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Medical Update: New Perspective on Marijuana for Hepatitis C

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. August 8, 2013

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Canadian researchers investigating marijuana use for Hepatitis C provide a rational edge to the debate on how this drug affects the liver.
Medicinal Marijuana and Hepatitis C

The most common illicit drug used in the United States, marijuana’s healthfulness is a hotly debated topic. People managing chronic Hepatitis C are among those seeking answers regarding the effect marijuana has on their liver’s wellness.

Compounded by legal issues surrounding marijuana’s legality, the confusion over its seemingly contradictory study results continues to fuel the battle between medical marijuana proponents and opponents. Tipping the scales slightly in favor of marijuana use by people with chronic Hepatitis C, a new study debunks previous clinicians’ conclusions that smoking marijuana contributes to liver injury.

Advocates of legalizing marijuana for medicinal uses cite this drug’s ability to relieve pain, reduce nausea and increase appetite. As of summer of 2013 in the United States, 18 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

Seven states including Arizona, Maine and Massachusetts cite Hepatitis C as an approved condition for medical marijuana use. However, other states with medical marijuana laws, such as Vermont, Montana and Colorado, omit Hepatitis C from the list of approved conditions for a prescription. Despite Hepatitis C’s omission in some state’s laws, most of the 18 states and D.C. have a clause allowing medical marijuana prescriptions for persistent pain and/or chronic disease.

Pushing the issue of legality aside, the primary concern regarding medical marijuana for people with Hepatitis C is – will using this drug help or harm my liver’s health? While solid arguments can be made for either side, the primary opposing views include:

  • Marijuana may help certain individuals persevere through challenging symptoms and complete antiviral therapy, improving their odds at successfully eliminating the Hepatitis C virus.
  • Heavy marijuana users are at significant risk of progressive liver damage, worsening their Hepatitis C prognosis.

In lieu of reviewing the studies supporting each of these views, they can be accessed here by reading the article “Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana with Hepatitis C.”

Supporting the justification for smoking marijuana for Hepatitis C, research published in June 2013 in Clinical Infectious Disease found the connection between marijuana use and progressive liver damage to be unsubstantiated. Canadian researchers at McGill University evaluated the effect of marijuana smoking on liver disease progression in those co-infected with HIV and Hepatitis C:

  • The study included nearly 700 people with Hepatitis C without significant fibrosis or end-stage-liver disease who reported their marijuana usage.
  • At baseline, 53 percent of participants had smoked marijuana in the past 6 months, consuming a median of 7 joints per week; 40 percent smoked daily.
  • There was no evidence that marijuana smoking accelerated the progression of their illness to significant liver fibrosis.

There is no doubt that previous studies had found an increase in Hepatitis C progression towards cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease with heavy marijuana use; however, the researchers believed those assumptions were likely biased by reverse causality. This reverse causation implies that instead of marijuana causing a worsening of liver disease, patients used more marijuana to relieve their symptoms as their liver disease progressed.

Nobody is claiming that smoking marijuana is good for you; in fact, decades of studies have found the possibility this practice may do harm to the cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological systems. But looking at the facts regarding marijuana use for those with chronic Hepatitis C, the line holding marijuana as an illicit, liver-harming drug has become blurred. The biggest deterrent for prescribing medical marijuana (in those locations where it is legal) was the assumption that it increased liver fibrosis. Now that Canadian researchers have attributed this assumption to reverse causality, the argument against medical marijuana for Hepatitis C appears to be floundering.

References:

http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/07/03/cid.cit378.abstract, Marijuana Smoking Does Not Accelerate Progression of Liver Disease in HIV–Hepatitis C Coinfection: A Longitudinal Cohort Analysis, Laurence Brunet, et al, Retrieved July 19, 2013, Clinical Infectious Diseases, June 2013.

http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000881, 18 LegaL Medical Marijuana States and DC, Retrieved July 21, 2013, Procon.org, 2013.

http://weedentrepreneur.com/2013-legal-medical-marijuana-states-guide/, 2013 Legal Medical Marijuana States Guide, Retrieved July 21, 2013, Weed Entrepeneur, 2013.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/cannabis/healthprofessional/page4, Cannabis and Cannabinoids, Retrieved July 21, 2013, National Cancer Institute, 2013.

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana, Drug Facts: Marijuana, Retrieved July 21, 2013, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2013.

http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/hepatitis-resource-center-2013/marijuana-not-associated-with-liver-disease-progression-in-hivhcv-coinfection, Marijuana not associated with liver disease progression in HIV/HCV Coinfection, Retrieved July 21, 2013, Healio, 2013.

http://www.hepatitis-central.com/mt/archives/2007/06/the_pros_and_co.html, Pros and Cons of Medical Marijuana with Hepatitis C, Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., Retrieved July 21, 2013, Hepatitis Central, 2013.

http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/cmu/hepatitis_c.htm, Hepatitis C – The Silent Killer: Can Medical Cannabis Helpl?, Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD, Retrieved July 21, 2013, The American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, 2013.

