Inflammatory bowel disease and cannabis: key counseling strategies

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2023 Jul 1;39(4):301-307.doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000946. Epub 2023 May 3.


Jakob Saidman 1Samantha Rubin 2Arun Swaminath 3


Author information

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Diseases, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla.

2Department of Medicine.

3Division of Gastroenterology, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, New York, USA.


Purpose of review: Cannabis use is becoming more frequent in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Because of the increased usage, gastroenterologists need to be cognizant of the benefits and risks associated with cannabis use in the IBD-patient population.

Recent findings: Recent studies have attempted to determine whether cannabis can improve biomarkers or endoscopic findings of inflammation in patients with IBD, but the results have been inconclusive. However, cannabis has been shown to have an impact on the symptoms and quality of life of individuals with IBD. Despite these benefits, the use of cannabis in IBD is not without risks, including the potential for systemic illness, toxin ingestion and significant drug interactions.

Summary: In this review article, we use a case-based approach to discuss the critical clinical data that informs us of the benefits and risks of cannabis use in IBD. The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological functions including the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have investigated the impact of cannabis on various medical conditions, including IBD. Clinicians must be aware of the most recent data to properly educate their patients on the benefits and risks of its use.



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