Cannabis consumption and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A three years longitudinal study in first episode non-affective psychosis patients
A recent study has revealed that cannabis is able to prevent weight gain in psychiatric patients taking antipsychotics. Cannabis was found to have a protective effect against liver steatosis, which is an accumulation of fat in the liver that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes. These findings may prove useful when developing improved treatments for schizophrenia as one of the main reasons patients find treatment so difficult to comply with is the weight gain caused by liver steatosis.
Highlighted in this study is the lack of knowledge surrounding the mechanisms of the endocannabinoid system. In the featured study, the researchers were left uncertain about whether or not the cannabis was acting directly on the liver to prevent steatosis or if cannabis modulates weight indirectly through a related system. If more research concerning cannabis were able to be conducted so that the exact mechanisms underlying the endocannabinoid system could be elucidated than novel therapies could be developed for a slew of ailments. Our lack of knowledge concerning cannabis prevents us from possible developing therapies for treatment-resistant disorders.
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