Many people suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), but a new study shows that cannabis relieves symptoms of IBD/IBS by reducing intestinal inflammation.
As reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, endocannabinoids help control and prevent intestinal inflammation in mice. Endocannabinoids have beneficial effects from cannabis on intestine inflammation conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Gut inflammation is tightly regulated by an aggressive immune response that destroys dangerous pathogens, but which can also damage the lining of the intestine when immune cells attack indiscriminately. However, endocannabinoids, similar to cannabinoid molecules found in cannabis, can turn off the inflammation response. If the endocannabinoid isn’t present, inflammation isn’t kept in balance and it can run unchecked as the body’s immune cells attack the intestinal lining. The phytocannabinoids in cannabis could help relieve gut inflammation, similarly to how endocannabinoids normally would.
Rose L. Szabady, Christopher Louissaint, Anneke Lubben, Bailu Xie, Shaun Reeksting, Christine Tuohy, Zachary Demma, Sage E. Foley, Christina S. Faherty, Alejandro Llanos-Chea, Andrew J. Olive, Randall J. Mrsny, Beth A. McCormick. Intestinal P-glycoprotein exports endocannabinoids to prevent inflammation and maintain homeostasis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018.