Can Cannabis Help in Protecting Liver Disease?

liver disease

The answer is YES! Cannabis has the required medicinal properties which can be used to manage liver diseases. Alcohol is bad for you. There is no doubt about that. Luckily, medical cannabis in Riverside presents us with a viable solution.

A research points to the fact that people who habitually exceed their drinking limits are at an increased risk of stroke, liver diseases, and cancers. 

So, you’re a drinker? Well, occasional drinking is fine but most people are unable to keep a tab on their intake. This is where the problem arises. Alcohol abuse puts you at the risk of a variety of diseases which includes, cirrhosis, steatosis, and hepatitis.

All these conditions characterize the ALD (Alcoholic Liver Disease). If you’re not aware of what that means, keep reading. 

What is alcoholic liver disease?

Regular consumption of alcohol increases the inflammation in the liver. Over time, this sets the tone for the onset of diseases.

When you ingest alcohol, it triggers the release of interleukin. This essentially happens due to immune response. This causes inflammation due to the interaction of white blood cells with the harmful bacteria. 

Over consumption of alcohol increases the permeability of the intestinal membrane which allows the bacteria to spread throughout the body. Gradually, the bacteria spreads to the liver and triggers the release of inflammatory cytokines. 

The stages of liver disease:

1) Initially, alcoholic liver disease disrupts the gut function leading to an increase in fat deposits. This results in a condition called fatty liver or steatosis.

2)This increased concentration of fat cells in the liver leads to prolonged inflammation. This condition is called alcoholic hepatitis. 

3) At last, severe inflammation causes excess cell damage. This leads to a stage where the liver becomes dysfunctional. This stage is termed as cirrhosis. 

4) If the inflammation is not treated on time, it increases the risk of contracting hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer. 

Cannabis and alcoholic liver disease

It’s a well-known fact that cannabis is deeply therapeutic. It has pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory properties which are very beneficial in reducing the irritation associated with the liver disease. 

The fact is that a considerable number of people combine alcohol with cannabis. They smoke cannabis and booze together. Considering this, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control outlined new rules in January which prevents fusing alcohol with cannabis. 

Also, the study conducted in 2018, surveyed the alcoholic past of 320,000 people. It was found that people who consumed alcohol with weed were at a lower risk of liver diseases.

Terence Bukong, the lead investigator of the study mentions that people who use cannabis with alcohol are comparatively safer against liver diseases. 

There is a clear distinction between the stats of users and non-users. Alcohol consumers who did not use cannabis had a 90% chance of contracting a liver disease. Notably, people who used cannabis had only an 8% chance. So, you understand the difference now?

Bukong further mentioned that study couldn’t point the type of strain used and the doses involved. Complete information could have equipped us with a better understanding of the process. Nevertheless, the study threw some light on the benefits of cannabis for alcoholic liver disease. 

But, what exactly goes internally to provide the benefits of cannabis? 

The credit goes to the endocannabinoid system-ECS

The endocannabinoid system exists in every human body. It’s basically a network of receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids spread throughout the body. 

So, when cannabis is ingested, the active compounds THC and CBD interact with the endocannabinoid receptors to release the therapeutic hormones. This essentially brings balance in the body. 


The two receptors involved are CB1 and CB2. They are spread throughout the body. Naturally, you can assume that its present in the liver too. The combined effect of these receptors sketches the progression of the disease. 

CB1 triggers the inflammation while CB2 prevents it. This contrasting presence combines to bring the necessary balance in the body and sets the therapeutic mechanism of cannabis. 

The investigators also mentioned that cannabis helped in alleviating the different stages of alcoholic liver disease. It was noted that heavy cannabis users had the most pronounced effect against the disease.

It produced the following effect on different stages:

  • Steatosis: 45% reduction
  • Hepatitis: 40% reduction
  • Cirrhosis: 55% reduction
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma: 75% reduction

To reap the full benefits, you need to access medical cannabis in Riverside. For that, you need to get evaluated and get a medical marijuana card. This gives you the right to purchase cannabis legally from a dispensary. Also, a certified doctor can guide you effectively on using the right dosage for your health. 

Alcohol benefits the body only in controlled consumption. But, most people fail to do that. This exposes you to the risk of abuse. Luckily, cannabis has presented a brilliant and effective solution for liver diseases. Further research is set to unearth more benefits in the future.