Study: Cannabis may reduce inflammation caused by alcohol

Published Jun 27, 2019 12:59 p.m. ET
iStock / Antonio Guillem

There are many consequences of alcohol abuse that can lead to long lasting health problems.  There is a limit on the alcohol a person should intake daily. Men should drink no more than two drinks for the day, and women should drink no more than one. Exceeding this limit regularly may increase the risk of liver cancer and high blood pressure.

According to a study conducted by the online publisher of a journal called Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research, the consumption of cannabis can reduce inflammations caused by alcohol. The inflammatory cytokines are connected to different diseases such as heart disease and cancer. The University of Colorado investigators at Boulder have analyzed the connection between cannabis use and inflammatory cytokinesis in sixty-six persons who drink alcohol frequently. The report showed that the consumption of cannabis has a negative association with the presence of some cytokines in the blood. The authors concluded that cannabinoid compounds might be able to combat the inflammation linked to alcohol use.

Researchers are trying to find out the effects of cannabis as well as alcohol abuse on the liver. Combining two different drugs can be very risky. However, cannabis use, along with the consumption of alcohol, can have a positive effect on your health.

Another 2018 study was conducted with over three hundred thousand people who had a history of alcohol abuse and cannabis use. This was done to ascertain the effect both drugs have on the liver. Dr. Terence Bukong of the University of Massachusetts Medical School stated that the main reason for the study was to determine the effects of cannabis use. Dr. Bukong also stated that there was little research in this area.

Considerably, alcohol use can cause inflammation. How does this inflammation occur? Dr. Hardwell Singh, a gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital in California, stated that alcohol causes the fibrosis in the liver to increase. In turn, the increased fibrosis causes a toxic effect to occur, which may lead to inflammation. As a result, scarring of the liver may arise. Advanced scarring of the liver is called cirrhosis. He also noted that the effect is based on the specific person as some people may be harmed by a lower intake of alcohol than others.

No doubt, the frequent use of alcohol and cannabis together has a significant impact on the risk of Alcoholic liver disease (ALD).


Furthermore, the cannabinoid receptors are a distinctive area in the liver that may be a point of research on treatment for liver disease. The progression of ALD can be slowed down when cannabis activates the cannabinoid receptors in the liver. However, we are not aware of the cannabis strains that may be more effective. If we knew which strains to use, then we would know which cannabis terpenes found in the various strains are responsible for the effects of cannabis.

Some people are sensitive to cannabis and so may not be able to have any positive effects. People suffering from hepatitis are not curable by cannabis. Cannabis may also cause an increase in liver scarring. Also, cannabis use cannot cure nor prevent alcoholism. Marijuana can even worsen depression in some persons who suffer from alcoholism.

Finally, it is important that you refrain from misusing cannabis. Consult your doctor if you intend to consume both drugs. Also, remember everything must be consumed moderately.

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