Quick hit: Cannabis & Pediatric IBD

Some recent highlights and curiosities from the amazing world of cannabis science and therapeutics.
By Adrian Devitt-Lee On March 02, 2019
Drawing of child with stomach ache
Cannabis is used by many individuals with inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD), which includes conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD is not uncommon among people younger than 18, and about one in three of these individuals use cannabis to manage symptoms such as nausea, pain, and fatigue. Three authors review clinical and preclinical data regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids for IBD. They highlight that cannabis has shown better results than CBD alone, although the data are fairly limited with poor controls in both cases. Unfortunately, the authors appear caught up in THC-phobia, insinuating that no THC exposure is acceptable: “[C]annabis use needs to be actively discouraged in children with IBD.” This statement seems to be at odds with the data they review. Although hyped-up medical claims about CBD should be discouraged, THC fear-mongering is also inappropriate. Both THC and CBD have robust safety profiles, much more so than many pediatric medications. (Note, an interview with a professor at the University of Michigan reviewing the same data in the adult population is freely available here.)
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Adrian Devitt-Lee, Project CBD's chief science writer, is employed as a research chemist by the University College of London.