NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A white paper written by Crohn's & Colitis Foundation scientific advisors and staff examining the clinical, scientific, and regulatory landscape as it pertains to the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis was recently published online by Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. The white paper was commissioned by the Foundation in response to the growing interest among patients and providers in using medical cannabis as an adjunctive treatment for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
The white paper summarizes the available information about the use of medical cannabis in IBD and provides a review of the available literature and legal status in the United States. Specifically, the findings show that, while there may be benefit in symptom control and quality of life, scientific studies have not shown improvements in markers of inflammatory activity or disease activity indices.
"We hope that this white paper provides a roadmap for much needed regulatory changes and clinical studies of marijuana and the endocannabinoid system," said Dr. David Rubin, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine and white paper senior author.
"We recommend that patients work with their healthcare team to make sure that their disease is being adequately treated to achieve true disease control, which should turn off the inflammation, modify long-term outcomes, and provide a sustained and improved quality of life," said Dr. Arun Swaminath, lead author of the paper and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program, Division of Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, Northwell Health. "The decision to use medical cannabis as adjunctive care is one that should be discussed by the patient and their doctor and based on current state and federal laws as well as any employment and school policies."
With the release of the white paper, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation also released an updated position statement on the use of medical cannabis in the treatment of IBD.
"The Foundation is dedicated to accelerating research to drive the continuum from new discovery to optimal care," said Michael Osso, President & CEO of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. "We know our patients need more options to help treat their disease, and that is why we are steadfast in our commitment to advancing research, including research into the potential use of medical cannabis in Crohn's and colitis."
The Foundation is currently funding a study at the University of Colorado, which is looking at selectively targeting the immunosuppressive cannabinoid receptor type 2 to treat intestinal inflammation. It encourages other researchers studying the role of medical cannabis to apply for research funding through the Foundation's investigator-initiated funding opportunities.
ABOUT THE CROHN'S & COLITIS FOUNDATION
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the largest non-profit, voluntary, health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who are affected by these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research; providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information visit www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org, call 888-694-8872, or email [email protected].
SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation