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Cannabis Treatment for Gastroparesis May Be Possible

Updated on March 26, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Doctors have just begun to tap into the wealth of medicinal properties that cannabis holds, including rare diseases that have been largely untreatable until now. In a clinical study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers found that the rare gastrointestinal disease, Gastroparesis (GP), could potentially be treated with cannabis. 

Considering GP is a condition that affects the stomach muscles, making it so that the stomach is unable to empty itself. For those impacted by this disease, it is a constant burden. GP causes heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, which often leads to weight loss and malnutrition

The study assessed 197 patients with symptoms of GP for four months. The patients communicated their symptoms and treatments via a questionnaire. Nearly one half reported cannabis use past or present as a treatment for chronic GP symptoms. One-third actively used cannabis as a treatment for chronic GP symptoms and these patients reported improvement in their GP symptoms leading researchers to believe that cannabis may be an effective treatment. 

Although further studies are necessary, this insight shows the possibility of cannabis treatment for an incurable disease.