Study: Cannabis Use Associated with Reduced Rates of Diabetes in Patients with Hepatitis C

Marseille, France: Hepatitis C-infected subjects who use cannabis possess a lower risk of diabetes, according to data published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

A team of French investigators assessed the relationship between cannabis consumption and diabetes prevalence in a nationally representative sample of over 10,000 subjects with hepatitis C. Because chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a risk factor of insulin resistance, HCV-infected patients are at a higher risk of developing diabetes than those in the general population.

Researchers reported that subjects who acknowledged current marijuana use were approximately half (OR: 0.49) as likely to have diabetes than were non-users. Those who formerly consumed marijuana also possessed a reduced risk of diabetes as compared to never-users, but their reduced risk was not as significant (OR: 0.81).

Authors concluded: “In this large cross-sectional study of chronic HCV-infected patients, cannabis use was associated with a lower risk of diabetes independently of clinical and socio-behavioral factors. Further studies are needed to elucidate a potential causal link and shed light on cannabis compounds and mechanisms involved in this relationship.”

A previous study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2015, reported that cannabis use is positively associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance in HIV/Hepatitis C co-infected patients. Other studies assessing the relationship between marijuana use and diabetes risk in subjects without other pre-existing conditions report that a history of marijuana is associated with a lower prevalence of both type 2 diabetes as well as the development of certain metabolic risk factors associated with the onset of the disease.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use is associated with a lower risk of diabetes in chronic hepatitis C-infected patients,” appears in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. Additional information about the relationship between cannabis and diabetes is available from NORML.