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* = Presenting author

P543 Cannabis use patterns in patients with IBD

T. Naftali*1, 2, L. Bar Lev Schlieder3, J. Hirsch4, I. Lish5, F. Benjaminov6, F. Konikoff6

1Meir Medical Centre, Gastroenterology, Kfar Saba, Israel, 2Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Internal Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel, 3Bar Ilan University, Behavioural Sciences, Tel Aviv, Israel, 4Meir Medical Centre, Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Kfar Saba, Israel, 5Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Internal Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel, 6Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine, Internal Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel

Background

Many patients with IBD use cannabis to ameliorate their symptoms. However, information about their use patterns, dosage, effect on disease activity, side effects, and effects on patients function is limited. The aim of the study was to characterise patient patterns of use of cannabis and assess side effects and effect on patient function.

Methods

Patients having a ministry of health licence for use of medical cannabis were contacted and asked to answer a questionnaire about their patterns of use, dose, side effects, and effect on disease activity. We also contacted a family member of the patients and asked them to answer a similar questionnaire. Patient files were searched for medical details.

Results

Of 180 patients who were enlisted as having a licence, 31 were lost to follow-up, 9 did not have IBD, 10 were not taking cannabis, 2 were minors (and therefore excluded), and 1 died (lymphoma in a CD patient before starting cannabis). The remaining 127patients were included in the study cohort. The average age was 39.6, 86 males, 107 had Crohn’s disease, with an average duration of disease of 14 years. Duration of cannabis use was 38 months (range 21–26 months). Initial dose was 28 ± 16 and at the time of study 31 ± 15 gr/month. Consumption method was smoking in 72%.The Harvey–Bradshaw Index decreased from 12.2 to 5.9 after 1 month of use (p < 0.001) and weight changed from 66 to 68 kg after 1 year (p < 0.009). Haemoglobin, CRP, and albumin were not changed. Half (51%) of the patients were fully employed before starting cannabis and was increased to 64% whilst using cannabis. Side effects were mainly dry mouth in 62 patients. Most relatives (31/35) who were contacted expressed satisfaction with the patients’ cannabis consumption.

Conclusion

IBD patients consuming cannabis experience symptomatic relief as well as weight gain. Social and occupational function was not altered, and cannabis dosage remained stable.