Aa
A
A
A
Close
Hepatitis C Community
13.3k Members
29837 tn?1414538248

Marijuana Aids Therapy - Wow!

I may have posted this before, but can't remember. The one thing I remember for sure is that I forgot. No it's not brain fog. At any rate, this may answer some questions regarding posts I've seen in the past regarding marijuana and getting through the brutal treatment...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/12/AR2006091201444.html

Magnum
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Can't remember if you posted. lol. I can't remember half the time either.  Yes, I'd like some pharmaceutical grade marijuana to aid in my therapy.  
Avatar universal
Just stay away from those brownies. You know the insulin resistance and all.
Avatar universal
You'll notice it was a small study from a few years ago.  At the same time there was a study that suggested that pot use increased fibrosis.

The fact that it seemed to help people complete treatment and possibly had a higher rate of compliance, and therefore a higher SVR rate.

I don't think the study is a signal to smoke more, but it may be worth considering during TX for better control of sides.

Oddly, since this sign of success I have not heard of any other such trials.  One would think that it might help spawn a follow up larger study.  If there was one, I haven't heard of it.

Willy
29837 tn?1414538248
Maybe another study isn't necessary. Although through my last treatment, the doctor did warn me about the possible risk of advancing Fibrosis, in his opinion there was no real definitive proof to verify that, so he approved Medical Marijuana. I’ve never been the same since. I ate everything in sight, watched a lot of movies and grooved to the music...

My follow-up biopsy and quarterly ultrasounds have not shown any progression and I smoke pretty much daily (but little and with a vaporizer), because sleeping pills don't work for my severe Insomnia. I don’t consider myself a “pot head”, but I do consider myself a “parrot head”. Otherwise, it's up to you...

Magnum
446474 tn?1446351282
Willy50, I believe this was the study you were thinking of...There was also a 2004 French study that concluded the same risk of increase in fibrosis.
"Daily Cannabis Smoking as a Risk Factor for Fibrosis Progression in Chronic Hepatitis C"
http://www.natap.org/2005/HCV/062705_01.htm

"Regular Marijuana Use Increases Risk Of Hepatitis C-Related Liver Damage"
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2008)

Patients with chronic hepatitis C (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 7-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.


Cheers!
Hectorsf
Avatar universal
Magnum, I'm totally for doing whatever works.  I'm of the opinion that if the use of pot can deliver a higher SVR rate, then it bears further examination.  I wasn't particularly convinced that all such pot studies have been objective or well designed.

Hector, yes but I think there may have also been a subsequent study; the one which denoted a 7X increase in fibrosis.  The study itself wasn't flawed; more like the reporting or the understanding of the results.  For many people the distillation was that pot use increased fibrosis 7 fold.  If people had read closely they would have seen that the 7 fold increase more or less required copious consumption of alcohol and heavy pot use.

I would like to see a pot use ONLY study; one that removed alcohol from the equation.  The deal is that I suppose that it is hard to confine people for years and study them in that way.  Studying the same group "in the wild" poses other problems such as self reporting, when people are notorious for not knowing what they actually consume.

best,
Willy
Avatar universal
Testicular Cancer Risk Increased in Marijuana Users

Zosia Chustecka
February 11, 2009 — An association between the use of marijuana and an increased risk for testicular cancer, in particular the most aggressive nonseminoma type of the disease, has been reported in paper published online February 9 in Cancer.

The risk for testicular cancer increased by 70% in men who reported current marijuana use, and increased even more in those who smoked marijuana at least weekly and/or had long-term exposure to the drug, starting in adolescence.

"Our study is the first inkling that marijuana use may be associated with testicular cancer," said senior author Stephen Schwartz, MPH, PhD, epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, Washington. However, he noted that there are still many unanswered questions, including why the increased risk is seen in only 1 type of testicular cancer.

The finding is interesting and statistically significant, but the confidence intervals (CI) are fairly large, and this study is not conclusive, said Len Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. "It does not prove a causal relationship," he told Medscape Oncology in an interview.

Increase in Incidence Over Past Few Decades

The incidence of testicular cancer has been increasing by around 3% to 6% each year since the 1950s in countries such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, the researchers note.

Over the same time period, there has been an increase in the use of marijuana in North America, Europe, and Australia. Because chronic marijuana use has multiple adverse effects on the endocrine and reproductive health systems, the researchers wondered whether it could be related to the increase seen in testicular cancer rates.

To test the hypothesis, researchers conducted a population-based case–control study of 369 men with testicular cancer (aged 18–44 years) and 979 age-matched controls. Information on marijuana use, cigarette smoking, and alcohol use was collected from interviews, which were conducted in person.

However, the researchers point out that one of the limitations of their study is that these interviews were actually conducted in only 67.5% of the eligible cases and in 52.2% of the eligible controls. In addition, they had to rely on self-reporting, and "patients with cancer may be expected to more accurately admit to the use of an illegal substance than individuals in a control group," the researchers comment.

The results must be interpreted in light of these limitations, they caution.

