Last updated on 2 September 2021
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a condition defined by inflammation of the liver. The disease is mainly caused by a viral infection although there are other probable causes. Such include toxic substances, e.g., alcohol, drugs or medications and autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a genetic, non-contagious, chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy, normal functioning liver cells. Hepatitis can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or even cancer.
Infectious hepatitis which is contagious is primarily transmitted when an uninfected person ingests water or food that has been contaminated with feces of an infected individual. It can also be spread when blood or semen or any other body fluid from an infected person is passed to an uninfected individual. There are five types of this infection. Hepatitis D type occurs only when hepatitis B has been present.
Why Does CBD Work to Treat Hepatitis?
In recent years, cannabidiol (CBD) has proved to help in treating many varieties of illness in laboratories and clinical trials. According to a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina1, CBD can be used as a treatment for hepatitis. CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in our bodies to offer relief of hepatitis symptoms in autoimmune and viral hepatitis. Research has unveiled that the receptors can be activated to reduce hepatic inflammation which stops liver scarring. For example, when the cannabinoids attach to the CB2 receptor, they help in reducing the inflammation of the fatty liver and also promote regeneration. CBD helps in relieving the pain from liver disease and the side effects caused by the treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of Using CBD To Treat Hepatitis?
Using CBD oil as a way of treating hepatitis has several benefits. CBD protects the liver from acute injury. A test done on mice2 revealed the effect of treating hepatitis with CBD. The results showed a decrease in liver injury.
Another study using this method3 revealed that CBD has a direct impact on pro-inflammatory cytokines. CBD suppresses inflammatory cytokines that protect against damage. This increases the durability of the liver tissues hence a continued filtering waste and toxins from the blood.
CBD is also known to be an excellent antioxidant4. Oxidation is a harmful process that happens as a byproduct when liver enzymes break down the unwanted substance found in the blood. Antioxidants like CBD help to prevent oxidation. The human liver digests molecules found in our blood and starts the process of degradation process in which the kidneys finish by producing urine. The process creates free radicals known as oxidants. These radicals can cause damage to human cells through inflammation due to their reactivity.
Using CBD helps in breaking down these dangerous compounds that can react with crucial moles or DNA strands. When CBD binds with free radicals, it helps in preventing any damage that would arise from binding with important cell structures. Free radicals accumulate around the liver thus exerting pressure on the hepatic cells. Cannabinoids, therefore, act as a guard between the liver and the danger paused by the byproducts.
What Are The Side Effects of Using CBD to Treat Hepatitis?
CBD is generally considered safe5. Nontheless, it is possible for people to experience some side effects. These can include nausea, diarrhea, drowsiness, change of appetite, and a dry mouth. While the syptoms are rare, it is important to be informed, therefore we compiled a comprehensive guide on possible CBD side-effect.
CBD Dosage For Hepatitis
Each person requires a specific and personalized dose determined by different health factors. The medical practitioner who checks a person’s health could offer advice on how much CBD is appropriate to use. Another way to identify the best dose is by experimenting. However, one should start with the lowest level of a dose.
We recommend following the Step-Up method described in the book ” Patient’s Guide to Cannabis” by Leonard Leinow6
To find out how to correctly dose your CBD, read our post on CBD dosage.
How Can I Use CBD to Treat Hepatitis?
CBD oil is consumed orally by putting drops underneath the tongue and holding it until it gets fully absorbed. It’s important not to swallow it right away, rather wait for it to be absorbed. This makes digestion and absorption much easier. You can also take it as capsules or mix it with a drink.
Other methods of taking CBD oil is by vaping it. It can be taken using a vaporizer. This method is one of the fastest and has an instant effect. However, do not vape if you have asthma or any other lung disease or if you are a beginner as it can be too much for your body at first due to its instant function.
- Nagarkatti, M. and Nagarkatti, P. (2018). Research leads to potential treatment for rare disease. [online] University of South Carolina. Available at: https://www.sc.edu/uofsc/posts/2018/07/nagarkattis_research_autoimmune_hepatitis.php#.XXYAKSgzaUl
- Wang, Y., Mukhopadhyay, P., Cao, Z., Wang, H., Feng, D., Haskó, G., Mechoulam, R., Gao, B. and Pacher, P. (2017). Cannabidiol attenuates alcohol-induced liver steatosis, metabolic dysregulation, inflammation and neutrophil-mediated injury. Scientific Reports, 7(1).
- Hammell, D., Zhang, L., Ma, F., Abshire, S., McIlwrath, S., Stinchcomb, A. and Westlund, K. (2015). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European Journal of Pain, 20(6), pp.936-948.
- Hampson, A., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J. and Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-) 9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 95(14), pp.8268-8273.
- Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (2018). CANNABIDIOL (CBD). [online] World Health Organization
- Leinow,, L. and Birnbaum, J. (2017). CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books.