Study: Cannabis Use Inversely Associated With Fatty Liver Disease

Photo Credit: NORML

Photo Credit: NORML

Data published in PLoS One suggests adults who have used marijuana face a lower risk of suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) than those who have not. Using a samily size of 22,000 adults, researchers from Stanford University in California and Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea assessed the relationship between marijuana use and NAFLD, and found cannabis use independently predicted lower risks of the condition, and that the effect was dose-dependent. This information supports the findings from previous studies. Researchers concluded, “Active marijuana use provided a protective effect against NAFLD independent of known metabolic risk factors… [W]e conclude that current marijuana use may favorably impact the pathogenesis of NAFLD in US adults.”

This information has been provided by NORML and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study: Marijuana Use Linked to Lower Prevalence of Fatty Liver Disease

Photo Credit: Daily Chronic

Photo Credit: Daily Chronic

New population-based case-control data published in Plos One suggests cannabis consumers are less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is the most prevalent form of liver disease in humans. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and John Hopkins University in Baltimore analyzed the relationship between cannabis use and NAFLD in a group of 5.9 million hospitalized patients over 18 across the nation. NAFLD was 15% lower in occasional marijuana users that non-users, and 52% lower in habitual users. Researchers wrote, “We observed a strong dose-dependent reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD with cannabis use suggesting that cannabis use might suppress or reverse NAFLD development.”

This information has been provided by the Daily Chronic and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

New Study Suggests Cannabis Users Have Lower Risk of Fatty Liver Disease

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana, Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana, Inc.

A new population-based case-control study published in PLOS ONE suggests cannabis use may prevent non-alcohol related fatty liver disease. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School found non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was 15% in non-dependent cannabis users and 52% lower in dependent users. Lead researcher Terence Ndonyi Bukong says of the study, “We observed a strong dose-dependent reduction in the prevalence of NAFLD with cannabis use suggesting that cannabis use might suppress or reverse NAFLD development.” Using the 2014 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Survey (NIS), the researchers looked at 5,950,391 discharge records of patients who were 18 years or older and then isolated those patients with NAFLD. Then, they separated those with NAFLD into groups of non-cannabis users (98.04%), non-dependent cannabis users (1.75%), and dependent cannabis users (.22%). Among cannabis users, dependent users had 43% lower prevalence of NAFLD than non-dependent users.

This study supports previous findings, and has huge implications for those who suffer from fatty liver disease, which is the term used to describe too much fat accumulation that has been stored in the liver, and it is the most common form of chronic liver disease in the United States. This illness can lead to many other problems like steatohepatits, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and even hepatocellular carcinoma. While this study is positive, more research is desired as it did not investigate the molecular mechanisms responsible for these benefits. Researchers say, “Due to our inability to draw direct causation effects from our cross-sectional studies, we suggest prospective basic and human studies to decipher the mechanistic details of how the various active ingredients in cannabis modulate NAFLD development.”

This information has been provided by Medical Marijuana Inc. and provided by our Chief Medical Officer. You can access the full study here