Cannabis use has additionally been linked to reduced complications among IBD patients, including those who have advanced disease (e.g., lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) and those with more advanced disease (e.g., multiple myeloma, chronic myeloid leukemia). In fact, cannabis is often prescribed to patients who are not in remission and who are being treated with immunosuppressive medications, because cannabis has significant antiproliferative and anti-tumor effects on myeloid cells (Ng, 2008). We suggest to read this blog to get more information about Medical Cannabis.
For instance, cannabis has been demonstrated to inhibit myeloid cell proliferation (Grossman, 2000), decrease T lymphocyte proliferation (Wiley, 2003), and reduce immunoglobulin E (IgE)-secreting T cells (Mller-Hohagen et al., 2008). In a recent review (Wickstrm et al., 2011), Cannabinoid drugs are also used to treat many other IBD conditions.
Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids possess anti-tumor properties, while others have suggested potential for anti-bacterial effects. For example, cannabinoids inhibit the growth of both cancer cells and tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-)producing cells in culture (Mesquita, 2012), while in vivo studies suggest that cannabinoids inhibit colon cancer growth (Gossop et al., 2008). Moreover, in an animal model of colitis, the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 produced tumor suppression and suppressed inflammation in the colon (Gruber et al., 2004). However, despite its apparent anti-tumor effects, cannabinoids do not promote colon tumor growth in vitro (Wagner et al., 2011). Therefore, despite anti-tumor properties, it is unclear whether cannabinoids could be used as an anti-inflammatory treatment to treat IBD.
In this review, we summarize and discuss the available evidence for the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids in IBD.
Therapeutic Approaches Cannabis has received considerable attention in the literature as an anti-inflammatory agent. Evidence from clinical trials suggests that cannabinoids can be used as pharmacological treatments for inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, preclinical studies and a review of the literature on the use of cannabinoids as an anti-inflammatory drug in inflammation provide a basis for investigating whether cannabinoids can serve as an alternative therapeutic for inflammatory bowel disease.
Clinical Observations Cannabis and Crohn’s Disease Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, characterized by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, including the rectum, colon, and large bowel. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.1,2 In IBD, the inflammatory activity is usually referred to as ‘autoimmune enteritis’ or ‘auto-inflammatory bowel disease’.3,4 Endogenous factors are thought to be the cause of the inflammatory activity of IBD.4,5 Crohn’s disease is characterized by a dysfunctional gut barrier that protects the gastrointestinal tract from environmental toxins. The immune response to bacterial infection, viral infection, and toxic substances produces pro-inflammatory signals and cytokines. A number of neurotransmitters, including 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and serotonin, are synthesized in the gut and enter the circulation.