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  • Louise

    My worst symptom of stage 4 Hep C caused Cirrhosiss leaves me feeling exhausted and itching all over. Marijuana will only increase the fatigue although it might ease the constant itching. Due to very limited liver I am very sensitive to anything even breathing 2nd hand cigarette smoke makes me dizzy so unless one was taking the interferon treatment I can’t imagine how smoking pot could do me or my liver any good at all !

    • Nuet

      I have had HCV for 35 yrs. In the past 2yrs. I started to juice with marijuana along with a pretty ridged diet eliminating sugar’s of all kinds, red meat, flour, and pre. pkg. food.
      I have opted
      to NOT do any treatment as of yet. So far so good! I still do regular blood test and sonograms in place of biopsy. Since I have changed my diet all of my numbers have decreased and my liver is now functioning in the normal range. I also keep active with walking and yoga. I do consider myself lucky so far. And also I have smoked MJ the whole time in moderation. Hope this is helpful and might encourage others! Peace!

      • Christine

        Hi Louis, I too am trying not to do treatment at this point and have had HCV for 50 yrs. My diet has changed to a mostly organic foods, fresh veg juices and fruit smoothies, and limited animal proteins. Milk thistle, NAC, and other recommended supplements are also part of my regimen. My numbers are not normal but since i switched to this type of eating and exercise, they are much better. Do you eliminate all fresh fruit, and whole grain flowers in your diet?

    • RichWa

      I’m not as far along as you; my biopsy is 2,2 with no cirrhosis just fibrous. I do have many other of the non-liver related problems/symptom including aches and pains, itching, exhaustion, brain fog, etc. And, like you, I’m highly sensitive to what goes in my body as is my body. I’ve felt sick to the point where I’ve been on treatment three times with no success and trust me, I wouldn’t wish treatment on anyone.

      I find that using marijuana can help me a lot or make things worse depending upon dosage. If I do a very little bit (a single toke) I can cope better with my aches and pains including the itching. I also can focus better and find a little more energy to do thing. If I do too much, the exact opposite is true; the pains, itching, etc bother me much more and I find myself way too fatigued to accomplish much of anything.

      The biggest problem I have with using marijuana as a medicine is finding weak enough marijuana so one toke isn’t too much; this is due to its being illegal.

      As to being good, bad, or indifferent to my liver, I really could care less as quality of life is way more important to me than quantity of life.

      • David L Winter

        I couldn’t agree more. I hadn’t smoked marijuana in years and years, then decided to give it a try. I have Hep C and cirrhosis. I suffer from debilitating fatigue. Everyday is a serious challenge. Marijuana provides more relief than I have ever had from anything prescribed to me by my doctors! The only fault I can find with it is that I don’t get much done afterwards, but I feel so much better. It seems to take the edge off of the pain and allows me to be somewhat more mobile. I simply can’t believe it isn’t something that is a part of traditional medicine. My doctors should have prescribed it years ago. By the way, I have taken every protocol developed for the treatment of Hep C. I am a chronic non-responder and now I am also interferon intolerant. About the only chance I have at a quality of life is to reach out to some non-traditional methods.

        • Arwhd1

          I have to agree with you. MJ was the only thing that seemed to allow me to rest and sleep due to the chronic pain and itching I had while on triple therapy. I really don’t know why it wasn’t prescribed except it’s illegal here in Tn. While I was on treatment making me lazier wasn’t a concern due to the incevk , it was a horrible experience I never want to try again. But 1 yr later after treatment the Dragon is gone and I’m back in my regular lifestyle except for brain fog and seems as though my balance isn’t what it was before. But good luck to you all the same and I hope soon you might be a responder also….

          • Sockeye

            We need to keep talking, in Hawaii, they don’t want me on transplant list because I use one joint a day to stimulate appetite, control nausea, modify pain and anxiety and to promote sleep, I don’t want a handful of pills to treat my symptoms, I want something natural and that causes me no side effects. I’m ready for transplant list but they say they will throw me off if it is detected that I use marijuana and for gods sake this is Hawaii

          • Pat

            Sorry you are sick. I am 2.5 years post transplant and things are going pretty good. I know the two transplant centers I was listed with had the same no-use policy towards MJ. If you are testing to get listed or already accepted on a list, do Not smoke! It is a Big deal getting put on 6 mos or a 1 year suspension. It could easily mean your life. They wash people out because there isn’t enough tissue and they can only accept people they deem as trustworthy and compliant. I faced these same issues and am glad I stayed away from MJ even though I had heavy pain, itching, and nausea for the last 6 months. Hang in there. Good luck and God’s speed.

          • buzorro

            See my reply to RichWa above concerning brain fog.

        • Walter

          I am 58 years old and I was diagnosed with Hep-C about 15 years ago. From what I have been through I can tell you that diet and suppliments tough helpfull to slow the disease do little to help with the symptoms.
          I have been on treatment with Inter-Ribo three time. Each time I ended up in the ER.
          My Dr. Finally said” You must be one of those who have a reaction to one or both drugs. If it were not for MJ I would not be able to handle the symptoms. Nausea, Pain, low Appitite, fatigue. It help ease all of these and let me lead a somewhat normal life.

          • Vicky

            I’ve had Hep C for 30 yrs now tried all the treatments and I too had bad reactions to all and if it wasn’t for MJ the effects would been unbearable the virus is still here but with greens, and veggies, vitamins, fresh air everyday. I’m doing it Had my gallbladder out a few years back so its double time on the liver for processing and it tells me when its had too much protein so listen to your body and your liver enjoy life.

