Cannabis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Medical cannabis is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for a myriad of conditions. Conditions related to your stomach and digestive health, such as IBS and IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) are increasingly being treated with medical cannabis. About 15% of the Australian population suffers from IBS. An increasing number of Australians are being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
To help understand how cannabis can help individuals with IBS, Emyria is sponsoring medical cannabis and an IBS clinical trial. In this article, you’ll learn about a clinical trial, the requirements for participating in that trial, and how you can get involved. This is what the article covers:
Who Exactly Runs the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Medi Cannabis Study?
Emeria (in partnership with Emerald Clinics) They run the clinical trial. Emyria is a data technology company, which collects data to try to learn about the effectiveness of certain drugs. In this trial, Emyria’s team hopes to determine which cannabis may help treat IBS and whether medical cannabis helps reduce IBS symptoms.
What is the aim of the study?
Alistair Vickery, medical director of Emeria, said:
“There have been numerous reports of people taking medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. These reports have shown that symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, go away with cannabis.
There have not been any high-quality studies looking at specific doses or specific combinations of either CBD (CBD) or THC or where combinations of these work best.
So, what we would like to learn is what works for whom and when.”
Why is this trial important to Australians and patients more broadly?
This experience is important to people all over the world. Alistair spoke to us about the population with IBS and treatments:
“IBS is very common. About 15% of Australians have IBS symptoms (symptoms can include bloating, nausea, diarrhea and constipation). Not many effective treatments are available.
The most effective well-researched treatment is the FODMAP diet. FODMAP is a diet low in some of the sugars that cause IBD. But it is a very strict diet and difficult to adhere to.
Many people struggle to stick to it easily because the sugars are hidden in so many foods so the diet can become very restrictive and almost impossible.
We have a lot of anecdotes about people who take cannabis and get a really good response. What we’re trying to find out is whether or not it’s clinically proven. For medical cannabis to be widely accepted as a treatment by doctors, we needed a high-quality trial with a high-quality medical cannabis where we knew the CBD or THC doses being taken and their effects.
Cannabis is not a cure. Most medications that doctors prescribe to patients are not a cure. We want to know how we can treat the symptoms and make people feel better so they can move on with their lives.”
How will the clinical trial work?
The trial will include in-clinic and online components. In fact, most patient data will be collected online.
Patients will be sent short questionnaires to fill out once a week and a longer questionnaire once a month. Patients will also be monitored in the clinic. There is Emerald Clinic locations Around Australia where patients will go for initial assessment and prescription.
The clinical trial will take approximately 6 months, so patients will need to commit to working with Emyria and their physician for at least that amount of time.
Requirements for individuals at trial.
There are some important requirements that patients must fulfill before they are eligible for this clinical trial:
- Participants in the trial must be 18 years of age with at least 6 months of IBS diagnosis and 3 months of related abdominal pain. The individual must also have a medical diagnosis of IBS from a physician. A physician (general practitioner or specialist) must provide a referral. The referring physician must also provide a history of irritable bowel syndrome and any exceptions.
- Patients must also be cannabis-naive when starting the trial, which means that if you consume cannabis either legally or illegally, you must have one ‘cannabis-free’ month before the trial begins.
- There are some exclusion criteria as well, which means that if you have certain conditions, you will not be eligible to try. These exceptions include:
- Previous stomach/intestinal/colon surgery
- inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s,
- celiac disease
- active cancer
How to share:
Once the above requirements are met, the process becomes simple:
- Ask your doctor to refer you to Emerald Clinics (here referral form)
- Book an appointment for the initial screening to join the experience.
The cost of participating in the trial
Unfortunately, this clinical trial is conducted privately which means that patients will need to pay for the trial.
The trial will last for approximately 6 months and the fees include:
- Consultation with doctors
- Medicinal cannabis products
The total trial cost will be around $1000.
Alistair said: “The cost to participants will depend on the dose of cannabis you need. Everyone needs different doses of cannabis to be effective, so we can’t give an exact cost up front. But, for example, if you only need a small amount, they might It goes up to $600. If you need more cannabinoids, it could be $1,200.”
Remember that medical cannabis is still not funded by a TV show, however, there is a lot more private insurance companies who cover medical cannabis.
Cannabis and driving reminder
Alistair also felt it was important to remind people of Hemp and driving laws so they have all the information before the trial begins.
It is illegal to drive with any cannabis (THC) in your system. The problem with this law is that you cannot be sure if you have THC in your mouth after consumption unless it has been tested. So, if you drive frequently this is something to talk about with your doctor.
If you would like to participate in changing legal medical cannabis and driving laws, please visit Change leadership campaign.