In the past few years, we have witnessed a surge of new reports dealing with the role of cannabinoids, synthetic as well as herbal, in the mechanisms of inflammation and carcinogenesis. However, despite the wealth of in vitro data and anecdotal reports, evidence that cannabinoids could act as beneficial drugs in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or in neoplastic development of the human gastrointestinal tract is lacking. Some insight into the effects of medical Cannabis (usually meaning dried flowers) and cannabinoids in IBD has been gained through questionnaires and small pilot studies. As to colorectal cancer, only preclinical data are available. Currently, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and its synthetic forms, dronabinol and nabilone, are used as an add-on treatment to alleviate chronic pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients as well as chemotherapy-induced nausea. The use of medical Cannabis is authorized only in a limited number of countries. None of the mentioned substances are currently indicated for IBD. This review is an update of our knowledge on the role of cannabinoids in intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis and a discussion on their potential therapeutic use.

Open Access License / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND). Usage and distribution for commercial purposes as well as any distribution of modified material requires written permission. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.