CBD kills the hepatic stellate cells that cause liver scarring.
You may not think of it often, but your liver is your best friend. It is one of the most important organs in the body, and also the largest. Abuse of alcohol or drugs considerably contributes to its decline. Lifestyle damage can be incredibly difficult to repair if liver disease strikes, as this organ will have reduced capacity to heal itself. In the worst cases, damage becomes irreparable.
The liver has an incredible ability to self-repair, but some damage is just too much. Image Credit: Shutterstock
Or is it?
Recent studies have shown that cannabis may be a leading factor in maintaining and improving hepatic functioning. But what does this mean? And how does it work?
The liver is an absolutely incredible organ. It is crucial to the wellbeing and health of the body. This is due to its detoxing effect on the body. Forget apple diets and green smoothies – the liver works hard every minute to clean your blood and take away toxins. Meanwhile, it helps to process, deliver, and store glucose reserves in order to keep you alive in times of famine and fast in times of danger.
Some foods help improve detox functioning. Image Credit: Shutterstock
When healthy, or even slightly damaged, a liver regenerates the cells required to keep it whole and functioning properly. However, liver damage can reach a point where it is no longer naturally repairable.
Scarring begins at this point in what is called fibrosis and ends in cirrhosis. These are the consequences of long-term, repeated abuse (drugs or alcohol) or disease.
Once cirrhosis starts, it will no longer generate healthy cells. This results in a slow death of the organ, and of the body itself. At that point, symptoms include skin yellowing, fatigue, loss of appetite, itchiness, and weakness.
Yellowing of the eyes and skin is a symptom of advanced liver disease. Image Credit: Shutterstock
How does cannabis help?
The mechanisms through which cannabis helps the liver are only beginning to be understood. Researchers believe that liver disease, like many inflammatory conditions, are partially due to an endocannabinoid deficiency.
Any living creature with a vertebrae has what’s called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system has a massive network of chemical compounds called endocannabinoids taht engage with receptors called CB1 and CB2. These are dispersed throughout the brain, organs, central nervous system, and body to balance metabolic processes and the immune system.
Cannabidiol (CBD), found in cannabis, as studies in 2005 and two in 2011 have found, helps to treat liver disease by killing hepatic stellate cells (HSC) that cause scar tissue. Ultimately, CBD helps to restore regular functioning of the liver, as well as neurological functioning that is damaged by HSC.
Most of these studies have progressed to the animal testing phase. CBD treatment for liver disease has been successful in rats and mice. This means that it has a high potential to restore healthy liver cells in humans and potentially reverse the damages of liver disease.
Do you know anyone suffering from liver disease who could benefit from this study? Share and let them find out if cannabis can help them.