      • buzorro

        Is your abdomen swollen? Brain fog is a liver-related problem. It’s caused by too much ammonia in your blood. A diseased liver will secrete ‘ascites’ into your abdomen and eventually you’ll also have swollen ankles and wrists. If not treated, brain fog will become full blown madness eventually. Drive a car? Forget it, you’ll get lost trying to pull out of your driveway. Fortunately it’s treatable with doses of Lactulose. You’ll eventually go this route and I will warn you, don’t stray too far from a toilet. The excess ascites will be ‘flushed’ from your body in the form of diarrhea…seemingly constant and relentless. But it will bring down your ammonia level.

        My hepatologist is a professor at Northwestern Medical University and when I complained about being afraid to go inside stores he agreed to lower my dosage to’see how that works for you.’ After a blood test a month ago his nurse immediately called me and asked if I’ve ‘felt confused’ lately. My daily doses are back up again. I just consider it part of the cure…a fact of life.

        Good luck…

        • RichWa

          First, thank you for bringing this up though it doesn’t apply to me; my ammonia levels are fine.

          Brain fog causation is not just due to liver issues including Hepatic Encephalopathy. Interferon causes brain fog which can last for years after treatment. Hep C causes or is related to a host of other illnesses such as COPD, cryoglobulinemia, arthralgia, neuropathy, skin diseases, and diabetes. I believe that diabetes and cryoglobulinemia can cause brain fog and I’d lay odd that Hep C alone can create brain fog based upon how our immune systems react.

          One problem I’ve found with hepatologists and gastrointestinalogists is their inability to see beyond their immediate speciality. Hep C is not just about the liver and the nasty damage it does to ones liver, it also lodges itself in the brain, lungs, and other places. We are just being to understand Hep C and how it interacts with our bodies. We are also just being to understand (or become aware of) the damages we are doing to our bodies through the use of current treatments; it’s a hard call which is worse, the disease or a chance to be cured?

          • buzorro

            Thank you for enlightening me.

        • Heather Wise McRae

          Hi I have the issue with the swollen abdomen and swollen ankles and wrists. I have no problem with constipation so should I use the lactulose to treat the swelling? I read somewhere else that L-Citrulline removes ammonia from the body. Should I go that route seeing I have no problem with constipation?

          • buzorro

            I’m no doctor, however I finished my Hep C treatment a year ago so the ’cause’ of my cirrhosis is gone. The cirrhosis is still present so my liver is still not, and will not, be filtering the toxins, etc. from my blood 100%. Therefore the swelling of my abdomen from ascites will continue. The lactulose is prescribed as a flushing agent to help remove the ascites.
            I’m not familiar with L-Citrulline.

          • Heather

            Thanks for the response. I guess seeing I don’t have the itching yet I’ll just wait and see how the marijuana works for me. I don’t really want to spend my life in the bathroom for the swelling using lactulose. As of about 4 years ago I was stage 1 with minimal fibrosis so hopefully when I see my new GI doctor in October it hasn’t progressed that much. I have no Idea how I even got it.

    • Cathy

      Eating it is better for treatment. And it is important how you cook it. You have to reduce it into butter and then use the butter in a recipe. Its a long day cooking, but it is worth it.

    • Livin’ Out Loud

      Vaporizer. My itching is unbelievable and certain strains of cannabis help. Look for a high CBD content, less THC, which gets you high. Look online, complete explanations. My delivery service has it now. There are the liquids and pills, you see on television, that actually, literally make it possible for some to function!!! Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s latest, “change of mind” special that has been playing lately is a MUST SEE. You can read the article. There is a company in northern Calif, that is growing certain plants for the kinds of folks this will help, and not necessarily feel high from the effects. Buy a Magic Box vaporizer. Amazon has everything or knows who does. Use that. The cannabis turns to steam. Not the same as smoking it through a pipe at all–very subdued. It also helps you sleep, pains, toothache, fibroid, menses, leg, shall I go on? : ) and get an appetite if you need it. Go to a professional place. Cannabis is now being monitored for all your pain relief. I’ve seen people leaving the dispensaries–MS patients, on crutches, barely able to walk–and they say that they are much better. I know what it does for me. I itched for years until I started smoking again. No itch, the end. Miracle plant from G-d!!?? Good luck, Darlings. Peace.

    • Splashmelove

      I understand how you feel, smoke irritates me as well, I am very sensitive to it, infact to any kind. Louise, you don’t have to smoke it. I use an oil instead.. less side effects associated with oils, no drowsiness and no itching either… at-least that is what I’ve found it to do for me. I wouldn’t touch Cannabis for years, not since I was a teenager. I am now 55 and glad to have an oil that helps me out with my aches, pains, and chronic insomnia.. its been a great asset to me these days… 😉

      • donna

        where do u get the oil? I was diagnosed in 2006. At that time I was also diagnose with cirrhosis. I am sooooo sick of the itching. my arms are raw. I am due to go back to the doctors this month and will talk about this new”miracle drug”. I was on telaprivir for 7 weeks. it was awful. the hep c came back. I am worried about it happening again.good luck to all.

