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עמוד בית
Sun, 23.06.24

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July 2015
Tanya Ebert MD, Yuval Zolotov MHA, Shani Eliav RN, Orit Ginzburg RN, Irena Shapira RN and Racheli Magnezi PhD MBA

Background: Cannabis has been used throughout history for different purposes but was outlawed in the United States in 1937 followed by most countries. Although recently reintroduced as a medical treatment in several countries, the use of cannabis in Israel is permitted for some medical purposes but is still controversial, eliciting heated public and professional debate. The few published studies on physicians' attitudes to medical cannabis found them to be generally unsupportive. 

Objectives: To examine, for the first time, the experience, knowledge and attitudes of Israeli physicians towards medical cannabis (MC). 

Methods: A 32 item questionnaire reflected physicians' demographics, knowledge of and experience with MC and their attitudes to this treatment. 

Results: Seventy-two physicians participated in this study. Physicians generally agreed that MC treatment could be helpful for chronic and for terminally ill patients (n=61, 79.2%). Oncologists and pain specialists did not agree unanimously that MC can undermine mental health, whereas other physicians did (P < 0.001, df = 4). Physicians who recommended MC in the past (once or more) agreed more than physicians who did not with the statement "MC treatment in Israel is accessible to patients who need it" (P < 0.05, df = 2). 

Conclusions: In contrast to other studies we found partial acceptance of MC as a therapeutic agent. Further in-depth studies are needed to address regulatory and educational needs.

 

August 2011
T. Naftali, L. Bar Lev, D. Yablekovitz, E. Half and F.M. Konikoff

Background: The marijuana plant cannabis is known to have therapeutic effects, including improvement of inflammatory processes. However, no report of patients using cannabis for Crohn’s disease (CD) was ever published.

Objectives: To describe the effects of cannabis use in patients suffering from CD.

Methods: In this retrospective observational study we examined disease activity, use of medication, need for surgery, and hospitalization before and after cannabis use in 30 patients (26 males) with CD. Disease activity was assessed by the Harvey Bradshaw index for Crohn’s disease.

Results: Of the 30 patients 21 improved significantly after treatment with cannabis. The average Harvey Bradshaw index improved from 14 ± 6.7 to 7 ± 4.7 (P < 0.001). The need for other medication was significantly reduced. Fifteen of the patients had 19 surgeries during an average period of 9 years before cannabis use, but only 2 required surgery during an average period of 3 years of cannabis use.

Conclusions: This is the first report of cannabis use in Crohn’s disease in humans. The results indicate that cannabis may have a positive effect on disease activity, as reflected by reduction in disease activity index, and in the need for other drugs and surgery. Prospective placebo-controlled studies are warranted to fully evaluate the efficacy and side effects of cannabis in CD.
 

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