The Pros and Cons of Using Marijuana with Hepatitis C
Chronic Hepatitis C is a disease that deserves more attention than it’s currently receiving from both the medical community and the public. Compared to well known diseases such as HIV/AIDS, this potentially fatal liver disease gets very little notice. Hepatitis C needs to be sent to the forefront in the medical world, especially since more than 170 million people worldwide have already been infected, and the rate of infection continues to increase. Medical marijuana, primarily used to help relieve the harsh side effects of Western medicine’s standard treatments, has been somewhat of a hot topic in the medical community lately, with valid arguments from both sides of the field. In the case of Hepatitis C, it can help alleviate the unbearable side effects for those currently undergoing a round of Interferon therapy.
Genotype 1 is the most common type of HCV in the United States. However, it has the lowest success rate with Interferon therapy, meaning re-treatment may be necessary for some. One possible reason for a low success rate is that many people can’t complete their treatment due to the side effects they experience, such as headaches, fatigue, and severe depression. Although it has no affect on the virus, medical marijuana may be able to reduce the severity of these symptoms, thus helping more people finish treatment.
Those who are against the use of medical marijuana point to its ability to damage their liver further, which may negate any positive results of treatment.
Regardless of which side of this issue you’re on, there’s no denying the results of numerous studies that show the positive, therapeutic benefits that medical marijuana can have on a patient with chronic liver disease. The opportunity to complete HCV treatment without being in severe pain and discomfort during treatment is something many patients would look forward to. This controversial treatment is already being used in some states for cancer patients and those infected with HIV.
To learn more about the pros and cons of using medical marijuana to enhance the benefit of Interferon treatment for Hepatitis C, read this entire article here.