Hepatitis C and Medical Cannabis – Paving the way for the well-being of the Patients


The most commonly occurring blood-borne viral infection, hepatitis C, reportedly affects more than 2.4 million individuals in the US. Approximately half of all cases of this disease go undiagnosed as many patients live for years with it, not recognizing it until they reach advanced stages with severe symptoms.

Most cases involve the development of the disease by spreading of virus through contaminated needles. Today, several natural remedies are serving as a potential aid to facilitate the improvement of the condition and reduce the severity of the symptoms of diseases like hepatitis C. By getting tested regularly and including cannabis in your daily regimen; you can successfully fight off the disease.

The following write-up is a conscious effort to educate you regarding all the main aspects of Hepatitis C and medical cannabis. Stick around to learn about the symptoms, causes, and risk factors of hepatitis C and how cannabis may help the patients.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a contagious disease that spreads through blood-to-blood contact. It may ultimately lead to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure. If diagnosed in time, the extent of damage to the liver can be reduced to quite a great extent. However, as it’s hard to get diagnosed in time, it’s generally left untreated, which makes it a fatal disease.

Hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus or HCV. Even a droplet of blood is enough to transmit hundreds and thousands of virus particles. The virus invades liver cells and causes inflammation, dysfunction, and the organ.

How Do You Get Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is caused by HCV. When people get exposed to a blood-to-blood contact with blood contaminated by HCV in any way, they get Hepatitis C. Thus; the blood needs to transmit from an affected person to an unaffected one to transfer the virus and cause hepatitis C.

This might make you wonder that it’s pretty easy to prevent getting exposed to the said virus. However, even a tiny invisible speck of blood could carry hundreds of virus particles. Viruses, being hard to kill, are even more dangerous.

  1. The prime cause of the spreading of hepatitis C is reusing syringes to inject drugs in the US.
  2. Blood screening was introduced and practically used in 1992 for the first time. This makes it clear that all blood transfusions and organ transplants that took place before were risky. So if you received any kind of transfusions or transplants, you might have hepatitis C if your donor had the virus.
  3. People working in healthcare settings are most commonly exposed to the needles even If they do not inject anything. Even if you get yourself pricked by an infected needle, thousands of virus particles can enter your body.
  4. Many babies get hepatitis C from their infected mother at the time of birth which is why medical practitioners strictly direct the pregnant women to get tested every time they conceive.
  5. Having sexual intercourse with the affected person may lead to the spreading of the virus. Hepatitis C can spread during unprotected sexual contact, especially when bleeding is caused by factors such as lack of lubrication.
  6. Sharing any object that is probable to get in contact with blood, such as shaving razors, is another prime cause.

What cannot spread Hepatitis C; busting the myths:

  • Unless the nipples aren’t bleeding, breastfeeding will not spread Hepatitis C.
  • Hepatitis C doesn’t spread through casual contact like coughing, hugging, holding, kissing, or sharing food.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C:

Well, most patients with hepatitis C do not experience any symptoms at all. People unaware of the early signs cannot even figure out getting attacked by the virus as there are hardly any indicative symptoms solely related to hepatitis C. However, some changes occur in your body somewhere between 2 weeks to 6 months after the virus invades your body. At this point, you’ll notice some common symptoms such as;

  • Clay-colored stool.
  • The color of your urine might get much darker than normal.
  • Your body’s immune system may respond by causing fever.
  • An extreme level of fatigue and muscle tension.
  • Some people may also get jaundice.
  • Pain and inflammation in the joints are other important symptoms.
  • You may face problems related to your gut function. The appetite might drastically decline to a level that you might start feeling weaker.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

The following symptoms characterize the advanced stage of hepatitis C:

  • Gallstones
  • The most significant sign of this stage is fluid buildup in the legs and abdominal cavity.
  • Declined functioning of the brain
  • Renal failure.
  • Your body gets more vulnerable to bruising and bleeding.
  • Skin allergies and itching
  • Loss of muscular mass of the body.
  • You may have a hard time trying to recall things and concentrate on your work.
  • Web-like vein structures appear on the skin
  • Blood in vomiting due to bleeding in the esophagus.
  • Loss of weight due to lack of appetite.

