Medical marijuana is being used all over the world to treat many different illnesses and despite only having scientific evidence for certain ailments, many patients claim anectdotal evidence for lots of other illnesses. One inparticular ailment patients often use cannabis for is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which covers a variety of conditions like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. New research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found gut inflammation in mice can be regulated by introducing cannabinoids to the animal's natural endocannabinoid system. A common problem in those with conditions causing gut inflammation is the body's immune cells choosing to attack the intestinal lining by mistake. By introducing cannabinoids the body's inflammation response can once again be relieved. Researchers hope to be able to isolate the specific cannabinoid molecule that can trigger this anti-inflammatory response without causing the user a "high" that comes with consuming whole plant cannabis.
"There's been a lot of anecdotal evidence about the benefits of medical marijuana, but there hasn't been a lot of science to back it up," says Beth McCormick, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts.
"For the first time, we have an understanding of the molecules involved in the process and how endocannabinoids and cannabinoids control inflammation".