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Study: Marijuana Smoking Not Linked With Liver Disease Progression In Hep C Patients

July 19th

Marijuana smoking is not associated with the promotion of liver disease in subjects co-infected with both hepatitis C and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), according to data published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Investigators at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Toronto assessed the impact of marijuana smoking on liver disease progression longitudinally in a cohort of nearly 700 subjects with HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Study participants at baseline reported having previously used cannabis, on average, some seven times per week, with 40 percent of subjects acknowledging having consumed cannabis daily.

Participants were monitored over a median period of 32 months.

Investigators reported, “In this prospective analysis we found no evidence for an association between marijuana smoking and significant liver fibrosis progression in HIV/HCV coinfection.”

Authors speculated that previously reported positive associations between cannabis smoking and liver disease progression were likely the result of “reverse causation due to self-medication.”

Researchers concluded:

[I]n this first prospective evaluation of liver disease progression among HIV-HCV infected persons, we could not demonstrate any important effect of marijuana on liver dis. . . . . READ MORE

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Study: Cannabinoid Agonists Mitigate HIV Infection

May 8th

marijuana bud and joint

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The administration of synthetic cannabinoid agonists limits HIV infection in macrophages (white blood cells that aid in the body’s immune response), according to preclinical data published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Macrophages are one of the first type of cells infected by the HIV virus when it enters the body.

Investigators at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia assessed the impact of three commercially available synthetic THC agonists on HIV-infected macrophage cells.

Following administration, researchers sampled the cells periodically to measure the activity of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase (RT), which is essential for HIV replication. By day 7, investigators reported that the administration of all three compounds was associated with a significant decreased in HIV replication.

Stated a Temple University Health System press release: “The results suggest that selective CB2 (cannabinoid 2 receptor) agonists could potentially be used in tandem with existing antiretroviral drugs,. . . . . READ MORE

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