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Cannabis Doesn’t Negatively Impact Liver Transplant Patient Survival Outcomes

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In many parts of the world, if someone consumes cannabis, they are not eligible for a liver transplant. It’s a tough situation, in that patients in need of a liver transplant are obviously suffering, and many use medical cannabis products for relief. However, they are forced to refrain from using their medicine, even if it’s effective, in order to get the transplant.

While it is unknown how many patients around the world are in the previously described situation, even one patient being in that situation is one too many. Members of the medical community often cite ‘potential negative consequences’ as the reason for the transplant prohibition. A recent study in Canada will hopefully help change that. Below is more information via a news release from NORML:

Ottawa, Canada: A history of cannabis use is not negatively associated with survival rates among patients receiving liver transplants, according to data published in the Canadian Liver Journal.

Canadian researchers reviewed the relevant literature on cannabis use and transplantation survival rates. Eight studies involving over 5,500 subjects were included in the review.

Authors determined, “[C]annabis use has not been associated with poor patient outcomes in terms of 1-, 3-, and 5-year patient survivals. Therefore, liver transplant candidates who use cannabis should not be denied access to transplantation.”

Their findings are consistent with those of several other studies concluding that marijuana use is not contraindicated in patients receiving organ transplants. Nonetheless, in several states – including some states that permit medical cannabis access – those with a history of marijuana use are ineligible to receive organ transplants.

Full text of the study, “Review of liver transplantation candidacy and outcomes among patients who use cannabis,” appears in the Canadian Liver Journal.