    • Classic

      You can vaporize. You can make oil or candy. Smoking is sooo 1960s.

  • David L Winter

    I too take a carefully chosen menu of supplements. I also follow every recommendation for food, when to eat it and what to eat in an attempt to gain more energy. I agree that over the years, I was diagnosed in 2001, the supplements and my diet have helped to slow down the process. However, at long last, I arrived at cirrhosis this year. The energy loss started in 2009 and has no escalated to the point where every movement is almost calculated. I am taking Tai Chi two times a week, which has seemed to help with balance and sometimes I do feel a little energy after the exercises. However, all in all I wonder how much more energy I can lose? Oh, and my psychiatrist also prescribed Dextroamphetamine, 5mg, 2 per day. This has definitely help me to get a little more energy during the first half of the day. It’s artificial, but so what? I did start taking SAM-E only about two weeks ago because the Liver Institute actually recommends it for help with depression as well as rebuilding the liver. It was a small surprise to me because I’ve never seen it recommended before and it is unusual for medical professionals and government entities to actually specify any supplements. Although I’m actually sick of reading about Hep C, I do realize that new information is made available daily so I keep reading.

  • Rylie

    I’ve had Hep C for 40 yrs and have been able to keep it ‘controllable’ with diet (mostly organic fruits and veggies; green smoothies and plant protein); also herbs such as milk thistle. Three yrs ago I had a kidney stone and after several medical procedures to rid that stone, my liver health went south. All of a sudden doctors were talking liver transplant, my blood ammonia was off the charts and the itching unbearable. The docs prescribed Lactulose and within 3 weeks my labs were indicating diabetes. Well, duh! Too much sugar (Lactulose is pure sugar). So I took matters into my own hands and eliminated ALL animal protein from my diet, all sugar, white flour and any pre-packaged foods. It didn’t happen overnight, but all lab values returned to normal. Since then I have had only one time when my blood ammonia started to rise (I knew immediately because of the itching, and I also knew it was because I had been eating cheeses and dairy). The docs offered Lactulose again. I declined. I purchased L-Citrulline at a health food store which also helps balance blood ammonia, and within days I felt better. My doctor was furious. I fired him! With HepC I have learned we can champion ourselves with a plant-based diet and inexpensive herbs such as milk thistle and another product I like is LIV-52 (check it out online. It comes from India and has much research behind it)

    • buzorro

      You say that Lactulose is pure sugar, but Wikipedia says that it is ‘ a synthetic, non-digestible sugar.’ I’m confused.

      • Rylie

        Perhaps lactulose is a synthetic, non-digestible sugar. In my opinion, that would be even worse for our bodies. Any substance ending in -lose is sugar in some form. The point is, sugar in any form is not good for the body.

        • buzorro

          Yessir, but if it’s non-digestable doesn’t that mean that it goes out in the same form as it went in. I thought of it more as a lubricant. I believe it’s used to treat constipation. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no pharmacist, I’m ignorant about so many things, which is why I treasure becoming enlightened. So much to learn, so little time…

        • hempangle

          You need to tell all the 80 and 90 year olds that sugar is not good for the body because it’s not bad for everybody and don’t forget to tell the nursing homes to because they use sugar in the meals just to get people to eat the food.

    • Srikanth

      Liv 52 is garbage tonic I am from india and its been in India for last 30 years all is does is digest your food and make you hungry Period I have lived in new york for last 30 years and its a lot of Blooney about liv 52 Just use milk thistle lots of leafy stuff and lots of yogurt and if you have a store buy TUMERIC juice it and drink it Tumeric has been used in India for 3 thousand years Just talk to a smart intelligent indian and he will explain Hep c patients have lots to gain special if you juice it and drink juice NO POWDER OR CANNED STUFFED only raw juiced Also if oyu are DIABETIC look at your number just Freeking Tumble in 2 weeks You be schocked Just dont overdo drink it maybe 4 oz per day raw juice Happy living Did my 2 cents of knowldge for youi all

      • hempangle

        If you really want to do something about your hep c you need to ingest the resins of cannabis.It’s thick like grease and it will turn your liver around.I get a blood test once a year and my doctor hasn’t even mentioned my hep c for three years now.The interfon treatments hurt your body to much and they are old school at best.I’ve had hep c since 1971.Get your head out of the sand and live.

        • Mary Presley

          hello my name is Mary I’ve had hepatitis C 10 years this year it’s come back after being in remission for quite some time but I would like to take the opportunity and speak with you regarding your remedy thank you.

          • hempangle

            I’t’s easy to find.I started with Rick Simpson on you tube and everything just sort of went the way of healing.It seams like every state that has MMJ has these meetings and forums people can attend if they really want to do something that works instead of keeping the stock market making money flowing.

          • Les Weiler

            looking into this as well. my father has hep b, c, colorectal, skin and testicular cancer. about to start 3rd attempt at chemo/radiation, looking at heading to oregon for oil. Was hoping to find more studies on cannabinoids and hepatic issues, but it looks like we’re still dragging our feet on serious studies. I know anecdotes aren’t data, but I’d be interested to hear how your hep treatments with simpson tar or other oil went.

