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CBD fails to relieve functional dyspepsia in new trial

NEW YORK 19/05 - Cannabidiol (CBD) did not relieve functional dyspepsia (FD) in patients with normal gastric emptying in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

FD is a kind of chronic indigestion that is estimated to affect 10% to 20% of people in Western countries. FD harms quality of life and work attendance and productivity, with an economic impact topping 18 billion dollars in 2009.

Patients with FD may turn to commercially available CBD products in an attempt to ease their upper GI symptoms, researchers say.

This led Dr. Michael Camilleri of Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues to compare the clinical effects of four weeks of treatment with a pharmaceutical-grade CBD (20 mg/kg/day) versus placebo in 48 patients with FD and non-delayed gastric emptying (GE) at baseline.

The results showed no significant benefit of CBD in the relief of frequently encountered postprandial symptoms including nausea, fullness, bloating and pain.

At the end of the four-week treatment period, there were no significant between-group differences in gastric functions of emptying of solids, aggregate symptoms four hours after the ingestion of a meal used to measure gastric emptying, gastric accommodation, or maximum tolerated gastric volume, or in the aggregate symptoms score following the ingestion of a liquid nutrient meal.

There were also no between-group differences in several of the patient-reported endpoints including mean daily symptom score and mean of all symptoms.

"This study constitutes the first randomized, controlled trial of CBD in the treatment of FD associated with normal baseline gastric emptying," the study team notes in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

They suggest future studies explore the efficacy of CBD in patients with epigastric pain syndrome or patients with upper GI symptoms associated with delayed gastric emptying, "which would be more aligned to gastroparesis rather than the postprandial distress syndrome in the absence of delayed gastric emptying, which was the focus of the current study."

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health. The authors have no relevant disclosures.

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