Over 3 million people in the United States contend with chronic symptoms of Hepatitis C, and roughly 17,000 people are infected each year. It is a blood born virus that attacks the liver and like many viruses, decades can go by with no outward signs of the virus. The liver infection can result in cirrhosis of the liver leaving the patient chronically fatigued, nauseous, with no appetite, fevered and the many other symptoms that come with liver disease.
Medical marijuana can potentially relieve many of the symptoms of Hepatitis C by reducing inflammation, creating an appetite and settling the stomach. Hepatitis C is curable and cannabis can help provide relief from the therapy and even potentially assisting it in destroying the virus. The endocannabinoid system’s CB receptors found in many of the peripheral systems of the body connect to cannabinoids found in marijuana, which can interfere with the virus and also trigger the much needed relief. If you would like to find out more about how medical marijuana can help, please click here.
Hepatitis C (HCV) is a widespread virus that can lead to chronic liver problems. Some people are turning to marijuana, or cannabis, to manage the unpleasant side effects associated with HCV and HCV medications.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection that attacks the liver. It’s transmitted through infected blood, often through sharing needles during drug use. It can also be transmitted through:
People infected with HCV may have no symptoms for months, years, or even decades. The condition is typically diagnosed when liver symptoms lead to complications and medical testing.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a group that works to reform marijuana laws, explains that many people with HCV use cannabis to ease their general symptoms from the virus. Cannabis is also used to ease the nausea associated with other HCV treatments. This practice is relatively popular, but research results have been mixed. It’s unclear if marijuana is helpful overall and if there are any overall risks.
Marijuana alone doesn’t treat an HCV infection, and it doesn’t treat the complications that lead to liver disease and cirrhosis. Instead, the drug may be particularly effective at reducing nausea associated with the medications used to treat the virus. Marijuana can be:
A few studies have credited marijuana use with stricter adherence to treatment protocols. These studies have presented the idea that reducing the unpleasant side effects makes the antiviral medications more tolerable. This way, more people will finish the full course. In turn, people experience better outcomes.
Research on this topic has mixed outcomes. The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology reports that marijuana use among people infected with HCV is prevalent. The study also showed that people who included the drug in their overall treatment plan didn’t necessarily stick to the plan more closely than their counterparts who didn’t take the drug.
Using marijuana didn’t influence liver biopsies or impact the “hard outcomes” of the antiviral treatment. At the same time, taking the drug didn’t necessarily hurt anything. The study didn’t find any evidence that smoking or taking cannabis pills does any additional damage to the liver, despite what previous research had suggested.