CannaTrials adheres to evidence-based medicine – making statements based on medical evidence.

This page is excerpted and quoted from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.    A Committee of over 40 experts, researchers, and reviewers in The Health and Medicine Division published a 486 page report in 2017 entitled “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research.
If you would like to access the entire report you may do so by clicking this link.

Medical Marijuana and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder commonly associated with symptoms of abdominal cramping and changes in bowel movement patterns. Irritable bowel syndrome is classified into four types based on the types of bowel movements: IBS with diarrhea, IBS with constipation, IBS mixed, and IBS unclassified (NIDDK, 2015). Approximately 11 percent of the world’s population suffers from at least one type of this disorder (Canavan et al., 2014). Type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors are present in the mucosa and neuromuscular layers of the colon; they are also expressed in plasma cells and influence mucosal inflammation (Wright et al., 2005). In animal models, endocannabinoids acting on CB1 receptors inhibit gastric and small intestinal transit and colonic propulsion (Pinto et al., 2002). Studies in healthy volunteers have shown effects on gastric motility and colonic motility (Esfandyari et al., 2006). Thus, cannabinoids have the potential for therapeutic effect in patients with IBS (Wong et al., 2012). 

A single, small trial found no effect of two doses of dronabinol on gastrointestinal transit. The quality of evidence for the finding of no effect for irritable bowel syndrome is insufficient based on the short treatment duration, small sample size, short-term follow-up, and lack of patientreported outcomes. Trials that evaluate the effects of cannabinoids on patient-reported outcomes are needed to further understand the clinical effects in patients with IBS.

CONCLUSION 4-5 There is insufficient evidence to support or refute the conclusion that dronabinol is an effective treatment for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. [1]

[1] The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research | The National Academies Press. 2017. Pages 98-99. Download the complete 486 page report.

**Important Note:  On many of the health conditions studied by NAS, there was no conclusive evidence of cannabis effectiveness from the study results they reviewed.  The authors included a long section on “research gaps.

It is the Vision and Mission of CannaTrials to fill in some of these research gaps with cannabis clinical trials using specific medical marijuana formulations and testing them in a research protocol with local patients, physicians, processors and dispensaries.  If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, and helping improve scientific knowledge about health effects of cannabis, please click one of the buttons below on this page.

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