Adv Ther. 2021 Jun 10. doi: 10.1007/s12325-021-01805-8. Online ahead of print.
Although still not approved at the federal level for medical or adult recreational use, cannabis has been approved in the United States (USA) by individual states for both of these purposes. A total of 15 states now regulate cannabis for adult use and 36 states for medical use. In more recent years, cannabis has gained popularity for the treatment of chronic conditions, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) being one of them. However, the exact role of cannabis in the treatment of IBD remains uncertain. While cannabis may help in some instances with symptom management, it has not been proven to help with inflammation or to fundamentally correct underlying disease processes. Additionally, along with the perceived symptom benefits of cannabis come concerning issues like dosing inconsistencies, dependence, and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. In this review article, we explore the nuanced relationship between cannabis and the treatment of IBD by summarizing the current research. We also use clinical vignettes to discuss the more practical considerations surrounding its use.