Can Medical Marijuana Help With Inflammatory Bowel Disease? New Study Says

A new study showed that patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience fewer symptoms after using marijuana-based products.

IBD refers to two conditions, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), which are long-term medical problems that cause chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms range from pain, cramping, or bloating to weight loss and fatigue. There is currently no cure for either Crohn’s disease or UC.

What Does The Study Say?

Researchers of the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, investigated patterns of medical cannabis use and adverse effects in patients with IBD.

An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted among patients over 18 who self-reported a diagnosis of IBD and among those with access to medical cannabis dispensaries in New York and Minnesota.


According to the study, “of 236 respondents, overall IBD disease activity was mild-to-moderate. Most respondents (61.0%) took a biological. The median frequency of MC use was at least once within the past week. Most respondents used products with high Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol content (87.5%) through vape pens/cartridges (78.6%).”

Patients reported “fewer emergency room visits in the 12 months after MMJ use compared to before and less impact of symptoms on daily life.” Seventy-five percent of patients reported euphoria as well as other common side effects reported by respondents such as drowsiness, lightheadedness or memory lapses, dry mouth/eyes, and anxiety/depression or paranoia.


According to the researchers, medical cannabis users with IBD “perceive symptom benefits and report decreased emergency room visits without serious adverse effects.”

Researchers stressed that more study is needed. “Further studies are needed to confirm these results with objective measures of healthcare utilization and disease activity.”

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Photo: Courtesy Of CDC On Unsplash

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