So what does this study actually tell us? We now know that researchers in Israel have studied medical marijuana for Crohn’s Disease, and some patients experienced short-term symptomatic improvement.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 08 – August 2013
This was only a trend, and the sample size was so small that the difference could have been due purely to random chance and must be tested in a much larger study before we will know anything with any confidence. Finally, this study cannot tell us anything about longer-term effects of marijuana on Crohn’s patients, either positive or negative. There is no known medical reason to suspect it has any effect on the pathophysiology of the disease, and so it would not be expected to have any effect on the frequency of exacerbations or development of complications.
This study will be touted by advocates for medical marijuana and by those who support decriminalization or complete legalization. And now you know just what the study tells us – and what it doesn’t.
Dr. Solomon teaches emergency medicine to residents at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and is Medical Editor in Chief of ACEP News. He is a social critic and political pundit and blogs at www.bobsolomon.blogspot.com.