Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects 4 million people in the United States. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause liver failure, liver cirrhosis, and sometimes cancer. People usually get the disease from sharing needles during drug use, having sexual contact with someone who has the virus, and using unsanitary medical equipment.
Most patients don’t even realize they have Hepatitis C until it’s too late. The disease is asymptomatic meaning there are no initial symptoms, that is, until the damage is done. People with Hepatitis C tend to experience fatigue, nausea, aches, and gloomy moods. Studies are showing that cannabis can help with the treatment of this viral disease.
Interferon is a protein that naturally occurs in our body when we are feeling under the weather. Interferon is the reason that we feel aches, pain, nausea, and depression when we are sick. At the moment, however, interferon therapy is the best treatment for Hepatitis C. One in vitro study aimed to show that CBD can also help to cure Hepatitis C. The application of CBD reduced HCV by 86.4% in people with inflammation of the liver.
Common medications for treating Hepatitis C, like Interferon and Ribavirin, can be too physically demanding for certain patients. The most common side effects for these Hepatitis C treatments are headaches, fatigue, nausea, aches, decreased appetite, and depression. Typically, people are on medication anywhere from 24 to 72 months. The long treatment window can be too grueling for some. Patients who stop the treatment will risk further damage to the liver leading to cirrhosis, or “scarring.” Studies suggest that moderate cannabis use can help with these aggressive symptoms and can even promote a synergistic virological benefit with the aforementioned drugs.
The two main cannabinoids in Cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), work directly with our body’s endocannabinoid system by binding to cannabinoid receptors. Researchers have uncovered that these receptors can be activated to reduce hepatic inflammation, which can stave off liver scarring. When these cannabinoids attach to the CB2 receptor, for example, it can help reduce inflammation on a fatty liver and even promote regeneration. CBD, as mentioned above, helps with the pain relief needed from both the liver disease and the side effects of the treatment.
Currently, there are 12 states that offer medical marijuana for the treatment of Hepatitis C. Contradicting research suggests that more studies need to be completed to assess the potential risks of using marijuana to treat a damaged liver. At the moment, studies have shown that using medical marijuana to treat Hepatitis C does not make the liver damage worse.
Keep in mind that not all medical marijuana is created equal. Make sure your dispensary has organically-grown flower to give you the most therapeutic benefits possible. Marijuana that is not organic can pose a threat to patients with a weakened immune system. Green Door West offers not only premium and organic flower, but also edibles and other topical products.