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Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Feb;110(2):208-14. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2014.245. Epub 2014 Sep 9.

Medical marijuana for digestive disorders: high time to prescribe?

Author information

1
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
3
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.

Abstract

The use of recreational and medical marijuana is increasingly accepted by the general public in the United States. Along with growing interest in marijuana use has come an understanding of marijuana's effects on normal physiology and disease, primarily through elucidation of the human endocannabinoid system. Scientific inquiry into this system has indicated potential roles for marijuana in the modulation of gastrointestinal symptoms and disease. Some patients with gastrointestinal disorders already turn to marijuana for symptomatic relief, often without a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of marijuana for their condition. Unfortunately, that lack of understanding is shared by health-care providers. Marijuana's federal legal status as a Schedule I controlled substance has limited clinical investigation of its effects. There are also potential legal ramifications for physicians who provide recommendations for marijuana for their patients. Despite these constraints, as an increasing number of patients consider marijuana as a potential therapy for their digestive disorders, health-care providers will be asked to discuss the issues surrounding medical marijuana with their patients.

PMID:
25199471
DOI:
10.1038/ajg.2014.245
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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