Marijuana linked to liver damage
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.
'He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.'
That is about all I'll say on that subject.
I will second that.
***what about those that are SVR?
There are other view points of this here is one.
Hep c and thc
Hepatitis C - The Silent Killer - Can Medical Cannabis Help?
The short answer is yes. The primary role of cannabis is to stimulate appetite, reduce nausea and vomiting, and treat joint pain. This role is applicable to HCV patients undergoing chemotherapy, those with cancer or cirrhosis, and those with joint pain and headache. Cannabis is far less toxic than other medications that might be prescribed for these conditions and where liver impairment is concerned, it is vital to avoid toxicity. Cannabis may help alleviate the depression often produced by chronic illness and by combination drug therapy. Additionally, cannabis based food products may provide needed extra nutrition without taxing the liver. Using cannabis in place of alcohol is an established harm reduction technique particularly important when liver disease is present.
Perhaps more important but still unknown is the possibility that some of the chemical components of cannabis (the Cannabinoids) may actually reduce liver inflammation and slow the progression of both cirrhosis and Hepatocellular carcinoma. The cannabinoids have been shown to be powerful anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. They have also been shown to have anti-neoplastic activity, at least in gliomas (a form of brain cancer). Cannabinoids both slow programmed cell death (apoptosis) in normal cells while accelerating apoptosis in cancer cells.
Since cannabis is nontoxic it might as well be tried, particularly in patients who have chronic progressive disease that is likely to result in death. Dosing is up to the physician and patient. Usually patients "self-titrate" or use only what they feel they need for symptomatic relief. This may be a mistake as the protective effects of cannabis are best achieved with a steady state minimal blood level of Cannabinoids. It is recommended that a base line level of Cannabinoids be maintained with regular doses of oral cannabis products and the smoked or vaporized form of cannabis used for acute symptomatic relief.
excerpts from Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD
Cannabis is not hepatotoxic. You can use cannabis to treat the symptoms of hepatitis C without affecting its course. Many people who have this problem use cannabis to get symptomatic relief. - Lester Grinspoon MD
... Patients with even mild cases of Hepatitis C often experience nonspecific and intermittent symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, poor appetite, fatigue, depression, muscle and joint pains, weight loss, and mild right-upper-quadrant discomfort or tenderness. These symptoms may become more pronounced and chronic as the disease progresses....
Hepatitis C has been referred to as a “silent epidemic.” Millions have the condition, but many of them are not aware of it because they may not experience symptoms for decades after they are infected. Chronic hep C is now the most common reason for liver transplantation and the leading cause in the U.S. for developing liver cancer.
“Hepatitis” is a Latin word meaning “inflamed liver.” Liver inflammation is often caused by a virus. While many viruses can affect the liver as they spread throughout the body (for example, the infectious mononucleosis virus), the hepatitis viruses infect the liver as their primary target.
The Hep C virus attacks liver cells and uses them as a host to reproduce itself. When the body attempts to fight the virus, it sends lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to the liver, which results in inflammation (swelling). This inflammation is a normal response to infection, but over time this process, and certain chemicals released by the lymphocytes, can damage liver cells.
When the liver cells are damaged, they cannot function well and may die. Some of these cells may grow back, but severe injury may lead to fibrosis (a buildup of scar tissue on the liver). Fibrosis slows down the liver's ability to circulate blood and remove toxins.
Treatment may help prevent further damage or reduce progression of the condition. However, the longer treatment is delayed, the more likely significant and permanent liver damage will occur.
Over time, hardened scar tissue can replace large amounts of normal liver tissue. This condition, called cirrhosis, seriously impairs the liver's ability to function. As a result, blood that cannot pass freely through the liver may back up into the spleen, and this may lead to the destruction of healthy blood cells. In addition, the liver may not be able to produce enough bile to aid in the handling of nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, and most fats.
