Several studies have indicated that heavy drinkers who also use cannabis are protected from the alcoholic liver disease than those who don’t use it.
Alcohol consumers who don’t use cannabis have an almost 90% likely to develop liver disease. On the other hand, those who do use it are only 1.36% susceptible to it. These findings may also suggest that cannabis helps the user develop a better defense system against diseases caused by alcohol as compared to non- users of marijuana.
It is also believed that there is a relationship between cannabis and lower fasting insulin levels. This can also act as a shield to the liver from non- alcoholic liver diseases.
Moreover, liver diseases are also related to insulin resistance. They are caused when excess fat gets deposited in the liver. This impairs the metabolism of glucose. Again cannabis can help in protecting the liver from risks caused by improper diets.
The mode of using cannabis also plays a role. THC and CBD are the main components in cannabis. The endocannabinoid system has an impact on the appetite, immune system and memory. CB 1 and CB 2 are the most popular endocannabinoid receptors. They are present throughout the body, including the liver where they contribute to the development of liver diseases. It is known that while CB 1 plays a role in the promotion of this disease, CB2 helps in fighting it.
It is known that moderate drinking can have benefits. As soon as alcohol enters the bloodstream, the immune response is activated, which binds the above-mentioned receptors to immune cells and it triggers the activation of inflammatory proteins called interleukins.
Interleukins are a category of molecules called cytokines which play a role in cellular signalling. This causes inflammation when the WBCs in the liver detect toxins secreted by bacteria. Drinking alcohol makes intestinal barrier more permeable and lets these toxic bacteria to enter through the body.
These cytokines are helpful in measuring the damage caused to the liver, brain, gut. They also help in detecting alcohol disorders. A study was published by the researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder measured the levels of interleukin in 66 alcohol consumers out of which few were marijuana users. The ones who did use it has less circulating cytokines. This indicated that cannabinoids have the ability to decrease the harm like pains in the liver area and other diseases induced by alcohol.
If you want to even more about the health benefit of cannabis, check out our other article on how cannabis can help constipation.