Risk Factors for Hepatitis C

Expert analysis suggests that people get themselves tested for Hepatitis C in case of the following situations:

  • Once you turn 18, make sure to get tested at least once.
  • If you had recently received blood from an individual who got diagnosed with hepatitis C, you must get tested for Hepatitis C. Even if that’s not the case, taking a test shall keep you safe.
  • Pregnant women must get tested. Also, make sure to get tested each time you get pregnant.
  • If you inject any kind of drugs, you must ensure regularly getting tested For Hepatitis C as you’re way more exposed to it than the other people.
  • Had blood transfusions or organ transplants.
  • In case you have been exposed to the blood of a hepatitis C patient, consider getting tested.
  • Long-term kidney dialysis treatment puts you at a higher risk of having hepatitis C.
  • Abnormal liver condition and having HIV is another risk factor.
  • You must consider testing if your biological mother had hepatitis C at the time of your birth


Hepatitis C and Medical Cannabis: How can cannabis help the patients?

The cannabis plant is potentially recognized as a wonder plant empowered with marvelous healing capacities that may facilitate the improvement of various medical conditions. Intrigued by several questions regarding cannabis and hepatitis C, experts have been on their toes to find out whether cannabis helps with the symptoms of Hepatitis C.

Cannabis has over 100 cannabinoids with distinct properties to heal and rejuvenate your body functions. Here’s how cannabis could prove to be helpful for Hepatitis C Patients:

  1. Lower risk of cirrhosis

The advanced stage of hepatitis C is characterized by liver cirrhosis and other damaging conditions of the liver, which makes it the prime concern of most hepatitis C Patients. Preclinical studies unleash various astounding facts regarding the roles of the cannabinoids in reducing the risk of liver cirrhosis in the patients having hepatitis C. Studies reveal that cannabis may significantly modulate the inflammatory processes taking place inside you liver due to HCV. Clinical trials show that patients that use cannabis are less likely to get liver cirrhosis; also, they tend to have a better health status than those who do not.

  1. Pain management

Cannabis cuts down the need for high potency painkillers for hepatitis C Patients. The patients generally have to deal with the pain even at the early stage of hepatitis C, which makes it impossible to lead a normal life without using painkillers.

These high-potency painkillers can have drastic effects on the liver, which is already at high risk of damage due to the hepatitis C virus.

  1. Antiemetic potential

Nausea and vomiting make the condition worse. This makes the patients lose their appetite and ultimately become weaker. Cannabis is known for its antiemetic potential. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system to reduce peristaltic movements and ultimately relieves nausea.

Hepatitis C and Medical Cannabis: Research and findings:

The following studies greatly support the abilities of cannabis to help patients suffering from symptoms of hepatitis C.

  1. A recent study analyzing the effects of cannabis on liver outcomes of hepatitis C patients shows that consistent utilization of cannabis can not only reduce the risks of drastic weight loss but also help with other symptoms. [1]
  2. Another research shows that cannabis can deeply affect the working mechanisms of the body to reduce the severity of symptoms in hepatitis C patients. Also, it reduces the risk of liver cirrhosis in the patients. [2]
  3. Cannabis can help the patients fight off nausea. The cannabinoids can closely interact with the working mechanisms of the gut to reduce nausea and function as an antiemetic. [3]

Final Thoughts:

Hepatitis C might be fatal if left untreated; however, various aspects of studying hepatitis C and medical cannabis reveal that the said plant contains cannabinoids that may greatly help reduce the intensity of symptoms and help the patients fight off the disease easily.


  1. https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-022-00138-9
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14787210.2018.1473764
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165951/

Legal Disclaimer : Medical Cannabis Doctors does not provide medical services or medical advice. This information is for awareness purposes only and is NOT medical advice. Do not self diagnose or prescribe any forms of treatments based on this information or the information on this site. Always consult with a licensed physician in your state for any medical advice, treatments, prescriptions and medical services.

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