Ganja For Your Guts: How Cannabis Can Help IBS


No one likes dealing with an upset stomach from taco night.  Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS deal with those symptoms and more on a frequent basis.  It is estimated that 20% of the U.S. population has IBS.  It is no wonder then why scientists would be hard at work looking for a cure.  We are seeing more and more research targeting the human Endocannabinoid system to treat illnesses.  IBS is no exception.  Below you will see studies where science has researched the role of the Endocannabinoid system with IBS and how cannabis therapy could help patients.  As always I encourage all to do their own research and please feel free to share ~ Cherry Girl

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System in the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Activation of cannabinoid (CB)(1) and CB(2) receptors under various circumstances reduces motility, limits secretion and decreases hypersensitivity in the gut. Drugs that alter the levels of endocannabinoids in the gut also reduce motility and attenuate inflammation. In this review, we discuss the role of the endocannabinoid system in gastrointestinal physiology. We go on to consider the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the context of symptoms associated with IBS and a possible role of this system in the pathophysiology and treatment of IBS.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD): Can This Concept Explain Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis In Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Other Treatment-Resistant Conditions?
THC modulates glutamatergic neurotransmission via NMDA receptors. Fibromyalgia is now conceived as a central sensitization state with secondary hyperalgesia. Cannabinoids have similarly demonstrated the ability to block spinal, peripheral and gastrointestinal mechanisms that promote pain in headache, fibromyalgia, IBS and related disorders. The past and potential clinical utility of cannabis-based medicines in their treatment is discussed, as are further suggestions for experimental investigation of CECD via CSF examination and neuro-imaging.

Cannabinoids For Gastrointestinal Diseases: Potential Therapeutic Applications
A pharmacological modulation of the endogenous cannabinoid system could provide new therapeutics for the treatment of a number of gastrointestinal diseases, including nausea and vomiting, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, secretory diarrhoea, paralytic ileus and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Some cannabinoids are already in use clinically, for example, nabilone and delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol are used as antiemetics.

Cannabinoids and Gastrointestinal Motility: Animal and Human Studies
Activation of prejunctional CB1 receptors reduces excitatory enteric transmission (mainly cholinergic transmission) in different regions of the gastrointestinal tract. Consistently, in vivo studies have shown that cannabinoids reduce gastrointestinal transit in rodents through activation of CB1, but not CB2, receptors. However, in pathophysiological states, both CB1 and CB2 receptors could reduce the increase of intestinal motility induced by inflammatory stimuli. Cannabinoids also reduce gastrointestinal motility in randomized clinical trials. Overall, modulation of the gut endogenous cannabinoid system may provide a useful therapeutic target for disorders of gastrointestinal motility.

Alternative Targets Within the Endocannabinoid System for Future Treatment of Gastrointestinal Diseases
Of major therapeutic interest are nonpsychoactive cannabinoids or compounds that do not directly target cannabinoid receptors but still possess cannabinoid-like properties. Drugs that inhibit endocannabinoid degradation and raise the level of endocannabinoids are becoming increasingly promising alternative therapeutic tools to manipulate the ECS.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Dysfunction of the Endocannabinoid System?

One thought on “Ganja For Your Guts: How Cannabis Can Help IBS

  1. Pingback: Cannabis Less Harmful Than Current Drug Therapies? | Cherry Girl

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