Israeli researchers presented a study at the European Gastroenterology Conference this week that showed a regimen of cannabis oil made a significant improvement on the symptoms of Crohn’s Disease, Heathline reports.
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammatory bowel condition that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, though most commonly it affects the small intestine. It leads to fever, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, and bloody diarrhea. Sufferers of Crohn’s Disease are also at increased risk for bowel cancer.
In the study, 65 percent of patients given cannabis oil containing 15 percent CBD and 4 percent THC for two months were able to maintain remission of the condition, while only 35 percent of those given a placebo stayed in remission. Study participants given cannabis oil also reported a significant improvement in their quality of life over those with the placebo.
In an unexpected turn, checks for bowel inflammation via endoscope and chemical tests for markers of inflammation showed no difference in actual inflammation in the bowel compared to placebo. This means the mechanism that leads to cannabis oil’s effectiveness at treating Crohn’s is not fully understood and is probably not as simple as the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis. Crohn’s Disease itself is still not very well understood, which further compounds the confusion.
Researchers said that, ultimately, no matter what the specifics of the chemical effect are, cannabis is favored as a treatment for Crohn’s simply because of the relief it provides. Cannabis is also safer than other traditional treatments for Crohn’s, such as corticosteroids or antibiotics.
More research is needed, though cannabis’ excellent safety profile and pain-relieving powers make it an easy choice for the treatment of Crohn’s.