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Can Longterm CBD Use Damage the Liver?

cbd liver
Written by Alexandra Hicks

CBD is often touted as a natural health remedy with absolutely no side effects. But is that entirely accurate? According to recently published research, CBD may create its own set of health issues.

The new study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, was published earlier this year in the Molecules journal. They specifically looked at the effects that various doses of CBD could have on the liver, and the results were a bit shocking.

Scientists discovered that CBD can not only put patients at an increased risk for hepatoxicity, but it actually wreaks havoc on the liver at an alarming rate, as quickly as alcohol and other drugs. Researchers took a look at Epidiolex, the first CBD-based drug approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it’s also currently under clinical trial in Japan.

They looked at the standard recommended dose of 20 mg/kg of body weight, adjusted for the size of the mice, then they began giving them each different doses. All of the mice that received higher amounts of CBD showed signs of liver damage in just 24 hours and 75 percent of them were either dead or close to death within 3 days.

It’s worth pointing out that the mice in the higher dose category were given the equivalent of 615 mg/kg, which is nearly 31 times the recommended dose. Regardless, these extremely high levels of CBD do seem to pose a risk to the liver.

According to lead study author Igor Koturbash, PhD, this is actually common knowledge to anyone who is more intimately familiar with Epidiolex.

“If you look at the Epidolex label, it clearly states a warning for liver injury,” he said in an interview with Nutra Ingredients USA. “It states you have to monitor the liver enzyme levels of the patients. In clinical trials, 5% to 20% of the patients developed elevated liver enzymes and some patients were withdrawn from the trials.”

Because there weren’t any notable differences between the low-dosed mice and the control groups, it’s hard to tell how much liver damage could amass in patients taking the recommended dose of CBD for extended periods of time.

Check back with us for more updates.

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About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Managing editor at Cannadelics and U.S based journalist, helping spread the word about the many benefits of using cannabis and psychedelics.