Study: History of Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Risk of Intestinal Infection

Worchester, MA: The use of cannabis is associated with a significantly reduced risk of Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), according to clinical data published in the journal Anaerobe. CDI is a bacterial infection often acquired in hospitals. It can cause life-threatening damage to the colon. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, "within a month of diagnosis, one in 11 people over age 65 dies of a health-care associated CDI."

Investigators with the University of Massachusetts assessed the prevalence of CDI in nearly 30,000 cannabis consumers as compared to an equal number of non-using controls. They reported that those who consumed cannabis occasionally were 23 percent less likely than abstainers to acquire CDI during hospitalization, while habitual consumers were 80 percent less likely.

Authors concluded that a history of cannabis exposure "was associated with a decreased risk of CDI amongst hospitalized patients. Prospective and molecular mechanistic studies are required to elucidate how cannabis and its contents impacts CDI."

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "Cannabis use and risk of Clostridioides difficile infection: Analysis of 59,824 hospitalizations," appears in Anaerobe.