“Cannabis, a drug made up of the flowers and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant, has been used therapeutically for centuries. Ancient Chinese cultures have reported use in their medical practices, dating back as early as 2700 BC. Although widely used recreationally during the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of medical cannabis has exploded over the last decade, as a result of mainstream cultural acceptance and legalization in several countries around the world.
Over the last decade, interest in the therapeutic potential of cannabis and its constituents (e.g. cannabidiol) in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has escalated. Cannabis has been increasingly approved for a variety of medical conditions in several jurisdictions around the world.
In animal models, cannabinoids have been shown to improve intestinal inflammation in experimental models of IBD through their interaction with the endocannabinoid system. However, the few randomized controlled trials of cannabis or cannabidiol in patients with IBD have not demonstrated efficacy in modulating inflammatory disease activity.
Cannabis may be effective in the symptomatic management of IBD. Given the increasing utilization and cultural acceptance of cannabis, physicians need to be aware of its safety and efficacy in order to better counsel patients. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the role of cannabis in the management of patients with IBD.
There is emerging evidence that cannabis may play a role in the management of patients with IBD. Many patients are already using cannabis to help manage symptoms associated with the disease, and physicians cannot ignore this when taking histories and managing their patients.”