We all know that frequent alcohol use causes severe and irreversible liver damage over time. The majority of the population, however, had no idea CBD use can do the same. By the way, it might not be over the long term.
A recent study published in Molecules by the University of Arkansas for Medical Science proves a definite link to CBD use and an alarming increase in liver enzymes. The study, titled Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model, used eight week old mice that were administered varied doses of the drug. Mice that received the highest doses showed increased liver enzymes during the initial 24-hour monitoring period. By day three or four of the study, 75% of the mice on the highest dose were dead or near death.
But they’re mice not men
The dosage was calculated to determine the mouse sized equivalent of that used to administer the medication Epidiolex. This CBD-based drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating children with two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. The dosage amounts were set by the drug’s English manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals.
As a matter of fact, the medication comes with a warning that patients using the drug must monitor liver enzymes. This determination stems from the fact that during clinical studies, some subjects reached enzyme levels so alarming that researchers removed them from the study.
Dr. Igor Koturbash, PhD, was head of the research team and authored the study’s findings. In an interview with Nutra Ingredients USA , Dr. Koturbash voiced his concerns. He stated that results of the study called for further investigation of the safety of hemp products. His concern included the fact that because there is no product regulation, consumers really have no idea of the actual level of CBD the products contain. Another problem is the wide range in dosage amounts.
Does your doctor know you’re taking it?
Since these products are available without a prescription, most people just start taking a CBD product without consulting their doctor. If you take any type of cannabidiol product, it’s wise to let your doctor know about it.
As a matter of fact, you should ask if you should monitor your enzyme levels. In view of this latest study, it would be a wise course of action.
During the course of the study, Dr. Koturbash’s team of researchers uncovered another troubling fact. CBD alters a number of gene pathways. In layman’s terms, CBD has the potential to interact with other herbal supplements or drugs.
There is a second study in progress to determine if this is another harmful side-effect of the drug. The results are expected to be available in the near future.
It may not be such a wonder drug after all
Although advocates of CBD oil proclaim it’s valuable in treating a myriad of symptoms, it’s not all cut and dried. The potential harm is worth considering as well.
Severe liver damage is nothing to take lightly. Neither is the possibility of adverse reactions due to drug or herbal supplement interactions.
We’d like to reiterate that speaking to your doctor is the first step you should take in deciding whether or not to continue using CBD in any form.