Study: Cannabis Inhalation Leads to Symptom Improvements in Patients with Chronic Pouchitis

Tel Aviv, Israel: The daily use of herbal cannabis provides sustained relief to patients diagnosed with chronic pouchitis, according to data published in the journal ACG Case Reports. (Pouchitis is an inflammatory condition that frequently occurs in patients following surgery to treat ulcerative colitis.) 

Israeli researchers assessed the use of cannabis in nine patients with treatment-resistant pouchitis. Patients inhaled one gram of herbal cannabis (16 percent THC) daily in addition to their regular medications. Patients were monitored for one year.

Investigators reported: “Symptom improvement was reported by eight of nine patients, including improvements in abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, appetite, and general well-being. Mood, memory, concentration, sleep, alertness, and daily function were also improved. Patients reported no events of hallucinations, negative behavioral effects, restlessness, or confusion. None reported IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] exacerbation.” 

They concluded: “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the effect of cannabis consumption among patients with chronic pouchitis. … Cannabis use led to significant symptomatic improvement and better quality of life in this group of patients with refractory pouchitis. Larger, controlled studies are needed to further evaluate the role of cannabis in the treatment of chronic pouchitis.”

Prior studies have shown that cannabis can mitigate symptoms associated with a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and gastroparesis.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis improves clinical outcomes and quality of life in patients with chronic pouchitis,” appears in ACG Case Reports. Additional information on cannabis and GI disorders is available from NORML’s publicationClinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids.