Medical Cannabis Increases Appetite but Not Body Weight in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Naomi Fliss Isakov*, Chen Seidenberg, David Meiri, Michal Yackobovitch-Gavan, Nitsan Maharshak, Ayal Hirsch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We aimed to elucidate the effect of Medical Cannabis (MC) on appetite and nutritional status among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). A case series of patients with IBD were initiating treatment with MC for disease-related symptoms, at the IBD clinic of a tertiary referral medical center. Patients’ demographics, anthropometrics, medical history and treatment and MC use were systematically recorded. An appetite and food frequency questionnaire (SNAQ and FFQ) were filled before, and at 3 and 6 months of treatment. Patients with IBD initiating MC were enrolled (n = 149, age 39.0 ± 14.1 years, 42.3% female), and 33.6% (n = 50) were treated for improvement of nutritional status. A modest increase in appetite after 3 months was detected among all patients enrolled (Pv = 0.08), but there were no significant differences in energy or macronutrient intake, and in patients’ body mass index (BMI). A significant appetite improvement after 3 months was detected among 34.0% (n = 17) of patients, but this was not associated with increased caloric intake or BMI at 3 or 6 months. Among patients without increased appetite after 3 months of MC therapy, BMI decreased at 6 months (24.1 ± 3.7 vs. 23.4 ± 3.6, Pv = 0.010). MC may be a potential strategy to improve appetite among some patients with IBD, but not caloric intake or BMI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalNutrients
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • appetite
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • medical cannabis
  • nutritional status

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