Liver disease occurs when the liver experiences a high amount of tissue scarring. This is typically a direct result of constant inflammation and the death of vital cells. This disease inflicts more than 400,000 people each year and is ranked among the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.
However, for a disease with such an ugly outcome, a pretty solution may be in the near future.
In 2005 researchers at theÂ Hebrew University Medical SchoolÂ concluded that our bodyâ€™s own internalÂ cannabinoid systemÂ (the endocannabinoid system) has receptors that bind with cannabisâ€™ most active ingredient, THC. This very system regulates not only the nervous system, but theÂ immune system as well.
Therefore, researchers concluded that cannabis may possibly be able to help people suffering from certain forms of liver disease because of our preexisting cannabinoid system.
While this study showed a possible connection between liver disease and cannabinoids, more research was needed.
Following the 2005 studyâ€™s conclusions, aÂ 2011 studyÂ published in the journal ofÂ Cell Death and Diseaseused mouse models to determine thatÂ cannabidiol or CBDÂ (cannabisâ€™ non-intoxicating ingredient) causes infected liver cells to participate in apoptosis, also known as cell suicide.
They concluded their research noting that CBD may have â€śgreat therapeutic potential.â€ť Even better, controlled doses of CBD do not affect healthy or non-malignant cells. So it can attack the bad cells and shy away from the good ones.
But if cannabis has positive effects on liver disease cam it also have negative effects? According to science, not particularly.
Cannabis consumption does not increase or accelerate the progression of liver disease. In aÂ 2013 study, researchers studied 690 liver disease patients â€“ specifically patients withÂ HIVÂ and Hepatitis C infections.
At the start of the experiment, 53 percent of the subjects had smoked cannabis in the last six months, consuming an average of seven joints per week. 40 percent of the subjects smoked daily.
Researchers concluded that â€śThere was no evidence that marijuana smoking accelerates progression to significant liver fibrosis.â€ť
So, no, smoking cannabis wonâ€™t worsen liver disease, if anything, the last 12 years of research prove it could help.
TheFreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site, that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.
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