CBD or Cannabidiol is an active ingredient extracted from the cannabis plant. Any product that contains CBD is found and trusted to provide many health benefits but they can also pose mild risks. Although CBD is heavenly intoxicating and safe to use compound still there’s a lot to be found out by research studies to prove its authenticity, and yes, it’ll take time. In this we will answer the question Can CBD cause Liver Damage?
Registered CBD drug:
Although there are many industries now a day’s manufacturing CBD into various dosage forms under various names there’s only one registered drug named Epidiolex approved by FDA as a treatment drug for childhood epilepsy. And sadly, this medicine comes with a big fat tag of warning for liver injury. Despite this, there are a lot of conflicts that need to be studied in the light of different research articles to clarify the accusation. And we’ll try our best to deliver you with both sides of the story.
To completely understand if CBD can cause liver damage, and how, let’s understand the physiology of the human liver and its functionality. That way it’d be easy for us to interpret the risk factors of liver damage by CBD.
Human Liver and CBD:
The liver, a vital organ in the human body, is located in the upper body cavity just beneath the diaphragm and on top of the stomach. It’s vital as it plays a role in nearly every organ system’s proper functioning in the body.
It’s involved in many functions including detoxification, metabolism or breakdown of drugs into their active forms, digestive aid, bile secretion, storage of life-saving molecules and much more.
Any drug or food that enters the body via the oral route has to go through the liver before entering the main bloodstream from where it’ll reach its desired receptors to show its functionality. Same way, when CBD is taken orally and reaches the liver, here it is metabolized or broken down into its active forms via liver enzymes known as CYP450. Studies have shown the data that CBD is metabolized by CYP450 and it also inhibits the same enzyme which affects the metabolism of other compounds entering the liver for a specific time period. This probably could a reason for liver toxification but still, there’s no evidence to back up this concept.
Facts that favor liver damage risks:
- Research by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences states that despite increasing recognition, people that use CBD are at an elevated risk for liver toxicity.
- According to the journal Molecules, people may use CBD as a safer alternative to their conventional pain relievers like acetaminophen; this compound may actually be just as harmful to their livers as the pain reliever.
- The risk of liver damage from CBD is a nasty side effect printed on Epidiolex packaging whereas the label says that enzyme levels in a patient using Epidiolex need to be monitored regularly.
- In clinical trials of Epidiolex, 5-20% of patients showed elevated liver enzymes and even some patients were withdrawn from the trials due to this elevation.
- Patients with hepatitis C showed way more liver scarring when given CBD than those who didn’t and the progression of disease was witnessed.
- A very latest study states that CBD has the potential of herbal and drug interactions. This is because it’s metabolized via CYP enzymes whereas this same enzyme is responsible for metabolizing other compounds causing an increased risk of a drug interaction.
Another side of the story:
Remember, all the previously stated figures are found out by studies and clinical trials for the compound are still in process and there’s no specified authentic or approved data that can state CBD as a sure liver-damaging compound.
Also, every previously explained study has another side that renders positivity about CBD’s liver risk and neutralizes the fear. For example;
- The researchers of journal Molecules made their own CBD extract and took findings from Epidiolex clinical trials to give equivalent dosages to mice to observe short-term effects. Also, their COA showed residual hexane, which is already a known hepatotoxin.
- And where acetaminophen like toxicity is concerned, the recommended safe amount of acetaminophen never harms the liver. Acetaminophen’s liver-damaging risk is linked with its abuse whereas abusing CBD is exceptionally impossible because of its non-intoxicating nature.
- Talking about mice dying due to liver damage during trials, it not a detailed statement. Instead, usually 3 or more groups are designed to test the effects of different dosing of a drug. The mice in the lower two compartments were safe and didn’t show any fatal or liver-damaging data. In fact, the mice in the upper compartment that were given very high doses over a short period of time became lethargic and were killed later because they were of no use.
- No negative effects were ever reported at the recommended safe maximum dose of CBD in animal models.
- And Epidiolex label also has a full story behind. Manufacturers published three specific studies to support the case for elevated enzymes. And to our good, in all three studies, the risk of enzyme elevation mostly applies to users who are also taking other medications. Also, the risk isn’t severe and resolves automatically most of the time.
- Lastly, the objection of herbal and drug interaction is also negotiable. Because there are a lot of compounds that already possess drug interactions and it’s pretty natural. All we can do to avoid it is, taking the interacting drugs at alternative times as prescribed by the physician. And that’s all!
So, Don’t worry much
In light of all the searched data and reading thoroughly many of the research articles, I’ve found out that we don’t need to panic about liver toxicity, instead, we just have to take proper precautionary measurements to ensure we are at the safe line.
As long as a reasonable amount of CBD is taken at a time separate than other medication’s routine, there is a minute chance of a negative reaction occurring.
Animal models may have faced liver toxicity but that was due to being provided with CBD amount way a lot higher than a human can imagine intaking. Also, taking these much higher doses is not a normal thing for a human due to its high cost, low availability and precautionary use.
To support the cause, Dr. Thinh Vo, director of quality and compliance at Koi CBD says that CBD users need to remember mice and people are pretty different.
Problems with dosing and buying CBD
Ok, so yes, you need to be very careful while purchasing a CBD product. Always choose a source that is trusted for quality. Because there’ve been many cases in the last few years, where the FDA has sent a slew of warning letters for the CBD products being sold with either inaccurate levels of the compound that didn’t match what was listed on the packaging or for containing trace amounts of THC which apparently shouldn’t be there.
Also, 69 to 80 percent of CBD products failed to make label claims and that’s not great for the overall beneficial reputation of CBD.
That way we can say that a poor quality CBD may impose risk factors because of its impure manufacturing and presence of many other trace materials that shouldn’t be there, which are nowhere related to a pure and quality CBD product.
The Bottom Line Can CBD cause Liver Damage:
A CBD product may interfere with liver metabolical activity and possess some drug interaction but it’s not a whopping scary thing. It’s pretty normal for many other capable compounds to have some interactions. The problem can be clearly evicted by taking all your medications with care.
Also, there are no liver-damaging risk factors linked with CBD until you know what and why you are taking in. At safe doses, taken at right time with the right precautions, it’s still a highly safe and non-toxic compound that will maintain normal homeostasis in your body for an apparently healthy and active lifestyle that everyone deserves. Thats all about CBD cause Liver Damage.