A study published by the University of Cordoba’s Biomedical Research Institute found that delta-9
tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) shows promising in alleviating inflammation associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALD), which is commonly found in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dyslipidemia.
NAFD is prevalent in the Western world, affecting approximately 25% of the US population. Essentially, liver disease develops due to a build up of fat in the liver. As it’s name suggests, this damage is not caused by high alcohol consumption but rather from a high-fat diet.
As many cannabinoids possess anti-inflammatory properties, researchers utilized a pre-clinical model to study the effects of THCA, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid acid, on NAFD. Mice were fed a 23-week high-fat diet to induce liver fibrosis, and THCA was administered during the last three weeks of the diet. Cellular and genetic analyses were used to determine the presence of liver damage or fibrosis.
The researchers found that THCA had “significantly attenuated” liver fibrosis and inflammation by reducing body weight and improving glucose tolerance. They concluded that THCA may prevent liver fibrogenesis, pointing to potential human applications in the future.
While the findings of the study are promising, much more research is needed before a definitive conclusion can be made regarding THCA and NAFD.
This study was published in bioRxiV, a journal that publishes pre-prints. This means that the study has not undergone peer review, or the process by which other experts in the field review the findings and determine if the work is appropriate for publication. Therefore, it’s always worth re-reading study once it has been properly reviewed and published in final form. And take this into consideration before making conclusions about the findings.
bioRxiV notes: “A reminder: these are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.”
Image Credit: Artem Podrez
- Carmona-Hidalgo B, et al. Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinolic acid markedly alleviates liver fibrosis and inflammation in mice. Phytomedicine. 2021;81:153426.