Marijuana, Endocannabinoids and liver disease review

Dr. Michael Duplessie, FRCS Ophth (Glasgow), M.B., B.Ch., L.R.C.P. & S.I., B.A.O., B.A.

Marijuana, Endocannabinoids and liver disease review

Endocannabinoids are compounds that naturally occur in the body and bind to the same receptors as the active component in marijuana and hashish. These compounds have been found to play a role in various physiological and pathophysiological functions, including mood, appetite, pain, and immune modulation. This review focuses on their role in liver disease and physiology, exploring the current knowledge and the implications of the findings for the development of new treatments.

Recent research suggests that endocannabinoids may contribute to the hemodynamic changes that occur in cirrhosis. Specific cannabinoid receptors have been identified in hepatic and splanchnic vascular endothelium, which mediate these changes. Moreover, increased levels of endocannabinoids have been observed in hepatitis, and their involvement in the apoptosis of hepatocytes is also being explored. However, other studies have indicated that cannabinoids may reduce inflammation in experimental hepatitis, offering potential therapeutic value.

In an animal model of acute hepatic failure, both endocannabinoids and antagonists to the CB1 receptor were shown to have a beneficial effect on neurological and cognitive function. This suggests that endocannabinoids play a crucial role in various aspects of acute and chronic liver diseases, including vascular changes, inflammation, and neurological function. Further research may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of liver disease and novel treatment options.

Medical Marijuana

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Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to breaking conventions and helping those in need. My passion for medicine began during my time working in refugee camps in Thailand, and since then, I have made it my mission to provide care and support to those who need it most.

As a pioneer in the field of ophthalmology, I have made numerous contributions and innovations in the field of corneal transplantation and laser surgery.  I am comfortable challenging conventions.

I have seen firsthand the positive impact medical marijuana can have on patients struggling with pain and anxiety. 

My experiences have shown me that medical marijuana can offer significant benefits with minimal side effects, providing patients with an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical medications. Despite its potential, the government’s stance on marijuana is outdated and in need of revision. 

Through my observations, I have seen prescription rates for pain, stress, insomnia, anxiety to name just a few, drastically decrease among patients who have obtained a medical marijuana card, and I believe that this is a testament to its effectiveness.

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