Cannabinoids and Opioids in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

In traditional medicine, Cannabis sativa has been prescribed for a variety of diseases. Today, the plant is largely known for its recreational purpose, but it may find a way back to what it was originally known for: a herbal remedy. Endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) have shown a regulatory role in inflammation and mucosal permeability of the gastrointestinal tract where they likely interact with the gut microbiome. Opioids are frequently used to treat abdominal pain in IBD; however, heavy opioid use in IBD is associated with opioid dependency and higher mortality. This review highlights latest advances in the potential treatment of IBD using Cannabis/cannabinoids or opioids.

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