Cart 0

CBD and Crohn’s Disease

Posted by Nate Hemmert on

Crohn’s Disease, a severe form of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, as well as one’s own immune system. It can be a painful, uncomfortable and often debilitating disease with no cure.

Crohn’s afflicts the digestive tract of more than half a million people in the US – resulting in abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody stool, severe vomiting, and extreme weight loss. It can even result in skin and eye conditions, as well as arthritis.

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD and primarily found in hemp – now legally available in all fifty states with the passing of the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 – is making large strides as a potential treatment for Crohn’s and other gastrointestinal diseases.

Below are the abstracts of three exciting studies related to CBD and Crohn's & Colitis published in the National Institute for Health:

Cannabidiol in inflammatory bowel diseases: a brief overview

This minireview highlights the importance of cannabidiol (CBD) as a promising drug for the therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Actual pharmacological treatments for IBD should be enlarged toward the search for low-toxicity and low-cost drugs that may be given alone or in combination with the conventional anti-IBD drugs to increase their efficacy in the therapy of relapsing forms of colitis. In the past, Cannabis preparations have been considered new promising pharmacological tools in view of their anti-inflammatory role in IBD as well as other gut disturbances. However, their use in the clinical therapy has been strongly limited by their psychotropic effects. CBD is a very promising compound since it shares the typical cannabinoid beneficial effects on gut lacking any psychotropic effects. For years, its activity has been enigmatic for gastroenterologists and pharmacologists, but now it is evident that this compound may interact at extra-cannabinoid system receptor sites, such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma. This strategic interaction makes CBD as a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.

Cannabidiol, a safe and non-psychotropic ingredient of the marijuana plant Cannabis sativa, is protective in a murine model of colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease affects millions of individuals; nevertheless, pharmacological treatment is disappointingly unsatisfactory. Cannabidiol, a safe and non-psychotropic ingredient of marijuana, exerts pharmacological effects (e.g., antioxidant) and mechanisms (e.g., inhibition of endocannabinoids enzymatic degradation) potentially beneficial for the inflamed gut. Thus, we investigated the effect of cannabidiol in a murine model of colitis. Colitis was induced in mice by intracolonic administration of dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. Inflammation was assessed both macroscopically and histologically. In the inflamed colon, cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were evaluated by Western blot, interleukin-1beta and interleukin-10 by ELISA, and endocannabinoids by isotope dilution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Human colon adenocarcinoma (Caco-2) cells were used to evaluate the effect of cannabidiol on oxidative stress. Cannabidiol reduced colon injury, inducible iNOS (but not cyclooxygenase-2) expression, and interleukin-1beta, interleukin-10, and endocannabinoid changes associated with 2, 4, 6-dinitrobenzene sulfonic acid administration. In Caco-2 cells, cannabidiol reduced reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation. In conclusion, cannabidiol, a likely safe compound, prevents experimental colitis in mice.

Topical and systemic cannabidiol improves trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid colitis in mice


Compounds of Cannabis sativa are known to exert anti-inflammatory properties, some of them without inducing psychotropic side effects. Cannabidiol (CBD) is such a side effect-free phytocannabinoid that improves chemically induced colitis in rodents when given intraperitoneally. Here, we tested the possibility whether rectal and oral application of CBD would also ameliorate colonic inflammation, as these routes of application may represent a more appropriate way for delivering drugs in human colitis.

Colitis was induced in CD1 mice by trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. Individual groups were either treated with CBD intraperitoneally (10 mg/kg), orally (20 mg/kg) or intrarectally (20 mg/kg). Colitis was evaluated by macroscopic scoring, histopathology and the myeloperoxidase (MPO) assay.

Intraperitoneal treatment of mice with CBD led to improvement of colonic inflammation. Intrarectal treatment with CBD also led to a significant improvement of disease parameters and to a decrease in MPO activity while oral treatment, using the same dose as per rectum, had no ameliorating effect on colitis.

The data of this study indicate that in addition to intraperitoneal application, intrarectal delivery of cannabinoids may represent a useful therapeutic administration route for the treatment of colonic inflammation. Full Study


While the articles are heavily scientific, and relate mostly to induced symptoms in mice, the potential for CBD is definitely there. From topicals to edibles, and even whole oil capsules, the possibility of CBD as a treatment for Crohn’s and other gastrointestinal diseases is promising.

It's even thought that by ingesting CBD you may actually be going directly for the source of the symptoms themselves. The gut. Take a look at our recent article about the body's endocannabinoid system playing a role as a regulatory agent.

Many people are already making the leap to CBD and learning how it can benefit them personally.

It is worth noting, however, that smoking is generally not recommended with Crohn’s Disease, as it may cause additional inflammation.

Have a story to share? Questions about CBD? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll respond right away. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletters and visit our website regularly for the latest updates, research, legislation and other news about cannabidiol.

Related Posts

Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.