TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The inhalation of cannabis increases quality of life, mitigates disease activity, and promotes weight gain in subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to clinical trial data published online in the scientific journal Digestion.
Investigators at the Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel assessed the efficacy of inhaled prescription cannabis in patients with long-standing IBD, such as Crohn’s disease.
Researchers reported: “After three months’ treatment, patients reported improvement in general health perception, social functioning, ability to work, physical pain and depression. A schematic scale of health perception showed an improved score. … Patients had … weight gain … during treatment and an average rise in BMI (body mass index).”
They concluded, “Three months’ treatment with inhaled cannabis improves quality of life measurements, disease activity index, and causes weight gain and rise in BMI in long-standing IBD patients.”
An estimated 6,000 Israelis are supplied with locally grown cannabis for therapeutic purposes as part of a limited government program.
Survey data published in August in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology reported that an estimated one-third of patients with colitis and one-half of subjects with Crohn’s acknowledge having used cannabis to mitigate their disease symptoms.
Most recently, clinical trial data published in September in the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association reported that the use of cannabis is associated with a reduction in Crohn’s disease activity and disease-related surgeries.
Researchers at the Meir Medical Center in Israel are presently evaluating the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis for patients with Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, according to a summary of the US federal government website clinicaltrials.gov.