Perspectives of cannabinoids in gastroenterology
Storr M, Yuce B, Goke B.
Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik II der
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen.
Z Gastroenterol. 2006 Feb;44(2):185-91.


In early cultures, extracts of the plant Cannabis sativa were medically used for the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. In the United States cannabis extracts were frequently used as drugs, e. g., for the treatment of diarrhoea, until around 1920. The possibility of cannabis abuse resulted in a worldwide prohibition and thus the temporary ending of the medical use of cannabinoids. The characterisation of an endogenous cannabinoid system consisting of receptors, endogenous agonists, antagonists and degrading enzymes opens the door for a comeback of cannabinoids in medicine. The clinically proven effects in the treatment of pain, cachexia in conjunction with HIV, or malignant disease and treatment of nausea and vomiting in conjunction with chemotherapy now result in the prescription of cannabinoids as valuable medication. This review will discuss the value of cannabinoids in the treatment of nausea and vomiting, i. e., the indications for which cannabinoids are presently used in gastroenterology. Additionally, this review will discuss potential indications within gastroenterology, where results from basic research or individual observations suggest that a future use of cannabinoids in gastroenterology seems possible.

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