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Scientists have discovered how cannabis eases the agony of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), new research suggests.
Compounds in marijuana, known as cannabinoids, are structurally similar to the naturally produced molecules endocannabinoids, which control inflammation in the gut, a US study found.
IBD - Inflammation - Crohn - Disease - Digestive
IBD occurs due to gut inflammation, with Crohn's disease affecting the entire digestive system and ulcerative colitis (UC) just the large intestine.
Medical cannabis will available on prescription in the UK after it was approved by the Government last month.
Marijuana - Purposes - US - States - California
Marijuana is legal for medicinal purposes in 30 US states, including California, Florida and Ohio. Nine states permit the drug for recreational use.
How does cannabis reduce gut inflammation?
Study - Mice - Chemical - Damages - Gut
In the study, mice were treated with a chemical that damages their gut lining, leading to inflammation.
The researchers discovered gut inflammation is regulated by two processes, the first being the body's immune response to pathogens in the bowel.
Response - Bugs - Gut - Lining
Although this response is necessary to kill bugs, it can damage the gut's lining.
The second process involves molecules that move across the gut, turning inflammation 'on or off'. This mechanism requires endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids - Inflammation - Balance - Body - Cells
If endocannabinoids are not present, inflammation is out of balance, which can result in the body's immune cells attacking the gut lining.
Cannabinoids are structurally similar to...
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