          • hempangle

            My doctor offered the treatment most other hep c folks were getting and I told him no of course.This offer was four years ago.Two years after the offer is when I found out about RSO and I did some research on it and went to CO because some friends of mine helped me out for awhile at first because it kind of scared me.I wouldn’t have been scared if it hadn’t been for all the lies I heard on the news about pot.All I can say is it worked out well for me and I haven’t had a consult in two years.My doctor wants to know what I did but he never ask so I just leave it alone.

          • joniw

            be careful when you say rso that you say Rick Simpson oil. some is calling something that can be purchased online as rso but they name is actually real scientific oil and that is NOT the RSO Rick Simpson Oil that Hempangle is talking about. Rick Simpson recently published an online book you can get a link to on his facebook page, i bought it (10 bucks U.S.) and it explains in detail. Otherwise researching Rick Simpson on you tube and his facebook page will give you information for free. the ebook is simply compact and you don’t have to research to get answers. DO NOT buy rso online from that other place, I have no idea what that stuff is. I do know that what Rick Simpson reports is the real stuff.

          • hempangle

            Les you ought to put yourself on a maint. dose and this is why.Watch the show weed on youtube and just see how many times the interns and other nurse’s talk about how a person can prevent debilitating condition in the first place by getting the cannabinoids into our systems by purposely putting them there.There are couple of ways to do this which you will find out researching it.Even the CBD’s that have made all the news here in the last year have used for decades all around the world and those poor college kids that grow the Charlottes Web think they are the first.I’m not going to bust their bubble because with them and Dr Gupta people lives are being saved.

          • Les Weiler

            thankfully, it’s not me with hep, but yes – i’m about to send a loved one up to oregon to visit stony girl gardens for some simpson tar. thanks for the info here.

          • hempangle

            Phoenix Tears is what got my attention a couple years back.

  • Eddie M

    I was healed last year-3rd treatment and w/Incivek this time. I recovered pretty quickly the 1st time in ’99. In 2004, with the PEG once a week shot, I took almost 2 yrs to re-coop. I completed the last treatment a year ago last May. In November I felt almost an overnight feeling that my joints were oiled and energy started to come back. I still struggle with brain fog and depression-or fatigue. It is not as constant now. Any emotional strain seems to drive me back to the bedroom for days. However, my strength has been building and at times I can feel normal for a few days. It is still easy to over do things if I am not careful.
    I could not have done the Incivik w/Interferon w/o med. marijuana. W/o it I could not take meds for throwing up for throwing up.
    I threw up every morning for the 1st 5 mos and was taken off @ 8 mos after non-det. from the 1st test at 1 mos. on meds. Side effects were horrible this time and I spent 20 hrs a day in bed. It has been very difficult trying to re-establish a regular schedule of any kind to date.

  • Lorrane

    That is very interesting. My Hep c has not caused liver damage. I chose not to smoke pot because of the other effects it has on the mind and body. My solution has been prayer, change in diet, and ofcourse no alcohol. Im hoping to be able to go for the new cure next year. Jesus Lives !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • meena

      MEENA
      Jesus is the
      only hope otherwise nothing else can cure.Of course diet plays an impotant role.But prayers are the only solution.JESUS IS ALIVE.

    • Splashmelove

      I haven’t smoked since I was a teenager. I am now 55 years old, found out 5 years ago that I am HCV 1a w/ diabetes and several other health issues, one of which is chronic insomnia.. Its awful to not be able to sleep and try to function on a daily basis as if all is okay. Well.. recently I’ve been hearing a lot about how oils can help you sleep, so I tried cannabis oil and have I ever slept like a baby these days! I don’t know how I ever managed to get by all these years without it! Also, have felt less stressed during the daytime, I have more energy without aches and pains slowing me down, and I also have noticed that my urine is a nice clear yellow color rather then that dark orange color I normally urinate every morning; after a long nite of sleeplessness. It stays that clear yellow color throughout the day and nite now! That to me means something good is happening. I don’t think I will stop using this nice herb oil unless I am absolutely forced to do so… 😉 … I am hoping to go into treatment for the first time sometime in Oct or Nov. That is when I am told that my insurance will probably except treatment plan for newer meds w/ high rate of success of cure. I look forward to getting rid of this nasty virus for good! Good luck everyone… hope you all have success stories to relay soon… 😀

  • pp

    I was diagnosed in 2001 and did the peg ribo treatment that deemed unsuccessfull. Severe headaches body aches no appetite were the worst part The only thing that got me through the treatment was vaporizing marijuana. I drank so much water and it did nothing to alleviate the side effects. Marijuana helps. To this day I use it before bed to get me through my day. I consume about 7 grams a week or less. I am going to start treatment again using a third component to the previous treatment and not looking forward to the side effects I know that I will use this to subside the effect of the drugs and I know it is the only thing I found that helps

  • tree of life

    my mother tongue is not english so please excuse my grammar mistakes…

    i am 44 yo male and found out 3 years a go that my blood was contaminated 26 years a go with HVC during a blood transfusion…I just felt intuitively that time that I need to become vegetarian and i did it.Never tried Interferon treatment,actualy refused it when proposed by my doctor because of the potential harming side effects.