Risk of Cancer Increased by 70%

Current marijuana use was associated with a 70% increased risk for testicular cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.7; 95% CI, 1.1–2.5). The risk was particularly elevated for current use that was at least weekly (OR, 3.0) or that began in adolescence (OR, 2.8 for boys who were younger than 18 when they started).

These associations were independent of known risk factors for testicular cancer, such as a first-degree family history and a history of undescended testes.

"In addition, all of the associations we observed appeared to be limited to nonseminoma/mixed histologies," the researchers report.

Why this should be the case is unclear. "Our original hypothesis sought an increasing exposure that would be associated with the risk of all histologic types of testicular cancer," they write.

Particularly Vulnerable at Puberty?

One of the potential explanations for the association rests on the theory that puberty presents a "window of vulnerability," during which environmental factors increase the risk for testicular cancer. The disease is thought to arise from primitive germ cells that fail to develop properly and become vulnerable to malignancy, especially during the hormonal surges of puberty.

"Just as thechanging hormonal environment of adolescence and adulthood can trigger undifferentiated fetal germ cells to become cancerous, it has been suggested that puberty is a 'window of opportunity,' during which lifestyle or environmental factors also can increase the risk of testicular cancer," commented first author Janet Daling, PhD, also an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

"This is consistent with the study's findings that the elevated risk of nonseminoma-type testicular cancer, in particular, was associated with marijuana use prior to age 18," she said in a statement.

"However, none of these explanations likely would be specific to nonseminomas," the researchers note.

One of the most intriguing things about this study, from a human interest point of view, is the reason the researchers decided to look for an association between testicular cancer and the use of marijuana, commented Dr. Lichtenfeld.

According to a press release issued by the Fred Hutchinson center, the idea was conceived by Dr. Daling after she heard a lecture 8 years ago that highlighted the fact that the brain and the testes were the only 2 organs in the body found to have receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive component of marijuana. However, since then, these receptors have been found in the heart, uterus, spleen, and certain immune system cells.

The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health and by institutional funds from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The researchers have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Hepatitis-C/Marijuana-Aids-Therapy---Wow/show/1261409

29837 tn?1414538248
Well, I wouldn't be surprised if bread will soon be a risk, or strawberries. The doctor and I follow closely the results of my quarterly ultrasounds and go by that as a rule. Keep in mind, I take three puffs through a vaporizer before I go to sleep. The amount of carcinogens is greatly reduced with a vaporizer.

Like the rest of you who are serious about eradicating this problem, I'm not one to throw caution to the wind, but if it helps me deal with my problem, then so be it. By the way, my last blood work showed the lowest ALT and AST in 11 years, and I use marijuana pretty much daily.

If you watch these ads on TV regarding the drugs you are to take to help you with blood pressure, arthritis, etc.. the warnings are MUCH more scarier than smoking pot to help through treatment. It's not unusual to see warnings on most of those prescription drugs you see on the nightly NBC and CBS news such as for example - Ambien - "may cause abnormal thinking, behavior changes and complex behaviors, sleep walking, depression, respiratory depression, renal dysfunction. "drugged" feeling, dry mouth, headache, nausea, throat irritation, rash, hives, itching, tightness of the chest, swelling of the hands...

Here is a direct quote on the site below regarding Ambien:

"Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Ambien:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the hands, legs, mouth, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); abnormal thinking; behavior changes; chest pain; confusion; decreased coordination; difficulty swallowing or breathing; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory problems (eg, memory loss); mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, depression); severe dizziness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; vision changes.

Here's the link:

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/ambien-side-effects.html

So in essence, I'll take my risk with pot as a sleeping aid instead of Ambien. Otherwise, it's up to you...

Magnum
Avatar universal
Yea I agree. I just had the article along with the ones on completing treatment and fibrosis.

Mike
29837 tn?1414538248
Hey Mike, nice bike! Is that a custom Harley?

Mag
Avatar universal
No, that was a MMC v-twin made by Pat Matter. He had Minneapolis Custom Cycles and was the President of the Minneapolis Chapter of the Hell's Angels. He is now doing time for drugs and money laundering. I wrecked that bike then fixed it up to mint and then sold it. I ride an old Harley - 1991 - that I bought new.

Mike
Have an Answer?
Top Hepatitis Answerers
317787 tn?1473362051
DC
683231 tn?1467326617
Auburn, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Answer a few simple questions about your Hep C treatment journey.

Those who qualify may receive up to $100 for their time.
Explore More In Our Hep C Learning Center
image description
Learn about this treatable virus.
image description
Getting tested for this viral infection.
image description
3 key steps to getting on treatment.
image description
4 steps to getting on therapy.
image description
What you need to know about Hep C drugs.
image description
How the drugs might affect you.
image description
These tips may up your chances of a cure.
Popular Resources
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child
This article will tell you more about strength training at home, giving you some options that require little to no equipment.
In You Can Prevent a Stroke, Dr. Joshua Yamamoto and Dr. Kristin Thomas help us understand what we can do to prevent a stroke.
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.