Phytocannabinoids-A Green Approach toward Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Treatment.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent chronic liver disease in adults in developed countries, with a global prevalence as high as one billion. The pathogenesis of NAFLD is a multifactorial and multi-step process. Nowadays, a growing body of research suggests the considerable role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a complex cell-signaling system in NAFLD development. Although increased endocannabinoid tone in the liver highly contributes to NAFLD development, the complex effects and impacts of plant-derived cannabinoids in the aspect of NAFLD pathophysiology are yet not fully understood, and effective medications are still in demand. In our review, we present the latest reports describing the role of ECS in NAFLD, focusing primarily on two types of cannabinoid receptors. Moreover, we sum up the recent literature on the clinical use of natural cannabinoids in NAFLD treatment. This review is useful for understanding the importance of ECS in NAFLD development, and it also provides the basis for more extensive clinical phytocannabinoids testing in patients suffering from NAFLD.
Keywords: NAFLD; cannabidiol; endocannabinoid receptors; endocannabinoid system; marijuana; phytocannabinoids.