Cannabis and Hepatitis C – can marijuana help treat this disease?
Cannabis and hepatitis C – can marijuana help patients with this disease? Let’s take a look at the statements of experts.
The effects of marijuana have been the target of research by many experts and many scientific institutions in recent years. Cannabis is now used as a medicine in a large number of countries, mostly to suppress the symptoms of specific diseases. This is similar for cannabis and hepatitis c.
The negative effects of marijuana consumption associated with smoking were then reduced by vaporization or by direct consumption of the therapeutic dose orally. Similarly, in the case of cannabis and hepatitis C, successes are seen more in the attenuation of side effects caused by conventional drug treatment.
Hepatitis C and its treatment
Viral hepatitis C is an inflammatory liver disease that was first discovered in the late 1980s. Until then, only two basic types of viral hepatitis were known – A and B. Type C cannot yet be vaccinated against, and the groups most at risk are injection drug users, people with tattoos or piercings, people who change sexual partners frequently, haemophiliacs and people who received blood transfusions before 1992. Type C viral hepatitis can be hidden for a long time and the patient may have only non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, transient loss of appetite, itchy skin, a feeling of tension in the right lower back and digestive difficulties.
Using of medical cannabis
The use of medical marijuana is based on the fact that the substances in cannabis reduce pain, improve appetite and help with nausea. The use of cannabis in connection with the treatment of, for example, HIV or cancer is already regulated, but the use of cannabis for treating hepatitis C was awaiting the results of studies. In particular, a study from 2006.
The treatment of Hepatitis is based on the drug interferon. However, the dosage is adjusted due to the side effects associated with this drug. These are similar to the symptoms of flu and this is why there is non-adherence to treatment and poor dosing of interferon. The effectiveness is then very limited.
Cannabis and hepatitis C – positive effects associated with cannabis use
In October 2006, a study was published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology in which 71 patients were given a small dose of marijuana to counteract the side effects caused by interferon treatment. The researchers concluded that instead of killing the virus cells, the marijuana merely suppressed the negative effects of the drug treatment. Thanks to cannabis, patients were able to adhere to the prescribed dose of interferon and a similar drug – ribavirin.
A direct antiviral effect of cannabis has not been demonstrated. As liver biopsies were not performed before and after the tests, these results are not fully usable.
Cannabis and Hepatitis C – are there any risks associated?
However, some experts have had concerns since the time of this study. According to one French study, people who do not receive interferon treatment but are regular cannabis consumers have a higher risk of liver fibrosis (with a faster progression).
The same team reported publicly on a study examining the effect of marijuana use on increased fat deposition in the liver. In their research, the experts found that marijuana binds to two receptors called CB1 and CB2, the stimulation of which by daily marijuana consumption leads specifically to the significant development of liver fibrosis and fat deposition in the liver mass. In addition to these findings that marijuana smoking accelerates unwanted liver processes, there are still concerns about the effect of cannabis consumption on the immune system.
Experts point out that frequent use of marijuana may interfere with immune system function. Cannabinoid receptors have been found on the surface of immune cells, i.e. the binding of THC molecules to these receptors makes them less resistant to various diseases, which is why French experts do not recommend the consumption of cannabis during the treatment of hepatitis C.
Final thoughts about Cannabis and Hepatitis C treatment
On the one hand, there are patients who are asking for hepatitis to be included in the list of diseases that can be treated with medical marijuana. On the other is the warning that cannabis consumption can lead to liver fibrosis.
If you are going to deploy medical cannabis for your own treatment, you should consult your doctor first.
However, we have good news. You can use our Cleopatra cannabis strain for treatment, and you’ll be pleased with its effects and a great ratio between CBD and THC is also very good.
Published by Jan Veselý14/02/2022