Hepatitis C is a common infection of the liver which is caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Most people infected with Hepatitis C are not aware of their condition because it causes very few symptoms at the early stage. There are many forms of the Hepatitis C virus with the most common form in the USA, being the type 1. No form of hepatitis C is more serious than the other even though they respond differently to treatment.
The Hepatitis C virus generally spreads through the blood or bodily fluids of infected persons. Thus, it is possible to contract Hepatitis C by sharing injected drugs and needles or through unprotected sex with infected persons. Infected mothers can also pass on the virus to their babies at birth. However, up to 25 percent of the people who contract Hepatitis C are able to clear it in their bodies without any treatment.
Some of the common symptoms of hepatitis C include dark urine, fever, fatigue, clay colored poop, loss of appetite, joint pain, nausea, stomach pain, and jaundice. Furthermore, once Hepatitis C reaches the chronic stage, it could result in liver cancer or Cirrhosis. There are several medications including Interferon, Daclastasvir, Ledipasvir-sofosbuvir and ribavirin that can be used in the treatment of Hepatitis C. Nevertheless, most of these medications always result in many adverse side effects such as anemia, skin rash, mild anxiety, fatigue, depression, flu-like symptoms, nausea as well as diarrhea.
The side effects associated with many medications used in treating Hepatitis C have resulted in many people using medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Even though medical marijuana cannot cure Hepatitis on its own, it can be used in a complementary way alongside other medications prescribed by physicians. The argument is that the mood elevating and painkilling properties of medical marijuana can provide enormous relief, thereby enabling the body to begin to heal.
Scientific evidence has revealed that there exists a correlation between medical marijuana and the symptoms of Hepatitis C. Researchers have suggested that medical marijuana does not only have therapeutic benefits for people suffering from Hepatitis C, but also that the side effects are mild and classified as low risk when compared to other prescription medications for the condition.
According to scientific and anecdotal evidence, medical marijuana is a safe and effective medicine that helps people suffering from Hepatitis C to endure the side effects of treatment. Thus, it can be argued that medical marijuana helps patients with Hepatitis C to complete their entire treatment regimen. This assertion can be explained by the fact that the chemical components found in marijuana, specifically cannabinoids have been proven to be useful in combating certain side effects such as nausea caused by pharmaceuticals. Besides, medical marijuana also eases the adverse side effects of antiviral medications, thereby making it possible for people with Hepatitis C to stick to their treatment regimen.
The findings from a 2006 study that was published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology supports the idea that medical marijuana is an effective complementary treatment of Hepatitis C. According to the authors of this study, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which are found in medical marijuana binds with the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), and when CB2 is activated it creates a positive anti-inflammatory effect in the liver, that goes a long way to decrease the severity of the symptoms of Hepatitis C.
According to another study that was conducted in 2006, cannabis can calm the ill effects of Hepatitis C treatment, just as much as it calms the side effects of chemotherapy. The researchers of this study argued that medical marijuana makes patients feel better and once they feel better and more hopeful about their lives, they are more likely to continue treatment.
Another study that was published in 2005 in Pub Med also indicated that cannabis could have therapeutic benefits for people with chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C.
Scientists have debunked the clinical conclusions that smoking pot hurts the liver. Findings from a 2013 study actually debunked such conclusions. According to the study, taking cannabinoids inhibited some pro-inflammatory processes, thereby significantly reducing liver injury in mice.
Even though research on the use of medical marijuana as a treatment option or complementary treatment of hepatitis C is still at its infancy stage, the preliminary thoughts are positive. Hence, more research needs to be done on this subject because as of now, getting the right dosage of medical marijuana for the treatment of hepatitis C involves a lot of trials and errors.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Hepatitis C:
- Northern Lights
- Northern Lights Bubblegum
- Cripple Creek
- Medicine Woman
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Hepatitis C or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.