top view of liver and lettering hepatitis on red background, world hepatitis day concept

Medical Cannabis and Hepatitis C

One of the most serious health threats linked with hepatitis C is that it can go symptom-free and cause severe liver damage if left untreated. The fact that the infection is symptomless, slowly damaging the liver over decades, is one of the biggest dangers of HCV. That’s known as “the U.S.” The Preventive Services Task Force advises that all persons ages 18 to 79 years old be screened for hepatitis C, even people who show no symptoms or have been diagnosed with liver disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

New therapies for hepatitis C have resulted in the transformation of weekly injections into daily oral medications, making treatment less severe. Treatment must be immediate if diagnosed early. Cannabis has been shown to help with some drug-induced side effects associated with hepatitis C.

“Cannabinoids do not cure hepatitis C, and they don’t treat the complications that cause liver damage and cirrhosis. Instead, the medication may help to reduce nausea associated with antiviral drugs.” “Marijuana alone does not cure viral infections like HCV, and it does not alleviate the symptoms that lead to liver disease.

Symptoms, Causes & Treatments of Hepatitis C

The virus is generally spread by sharing needles, the birthing process, blood transfusions, and sexual contact. The Mayo Clinic’s list of symptoms includes bleeding, loss of appetite, and bruising easily, itchy skin, dark urine, swollen legs, spider veins and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes), and tiredness.

Treatments for HCV are complicated, depending on the stage of the illness, and can be confusing. According to Healthline, therapy is determined by hepatitis C genotype, prior liver damage, and other underlying medical issues. However, procedures change frequently as a result of research progress, according to the clinic. It’s always best to speak about treatment options.

Effects of cannabinoids on Hepatitis C

According to a 2006 European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology study, “medical cannabis use may benefit therapy retention and outcomes in illicit drug users undergoing HCV treatment. There is strong evidence that cannabis usage can assist with several issues faced by drug users while receiving hepatitis C treatment.”

According to a study published in PLOS ONE, Marijuana use has the potential to reduce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) symptoms. “Active marijuana usage was associated with a decreased risk of NAFLD independent of established metabolic risk factors,” according to the study. “Patients diagnosed with hepatitis C frequently report using cannabis to treat not only the symptoms of the disease but also nausea caused by antiviral medication,” according to The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

According to NORML, “An observational study by UCSF researchers found that hepatitis C patients who used cannabis were considerably more likely to stick to their therapy regimen than those who did not use it.”

Achieving a cure for chronic viral hepatitis would not only be beneficial to those who suffer from the disease, but it might also provide relief to many people who are currently suffering in silence. Additional studies, clinical trials, and personal testimony that show how medical marijuana may help with HCV symptoms provide encouragement to those afflicted with a viral illness. 

*DigiDrs is not offering this as professional medical advice. Do not attempt to self diagnose, or prescribe treatment based on the information provided in these pages. Consult a physician before making decisions on the treatment of any of these medical conditions.

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