Liver Disease

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. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 3.9 million adults in the US with diagnosed chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (2015) and 38,170 deaths (2014).

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.

Check out the positives and negatives below and if you’d like to speak to Doctor Frank about your condition, get in touch!

30 out of 4,276 (0.7%) patients surveyed use cannabis for liver disease. Medical marijuana could potentially be used to substitute alcohol for those who have liver disease due to alcoholism. This could be seen as a form of harm reduction. As for the benefits of using cannabis for liver disease, CBD may help protect against liver damage, such as hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury. CBD may also help inhibit replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). There are also terpenoids such as limonene that may help fight liver cancer.

Positives

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Negatives

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Treatments

Indicas were preferred by 26.67% of survey respondents; sativas by 23.
33% of respondents. CBD and limonene may well help those with liver disease, and THC could possibly be a replacement for alcohol. Beta-caryophyllene may also have addiction-beating properties.

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