    This days I eat fish and yogurt as well and sometimes raw goat cheese, a lots of fruits and vegetables,cereals,specially brown rice, and i am adding to food only raw cold pressed oils and never use them for cooking .

    I think is unusual but I feel some skin itching mainly when drinking coffee or black tea. I used to drink thees caffeine substances because they give me some release from the general feeling of ”no-energy”… drinking organic matcha tee( Japanese powder green tea ) was a revelation to me because I feel more energized during the day and without this itching of the skin and without the anxiety given by caffe,actually quite contrary I feel ”calm” from drinking it and less ”foggy”. I eat every morning 1to 3 tea spoons of raw bee pollen and drink every night a spirulina limonade using raw honey, fresh lemon juice and 1 tea spoon of organic spirulina powder.From spirulina i feel that my sleep is deeper and i wake up in the morning feeling more alive and ready to go for daily activities.Here in my country raw pollen is given a huge credit in natural treatments for all liver disease specially in cirrhosis. I take also artichoke and milk thistle powder on regular bases.I felt over time that my digestion improves with orange and grapefruit juices and the specific pinches in the liver area disappear after drinking citric juices…

    Last winter I traveled to India and had the chance to get a high quality MJ(actualy dense compact brown charas)… I boiled it in coconut oil(the only exemption from not using oil for cooking) and add small quantities to food ( i am not a smoker,and even when i’ve smoked pure MJ with no tobacco in it I did not feel comfortably over all )But eating MJ it was in a different league.I had the nicest and the most quality time spend doing yoga on the beach(noticed that twisting postures( asanas) free the liver from congestion and the ”ball” feeling under the ribs) releasing huge amount of stress. I had a very relaxing,good,deep sleep,and over all the feeling of being happy to enjoy life at all levels…

    I do not intend to offend anyone, but IMHO it is a huge mistake not to decriminalize the use of MJ, specially for medical use !!!the entire population will benefit from eating it in very small amounts.this medicinal plant has been mentioned 5000 years a go in indian Ayurveda medicine as beneficial in many ways !

    good health to all !

    • blazeaglory

      Interesting. Thank you!

      My Gastro doctor quoted an old article that said MJ accelerated liver problems. Well that is now proved wrong. The people in the test already had symptoms of cirrhosis and had been increasing their MJ consumption due to the fact that their livers were very bad. The damage was not caused by MJ.

      My liver panels and viral load have been shrinking since I started smoking MJ.

  • Cathy

    Marijuana is studied extensively in Israel and they have been finding that it actually is protective of many parts of our system. I watched a recent documentary on tv this week. I am afraid I don’t remember the name but it certainly was something like medical marijuana.. A friend of mine has used it almost daily for 30++yrs and is in very good health. I believe like the studies I have been hearing about recently, that pot actually protects against cancer too.

  • Chris Douglas

    Have smoke MJ longer then the 35 years of HCV discovered 3 years ago. I consume high volume daily and my liver is mild to no inflammation grade 0. Tough liver I guess. Last count was 9.6 million. increasing at an annual of 50%. Next count I predict possibly 13 to 14 million.

  • buzorro

    My state of Illinois recently passed a medicinal marijuana law that will take effect this Jan.1. Hep C is on the list of approved diseases. I’m anxious to hear my hepatologist’s view on this matter. I’ve spoken with authorities, as well as my employer who presently has a zero-tolerance rule about any illicit drug use by employees.

    My employer is presently redefining it’s policy to allow for medicinal marijuana use. The Illinois spokesman told me that it will be at least April before a system will be established for the growing and distribution of medical marijuana. Again, I’m most interested in my hepatologist’s view.

    Another question that I’ll have for him is regarding liver transplants. I live about 2 1/2 hours south of Chicago (where my hepatologist has an office), 1 1/2 hours west of Indianapolis, and more than two hours from St. Louis. In a worst-case scenario, in which I was placed on a liver transplant list, but fortunate enough to ‘get the call’ that one was available for me, would that 2 1/2 hour trip to Chicago be a factor. Would that make me less likely to ‘get the call?’ Can a liver be ‘put on ice’ so to speak, until I can get there? Isn’t there some time needed for myself to prepare, pre-op?

    So much to learn…so little time.

  • beth

    Hi I have hep c and cerorsis as well i cannot get any pain meds from docs,so smoking helps me at times for that ,the stress and to sleep,its nautral,,,,,,should be legal before alcohol but we all know the government right? lol also am hearing alot about new meds,we all need to stick together and keep pushing for cures just like for aides and cancer

  • Rick

    Just good marijuna tea will do the trick no need to damage your body by smoking the benefits are great it helps a lot with inflammation. And you can rest well. You just have to watch what you eat.

  • MarijuanaCuresCancer

    lol no matter how much evidence there is to show marijuana is harmless to most people, people still have to pretend it has negative effects that it doesn’t have so they don’t sound like they fully support marijuana. Liver damage? Since when? More ignorant, blatant misinformation.

  • Kate

    I know someone who has Hepatitis C and is a heavy cannabis user in various and is not doing well at all. About age 52-53. I also know another person who does not use cannabis, drinks lightly, and is about 67 and doing and looking much better. Both have had Hep C for about the same amount of time. However, the guy in his 50’s drinks more, though I was reading the cannabis should protect one’s liver from alcohol damage. So I don’t think cannabis has cured the first guy at all or protected him from his alcohol use.

