Study: Cannabis Use Associated with Fewer Complications in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Baltimore, MD: A history of cannabis use is associated with fewer complications among patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis (UC), according to data published in the journal Medicine.

Investigators from the John Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore and the Digestive Disease Institute in Cleveland compared the prevalence of UC complications during hospitalization in cannabis users versus matched controls.
Researchers reported that cannabis users, on average, had shorter hospital stays compared to non-users and were far less likely to require either a partial or a total colectomy (a surgery to remove part or all of the colon).

Authors concluded: "The present study is the first, large-scale nationwide cohort study to evaluate the association between cannabis use and clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with UC. … [O]ur study suggests that cannabis use may mitigate some complications of UC among hospital inpatients and this could be due to an anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis and potential improvement in gastrointestinal mucosal healing. Our study has important clinical findings and warrants further investigations."

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Association between cannabis use and complications related to ulcerative colitis in hospitalized patients: A propensity matched retrospective cohort study," appears in Medicine. Additional information is available from NORML.