Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, usually caused by a virus. There is a vaccine available to prevent infection with HBV; however, there is no prophylactic treatment for HCV. Increasing drug resistance and a lack of new antivirals make this a cause for concern. Cannabis products, including cannabidiol, have emerged as a potential treatment for hepatitis.
Understanding the Types of Hepatitis
A viral infection causes the most common types of hepatitis. There are five groups of viral hepatitis (A, B, C, D, and E) that affect humans1. The two most common types among people are HBV and HCV. Both types of hepatitis can cause severe complications and lead to debilitating illnesses. Understanding how each can be spread and managed helps minimize infection.
- Hepatitis B may lead to chronic infection for some people. There is a vaccine to prevent infection, but no cure. It is spread through unprotected sex, contaminated needles, or blood. HBV may also be passed to newborns during childbirth.
- Hepatitis C commonly results in chronic infection. It is transmitted through blood, unprotected sex, and contaminated needles. While there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection, a cure has been discovered.
While hepatitis is often caused by a viral infection, it may also be caused by an autoimmune disorder. Although symptoms are similar, there are some differences between autoimmune and viral hepatitis. Mainly, symptoms caused by an autoimmune response may present in a nonspecific fashion or be compounded by other immune system disorders.
Using CBD for Hepatitis
Since hepatitis is one of the leading causes of cancer and cirrhosis of the liver2, developing new, safe, and effective treatment options can have a significant impact on health outcomes. There is evidence3 that CBD protects against the effects of hepatitis, and may help reduce infection in certain subtypes. The dosage of CBD oil for hepatitis treatment will vary depending on your tolerance and symptoms.
CBD assists the immune system by helping to clear the HBV virus. Additionally, it has been shown to modulate the immune response. It may also help reduce the severity of symptoms in autoimmune hepatitis. CBD oil impacts pro-inflammatory cytokines4 by dampening the immune response and reducing their number. The result is less pain and inflammation.
HBV and HCV attack the liver, leading to rapid and extensive damage at the cellular level. CBD is an antioxidant that helps reduce cellular damage. As such, CBD protects the liver from acute injury caused by hepatitis infection.
Inflammation of the liver, known as hepatitis, can lead to serious complications. CBD oil shows promise as a safe and effective method to reduce symptoms and viral loads that contribute to them.