Exploring the Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Gastrointestinal Disorders

At Cantourage Clinic, we are committed to providing tailored treatment pathways and up-to-date information on medical cannabis. 

Recent studies have shown that medical cannabis can significantly benefit patients suffering from various gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. This blog post delves into the latest research, highlighting how medical cannabis is revolutionising the treatment of GI conditions.

Medical Cannabis and Gastrointestinal Health: An Overview

What Does the Research Say?

Recent research published in Gastroenterology & Hepatology and by NORML highlights that medical cannabis can effectively alleviate symptoms associated with gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and ulcerative colitis. Patients using medical cannabis reported significant improvements in symptom management and overall quality of life​ (NORML)​​ (Practical Gastro)​.

One study found that cannabinoids can help reduce inflammation and modulate gut motility, offering relief from chronic pain and discomfort commonly experienced by GI patients​ (Practical Gastro)​. Additionally, medical cannabis has been noted to help with nausea and vomiting, often seen in conditions like Crohn's disease and during chemotherapy treatments​ (Practical Gastro)​.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

A comprehensive review published in Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology discussed the role of cannabinoids in treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The review concluded that cannabinoids could reduce intestinal inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a crucial role in gut homeostasis .

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology examined the effects of cannabis on Crohn's disease patients. It reported that those who used cannabis experienced significant clinical improvements and a reduction in the need for other medications .

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Research highlighted in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that patients with IBS who used medical cannabis reported significant relief from symptoms such as abdominal pain and cramping. The study suggested that the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of cannabinoids could be beneficial for IBS patients​ (Practical Gastro)​.

Why is this important?

For patients suffering from chronic gastrointestinal conditions, traditional treatments often come with severe side effects and can lead to dependency on opioids and other prescription medications. Medical cannabis offers a promising alternative with a more favourable side effect profile. It can help reduce the need for opioids, thus lowering the risks associated with long-term opioid use, including addiction and adverse health effects​ (NORML)​​ (Practical Gastro)​.

How Medical Cannabis Works

The Endocannabinoid System and GI Disorders

The therapeutic effects of medical cannabis are largely due to its interaction with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a critical role in regulating various physiological processes, including gut motility, immune response, and pain perception​ (Practical Gastro)​ . Cannabinoids, the active compounds in cannabis, bind to cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) found throughout the GI tract, helping to reduce inflammation and pain​ (Practical Gastro)​.

Cannabinoids and Symptom Relief

Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of specific cannabinoids like THC and CBD in managing GI symptoms. For example:

  • THC: Known for its psychoactive effects, THC can significantly reduce pain and nausea, improving the overall quality of life for patients​ (Practical Gastro)​.
  • CBD: Non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory, CBD is effective in reducing intestinal inflammation and offering relief from conditions such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis​ (Practical Gastro)​

Clinical Evidence

Recent Studies

  1. Study in Gastroenterology & Hepatology: This study highlighted the potential of medical cannabis in improving symptoms and quality of life for GI patients. The research showed that cannabis users experienced a significant reduction in pain and inflammation compared to non-users​ (NORML)​.
  2. NORML's Research: According to data analysed by NORML, medical cannabis users reported better management of GI symptoms and reduced dependence on conventional medications, including opioids​ (NORML)​.
  3. PubMed Study on Crohn's Disease: Published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, this study found that cannabis use led to clinical improvement in Crohn's disease patients, with many reporting reduced reliance on other medications and improved quality of life .

Medical Cannabis for Gastro Conditions

Medical cannabis represents a promising alternative for managing gastrointestinal disorders, offering significant relief from chronic symptoms with a lower risk of adverse effects and dependency compared to traditional medications. As research continues to unfold, it is clear that cannabis has the potential to revolutionise the treatment landscape for GI conditions.

Want to Learn More?

Explore our latest findings and learn how medical cannabis can benefit you by visiting NORML's website and the journal Practical Gastroenterology​ (NORML)​​ (Practical Gastro)​. For more detailed studies, check out research articles available on PubMed .

For personalised advice and treatment options, book a consultation at Cantourage Clinic today. Our team of experts is here to guide you through your journey towards better health.


  1. NORML: Gastrointestinal Disorders
  2. Practical Gastroenterology: Cannabinoids and Gastrointestinal Disorders
  3. PubMed: Clinical Improvements in Crohn's Disease with Cannabis Use

About Cantourage Clinic Ltd

Cantourage Clinic is a CQC registered clinic, combining a team of qualified specialist physicians, nurses and educators with cannabis industry professionals; joining forces with the sole focus of providing care and excellence for patients wishing to explore cannabinoid therapies.

For more information on how Cantourage clinic could help, click here for more information.

Cantourage Clinic offer specialist consultations for the following conditions.

- Pain

- Psychiatry

- Neurology

- Gastroenterological

- Oncology

- Palliative Care


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