The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Cannabis use in hepatitis C

    Cannabis use should be discouraged in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), according to researchers in France.

    First, the details.

    • 315 patients with untreated CHC and having a liver biopsy were studied.
    • Detailed histories of recent marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco use were recorded.
    • The biopsies were examined using METAVIR — a scoring system that gives an indication of the activity or amount of inflammation and amount of fibrosis or scarring in the liver.

    And, the results.
    There were 6 predictors of marked steatosis (accumulation of fat in the liver).

    • Daily cannabis users compared to occasional users and nonusers
    • Viral activity grade of the disease (greater or equal to A2)
    • Genotype 3 (one of the genetic variations and stains of hepatitis C)
    • Body mass index (BMI) greater than 27 kg/m2
    • High blood sugar levels or diabetes
    • HCV RNA load in the blood (associated with a worse outcome of disease) or alcohol intake (greater than 30 g/day)

    The bottom line?
    Steatosis is important because a build up of fat in the liver worsens liver damage and makes CHC harder to treat.

    The authors concluded that daily cannabis smoking is a “predictor of steatosis severity during CHC.” And they recommend that “cannabis use should be discouraged in patients with CHC.”

    Among the 6 predictors of steatosis reported in this study, marijuana use is a comparatively easy risk factor to modify and thereby reduce the severity of this disease.

    7/6/08 11:05 JR

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