More good news for medical marijuana patients: a recent study found that marijuana use is not linked with the progression of liver disease in patients co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV.
The study, published in the July edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, examined the effect of regular marijuana smoking on liver disease progression among subjects who were infected with both hepatitis C and HIV. Previous research had produced mixed results, with some studies claiming a “strong link” between marijuana consumption and liver disease. In contrast, this study found “no evidence for an association.” Researchers speculated that associations observed in previous studies were due to “reverse causation;” in other words, patients who already suffered from liver disease used increasing amounts of marijuana to cope with the pain as the symptoms worsened.
These findings debunk the long-held belief that marijuana use exacerbates liver damage, which gives us even more evidence that marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol, in addition to being a relatively benign medicine.
Using marijuana may cause a “complete remission” of Crohn’s disease, a new study suggests.
Published in the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study examined the effects of regular marijuana consumption on the development of the severely debilitating Crohn’s disease. Researchers at Israel’s Meir Medical Center found that five of the 11 patients (or nearly half) who smoked twice per day for eight weeks achieved complete remission, compared to none of the patients who were given a placebo. Additionally, another five of the test subjects receiving marijuana saw their symptoms cut in half. And, unlike many of the drugs currently prescribed to treat the illness, there were no significant side effects.
The symptoms of severe Crohn’s disease make it a living nightmare for many patients, who can suffer from bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and fevers.
This study is the first placebo-controlled clinical trial to measure the impact of marijuana consumption on Crohn’s disease. While there is no cure for Crohn’s, scientists are working to keep the symptoms in check and prevent further progression of the disease.
The researchers were hesitant to label the findings a total success, but said that they merit further research.