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Patterns and Perceptions of Marijuana use for Symptom Control in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Naueen Chaudhry
University of Florida

Co-Authors: Karen Yung, Hanzhi Gao, Chelsea Salmon, S Devi Rampertab, Angela Pham, Ludmila B De Faria, Ellen M Zimmermann
University of Florida

Introduction: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients sometimes use marijuana for disease-related symptoms. Data regarding use and impact of marijuana in this population is lacking. Our study explores patterns of marijuana use, underlying symptom response, and beliefs about marijuana in patients with IBD.

Methods: Anonymous survey comprising 39 questions on demographics, disease features, patterns of marijuana use, disease symptoms, quality of life, and true/
false statements about marijuana was administered via REDCap to 108 participants recruited from University of Florida (UF) IBD clinic. Summary statistics stratified by diagnosis, hospitalization, other complications, marijuana usage, and outcomes were examined. As appropriate, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney tests and Kruskal-Wallis Rank Sum tests were used for continuous variables, and Pearson’s Chi-squared tests and Fisher’s exact tests were used for categorical variables. Logistic regressions were used to investigate patterns of marijuana use, hospitalization, and bowel surgery. Proportional odds logistic regression was used to investigate patterns of marijuana use and improvement in symptoms.

Results: The participants were 51(47.2%) male, 56(51.9%) female,1 unreported gender. Age distribution was 17-25 yrs(13.9%), 26-45 yrs(50%), 46-65 yrs(26.9%)
and >65 yrs(9.3%). The majority (61.9%) reported medical marijuana use. However, younger age (p=0.007), and duration of IBD diagnosis5 years (OR 21.94, CI [2.91, 250.18], p=0.0059) and marijuana use 1 or more times weekly (OR 11.13, CI [1.78, 97.69], p=0.0163. Marijuana users with a history of hospitalization for IBD had higher odds of having depression/anxiety (OR 14.3, CI [2.34,143.2] p=0.009) and diarrhea symptoms (OR 13.3, CI [2.2,128.9] p=0.01). Additional results attached in Figures 1 and 2.

Conclusion: Marijuana can be helpful for symptom control, improving quality of life, and limiting opioid use in IBD patients. Patients demonstrate good insight about its role in the management of their disease. Our findings are limited due to sample size and possible positive response bias since participants were current marijuana users.