Chronic hepatitis C is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. The virus can cause severe liver damage and even death. Hepatitis C is spread through contact with blood from an infected person. This could happen when sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs, having unprotected sex, or being exposed to blood on the job. If you have chronic hepatitis C, it’s important to get treatment right away. There are new treatments available that can help you fight the virus and avoid long-term health problems.
While there is no cure for chronic hepatitis C, there are treatments available that can help manage the disease and improve the quality of life for patients. One promising new treatment option is medical marijuana, which has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in other chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease and arthritis.** While more research is needed to confirm its efficacy in treating hepatitis C, early signs suggest that medical marijuana could provide significant relief for patients suffering from this debilitating condition.
Just recently the State of Pennsylvania approved medical marijuana for the treatment of hepatitis C. The following recommendation was presented to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board in support.* “Patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C frequently report using cannabis to ease both symptoms of the disease such as pain and decreased appetite as well as the nausea associated with antiviral therapy. As chronic HCV infection progresses, marijuana has been shown to help alleviate complications, especially portal hypertension and liver cancer without worsening liver cirrhosis, complications of cirrhosis, mortality, liver cancer, and unfavorable discharge disposition. Marijuana may also help to prevent progression of steatosis or at least not contribute to worsening steatosis. While marijuana alone cannot treat chronic hepatitis C, it can be used in a complementary way along with physician prescribed medications to provide a higher likelihood of treatment success for chronic hepatitis C patients.”
Developing research around medical marijuana for diseases continues to hold promise for many with chronic conditions. While the future is bright, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of medical marijuana for various conditions. In the meantime, patients should work with their healthcare providers to determine if medical marijuana is right for them.
If you’re interested in your own medical marijuana card, The Apothecarium is working with area physicians to offer low cost certifications near you. Visit https://apothecarium.com/category/mmj-certification/ to learn more about the next event.
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