  • MindFury

    I had the Director of the Health Dept Where I live tell me that Marijuana caused fibrosis in the liver. I asked how she was basing this claim. She said it’s what the local GI had told her. I showed her my biopsy stating a fibrosis level of 0, and that i has smoked everyday for the past 10 years while in california to treat my symptoms. Needless to say I haven’t seen her in a few years now. I am awaiting approval for Solvaldi, interferon, ribavarin treatment. Marijuana helped me to get through the joint pain, and be able to work a full time job . Hoping it can help do the same with the side effects of the interferon..

    • Doug Adams

      You understand with your past experience the effects of pot but please “Objectively” research the side effects of (specifically) interferon. It is a killer and it hurts a great deal. It helps some people but it is rough. There is a somewhat new med available that is interferon free but it is very, very expensive. But please get a biopsy and research and do as I, for the past 45 years, still smoking my ganga and alive with Hep C after 26 years. Peace

      • MindFury

        I had a biopsy done 3 years ago for a clinical trial for the drug Inhibitex, which is no longer being tested as people dies while in phaze 3 do to heart failure. I’m currently awaiting approval from insurance for Solvadi. Im going on 28 years btw.. viral load is amost 900,000. which hasn’t gone up much from 2 years ago.

        • Doug Adams

          My individual state of mind and my genetic structure is what decides my medical condition. My last “VL” was over 6 million “PPM” which did not impress me nor alarm me. My believe in myself not some mythical higher power, that is hidden behind dogmatic theology is what keeps me alive yet I also believe that if that false ideology helps, then so be it, for that person.
          For me “Reefer” helps a great deal, it helps me eat and it gives me energy. I grow it so the activity utilized keeps my body energized. I went through treatment and it almost killed me yet I do believe in it for others. Just be careful and I wish you luck.
          PS: My treatment was for 28 weeks, it wasn’t necessary at that time not did it help it only made my gastrointestinal problems more problematic. I am 63, diagnosed with hep c 26 years ago.

    • Classic

      have you tried cannabis oil? Rick Simpson recipe?

    • blazeaglory

      My GI told me the same thing and I come to find the exact opposite.

  • maybe i missed something? is taking cannabutter bad for the liver? forget the laws, forget smoking it.. is it good or bad for the liver..

    • blazeaglory

      Key word “butter”…

  • Classic

    And what about using Rick Simpson oil or cannabis oil; very potent, extremely pure cannabinoids? Beat any chronic condition by smoking? Come on. That is so 1960s. Where are the facts for Hep C patients who choose cannabis oil?

  • ginamarie

    Vaping is not smoking update your research…

  • ande12

    Hello,
    I was diagnosed of this HIV deadly disease a friend of mine introduce Dr fadeyi to me and I actually did contact him after he has prepare what he said he will do and he sent it to me and I used it according to his prescription after one week I went to the hospital to check my status again because I was feeling differently from the way I used when I was tested POSITIVE to my greatest surprise the status was NEGATIVE the medical doctors there was surprise and I have to tell the whole world about this if you are still having this similar problem I recommend you to Dr Fadeyi for you here is his email address: [email protected] you can call him any time on +2348109468820

    ANDERSON MORRISON

  • blazeaglory

    Marijuana is bad for you and causes neurological damage? How is that exactly? Or will you quote another old study just to reverse again 5 years later?

    New studies show that MJ actually helps prevent Alzheimer and dementia type problems and when VAPING, there is almost no damage to the cardiovascular system.

    Other than that, nice article 🙂

  • Bonnie Mason Jacobsen

    No stimulates such as black tea, coffee, carbonated sodas. The itching is caused by this I was advised. For 4 years broken out in sores from the itching caused by drinking black tea by the gallon daily! Now I am drinking herbal Hibiscus tea for stress, high blood pressure and general calm. The itching has subsided and the sores are gone. I have had HepC for 30 years and 2 years into cirrhosis.
    Hoping for Harvoni drug to end this disease.

  • Shauna

    I am 38 and just found out that I have Hep c IDK what genotype Im lost here please heip!!!

  • JAMES WATT

    My Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was at the point of death, with cancer of the Breast in it final stage is now back alive and she is so healthy now. Thanks to Rick Simpson cannabis oil that we bought at: [email protected], the Hemp oil was successfully used in curing my mother breast cancer within 3 months as stated in phoenix tear.
    Once again i want to thank Mr Rick Simpson for his wonderful Hemp Oil we are now happy family with my mother back alive, strong and healthy.
    you can contact for your medication at: [email protected]

