Bowel disease goes to pot

British scientists have demonstrated that extracts from Cannabis sativa could help patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Karen Wright and her colleagues at Bath University have followed apocryphal evidence that shows sufferers of IBD who use cannabis gain relief from their often debilitating symptoms. They examined gut samples from healthy people and IBD patients and found that the numbers of receptors for natural cannabinoids are different in the two groups. Healthy people and IBD patients have similar numbers of CB1 receptors, but IBD patients have far more CB2 receptors. Wright says the study gives the first evidence that very selective cannabis-derived treatments may be useful as future therapeutic strategies in the treatment of IBD.