CBD and Irritable Bowel Disease
Once diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a person begins a lifelong battle as there is currently no cure. As noted in this review, while modern medicine does tend to allow people to live relatively normal lives, the medicines used to treat IBD can have limited benefits and lose effectiveness.
The review evaluated how targeting the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) could impact colitis. The ECS is a biological system within mammals that is made up of three components: cannabinoid receptors (the things that receive chemical signals outside the cell), endocannabinoids (small molecules that activate cannabinoid receptors), and metabolic enzymes that break down endocannabinoids after they are used.
Results indicated the two main cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), along with endocannabinoids and atypical cannabinoids are “upregulated in inflammation, and their presence and stimulation attenuate murine colitis.” Put simply: manipulating the ECS can provide substantial relief from colitis.
The review notes that incidents of IBD are on the rise, which reinforces the need for research into new potential therapies. Additionally, IBD results in “an estimated annual disease-attributable direct cost in the United States in excess of $6.3 billion.” That’s 6.3 billion reasons to continue exploring novel therapies.
Authors: Leinwand, Kristina L. DO; Gerich, Mark E. MD; Hoffenberg, Edward J. MD; Collins, Colm B. PhD; National Institutes of Health T32 Institutional Training Grant in Pediatric Gastroenterology; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health; Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment