In 2011, the Israel Medical Association Journal reported findings from the first ever study on cannabis use in Crohn’s disease. Conducting retrospective interviews, researchers concluded:
“The results indicate that cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity, as reflected by reduction in disease activity index and in the need for other drugs and surgery.”
Contemplating marijuana’s possible method(s) of action, study authors note:
“The observed beneficial effect in this study may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis, but additional effects of cannabinoids may also play a role. Cannabinoids influence gastrointestinal motility and, in particular, have an anti-diarrheal effect, as observed in mice injected with cholera toxin.”
Of the 30 study participants, 21 improved “significantly” after treatment with cannabis. The need for other medication was also “significantly reduced.”
In addition to its positive effects on disease progression, medical marijuana is also a therapeutic treatment for a number of Crohn’s disease symptoms, including loss of appetite, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.