Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Likelihood Of Liver Cirrhosis Among Hepatitis C Patients

Salem, MA: Hepatitis C patients who use cannabis are less likely to contract liver cirrhosis as compared to matched controls, according to clinical data published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

A team of researchers from the United States and Canada assessed the effect of cannabis use on chronic liver disease in a cohort of 4,728 patients with the Hepatitis C virus versus 4,728 non-users.

Authors reported that subjects who consumed cannabis “had decreased prevalence of liver cirrhosis” and had “lower total health care cost ($39,642 versus $45,566) compared to non-cannabis users.” They concluded, “Our findings suggest that cannabis use is associated with decreased incidence of liver cirrhosis.”

Prior studies have reported that cannabis use is associated with reduced incidences of fibrosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients with the Hepatitis C virus.

For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Reduced incidence and better liver disease outcomes among chronic HCV infected patients who consume cannabis,” appears in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.