  • Jim Davis

    I was diagnosed with hepatitis C 43 years ago. Until about 7 years ago I didn’t notice any difference, to my health, because of it. That year my doctor noticed that the palms of my hands were pink compared to normal fleshtones. He said that I had cirrhosis and immediately had his staff looking for a doctor that could treat my hep C. I was living in southern Illinois at the time and the close GI doctor, that specialized in hep C treatments, was in St. Louis. They setup an appointment for me and I made the trip with my ex-wife who also had hep C and was looking into a treatment. I finally got an approval from my insurance company and they began sending me the drugs. After starting on the Pegasys (Interferon) and ribovarin I began to get really sick. When I initially became symptomatic in 1973 I was sicker than any other time in my life, spending almost 3 1/2 months on my mother’s sofa and unable to work or function normally. I couldn’t eat because I vomited all the time. I stuck it out and the symptoms eventually subsided. After that, I really didn’t think about my hep C or treatment for it for years until my doctor brought it up. During the 6 months that I was on the interferon/riboviran I was vomiting and had diarrhea every day and never felt worse. two weeks after I finished that treatment I received a call from my GI doctor’s nurse. She said, unfortunately the treatment didn’t work for me. I asked her what the next step was and she said, regretably, that there was no other step that I could take and that I just had to wait and see if anything else becomes available that might help.
    Earlier this year began seeing advertisements for Harvoni on TV. I asked my GP about it and he said that he’d find a doctor that specialized in treating hepatitis and they would make an appointment for me. a few days later his office called and had setup an appointment for me. I was not overly optimistic because of the previous attempt at treatment.
    I got a call from the GI’s office telling me that the doctor wanted me to have bloodwork done before my scheduled visit. I had my labs done and went in to see my new GI. He asked me what genotype that I was and I told him genotype 1A. He said that was incorrect and that I was genotype 3A. I asked him about the Harvoni treatment and he said that wasn’t appropriate for my genotype. He said that he was going to prescribe Sovaldi and Daklinza and that my course of treatment would be 12 weeks. He said that the next step would be to get my insurance to cover it because it was very expensive. A few days later I got a call from a company that specialized in formulary and non-traditional prescription medications. They were trying to get my prescriptions approved and had a few questions for me. I told them that this was my second attempt at treatment and that I was worried that my insurance wouldn’t cover it. A few days later I got a call from them stating that they had gotten approval for the medicines and that we had to setup a delivery date and a time where I could accept the shipment. It was setup for the next week and I waited patiently for the delivery.
    When it arrived I was excited to start the treatment but, of course, I was somewhat apprehensive because of the side effects I had with my first attempt at treatment. I read as much as I could find about these two drugs and found that the potential side effects were very mild and included headaches and fatigue.
    I’m on my 6th week of treatment and I am happy to say that the only side effect that I’ve experienced is fatigue. I haven’t had any headaches. I am on morphine and percocet for chronic pain so I am not surprised that I haven’t experienced any headaches. I had my scheduled visit with my GI this week and I asked him about my progress and my viral load. He said that I am doing fine and that my viral load went from 170 million to unmeasurable. He said that the virus is still detectable in my blood that it was so low that it could not be measured. He said that with my next labs it should be undetectable but we will stay on the drug regimen the full 12 weeks to make sure that it’s gone. I’m extremely surprised and very happy with the results and will continue with the drugs the full 12 weeks.
    Yesterday I received my monthly statement from my insurance company and I was floored. I now understand why they want to keep MJ illegal. Initially I was getting a 2 week supply of my hep C drugs. That is for 14 pills of each of the drugs. On my monthly statement I saw 2 charges for pharmaceuticals twice last month. One was for $10,080.00 and the other one was for $13,440.00. Mind you, that was for a 2 week supply and not for 6 or 12 months. That’s $23,520.00 for 2 week supply or $141,120.00 for the entire treatment. There is no way anyone but a millionaire could afford these drugs. Drugs like these are the reason MJ is still illegal. The profiteering of the pharmaceutical companies is outrageous. I’m not saying that MJ would be a better, cheaper cure for my hep C but it could be for other illnesses. I have used MJ daily for years to stave off my nausea and help me with my appetite but I have read so much about it’s therapeutic uses to fight other illnesses that I am convinced that it’s a potential lifesaver for many other people with debilitating illnesses. It’s insane that this plant has so many therapeutic uses and is still illegal. I can now see why, even though it has so much potential as a miracle drug, that the big pharmaceutical companies are spending a lot of their profits making sure that MJ is not legalized. It’s all about the money and has always been about the money. Why has the DEA not removed it from the schedule I list? Why is it even on the list, at all? It’s big pharma putting pressure on the DEA and our legislators. Why hasn’t President Obama made an executive decision on this and, at least decriminalized it. He, himself, has admitted to smoking marijuana when he was young and says that he believes that it is not as harmful as alcohol. Also, the alcoholic drink industry has put pressure on our legislators to keep it illegal because it would make a drastic dent into sales of beer, wine and liquor. Obama is commuting sentences and pardoning people who have been convicted of drug offenses but that is because he feels that the sentencing of these people was extreme due to their race. He needs to get with the program and decriminalize or legalize MJ. It has no harmful effects. It doesn’t have to go through any transformative processes to work, unlike heroin or cocaine. It is usable in it’s natural form. It’s a shame that our country is run by big business. Lives are at stake. They need to see past the almighty dollar…but they won’t. Hillary Clinton has promised to continue Bernie Sander’s quest to make MJ legal but you never know with politicians. The only thing we can do is keep the pressure on our legislators to push for legalization by writing them and phoning them and voting for politicians that will affect real change and a true progressive agenda.