When the liver is damaged and scarred over a long period of time, it results in a condition called cirrhosis. As the liver becomes damaged and scarred, it prevents it from functioning properly and detoxifying the body or creating vital nutrients, and this can be life threatening. Patients who suffer from cirrhosis may experience symptoms of fatigue, easy bleeding and bruising, itchy skin, loss of appetite, leg swelling, weight loss, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, and red spider-like vessels on the skin.
Research suggests cannabis is not only helpful in managing the symptoms of cirrhosis, but also in actually treating the condition. Unfortunately, activation of the CB1 receptor may be linked to the progression of cirrhosis. Selectively activating the CB2 receptor with CBD, however, has positive effects on alcoholic fatty liver, hepatic inflammation, liver injury, regeneration and fibrosis. CBD helps induce apoptosis (cellular death) in activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which are the cells responsible for proliferating and producing too much collagen which scars the liver. Studies have found CBD can restore liver function in mice who have experienced liver failure. CBD is also a preventative therapy because it protects against ischemia reperfusion by reducing the force of inflammatory pathways and oxidative nitrative tissue injury. When it comes to alcohol abuse, CBD can protect the liver from steatosis and liver damage by preventing an increase in oxidative stress and autophagy.
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