Cannabis is commonly used as an anti-inflammatory, but it seems like sometimes it can have the opposite effect. Cannabis consumers seem more likely to develop gastro-intestinal inflammation than non-users according to a recent study.
Researchers conducted a review of data collected on 2,371 patients between 2006 and 2017 and compared common aliments between patients who had identified as regular cannabis consumers and those who did not. They found that the most frequently reported symptoms for people who consume cannabis regularly was abdominal pain, and the numbers were significantly higher than those reported in the group of non-consumers. Rates of heartburn and nausea were also higher in cannabis users.
"These results suggest that cannabis use may potentiate or fail to alleviate a variety of GI complaints, which goes against current knowledge and challenges our knowledge of the interaction of cannabis use and GI symptomology," said Dr. Shelini Sooklal, one of the researchers involved in the study.
Skooklal noted that the results of this study differ significantly from previous studies on cannabis that showed the substances to be an effective means of reducing esophageal inflammation.
"Increased inflammation in cannabis users – esophagitis as well as erosive and non-erosive gastritis – goes against current knowledge where small studies have shown decreased inflammation with cannabis use," Sooklal said.
Research like this shows we still have lots to learn about cannabis, and with its increasing legalization across the US these sorts of studies have never been more important.