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THC and CBD protect the liver from the dangers of alcohol

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Cannabis demonstrates its usefulness when combined with dangerous substances such as alcohol

Studying the health effects of alcohol and cannabis is fundamental. However, it does not always reflect the consumption habits of the public. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact that the combination of alcohol and cannabis has on health. A recent study addressed this challenge by studying the effect of cannabis use on alcoholic liver disorders.

liver disease, liver cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, thc and cbd

What is an alcoholic liver disorder?

Drinking a lot of alcohol for many years causes alcoholic liver disorders by constantly raising the levels ofinflammation. Alcohol directly damages liver cells and causes an inflammatory response. Additionally, alcohol disrupts the walls of the intestine, leading to the recruitment of inflammatory cells to repair the damage. These inflammatory cells make their way through the intestine to the liver where they contribute to inflammation of the liver. Alcohol also disrupts microbes in the gut. They release toxins into the bloodstream which the liver tries to break down thus causing irritation.

These processes lead to the onset and progression of alcoholic liver disorders:

  • The progression of these disorders often results in disruption of normal bowel function. An excess of fatty deposits in the liver results. This creates a condition known as "steatosis", or "fatty liver".
  • The increase in stress cell by excess fat cells in the liver leads to a state of constant inflammation of the liver, even in the absence of alcohol. This condition is called “alcoholic hepatitis”.
  • Ultimately, this inflammation causes irreversible damage to liver cells. The damage reaches a point where few healthy cells remain and the liver becomes marked by tissues that do not work. This stage is called "cirrhosis", and liver function is severely compromised.
  • Finally, the inflammation continuing for years, if not decades, also increases the risk of liver cancer, called “hepatocellular carcinoma”.

These four manifestations characterize the devastating alcoholic liver disease. Near 29% of individuals have had a problem with alcohol consumption in their lifetime, and among them, 20% have developed liver disease, which can be fatal. In fact, people who drink alcohol have 23 times more likely to die from liver disease. Can we reduce the risk of liver disease in people with alcohol problems?

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Indeed, cannabis can be the solution.

Ten percent of people with a drinking problem also have a cannabis use disorder, while other cannabis users are not considered addicted. Could the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis protect against the development of alcoholic liver disease?

Study results: The effects of cannabis on alcoholic liver disease

In this large study of 320 people with a problem with alcohol consumption * (including more than 000 non-dependent and 26 dependent cannabis users), scientists found that cannabis use protected against liver disease. alcoholic.

Scientists found that regardless of whether people were frequent cannabis users or not, cannabis protected against the development of each of the four stages of liver disease. In particular, the heavier cannabis users had the best protection against alcoholic liver diseases.

Specifically, cannabis use was associated with:

  • 45% reduction of alcoholic steatosis (fatty liver)
  • 40% reduction in alcoholic hepatitis (inflamed liver)
  • 55% reduction in alcoholic cirrhosis (scar liver)
  • 75% reduction in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)

(note: percentages cover dependent and non-dependent cannabis users)

It should be noted that cannabis protects more people who meet the diagnostic criteria ofabuse alcohol. Cannabis is less protective of those meeting the criteria for addiction with alcohol.

What is the difference between abuse and addiction?

Alcohol abuse is drinking too often. Addiction is the inability to stop drinking. In most cases, people with addictions end up consuming more alcohol throughout their lives. So it seems that cannabis only partially protects. The more you drink, the less cannabis can help.

liver disease, liver cancer, hepatitis, cirrhosis, thc and cbd

Cannabis protects against liver cancer by reducing inflammation

Despite the interest in some cannabinoids in the cancer treatment, scientists concluded that the protection of cannabis against liver cancer came mainly from its ability to prevent cirrhosis. It is therefore a different protective mechanism from the one that directly stops or eliminates cancer. Since 90% of hepatocellular carcinomas arise from cirrhosis, the blocking of this critical step by cannabis illustrates its significant therapeutic potential for preventing the appearance of these cancers.

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But their results still leave open the possibility of direct anticancer effects. Scientists report that cannabis use is associated with a similar reduction in liver cancer in alcoholics and addicts. Since cannabis is less effective in preventing cirrhosis in people addicted to alcohol, it is possible that cannabis directly blocks the development of liver cancer regardless of its effects on C. Further studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of the anti-cancer properties of cannabis on the liver.

Alcohol increases inflammation

The alcohol damages the brain and the body by increasing inflammation, and this inflammation contributes to liver disease. The anti-inflammatory properties  THC and CBD, predict that cannabis consumption may reduce inflammation caused by alcohol, and therefore help prevent the development of liver disease.

However, the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis are not so simple in the liver. THC activates cannabinoid type I and type II receptors (CB1 and CB2), while CBD blocks the actions of THC on CB1 receptors and activates CB2 receptors. This distinction is important because activation of CB1 receptors has pro-inflammatory effects on the liver and leads to disease, while activation of CB2 has anti-inflammatory effects and protects against such inflammations. These effects have been identified in laboratory models of liver disease, but the effect of cannabis on alcoholic liver disease in humans has not yet been evaluated.

The anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis are already used for the relief of pain as well as for the treatment of colitis (inflammation of the colon), multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Strains balanced in THC and CBD or dominant in CBD can provide even greater anti-inflammatory effects. And, hopefully, they will better prevent alcoholic liver disease.

 

source: leafly.com

Tags : AlcoholAnti-inflammatoryCancerEtudedisease
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Weed media broadcaster and communications manager specializing in legal cannabis. Do you know what they say? knowledge is power. Understand the science behind cannabis medicine, while staying up to date with the latest health related research, treatments and products. Stay up to date with the latest news and ideas on legalization, laws, political movements. Discover tips, tricks and how-to guides from the most seasoned growers on the planet as well as the latest research and findings from the scientific community on the medical qualities of cannabis.