Marijuana May Prevent Alcohol-Related Liver Disease

Photo Credit: High Times

Photo Credit: High Times

Researchers from the North Shore Medical Center in Massachusetts have determined marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties may be able to reduce the harmful effects caused by alcohol use and addiction. Chronic and significant use of alcohol causes inflammation to the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. The study involved 319,000 patients with a history alcohol abuse, and divided the group into a group that doesn’t use cannabis, a ground that doesn’t depend on cannabis, and a group of those who are dependent cannabis users. They then looked at the association between cannabis use and the different phases of liver disease, which are alcoholic fatty liver disease (AS), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (AH), cirrhosis (AC), and liver cancer (HCC). They found cannabis users were at a significantly reduced risk of developing these stages of liver disease. They also found dependent cannabis users had the lowest risk of developing the condition. Researchers concluded cannabis’ anti-inflammatory properties protects the liver from damaged caused by alcohol.

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

What Are The Medical Benefits of CBD? - Part 3

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Photo Credit: NeedPix (https://bit.ly/2XK0i4H)

Let’s continue our discussion of which conditions could benefit from CBD treatment by beginning with strokes. One animal study found CBD reduced two types of brain damage caused by a stroke, so much so that the outcomes of the group which had the stroke were comparable to the control group that did not. Its neuroprotective properties may help prevent brain damage and help patients heal. When administered before trauma, CBD can also protect against the damage caused by spinal cord injury, and aid in the healing process. Because of its neuroprotective effects, CBD may also be beneficial for those with traumatic brain injury, and studies suggest the cannabinoid protects neurons following injury, reduces the formation of scar tissue, and regenerates neuronal axons. CBD may also treat nicotine addiction, and in one study involving 24 smokers, some smokers received a placebo inhaler while some received a placebo inhaler. Smokers were instructed to use the inhaler when cigarette cravings struck. Those who received the placebo did no reduce their cigarette usage, while those who received CBD reduced their use by 40%.

The medication Sativex, which contains equal parts CBD and THC, has been found to effectively lower scores of spasticity related symptoms in patients with moderate to severe Multiple Sclerosis, even when these patients were previously treatment-resistant. CBD also reduced the production of cytokines, and activated an important biological pathway blocked by multiple sclerosis. Sativex may also help those with ADHD. CBD was also found to improve social interaction and reduce hyperactivity in rats with ADHD. CBD may also promote wakefulness in those who suffer from sleep disorders that cause excessive sleep. CBD also improved the quality of sleep in young patients who suffered from PTSD. CBD may also help patients heal from liver disease. One study found CBD reduces the neurological damage and cognitive impairments caused by toxins that remain in the blood as a result of liver failure. CBD also restored liver and brain function. Lastly, when taken before and after surgery, CBD increased the success rates of bone marrow transplants, and patients who received CBD were less likely to develop graft versus host disease.

This concludes our series examining the many uses for CBD. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

What Are The Medical Benefits of Marijuana? - Part 1.

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Photo Credits: Leaf Science

Medical marijuana is now being touted for having a wide range of medicinal benefits that allow it to provide therapeutic relief for many different conditions. In this four part series, we will take an in depth look at many of the medical conditions it is capable of treating.

One of the most commonly cited and widely approved conditions for marijuana use is chronic pain. Marijuana is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in reducing pain and providing relief for the conditions that cause it, like arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and migraines. Medical marijuana is also used for treating glaucoma, a condition that affects sight and can damage the optic nerve due to increased pressure in the eye. Studies have found marijuana decreases intraocular eye pressure by 25-30%, and scientists believe its neuroprotective properties could prevent the optic nerve from getting damaged. Medical marijuana may also help those suffering from liver disease. The cannabinoid CBD can prevent liver fibrosis, while THC may be able to help improve the symptoms associated with cholestatic liver disease.

