Cannabidiol for Functional Dyspepsia With Normal Gastric Emptying: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Jessica Atieh, Daniel Maselli, Margaret Breen-Lyles, Monique Torres, David Katzka, Michael Ryks, Irene Busciglio, Duane Burton, Paula Carlson, W. Scott Harmsen, Michael Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION:Cannabidiol (CBD), a CBR2 agonist with limited psychic effects, antagonizes CB1/CB2 receptors. Allelic variation CNR1 (gene for CBR1) rs806378 and FAAH rs324420 were associated with altered gut motility and sensation. This study aimed to compare the pharmacodynamics and clinical effects of a 4-week treatment with pharmaceutical-grade CBD vs placebo and assess the interactions of FAAH and CNR1 gene variants on the effects of CBD in patients with functional dyspepsia (FD).METHODS:We performed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled (1:1 ratio) study of CBD b.i.d. (20 mg/kg/d according to the US Food and Drug Administration escalation guidance) in FD patients with nondelayed gastric emptying (GE) at baseline. Symptoms were assessed by validated daily symptom diary (0-4 scale for upper abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating), weekly assessment of adequate relief, Leuven Postprandial Distress Scale (8 symptoms, adjectival scores rated 0-4 for severity), and quality of life (Short-Form Nepean Dyspepsia Index [average of 10 dimensions each on a 5-point scale]). After the 4-week treatment, all patients underwent measurements of GE of solids, gastric volumes, and Ensure nutrient satiation test. Statistical analysis compared 2 treatments for all endpoints and the effects of CBD in association with FAAH rs324420 and CNR1 rs806378.RESULTS:CBD and placebo effects on physiological functions and patient response outcomes were not significantly different. There were borderline CBD treatment-by-genotype interactions: rs806378 CNR1 with Leuven Postprandial Distress Scale (P = 0.06) and GE solids (P = 0.12).DISCUSSION:Approved doses of CBD used off-label do not relieve FD with normal baseline GE of solids or alter gastric motor functions and satiation. CBD treatment-by-gene interactions suggest potential benefits for postprandial distress with CNR1 rs806378 T allele.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1296-1304
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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