Chronic abdominal pain and other bowel-disorder symptoms are notoriously difficult to treat, and new medicine is desperately needed. Unfortunately, few studies exist on cannabis and abdominal disorders.
Cannabinoid receptors in stomach
Cannabinoids engage with receptors in the GI tract, so future treatments may very well involve them, says a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist whose review was recently published in The American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver.
A former executive dean at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Camilleri is leading research looking at genetics as regards to the nerves, muscles, lining and content of the gastrointestinal tract.
Phase -two clinical trial
A robust phase-2 clinical trial involving 240 individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome will over the next 12+ months look at the synthetic cannabinoid Olorinab as treatment for inflammation and disturbances of the bowel that lead to disease that’s exceedingly difficult to treat.
Dr. Camilleri said a study published in 2019 found the drug to be well tolerated, and patients’ symptoms improved.
Cannabinoid reduced pain in rats with pancreatitis
He also pointed to 2014 experimental research from the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.
The study found that the cannabinoid reduced pain in rats with pancreatitis, brought on by a forced alcohol/high fat diet.
Whole-plant cannabis research. Where art thee?
Research into the effects of whole-plant compounds, on specific medical conditions, is woefully lacking.
Other cannabinoid-related compounds have been tested in patients but they appear to be less efficacious, said Dr. Camilleri.
A small THC pilot study from the Netherlands in 2014, published in 2017, said that “chronic pain was shown not to be superior to placebo,” according to Dr. Camilleri.
The pilot was small and only looked at THC.