The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation reviews cannabis, publishes findings

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A white paper on medical cannabis by the foundation shows CBD can help control the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease

Scientific advisors with The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCF) have released a white paper on medical cannabis and its use in treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Their findings were published online by Oxford Academic and show that cannabis can be useful in treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), of which Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are a part. The white paper was commissioned by the CCF in response to increasing interest by physicians and patients and is designed to provide clarity on the effects of cannabis on the diseases.

The advisors point out that there is evidence to support cannabis use in controlling symptoms, as well as improving the quality of life of those suffering from the diseases. However, they caution that scientific studies have yet to verify that cannabis use can lead to improvements in disease activity indices or in markers of inflammatory activity.

The senior author of the white paper, and professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine, Dr. David Rubin, asserts, “We hope that this white paper provides a roadmap for much needed regulatory changes and clinical studies of marijuana and the endocannabinoid system.”

Dr. Arun Swaminath, lead author of the paper and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, Division of Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, Northwell Health, added, “We recommend that patients work with their healthcare team to make sure that their disease is being adequately treated to achieve true disease control, which should turn off the inflammation, modify long-term outcomes, and provide a sustained and improved quality of life. The decision to use medical cannabis as adjunctive care is one that should be discussed by the patient and their doctor and based on current state and federal laws as well as any employment and school policies.”

CFF President and CEO Michael Osso explained that the foundation is determined to increase the research associated with the treatment of IBD. He said, “We know our patients need more options to help treat their disease, and that is why we are steadfast in our commitment to advancing research, including research into the potential use of medical cannabis in Crohn’s and colitis.”

Cannabis research is a necessity to ensure the proper growth of the marijuana industry. As awareness continues to grow and laws become more accepting, the number of studies is increasing, which is going to help to provide further evidence of the valid benefits cannabis provides.