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Fibrosis and Cirrhosis of the Liver

Moderate

Cannabis for Fibrosis and Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis is scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by long-term liver damage, preventing it from functioning properly. Cirrhosis can arise due to an infection such as viral hepatitis (B, C, D), fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), diabetes and alcohol abuse. The prevalence of cirrhosis in the United States was approximately 0.27%, corresponding to 633,323 adults.

There is some evidence that cannabis users have lower incidence rates of liver cirrhosis. THC may be useful in inducing apoptosis (cell death) of hepatic myofibroblasts – spindle cells that are injured and secreting collagen around portal tracts into the liver – allowing the liver to generate new ones. THC also displays some hepatoprotective (liver cell protective) mechanisms.

The terpene-cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene (an atypical cannabinoid) also displays some anti-inflammatory effects in those with liver disease, and may reduce alcohol consumption, too.

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Animal Study

9

Laboratory Study

1

Meta-analysis

18

Total studies

Fibrosis and Cirrhosis of the Liver

28

Positive

22 studies

79%

Negative

4 studies

14%

Inconclusive

2 studies

7%

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