The market for CBD (cannabidiol) products, the pain-relieving, non-psychoactive compound in cannabis has grown in recent years, but it's still fairly understudied.
This has caused the FDA and other regulators to investigate, as manufacturers make claims about their CBD products that aren't backed by science necessarily. Recently, a study on mice has been hitting the headlines for the findings that if you take too much CBD, it could cause damage to your liver, in high enough quantities.
Should you be concerned? Here's what the study showed.
Results of a Recent Mouse Study
Researchers from the University of Arkansas cited a "lack of thorough toxicological research devoted to CBD safety that is crucial for further CBD and CBD product marketing." They investigated what kind of effects treatments of a number of different CBD doses had on a group of 8-week old mice.
Although the mice largely were able to tolerate CBD, the mice provided with the highest doses showed obvious liver toxicity signs. These CBD doses were a human equivalent to 200 mg per kg of body weight. Also, repeated smaller CBD doses (human equivalent of about 50 mg of CBD per kg of body weight) showed noticeable liver damage, and swelling signs.
While in most real-life scenarios a 200 mg of CBD per kg of body weight isn't applicable, it does offer crucial data about a CBD overdose's potential consequences, as well as doses required for further chronic and subchronic toxicity studies. This might sound a bit dangerous, but most experts all agree you shouldn't panic just yet.
Although experts do point out patients must be educated and informed about what they're getting, and any risks that come with it, the amount of CBD given to the mice is way higher than what humans would likely take. If you think about it, most individuals know that if you take too much Tylenol or ibuprofen, it could have detrimental consequences. CBD isn't any different. Therapeutic CBD doses fall in the range of around 0.5 mg per day to 20 mg per day. This mice study used substantially higher CBD doses than what's typically taken in humans for therapeutic benefit.
The study also shows, like with other medicines, individuals must be careful if they take too high of a CBD dose. A therapeutic range of CBD is typically safe. At high doses, however, toxicity is a concern, as would be the case for just about any medication.
Other Studies on CBD and Your Liver
Other studies show CBD could actually improve liver function. According to the Epidiolex studies, the liver metabolizes CBD. Individuals with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are encouraged to limit their OTC medicine intake to void liver stress.
For example, Cell Death and Disease published a study in 2011 that found CBD might actually help to treat liver disease.
The researchers conducting the study evaluated lab rats over an eight month period. The mice consumed CBD at steadily increased concentrations, along with other cannabinoids. The researchers found CBD killed the hepatic stellate cells (HSC) off that trigger scar tissue development in the liver. By killing these cells off, the liver disease progression slowed, or in some cases, stopped altogether.
It's important anyone with liver damage know about this now that CBD oil is showing up in various products. You'll of course want to consult with your doctor first, before you add CBD oil, or any other CBD products in your daily routine.
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