Reply to Hjorthøj et al.

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We thank Hjorthøj and colleagues for their interest in our review article ‘Role of cannabis in digestive disorders’ 1. It is intriguing to note the statistically unexpected lower mortality due to gastrointestinal causes with marijuana use in individuals with severe psychiatric diagnoses in their study. We also completely agree with their comment that the role of cannabis and cannabinoids in treatment of digestive disorders needs further research.
Currently, in the USA, marijuana is considered as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act because of its high potential for abuse with no currently accepted criteria for medical use in treatment and lack of accepted safety for its use in medical supervision (https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Marijuana.pdf, https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq081116.shtml). However, Marinol, a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol is allowed to be prescribed for control of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of cancer and to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients. Marinol is a Schedule III substance under the Controlled Substances Act (https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/Marijuana.pdf).
On 11 August 2016, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced a policy change to increase the number of DEA-registered marijuana manufacturers to foster the research concerning marijuana and its component (https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq081116.shtml). This new policy will allow entities to apply to become registered with the DEA so that they may grow and distribute marijuana for FDA-authorized research purposes. This pathway will promote and help facilitate scientifically valid and well-controlled clinical trials on marijuana and its effects on digestive and overall health (https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2016/hq081116.shtml).
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