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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Therapeutic Approach with Phytocannabinoids

Presented by Dr Facundo Alvarez, MD

About this module:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that is subdivided into ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease. IBD results in significant suffering for those afflicted and there are a range of risk factors. In this presentation, one of Argentina’s foremost experts in medicinal cannabis, Dr Facundo Alvarez MD comprehensively explores IBD, the role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in modulation of the gastrointestinal tract and the scientific evidence investigating outcomes of manipulation of various ECS targets including cannabinoid receptor agonists and agents inhibiting FAAH. He also presents scientific evidence investigating medicinal cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in the treatment of IBD.  
This presentation is a deep dive into the research evidence, covering animal and human research findings, and is suitable for healthcare practitioners and those with a background in biomedical sciences. It assumes a knowledge of the endocannabinoid system and medicinal cannabis pharmacodynamics.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, learners will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease including signs, symptoms and risk factors.
  • Explain the role of endocannabinoid system (ECS) including members of the extended ECS in gastrointestinal function.
  • Debate whether manipulation of components of the ECS has been shown to be efficacious in animal models of IBD. 
  • Argue the evidence base for use of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) in the treatment of IBD.
  • Debate the level and types of evidence that medicinal cannabis and key components CBD and THC may have a role to play in the treatment of IBD. 

Dr Facundo Alvarez, MD

Facundo has strong academic and clinical experience in the fields of integrative medicine, medical cannabis, and drug policy. After finishing his career as a clinically oriented physician, he decided to dedicate himself fully to clinical care and education based on natural substances, completing an internship in Drug Policy in 2017 and taking a leading role in the NGO Latinoamerica Reforma (Santiago de Chile). He completed the first postgraduate degree in Latin America in Endocannabinology and Cannabic Therapeutics at the National University of La Plata (UNLP) in 2017.

Due to the growing public demand for medical advice on cannabis, ANANDAMED was inaugurated at the beginning of 2018, one of the first institutes in the Latin America region dedicated exclusively to cannabis medical care. He co-founded CANNAMERICA in 2018, a Latin American organization aimed at promoting education and disseminating information on harm reduction and public policies with a focus on human rights. He is currently serving as its Vice President. At the beginning of 2020, he was appointed Scientific Director of the Maria Moñitos Foundation (Bogotá Colombia), where he is in charge of conducting education and research projects with several universities. He also joined the Advisory Board of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, Latin America Chapter.

Facundo is an internationally recognised expert in Medical Cannabis, has presented on medicinal cannabis as well as drug policy and has participated in numerous panels in several Latin Americian countries. He currently participates as a teacher in educational platforms in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, United States, Mexico and Peru, and conducts research in the área of public health policy.
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