Cannabis commonly known as marijuana is being used widely for recreational or medicinal purposes. Have you ever pondered the edibles that you are taking inside your body, what they are capable of doing? How do your organs respond to them? And most importantly what power they hold to cast the effect on your body?
Let’s go down a brief introduction to get known about the chemistry between your body and marijuana to understand what happens in the liver when you ingest the cannabis.
What comes off when you ingest marijuana?
Everything that we take orally has to go through a first-pass effect. It means the things that we ingest have to go down the digestive tract and are entered and metabolized in the liver. And then finally, they become part of the bloodstream.
When marijuana edibles are ingested they follow the first-pass effect and enter the liver. The liver is the powerhouse of the body. It metabolizes cannabis, and cannabinoids are produced as a result of hepatic metabolism.
These cannabinoids upon consumption produce a psychoactive effect on the body and mind. More specifically, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a cannabinoid that causes the euphoric and intoxicating effect, while cannabidiol (CBD) is responsible for therapeutic effects. The more the dose of cannabis, the more powerful, euphoric, and the long-lasting results of cannabis appear. Ingested cannabis effects are more intense and of longer duration than inhaled cannabis. After ingestion, cannabis takes time to onset its effect as it has to undergo the first-pass mechanism, but once the cannabis ultimately shows its action, they stay much longer than inhaling cannabis.
Marijuana effects on liver
Doctors recommend marijuana for its medicinal advantages and therapeutic effects. Moreover, the chances are equal either it can benefit liver health or it can deteriorate the liver wellbeing. It all depends upon the consumption of marijuana. If not taken as advised by the doctors, if not inhaled or ingested for medicinal purposes and rather than it is consumed as a habit to get yourself high, euphoric, and intoxicated, then results are harmful as obvious.
Marijuana; how it benefits the liver health
Medicinal cannabis, as doctors suggest, is helpful in many liver conditions like
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Alcoholic or no alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Hepatic fibrosis
- Hepatic encephalopathy
Now the question is how its benefits liver health in those particular conditions?
The CB2 and CB1 receptors that are present in the liver are responsible for liver health. Activation of CB2 receptors and blocking of CB2 receptors is good for hepatic health as it alleviates fibrosis, decreases inflammation, and enhances hepatocyte survival.
And luckily cannabinoids like CBD activate the CB2 and block the CB1 receptors thus acting as a hepatic protective element that is quite useful if it is taken in underlying hepatic disease.
So cannabidiol (CBD) having therapeutic effects helps the liver as
- It decreases hepatic inflammation
- Alleviate oxygen distress
- Decline in fibro genesis
If marijuana is consumed alongside alcohol, then the therapeutic effect subsides.
How marijuana harms hepatic health
Marijuana when is taken through the oral route issued by a Florida medical marijuana doctor or another mmj doctor in a location near you, it has to go through various steps before showing its medicinal, pharmacological, and also harmful side effects.
The inhaled cannabis shows instant results, as the instant recreational sensation, and euphoric state, soon these feelings wear off after some hours. That is not the case when cannabis is ingested. Although the onset of action is delayed when marijuana is taken orally. Once the effect is built, it is evident, prompt, and has a long onset of action. Meanwhile, it intoxicates the body with more power as compared to inhaled cannabis. That is why you need to be more careful while ingesting marijuana.
After passing through the first-pass metabolism that takes place in the liver, marijuana metabolites enter the bloodstream and brain. Once the THC and CBD enter in blood and brain, there is no U-turn, and the effect either beneficial or harmful will appear. Besides the therapeutic effects in many hepatic conditions, cannabis also worsens liver health.
Chronic hepatitis C
Cannabis if taken for chronic hepatitis C, it increases the fatty liver. The doctor advised should be entertained with great care before taking cannabis. Those who have chronic hepatitis C need to practice extra care if they are addicted to cannabis. Although cannabis is antiviral, still its effects are not more beneficial and useful in those patients with chronic hepatitis.
It all depends upon the usage of cannabis with how much intensity you prefer to consume it. if it is ingested out of precautions, and if you went against your doctors prescribed amount, the cannabis effects are fatal and can lead to end-stage cirrhosis.
It is not a matter of liver when we talk about marijuana’s side effects. All psychoactive drugs have ultimately negative effects on mental health to the level that if you start taking these drugs you get addicted and when you want to get rid of that addiction, the withdrawal symptoms are even more fatal. The consumers who get addicted, have to experience the rehabilitation center to come back to a normal way of life.
These psychoactive agents or drugs directly act on the central nervous system and alter its regular way of pattern. Anxiety, cardiovascular effects, auditory or visual illusion, pseudo hallucination, ataxia, cognition, memory problems, and many more adverse effects have arisen on a high dose of marijuana.
What exactly marijuana does to the human body, although the scientific study on it is not fully conducted yet, still it is obvious what it tends to do to our body and mind. What kind of risk factors and what therapeutic advantages it has?
It is fully understood that marijuana edibles do wonders when ingested. They bring relief from pain and create a joyful sensation in the body and mind. At the same time, they can damage mental health. Before taking it inside your body, ask your doctor how to take it to get benefit rather than harm.