Last updated on: 2/12/2014 | Author:

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Biography

Now Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Experimental evidence suggests that endocannabanoids, molecules found in the body that closely resemble compounds found in the cannabis (marijuana) plant, may play a role in limiting intestinal inflammation. IBD patients have been found to have higher levels of cannabinoid receptors in their colonic tissue. Several small studies have shown that a significant proportion of patients with IBD report smoking marijuana to relieve IBD-related symptoms, particularly those patients with a history of abdominal surgery, chronic abdominal pain, and/or a low quality of life index. However, the medicinal use of marijuana is limited by potential side effects, the risk of smoking, and the lack of direct scientific evidence of clinical effectiveness for intestinal inflammation.

The CCFA does not endorse the smoking of marijuana by IBD patients, any current state-based medical marijuana programs, or the legalization of marijuana. The CCFA does support the calls by the various health organizations urging review of marijuana’s status as a federal Schedule I controlled substance, with the goal of facilitating the conduct of clinical research and the potential development of cannabanoid-based medications.”

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) Patient Education Committee, “CCFA Medical Position Statement on Medical Marijuana,” Jan. 2012

[Editor’s Note: Prior to the Jan. 2012 statement above, which CCFA emailed to on Mar. 4, 2013, the CCFA was listed as Con based on the statement below.]

“As a potential therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), cannabis-based drugs may hold promise, according to a report published in the August issue of Gastroenterology — but that doesn’t mean it’s time for people with IBD to start smoking marijuana. Although the illegal drug has been used to reduce nausea and pain in patients with terminal illnesses, CCFA’s medical leadership does not support the use of ‘medical marijuana’ in people with IBD. While marijuana might temporarily reduce pain and nausea, there is, as yet, no evidence that it can control chronic intestinal inflammation — the underlying cause of these symptoms in Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis…

CCFA’s expert consensus remains: The harmful side effects of marijuana far outweigh its potential benefits. In other words, until a new cannabinoid-based drug comes to market, don’t go there.”

“Cannabis and IBD: A Fragile Connection,” CCFA website (accessed Oct. 13, 2009)


“The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D.”

“About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation,” CCFA website (accessed Feb. 12, 2014)


“The mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases.”

“Our Mission,” CCFA website (accessed Feb. 12, 2014)

Non-profit organization
Quoted in:
  1. Should Marijuana Be Used to Treat Nausea?
  2. Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or Other Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?