Cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity in Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, according to a new observational study at Tel Aviv University, Israel.
The indication for cannabis use was lack of response to conventional treatment in 21 patients and chronic intractable pain in six. Another four patients used cannabis for recreational purposes and continued as they observed an improvement in their medical condition.
Of the 30 patients, 21 improved significantly after treatment with cannabis. The average Harvey Bradshaw index improved from 14 to 7.
The need for other medication was significantly reduced. Thus, before cannabis use, 26 patients used corticosteroids, but only four continued after the start of the cannabis therapy.
Fifteen of the patients had 19 surgeries during an average period of nine years before cannabis use, but only two required surgery during an average period of three years of cannabis use.
“This is the first report of cannabis use in Crohn’s disease in humans,” the authors concluded. “The results indicate that cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity, as reflected by the reduction in disease activity index and in the need for other drugs and surgery.”