Impact of Cannabis Treatment on the Quality of Life, Weight and Clinical Disease Activity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: A Pilot Prospective Study
Exclusive author commentary
Lahat A et al. – Three months’ treatment with inhaled cannabis improves quality of life measurements, disease activity index, and causes weight gain and rise in BMI in long–standing Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD) patients.Methods
- Patients with long–standing IBD who were prescribed cannabis treatment were included.
- Two quality of life questionnaires and disease activity indexes were performed, and patient’s body weight was measured before cannabis initiation and after 3 months’ treatment.
- 13 patients were included.
- After 3 months’ treatment, patients reported improvement in general health perception (p=0.001), social functioning (p=0.0002), ability to work (p=0.0005), physical pain (p=0.004) and depression (p=0.007).
- Schematic scale of health perception showed an improved score from 4.1± 1.43 to 7±1.42 (p=0.0002).
- Patients had a weight gain of 4.3±2 kg during treatment (range 2–8; p=0.0002) and an average rise in BMI of 1.4±0.61 (range 0.8–2.7; p=0.002).
- The average Harvey–Bradshaw index was reduced from 11.36± 3.17 to 5.72± 2.68 (p=0.001).
Adi Lahat (11/18/2011) comments:
The beneficial effect of cannabinoids on the GI tract has been known for centuries. cannabinoids were also shown to have an inhibitory effect on inflammation and to stimulate appetite.Thus,potentially, cannabis may have a beneficial effect on IBD patients.However, data in literature is scarce. Since inhaled cannabis is legally registered in Israel for palliative treatment in IBD patients, we conducted a prospective pilot study to examine the effect of this treatment on patients' quality of life, weight gain and disease activity.All patients included suffered from long standing disease and were refractory to most conventional therapies. In this difficult group of patients inhaled cannabis was shown to cause improvement in quality of life, disease activity and to cause significant weight gain after 3 months treatment. notably, no side effects were observed. We believe this preliminary data should encourage more studies in order to asses the place of inhaled cannabis in the treatment of IBD patients.