It’s no secret that alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on a person’s health. Researchers have actually linked over 60 diseases to excessive alcohol consumption. These include heart disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and dementia, just to name a few.
One of the most common health problems associated with alcohol abuse is damage to the liver. A recent Salem, Massachusetts study however, shows that cannabis might help prevent liver damage caused by drinking.
Can Cannabis Prevent Liver Damage Caused by Drinking?
Alcohol is by no means healthy. When a person drinks, they’re essentially introducing a damaging substance to their system. When alcohol is introduced to a person’s bloodstream, it’s the liver that works to filter it out. In the process however, cells in the liver are damaged, ultimately resulting in inflammation.
The more a person abuses alcohol, the worse liver inflammation becomes. Over time, regular, excessive alcohol abuse can result in chronic inflammation of the liver. In time, this can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, a complication of liver disease involving loss of liver cells and irreversible scarring of the liver.
Medical cannabis can help. One of the most well-documented medical benefits of marijuana is its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory. Researchers at North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts recently took a deeper look into the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis specifically to see if it could help protect the liver from damage.
Researchers focused their study on over 300,000 people with current or past history of alcohol abuse. Participants of the study were divided into three groups: non-cannabis users, non-dependent cannabis users, and dependent cannabis users.
They also focused on the way cannabis use correlates to the four phases of liver disease: alcohol fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
Study Finds People Who Use Cannabis Have “Significantly Lower Odds” of Developing Liver Disease
The results researchers discovered were extraordinary. People who used cannabis had “significantly lower odds” of developing all four phases of liver disease. Participants of the study identified as “dependent cannabis users” were the least likely to develop liver disease.
The aim of the study wasn’t to encourage people who drink a lot to start smoking a bunch of weed. Instead, head of the study, Adeyinka Charles Adejumo sees the study as opening the door to medical cannabis treatments for liver disease in people who abuse alcohol.
With more research being constantly conducted on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, it’s becoming clear that there’s a myriad of health issues to which cannabis holds the key.