There are more than 100 types of liver disease, and they can be caused by any number of conditions and problems. The liver is an immensely important organ, helping fight infections and illnesses, removing toxins and poisons (e.g. alcohol) from the body, controlling cholesterol levels, clot (thicken) blood and breaking down fats and aiding digestion by releasing bile.
Liver disease is a bit of a “silent killer” – signs aren’t obvious until the disease is fairly advanced and the liver is damaged. Symptoms include a lack of appetite, weight loss and jaundice. Alcohol abuse, obesity, inflammation caused by viral infection (e.g. hepatitis), genetics … There are many causes of liver disease.
During chronic liver diseases, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is highly up-regulated. The ECS also “influences the mechanisms responsible for cell damage and inflammatory response during acute liver injury”. Targeting CB1 and CB2 receptors may prevent fat accumulation, slow the progress of fibrosis and help attenuate any major cardiovascular alterations associated with late-stage liver disease.
- CBD may help improve brain and liver function
- May help ameliorate cognitive and motor impairments in those with bile duct ligation
- CBD may help protect against hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury
- Several terpenes in cannabis act as antioxidants (e.g. caryophyllene, terpineol)
- May help in the treatment of viral hepatitis, which can cause liver damage (mechanic icter)
- Can prevent nausea and vomiting
- May increase the chances of vomiting and nausea for some
- Ideal not to mix cannabis with alcohol, for those with alcoholism (though cannabis may help treat alcohol addiction)
- Mixing cannabis with tobacco – the tobacco may cause some liver damage