Case Report: Oral THC Improves Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Paris, France: The daily administration of synthetic oral THC (dronabinol) is associated with an improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms in a patient with CIPO (chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction), according to a case report published in the Journal of Parenteral and Eternal Nutrition. CIPO is a rare pediatric disorder in which intestinal nerve or muscle problems prevent food, fluid and air from moving through the stomach and intestines.

A team of French and Swiss researchers reported on the experience of a 19-year-old female CIPO patient following her twice-daily use of dronabinol capsules over a period of 15 months.

Investigators reported that the patient experienced improvements in abdominal pain, distension, and vomiting during treatment. Her appetite also improved. She reported no major adverse side effects from her use of dronabinol.

Prior to receiving oral THC, the patient had previously reported similar benefits following her use of smoked cannabis.

Authors concluded: “This paper reports a fortuitous discovery of positive cannabinoid effects on CIPO symptoms in a patient, leading to significant relief of GI complaints. Although further observations are required to consolidate these findings, this case may be helpful for some patients with the same condition.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabinoids improve gastrointestinal symptoms in a parenteral nutrition–dependent patient with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction,” appears in the Journal of Parenteral and Eternal Nutrition. Additional information regarding cannabis and gastrointestinal disorders is available from NORML.