Marijuana is an Effective Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
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A study published earlier this month on the government’s website National Institutes of Health found that marijuana has “significant benefits” for treating Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
“A short course (8 week) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active CD, compared to placebo, without side effects,” the study concluded.
Conducted by Tel Aviv University, the study included 21 patients with Crohn’s who did not previously respond to therapy with steroids, immunomodulators, or anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents. Half of the control group were given a placebo and the other half were given 2 marijuana joints per day.
The goal of the study was to get the patients into complete remission. The placebo produced 1 person out of ten in the placebo group to experience complete remission. Whereas 5 out of 11 (45%) patients given cannabis to smoke successfully went into remission. Additionally, a beneficial clinical response, or decrease in inflammation, was observed in 10/11 cannabis patients versus only 4/10 in the placebo group.
The marijuana patients experienced “no significant side effects” and a few even weaned themselves off of steroid dependency.
Here are the official results from the study:
RESULTS:Complete remission (a CDAI score < 150) was achieved by 5/11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%) and 1/10 in the placebo group (10%). A clinical response (a decrease in CDAI score of > 100) was observed in 10/11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%) and 4/10 in the placebo group (40%). Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects.
Since smoking marijuana is considered one of the least effective forms of delivering the medicine in cannabis, the researchers recommend further studies with a non-smoking mode of intake.
CONCLUSION:Although the primary endpoint of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 week) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 11 patients with active CD, compared to placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a non-smoking mode of intake, are warranted.
Link to the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648372