

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Cannabinoid agonists possibly mediate interaction between cholinergic and cannabinoid systems in regulating intestinal inflammation.

Medical Hypotheses“Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is idiopathic, chronic and affects the gastrointestinal tract. It results from the association of genetic, environmental and immune deregulation, which culminates in the development and progression of the inflammatory process. In an attempt to reverse colonic inflammation, endogenous systems involved in intestinal physiology are studied and the cholinergic system is fundamental for this process. In addition, this system has anti-inflammatory action in experimental models of IBD. Another important endogenous system in regulating the exacerbated inflammatory response in the gut is mediated by endocannabinoids, which play an important role in restoring bowel functionality after the onset of the inflammatory process. There are several reports in the literature showing the interconnection between the cannabinoid and cholinergic systems in different tissues. Considering that the activation of the cholinergic system stimulates the production of cannabinoid agonists in the intestine, our hypothesis is that the interaction between the muscarinic system and the cannabinoid in the control of intestinal inflammation is mediated by endogenous cannabinoids, since they are stimulated by the activation of muscarinic receptors.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32085982

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030698771931429X?via%3Dihub

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Endocannabinoid system in irritable bowel syndrome and cannabis as a therapy.

Complementary Therapies in Medicine“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) global burden is underestimated despite its high prevalence. It’s a gastrointestinal disease having obscure pathophysiology with multiple therapies yet unsatisfactory remedies.

The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) of our body plays a key role in maintaining normal physiology of the gastrointestinal tract as well as involves abnormalities including functional diseases like IBS. This review highlights the importance of the Endocannabinoid system, its connections with the normal gastrointestinal functions and abnormalities like IBS.

It also discusses the role of cannabis as medical therapy in IBS patients.

A literature search for articles related to endocannabinoids in IBS and medical cannabis in PubMed and Google Scholar was conducted. The studies highlighted the significant participation of ECS in IBS. However, the breach in obtaining the promising therapeutic model for IBS needed further investigation in ECS and uncover other treatments for IBS.

This review summarizes ECS, highlights the relationship of ECS with IBS and explores cannabis as a potential therapy to treat IBS.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31987224

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229919310179?via%3Dihub

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Cannabinoids and Opioids in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Image result for clinical and translational gastroenterology“In traditional medicine, Cannabis sativa has been prescribed for a variety of diseases. Today, the plant is largely known for its recreational purpose, but it may find a way back to what it was originally known for: a herbal remedy. Most of the plant’s ingredients, such as Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabigerol, and others, have demonstrated beneficial effects in preclinical models of intestinal inflammation. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have shown a regulatory role in inflammation and mucosal permeability of the gastrointestinal tract where they likely interact with the gut microbiome. Anecdotal reports suggest that in humans, Cannabis exerts antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, and antidiarrheal properties. Despite these reports, strong evidence on beneficial effects of Cannabis in human gastrointestinal diseases is lacking. Clinical trials with Cannabis in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have shown improvement in quality of life but failed to provide evidence for a reduction of inflammation markers. Within the endogenous opioid system, mu opioid receptors may be involved in anti-inflammation of the gut. Opioids are frequently used to treat abdominal pain in IBD; however, heavy opioid use in IBD is associated with opioid dependency and higher mortality. This review highlights latest advances in the potential treatment of IBD using Cannabis/cannabinoids or opioids.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31899693

https://journals.lww.com/ctg/Abstract/latest/Cannabinoids_and_Opioids_in_the_Treatment_of.99898.aspx

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Gastrointestinal Adverse Events of Cannabinoid 1 Receptor Inverse Agonists suggest their Potential Use in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

 Image result for J Gastrointestin Liver Dis“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders characterized by pain and impaired bowel movements. Currently available drugs show limited efficacy.

Cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1) inverse agonists (CB1-RAN) cause diarrhea and may be candidates for the treatment of constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C). We evaluated the effects of CB1-RAN in clinical trials for their potential use in IBS-C.

METHODS:

Database search identified all clinical trials published up to May 2018 that reported rimonabant and taranabant treatment for at least one month and detailed the GI adverse events (AEs). Categorical outcomes (subgroups of AEs) were analyzed using the odds ratio (OR).

RESULTS:

Eighteen trials met the inclusion criteria. Rimonabant 20 mg produced significantly more overall AEs (OR=1.35, CI: 1.19-1.52, p<0.0001), psychiatric events (OR=1.79, CI: 1.46-2.21, p<0.001) and GI AEs (OR=2.05, CI: 1.65-2.55, p<0.001) compared to placebo. Taranabant at doses ranging from 0.5 to 8 mg produced significantly more overall AEs (OR=1.36, CI: 1.13-1.64, p<0.002), psychiatric AEs (1.82, CI: 1.54-2.16, p<0.001) and GI AEs (OR=1.75, CI: 1.29-2.37, p<0.001) compared to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

The approach to target CB1 in the gut for the treatment of IBS-C or chronic constipation seems a promising therapeutic option. Prospective clinical trials on the possible targeting of CB1 and the endocannabinoid system are warranted.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31826058

https://www.jgld.ro/jgld/index.php/jgld/article/view/265

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