A recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study led by Peter Irving of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (London, UK) aimed to evaluate the effects of a CBD-rich botanical extract in patients with ulcerative colitis.3
In this preliminary study, adults aged 18 and over with ulcerative colitis on stable treatment with 5-aminisalycilic acid were randomized to the CBD-rich extract or placebo daily for 10 weeks. While the primary endpoint (percentage of participants in remission) was negative at the end of the trial (28% for the CBD extract and 26% for the placebo), the authors noted several significant findings when they conducted a per protocol analysis of the data. These included disease severity scores favoring the CBD extract over placebo as well as subjective measures, including physician’s global assessment of illness severity, subject global impression of change, and patient-reported quality-of-life outcomes, all reaching levels of significant improvement in the CBD group.
While there were issues in some participants with tolerance of the treatment, the authors attributed these effects to the low level of THC present in the extract. Furthermore, the placebo group had a greater proportion of gastrointestinal side effects, indicating a worsening of the ulcerative colitis among the group. While these results are preliminary, they suggest that CBD intake may have important benefits for ulcerative colitis sufferers.
3. Irving PM et al. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, pilot study of cannabidiol-rich botanical extract in the symptomatic treatment of ulcerative colitis.” Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, vol. 24, no. 4 (March 19, 2018): 714-724
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