Medical Marijuana for Patients with Hepatitis C in Virginia

Hepatitis C patients-TeleLeaf RX The hepatitis C virus (HCV) was cloned in 1988. Between 1988-1994, the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey estimated that there were approximately 3.9 million non-institutionalized, civilian Americans who have been infected with HCV. Of those infected, 2.7 million had chronic infection, making HCV the most chronic blood-borne infection in the United States.

Most adults in their 20s and 30s made up 36.5% of newly reported chronic hepatitis C infections in the same year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Hepatitis C can qualify for medical marijuana in Virginia. It is listed as one of the debilitating medical conditions listed for medical marijuana in the state.

Medical Marijuana and Hepatitis C

Research has shown medical marijuana can be an effective treatment in managing the symptoms of Hepatitis C. The anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana have shown to have potential benefits to people with liver diseases.

The properties of medical marijuana allow for it to target and potentially alleviate symptoms associated with Hep C, such as nausea, stomach pain, and joint pain.

In one review, medical marijuana users showed a decreased prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A study in Liver International suggested that drinkers who used medical marijuana had significantly lower odds of developing liver disease.

Hepatitis C is one of the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in Virginia. If you’re seeking medical marijuana as an alternative option for your condition, visit our VA page and apply for a medical marijuana card.

Status of Hepatitis C in Virginia

The American Liver Foundation reported that as many as 75% of the 17,00 new hepatitis C cases each year, are unaware that they are infected.

  • The prevalence of HCV among males in Virginia is 0.83 per 100 population.
  • The prevalence of HCV among females in Virginia is 0.34 per 100 population.
  • The estimated prevalence of HCV by birth cohort is 0.32 per 100 population.

In addition, the CDC reported in 2018, that Virginia had 47 reported cases of acute hepatitis C, with a rate of 0.6 per 100,000 population. That rate is equal to 4,772 individuals.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a disease caused by a virus that infects the liver. The virus is called the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

It is the leading cause of liver failure and end-stage liver disease. Moreover, it is a major cause of liver transplants in the country.

  • A person infected with HCV can develop an “acute” infection, which can range in severity from a very mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition that will require hospitalization.
  • Hepatitis C is much more common.
  • Hepatitis C can last a lifetime and lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.
  • Baby boomers (patients born between 1945 and 1965) are most at risk.
  • There are no preventive vaccinations for hepatitis C.
  • Early detection and advances in treatment can cure many strains of HCV.

Types of Hepatitis

  • Types B and C lead to chronic diseases in hundreds of millions of people, and they are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis and cancer.
  • Types A and E are typically caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water.
  • Types B, C, and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids.

What Causes Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C diagnosis-TeleLeaf RX

HCV lives in the blood and is spread when the blood of someone with HCV enters the body of someone who is not infected.

Hence, it is commonly transmitted through:

  • The reuse or inadequate sterilization of medical equipment, especially syringes and needles, in healthcare settings;
  • The transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products
  • Injecting drug use through the sharing of injection equipment.

How Hepatitis C Impacts One’s Life

While living with hepatitis C can be challenging, there are ways to manage the virus and still live a happy, productive life, like keeping your liver healthy to avoid complications.

You can:

  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Refrain from alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet full of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Talk to your doctor before taking vitamins and other supplements

Hepatitis C Symptoms

The incubation period of hepatitis C is from 2 weeks to 6 months. Hepatitis Treatment-TeleLeaf RX

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Decreases appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Pale feces
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes)

Prevention of Hepatitis C

There is no effective vaccine against hepatitis C, so prevention is primarily about reducing the risk of exposure to the virus in high-risk populations (people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men) and in health care settings.

Available Treatment for Hepatitis C

Therapy with pan-genotypic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for persons over the age of 12 years who are diagnosed with chronic HCV. New infections do not always require treatment as the immune response of some people will usually clear the infection.

Medical Marijuana as An Alternative Treatment for Hepatitis C

Medical marijuana can be effective in relieving some conditions associated with the medications for HCV like nausea.

Patients with chronic HCV infection can use medical marijuana to help alleviate treatment-related side effects.

If you are considering medical marijuana for your hepatitis, apply for a medical card on our online platform. You can also visit our Virginia page to know more about our application process.

Hepatitis C patients in Virginia are allowed to use medical marijuana, provided they are registered by the states’ Department of Health Professions (DHP).

To know more about medical marijuana card applications, give us a call at TeleLeaf RX.

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