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Marijuana and Hep C
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Marijuana and Hep C

Hi Im a 25 year old male that is a medical marijuana patient.For the past 3 years I have smoked it almost every day.when going to a specialist in 08 I had a normal liver with no fibrosis.Havnt been since but I had a queston I have heard that smoking it speeds up the damage process is this really true?I dont really drink ( only 2 or 3 times a year)and work out all the time but I do admit I enjoy the marijuana.How much truth to this is really true?anyway let me know
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Avatar_f_tn
Marijuana Increases Risk of Hepatitis C-Related Liver Damage
02/03/2008
BETHESDA, Md. – Patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection should not use marijuana (cannabis) daily, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. Researchers found that HCV patients who used cannabis daily were at significantly higher risk of moderate to severe liver fibrosis, or tissue scarring. Additionally, patients with moderate to heavy alcohol use combined with regular cannabis use experienced an even greater risk of liver fibrosis. The recommendation to avoid cannabis is especially important in patients who are coinfected with HCV/HIV, since the progression of fibrosis is already greater in these patients.

"Hepatitis C is a major public health concern and the number of patients developing complications of chronic disease is on the rise," according to Norah Terrault, MD, MPH, from the University of California, San Francisco, and lead investigator of the study. "It is essential that we identify risk factors that can be modified to prevent and/or lessen the progression of HCV to fibrosis, cirrhosis and even liver cancer. These complications of chronic HCV infection will significantly contribute to the overall burden of liver disease in the U.S. and will continue to increase in the next decade."

This is the first study that evaluates the relationship between alcohol and cannabis use in patients with HCV and those coinfected with HCV/HIV. It is of great importance to disease management that physicians understand the factors influencing HCV disease severity, especially those that are potentially modifiable. The use and abuse of both alcohol and marijuana together is not an uncommon behavior. Also, individuals who are moderate and heavy users of alcohol may use cannabis as a substitute to reduce their alcohol intake, especially after receiving a diagnosis like HCV, which affects their liver.

Researchers found a significant association between daily versus non-daily cannabis use and moderate to severe fibrosis when reviewing this factor alone. Other factors contributing to increased fibrosis included age at enrollment, lifetime duration of alcohol use, lifetime duration of moderate to heavy alcohol use and necroinflammatory score (stage of fibrosis). In reviewing combined factors, there was a strong (nearly seven-fold higher risk) and independent relationship between daily cannabis use and moderate to severe fibrosis. Gender, race, body mass index, HCV viral load and genotype, HIV coinfection, source of HCV infection, and biopsy length were not significantly associated with moderate to severe fibrosis.

Of the 328 patients screened for the study, 204 patients were included in the analysis. The baseline characteristics of those included in the study were similar to those excluded with the exception of daily cannabis use (13.7 percent of those studied used cannabis daily versus 6.45 percent of those not included). Patients who used cannabis daily had a significantly lower body mass index than non-daily users (25.2 versus 26.4), were more likely to be using medically prescribed cannabis (57.1 percent versus 8.79 percent), and more likely to have HIV coinfection (39.3 percent versus 18.2 percent).

The prevalence of cannabis use amongst adults in the U.S. is estimated to be almost 4 percent. Regular use has increased in certain population subgroups, including those aged 18 to 29.

Source: American Gastroenterological Association
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Avatar_m_tn
Mary jane has never killed anyone or caused any form of cancer in the thousands of years its been around,its been around before Christ,proberly the pharohs used  it 5000 years ago, maybe the workers who built the paryrmids.
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1496494_tn?1288887645
i'm a  patient with hepatitis c & i smoke marijuana a lot.please recommend a substitute for marijuana for me since its smoking increases fibrosis.thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
As with all chemicals, those in the hooch do get processed through the liver too.  So it is putting it through strains it normally would not encounter if you did not smoke, eat, or do whatever with it.

But is it that much more than someone who smokes tobbaco experiences?

Bottomline, as with everything such as the drinking too, those who want to justify it can find evidence to support and ignore that which speaks against it.
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29837_tn?1314410659
I too have a Med Mary Jane card and smoked it through my last treatment. It certainly helped me eat and sleep. I've been using it daily for about three years. However... and I think this is the important point....

Cannabis alone is not the main cause of toxicity. It's the paper and whatever else you smoke it through... except... a vaporizer. This cuts down the carcinogens from hundreds to 24. A significant reduction. A vaporizer vaporizes the cannabis so you get the main effect of the cannabis sativa’s (THC) without the smoke created by paper. You get the “vaporized” version.

I have about two hits before going to sleep. This helps with my insomnia. You don’t get as “high” through a vaporizer, but that’s not what I’m after anyway. I like to keep my head very clear the following day, and it always is.

My Gastro has doubts about the tests that have been conducted as far as it causing Fibrosis advancement. He questions the conditions of the tests and how much was smoked by the participants, and how they smoked it. I would bet all of them smoked it in rolled paper, therefore many carcinogens. He also noted that they probably were tested smoking a significant amount (as most pot heads do), meaning several joints a day.

I’ve been very vigilant about taking care of my body in preparation for the protease inhibitors release. The bottom line is this... My last two liver panel tests showed a significant drop in the ALT and AST readings, and all the liver signs were normal. I’m considered “mildly cirrhotic”. If the marijuana would be effecting me in a negative way, the ALT and AST numbers would probably significantly rise.

My doctor has no qualms about renewing my med marijuana prescription on a yearly basis. The propulsion forward of Fibrosis due to the Cannabis component THC is an argument that will rage on forever because of proponents and opponents. Otherwise.... it’s up to you...

Magnum
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Avatar_f_tn
If I'm not mistaken, I think most antidepressants are more toxic to the liver than marijuana.
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545538_tn?1295995617
I smoked maryjane during tx too. It was the only thing that allowed me to have an appetite and really helped with nausea.  
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