Medicinal Information

Can cannabis be helpful in gastric ulcers?


(Franjo Grotenhermen):
There are no clinical studies with cannabinoids in gastric ulcers. However, THC and other substances that bind to the cannabinoid-1-receptor (CB1 receptor agonists) inhibited the gastric acid production in humans and the formation of ulcers in animals.

(Roger Pertwee):
The nervous system of the bowel of several species, including the mouse, rat, guinea pig and humans, contains cannabinoid CB1 receptors that depress motility of stomach and intestine. (...)
Gastric acid secretion is also inhibited in response to CB1 receptor activation, although the detailed underlying mechanism has yet to be elucidated. Cannabinoid receptor agonists delay gastric emptying in humans as well as in rodents and probably also inhibit human gastric acid secretion. (...)
The extent to which the effects on gastrointestinal function of cannabinoid receptor agonists or antagonists/inverse agonists can be exploited therapeutically has yet to be investigated as has the extent to which these drugs can provoke unwanted effects in the gastrointestinal tract when used for other therapeutic purposes.
Modified according to: Pertwee RG. Cannabinoids and the gastrointestinal tract. Gut 2001;48(6):859-867.

(Adami et al.):
In anaesthetized rats the non selective CB-receptor agonist WIN 55,212-2 and the selective CB(1)-receptor agonist HU-210 dose-dependently decreased the acid secretion. (...) Our results indicate that the antisecretory effects of cannabinoids on the rat stomach are mediated by suppression of the activity of the vagus nerve on the stomach through activation of CB1 receptors.
Modified according to: Adami M, et al. Gastric antisecretory role and immunohistochemical localization of cannabinoid receptors in the rat stomach. Br J Pharmacol 2002;135(7):1598-1606.

(Sofia et al.):
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) inhibited ulcer formation in the rat. However, this antiulcer activity of THC was substantially less than for tridihexethyl chloride.
Modified according to: Sofia RD, et al. Evaluation of antiulcer activity of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the Shay rat test. Pharmacology 1978;17(3):173-177.

(Nalin et al.):
In 90 volunteers participating in a vaccine-development programme consumption of beer more than 3 days a week was linked with high stomach acid output, and smoking of cannabis greater than 2 days a week was linked with low acid output.
Source: Nalin DR, et al. Cannabis, hypochlorhydria, and cholera. Lancet 1978;2(8095):859-862.

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