Using survey questions, patients who used marijuana legally for IBD were compared with those who did not. We looked at health, quality of life, some mental health measures, and included a list of potential benefits marijuana might bring. Unfortunately, it seemed that those who used marijuana were not doing as well as other patients on average. It may be that they had uncontrolled symptoms, standard medications were not working well for them, or other factors influenced this outcome. Randomized controlled studies of the use of marijuana would be very helpful where exact dosages were used and patients were closely matched when compared with those using more traditional treatments.
It is important because with the legalization of marijuana many benefits have been proposed for IBD patients. These are unproven through clinical trials. If marijuana truly is not helpful, or the substance purchased is of different strengths or quality, patients will potentially waste time and money and have poorer health outcomes. If there are benefits, finding the right dosage and the right strain of this plant may provide help to many who are suffering.
The principal investigator is also a patient with IBD and if benefits are to be found, they are valuable. More research is clearly needed to examine the best methods of administration and dosages, and to determine benefits to patients. ann kerlin, PhD
Dig Dis Sci 2018 06 29;63(6):1600-1604. Epub 2018 Mar 29.
Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
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