Cannabis use is associated with fewer invasive procedures and shorter hospital stays in people who’ve been hospitalized for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, according to a recent article in the online journal Cureus.
The first-of-its-kind study used data from one of the largest databases of hospitalized patients in the United States, it said.
According to the article, a team of medical researchers and physician specialists in Chicago found that:
“Cannabis in the treatment for IBS has potential for significant impact…on individual quality of life and healthcare expenditures.”
They noted the well-studied effects of THC on the endocannabinoid system in the gastrointestinal tract.
The study’s authors are from John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago and Rush University Medical Centre, Chicago.
Cannabinoid receptors in the gut
Experimental research and anecdotal studies have long pointed to a link between THC and gastrointestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Research has clearly shown that the stomach and colon are filled with cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabinoids engage with receptors in the GI tract, according to an article in The American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver (Oct. 2019).
Distinguished gastroenterologist Michael Camilleri, M.D. is a leading authority on gastrointestinal disorders and how best to diagnose and treat them with approved medications and untested remedies.
Dr. Camilleri’s early research showed the efficacy of THC in symptoms related to Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The award-winning Mayo Clinic faculty member is leading work to study the role of genetics in conditions involving the nerves, muscles, lining and content of the gastrointestinal tract.
Painkiller for pancreatitis
In 2014, experimental research from the College of Medicine, University of Kentucky found that THC reduced pain in rats with pancreatitis that was brought on by a forced alcohol/high fat diet.