Drug therapy for Hepatitis C usually consists of the use of combination therapy with alpha interferon and ribavirin in those patients where such therapy is indicated. Common side effects of treatment include: nausea and vomiting, depression, irritability, weight loss, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, and low-grade fever. Flare-ups of pre-existing auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease are common. Marijuana can mitigate the majority of these side effects as well as offering effective help to those patients where alpha-interferon treatment is not indicated.
Pot is a powerful antiemetic (1,2,3) that has been shown to be particularly effective controlling nausea and stimulating the appetites of immune surpressed patients such as those with HIV or undergoing chemotherapy. Cannabis has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties.
It is an anti-inflammatory (4,5) and immuno-modulating agent that can help minimize portal inflammation and slow the progression of both cirrhosis and Hepatocellular carcinoma. The cannabinoids have been shown to be powerful anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. They have also been shown to have anti-neoplastic activity, at least in gliomas (a form of brain cancer). Cannabinoids both slow programmed cell death (apoptosis) in normal cells while accelerating apoptosis in cancer cells.
Cannabis has the added advantage of easing, or even completely eliminating, the muscle pains and cramping that patients often experience. Marijuana is an effective analgesic. (6,7) Cannabis has also been demonstrated as effective with rheumatoid arthritis, MS, and Crohn's (8,9). It can aid in the prevention of inflammation associated with flare-ups of these conditions should they be present in your patient. Recent studies published this year (2002) have shown that cannabinoid receptors throughout the digestive tract act to reduce immune-reactivity and to surpress the vagal drive of the digestive system, slowing the digestive process, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed at a slower rate, thus putting less stress on the liver.
The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance Board has included Hepatitis C as a debilitating medical condition that could potentially benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
Some references i could not fit them all in for character allowances
1. Baron and Folan, "Ulcerative Colitis and Marijuana", Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 112, No.6, p 47, 1990, "The symptoms of ulcerative colitis were repeatedly relieved by smoked cannabis.")
2. National Academy of Science, Institute of Medicine, "Marijuana and Medicine; Assessing the Science Base " Executive Summary, 1999, "Conclusion: Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation;")
3. Pharmos Corporation Press Release, May 21 1998, Researchers reported that experimental treatment of rats suffering from ulcerative colitis with Dexanabinol (synthetic cannabidiol-CBD) "significantly reduced the anorexia and the colonic inflammation associated with this condition compared with untreated rats.")
4. BW Healthwire, January 1998, "Pre-clinical studies show CT-3 reduces chronic and acute inflammation and reduces destruction of joints." Atlantic Pharmaceuticals was evaluating CT-3, a cannabinoid derivative. The company reported "In recent studies, the agent was found to reduce inflammation and prevent the destruction of joint tissue.")
5. Formukong, Evans, and Evans "Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of constituents of cannabis sativa l" Inflammation, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp361-371, 1988, "Cannabidol is more effective than aspirin in reducing inflammation" (Cannabidol or CBD, is one of the scores of cannibinoids found in marijuana other than THC))
6. Holdcroft, et al., "Pain relief with oral cannabinoids in familial Mediterranean fever" Anesthesia, Vol. 52, No. 5, May 1997. This research paper done at Hammersmith Hospital in London confirmed cannabis' analgesic effects in the first UK clinical trial. The paper states "Cannabinoids have analgesic and possibly anti-inflammatory properties but their clinical use has been restricted by legislation"
7. Zeltser, R.; Seltzer, Z.; Eisen, A.; Feigenbaum, J.J.; and Mechoulam, R "Suppression of neuropathic pain behavior in rats by a non-psychotropic synthetic cannabinoid with NMDA receptor-blocking properties" Pain Vol. 47(1): 95-103, October. 1991, The study found cannabis surpressed neuropathic pain which complicates many CNS diseases. Cannabis was effective when few available therapies provided even partial relief.)
I agree,there are different views on cannabis from both sides.There has never been one death directly related to smoking grass,BUT..how many deaths from the others?
Everyone knows that cannabis is good for you [grin].
I didn't know this. I see people with seizures being helped with CBD oil. Very impressed!