HCV patients who consume cannabis at lower risk of hypertension

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Research shows that individuals with hepatitis can find relief in medical marijuana

Patients suffering from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection would follow their drug treatments better if they were allowed to use marijuana. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine indicates that these patients are less likely to suffer from hypertension or other metabolic disorders than those who do not use cannabis.

Consuming different types of marijuana would help them tolerate the side effects of antivirals, which are capable of exterminating the virus but generally cause fever, chills and muscle pain, and even hypertension, say the French experts. In order to reach such a conclusion, the specialists closely analyzed the current and/or lifetime consumption of marijuana and metabolic disorders in a cohort of 6,364 HCV-infected subjects.

Whether current or in the past, the researchers indicated that cannabis use was inversely associated with hypertension in both analyses (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.74 and 0.45). In addition, these patients appeared to be less likely to have other metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity, which was not the case for those without a history of cannabis use.

Current or previous cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of hypertension and fewer metabolic disorders,” the authors concluded. “Future research should also explore the biological mechanisms underlying these potential benefits of cannabis use and test whether they translate into reduced mortality in this population.”

HCV damages the liver and can lead to death if left untreated. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to induce apoptosis in activated HCV. Based on these findings, CBD has the potential as a combination therapy with currently existing antiviral drugs for the disease.