Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Cannabis Research

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Dashboard

17

Primary Studies

68

Related Studies

85

Total Studies

Clinical Studies

0

Clinical Meta-analyses

3

Double-blind human trials

2

Clinical human trials

Pre-Clinical Studies

9

Meta-analyses/Reviews

2

Animal studies

1

Laboratory studies

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CannaKeys has 85 studies associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Here is a small sampling of Irritable Bowel Syndrome studies by title:


Components of the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Dashboard

  • Dosing information available for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Chemotype guidance for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome with cannabis
  • Synopsis of cannabis research for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Individual study details for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Overview - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Description of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and non-inflammatory syndrome (not a clearly defined condition) of the large intestines of mostly idiopathic (unknown) origins that a diverse group of recurring symptoms represents. Diagnosis of IBS requires meeting the Rome IV criteria: Recurrent abdominal pain on average at least one day/week in the last three months, associated with two or more of the following criteria:



  1. Related to defecation

  2. Associated with a change in the frequency of stool

  3. Associated with a change in the form (appearance) of stool


Orthodox medicine struggles to understand the precise causes of IBS and, to date, offers no cure. It is posited that IBS may be triggered by stressful life events (mind-bowel axis) and often have a significant psychiatric component to it.


Common comorbidities include fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, or chronic fatigue syndrome).


IBS is typically classified according to the primary symptoms displayed by each patient. Thus diarrhea, constipation, and alternating diarrhea with constipation and infection become the basis for diagnosing the disease as IBS-D, IBS-C, IBS-A, or post-infectious IBS-PI, respectively.

Disease Classification

Condition: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Disease Family: Gastrointestinal Disorder
Organ System: Digestive System
ICD-10 Chapter: Diseases of the Digestive System
ICD-10 Code: K58

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Symptoms:

Abdominal pain (e.g. bloating, cramping), abdominal distention, diarrhea, constipation, or both (alternating), imbalances in microbiome, common comorbidities may include fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, or chronic fatigue syndrome

Also known as:

IBS, IBS-C, IBS-D, Irritable colon, Spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome without diarrhea, colon spasm, irritable bowel syndrome not otherwise specified, irritable colon, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, mixed irritable bowel syndrome, other irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome with predominant diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome with predominant constipation

Drug Interactions

THC Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can enhance the effects of drugs that cause sedation and depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol. 
  • THC is metabolized by an inhibitor of several enzymatic liver pathways referred to as cytochrome P450 (aka CYP450). There are more than 50 enzymes belonging to this enzyme family, several of which are responsible for the breakdown of common drugs such as antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline, doxepin, fluvoxamine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, clozapine, Stelazine), beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol), bronchodilators (e.g., theophylline), or blood thinners (e.g., warfarin). Thus, patients taking these medication classes may find that THC increases the concentration and effects of these drugs and the impact duration.
  • Clinical observation (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggests no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 20mg THC.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with THC, consider visiting CANN-DIR, published by Penn State College of Medicine.

CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) may alter the action of metabolic enzymes (specific drug-transport mechanisms) and alter interactions with other drugs, some of which may produce therapeutic or adverse effects. For instance, CBD interacts with the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 and cytochrome P450 2C19, increasing the bioavailability of anti-epileptic drugs such as clobazam (a benzodiazepine). This makes it possible to achieve the same results at significantly lower dosages, reducing treatment costs and risks of adverse effects. 
  • Groups of drugs affected include anti-epileptics, psychiatric drugs, and drugs affecting metabolic enzymes.
  • Clinical observations (not yet confirmed by clinical trials) suggest no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 100mg CBD.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with CBD, consider visiting CANN-DIR, published by Penn State College of Medicine.

THC/CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

In general, when using cannabinoid-based therapeutics that contain both THC and CBD consider the ratio between them and weigh the relevant information displayed in the individual THC and CBD Drug Interaction windows accordingly.

If you are interested in the interaction potential of specific pharmaceuticals with both primary cannabinoids and THC/CBD, consider visiting CANN-DIR, published by Penn State College of Medicine.

Concerns about Cannabis and Cancer-related Immunotherapies:
Some recent clinical observational studies have suggested that the co-administration of cannabinoid-based therapeutics and immunotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of certain types of cancer has been associated with worse overall survival rates (T. Taha et al., 2019; A. Biedny et al., 2020; G. Bar-Sela et al., 2020).

However, other studies have suggested that the co-commitment use of immune checkpoint inhibitors and cannabis-induced no such deleterious effects. More specifically, one trial was conducted on animals resulting in data suggesting that cannabis did not negatively affect the properties of immune checkpoint inhibitors (B. Waissengrin et al., 2023). The same authors compared the previous study results with findings from a cohort of 201 patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who received treatment with monotherapy pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment and adjunct cannabis to treat mainly pain and loss of appetite. Their time to tumor progression was 6.1 versus 5.6 months, and overall survival differed between 54.9 versus 23.6 months in cannabis-naïve patients and cannabis-using patients, respectively. However, while numerically different, the authors write that these differences were not statistically significant, leading them to suggest that “These data provide reassurance regarding the absence of a deleterious effect of cannabis in this clinical setting.”

Dosing Considerations

THC Dosage Considerations

  • THC micro dose:  0.1 mg to 0.4 mg
  • THC low dose:  0.5 mg to 5 mg
  • THC medium dose:  6 mg to 20 mg
  • THC high dose:  21 mg to 50+ mg

CBD Dosage Considerations

  • CBD low dose:  0.4 mg to 19 mg
  • CBD medium dose: 20 mg to 99 mg
  • CBD high dose:  100 mg to 800+ mg (upper limits tested ~1,500mg)
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Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.