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Researchers are investigating unofficial evidence that hemp has some Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), they discovered potential new applications for hemp-derived drugs to treat this condition.

This finding, published in the journal Gastroenterology today, could bring hope to 90 - 180, a thousand patients in the UK suffering from Crohn 's disease and ulcerative colitis. There is a possibility that drugs derived from hemp can help to cure the intestinal mucosa, which is damaged in the course of the disease.

Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are autoimmune diseases. The immune system of patients begins to react more than it should, causing inflammation in various areas of the digestive tract.

This inflammation can cause pain, acute diarrhea, severe fatigue and weight loss. Mostly these diseases are diagnosed in young people from 15 to 25 years of both sexes.

Patients with IBD who often take hemp report that taking hemp reduces the symptoms of the disease, suggesting that the gut is capable of responding to some molecules in the hemp.

Dr. Karen Wright and Professor Steve Ward of the University of Bath, who are studying this effect in collaboration with colleagues from the Royal Bath Hospital, have studied the interaction of hemp with specific molecules, also called receptors, located on the cell surface in the gut.

After examining intestinal specimens from healthy humans and IBD patients, the researchers have turned their attention to two specific receptors, CB1 and CB2, which are activated by their presence in hemp-containing molecules. They have found that while the receptor CB1 is present in healthy people, the incidence of the receptor CB2 in patients with IBD increases along with the progression of their disease.

The researchers believe that the presence of CB2 receptors in the course of the disease could be linked to their ability to suppress the immune system. In other words, it is part of the natural mechanisms in the body that try to restore the normal healthy condition of the gut.

If so, this process is an ideal candidate for the development of new drugs that could help IBD patients. It has also been found that the CB1 receptor supports the recovery of the injured intestinal mucosa.

"This is the first evidence that highly selective treatment with drugs derived from hemp can be useful in future treatment strategies, as well as in the treatment of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis," said Dr. Karen Wright from the Pharmaceutical and Pharmacology Department of the University of Bath.

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"Some hemp ingredients, known as cannabinoids, are very similar to molecules that naturally occur in our bodies. By developing a treatment that targets this system, we can help the body recover from some of the illness's effects. "

Under normal circumstances, the CB1 and CB2 receptors have the task of recognizing and binding to the group of substances called "endocannabinoids" naturally occurring in our bodies. Once these receptors detect the presence of specific molecules in the environment, a chain reaction of biochemical processes is activated, culminating in switching on or off an immune response, depending on what its function is.

"One of the functions of the CB1 and CB2 receptors is to help quench various reactions throughout the body. Their presence in the gut means that they could be an important target for the development of drugs derived from hemp to reduce or halt the progression of IBD, "said Drs. Wright.

"Research shows that taking hemp could be beneficial for patients with IBD. But due to its psychoactive effect and the legal consequences, the use of hemp is inappropriate for treatment. Targeting drug development to the components of the endocannabinoid system may be the right direction. "

In Canada, a license has already been granted for the use of hemp-based medicines to help patients with multiple sclerosis suppress pain.

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