Marijuana may prevent digestive organ disorders in schizophrenia
Cannabis use disorder (CUD) appears to exert a beneficial effect on the risk of disorders of gut–brain interaction and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients with schizophrenia but not in population controls, a study has found. This finding raises the possibility of new targets for treatment and prevention of digestive organ disorders in schizophrenia.
In the study, researchers combined nationwide Danish registers and identified 21,066 patients with schizophrenia and 176,935 sex-and-age-matched controls. They constructed two time-varying Cox regression models to examine the associations between CUD and digestive disorders.
CUD showed a protective association with the risk of developing disorders of gut–brain interaction, such as IBD and dyspepsia, among patients with schizophrenia (hazard ratio [HR], 0.84; 95 percent CI, 0.74–0.94; p=0.003).
The beneficial effect of CUD on the risk of IBD was significant in the basically adjusted model (HR, 0.70; CI, 0.49–0.99; p=0.045) and dropped just below statistical significance in the fully adjusted model (HR, 0.71; 0.48–1.03; p=0.07).
Furthermore, CUD exhibited a tendency toward a reduced risk of serious disorders of the digestive organs in the schizophrenia group (HR, 0.89; 0.77–1.02; p=0.09) in the fully adjusted model.
The relationships were not seen among controls.
Researchers emphasized the need to conduct additional studies to replicate the current data and explore the exact mechanisms of the associations. Consequently, even if the findings are ultimately considered true, clinical use of cannabis for patients with schizophrenia still needs to weigh the potential benefits against the potential harms, given the range of known detrimental effects of substance.