Marijuana is also promoted as a hero for cancer patients, mainly for its ability to reduce the nausea and vomiting accompanying chemotherapy treatments. Even more exciting, in rodent models, THC and cannabinoids have been found to induce apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting healthy cells. In other rodent models, THC reduced tumor size. Contrary to what has long been claimed by prohibitionists about cannabis’ relationship to schizophrenia, studies have found non-psychoactive compounds like CBD may actually benefit psychosis. CBD is antipsychotic and generally well tolerated. But be careful, as THC may actually exacerbate symptoms. Lastly, recent clinical trials have found medical marijuana help those with multiple sclerosis by combatting muscle spasticity, reducing pain, and improving sleep quality.

That concludes today’s post on the medical benefits of medical marijuana, but there’s still so much more to discuss! Tune into the following post where we will look at more conditions where medical marijuana’s usage is applicable. This information has been provided by Leaf Science and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Study: Cannabis May Be Protective Against Liver Disease

Photo Credit: Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

Photo Credit: Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance

French researchers have recently determined cannabis may protect against liver disease in patients diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the study, which was published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis, a cohort of 838 HIV-HCV co-infected subjects were examined to determine if there was a link between cannabis use and steatosis (fatty liver disease). They concluded, “Daily cannabis use was independently associated with a reduced prevalence of steatosis” after adjusting for potential confounders. “Daily cannabis use may be a protective factor against steatosis in HIV-HCV co-infected patients.”

This information supports previous studies that have similarly determined cannabis may be beneficial for those infected with HIV/HCV. This information was originally published on the Daily Chronic, and has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

MMJ for Liver Disorders

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Photo Credit: Medical Marijuana Inc.

Many disorders and diseases affect the liver, causing symptoms of swelling and pain in the abdomen, yellowish skin and eyes, itchy skin, dark urine, pale stool, chronic fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and a tendency to bruise easily. Diseases that are categorized as liver disorders include hepatitis, cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, haemochromatosis, wilson's disease, cancer of the liver, primary schlerosing cholangitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and budd-chiari syndrome. Because cannabis, especially its cannabinoid CBD, promotes liver health and protects the liver from damage, it could be a vital component in the treatment and prevention of liver disorders. 

Studies show that CBD helps and induces the death of hepatic stellate cells that build up and scar the liver, making it a treatment option for cirrhosis. In addition, CBD limits the damage caused by cirrhosis by reducing the force of inflammatory pathways and oxidative tissue injury. CBD also promotes liver health and has properties that protect the liver by preventing oxidative stress and autophagy from alcohol. Cannabinoids inhibit CYP1A enzymatic activity, thereby reducing the livers risk of toxicity and cancer. Animal studies found CBD restored liver function in mice who had experienced liver failure. There's nothing new about CBD's anti-inflammatory properties, but in one study cannabinoids reduced inflammation of a damaged liver, suggesting CBD could effectively treat hepatitis. In addition, cannabinoids appeared to have immunosuppresive and profibrogenic effects in patients with hepatitis C. By selectively activating the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, cannabis is beneficial for alcoholic fatty liver, hepatic inflammation, liver injury, regeneration, and fibrosis, and other liver diseases. While cannabis is effective at targeting liver disorders, let's not forget that it can also help treat the symptoms associated with liver diseases and their treatments.

To learn more about specific liver disorders and how medical marijuana can help, read the full post on Medical Marijuana Inc. This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Does Cannabis Treat Liver Disease?

Photo Credit: Whaxy

Photo Credit: Whaxy

There is new research to suggest a lack of balance in the endocannabinoid system, or dysregulation, can result in liver diseases like hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Patients with liver diseases like cirrhosis have CB2 receptors in their liver cells, whereas those without the disease lack these receptors in the area. Because the cannabinoids in cannabis can interact and bind with these receptors in the endocannabinoid system, the plant has the potential to combat the symptoms of these diseases and produce medicinal benefits. 

One study published in 2011 in the journal Cell Death and Disease found CBD induced apoptosis in malignant cells in liver fibrosis.The researchers concluded, “Collectively, these results, coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of cannabidiol in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential…” They added CBD may be an effective treatment for, “…diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrosative stress, inflammation, cell death, and fibrosis.”

With liver diseases like fibrosis afflicting more than 400,000 people in the United States alone, the ability for cannabis to counteract this widespread disease would be a welcomed discovery. This information has been brought to you by Whaxy and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.