Medical Marijuana for Digestive Disorders: High Time to Prescribe? : Official journal of the American College of Gastroenterology | ACG

Secondary Logo

Journal Logo


Medical Marijuana for Digestive Disorders: High Time to Prescribe?

Gerich, Mark E MD1,4; Isfort, Robert W MD1,4; Brimhall, Bryan MD2; Siegel, Corey A MD3

Author Information
American Journal of Gastroenterology 110(2):p 208-214, February 2015. | DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2014.245



The use of recreational and medical marijuana is increasingly accepted by the general public in the United States. Along with growing interest in marijuana use has come an understanding of marijuana’s effects on normal physiology and disease, primarily through elucidation of the human endocannabinoid system. Scientific inquiry into this system has indicated potential roles for marijuana in the modulation of gastrointestinal symptoms and disease. Some patients with gastrointestinal disorders already turn to marijuana for symptomatic relief, often without a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of marijuana for their condition. Unfortunately, that lack of understanding is shared by health-care providers. Marijuana’s federal legal status as a Schedule I controlled substance has limited clinical investigation of its effects. There are also potential legal ramifications for physicians who provide recommendations for marijuana for their patients. Despite these constraints, as an increasing number of patients consider marijuana as a potential therapy for their digestive disorders, health-care providers will be asked to discuss the issues surrounding medical marijuana with their patients.

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Full Text Access for Subscribers:

You can read the full text of this article if you:

Access through Ovid