August 8, 2013

Medical Update: New Perspective on Marijuana for Hepatitis C

Canadian researchers investigating marijuana use for Hepatitis C provide a rational edge to the debate on how this drug affects the liver.

blogger_HCVThe most common illicit drug used in the United States, marijuana’s healthfulness is a hotly debated topic. People managing chronic Hepatitis C are among those seeking answers regarding the effect marijuana has on their liver’s wellness.

Compounded by legal issues surrounding marijuana’s legality, the confusion over its seemingly contradictory study results continues to fuel the battle between medical marijuana proponents and opponents. Tipping the scales slightly in favor of marijuana use by people with chronic Hepatitis C, a new study debunks previous clinicians’ conclusions that smoking marijuana contributes to liver injury.

Advocates of legalizing marijuana for medicinal uses cite this drug’s ability to relieve pain, reduce nausea and increase appetite. As of summer of 2013 in the United States, 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

Seven states including Arizona, Maine and Massachusetts cite Hepatitis C as an approved condition for medical marijuana use. However, other states with medical marijuana laws, such as Vermont, Montana and Colorado, omit Hepatitis C from the list of approved conditions for a prescription. Despite Hepatitis C’s omission in some state’s laws, most of the 18 states and D.C. have a clause allowing medical marijuana prescriptions for persistent pain and/or chronic disease.

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