Study: Marijuana Does Not Cause Liver Disease Progression in HIV/HCV Patients

Jul 19, 2013 Clinical Infectious Diseases, hepatitis, HIV, liver, reverse causation

More good news for medical marijuana patients: a recent study found that marijuana use is not linked with the progression of liver disease in patients co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV.

The study, published in the July edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases,6.cover examined the effect of regular marijuana smoking on liver disease progression among subjects who were infected with both hepatitis C and HIV. Previous research had produced mixed results, with some studies claiming a “strong link” between marijuana consumption and liver disease. In contrast, this study found “no evidence for an association.” Researchers speculated that associations observed in previous studies were due to “reverse causation;” in other words, patients who already suffered from liver disease used increasing amounts of marijuana to cope with the pain as the symptoms worsened.

These findings debunk the long-held belief that marijuana use exacerbates liver damage, which gives us even more evidence that marijuana is objectively safer than alcohol, in addition to being a relatively benign medicine.