JUN 20, 2019 9:36 PM PDT

Study Finds CBD Could Cause Liver Damage


A study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science suggests that CBD may be damaging to our livers in the same way that alcohol and other drugs are. 

Using mice to test CBD hepatotoxicity, researchers found that people using CBD could be at an elevated risk for liver toxicity. Researchers utilized the recommended dosage, as well as safety recommendations, from the CBD-based drug known as Epidiolex – a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of when treating certain kinds of epilepsy in children. Epidiolex was the first cannabis-based medicine approved for national distribution in the United States. 

When examining the mice with various doses of CBD in their system, it appeared that mice that had consumed the higher doses of CBD showed signs of liver damage in as short as 24 hours. Within a few days, those in the sub-acute phase had either died or were near death.

Igor Koturbash, Ph.D., told Nutra Ingredients USA that the Epidolex label "clearly states a warning for liver injury. It states that you have to monitor the liver enzyme levels of the patients. In clinical trials, 5% to 20% of the patients developed elevated liver enzymes." Essentially suggesting that Epidolex has the potential to lead to liver disease.

Photo Credit: GETTY via Forbes

Dr. Hardeep Singh, a gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital, in Orange, California, told Healthline that research showed patients diagnosed with hepatitis C, that used cannabis, had more progression in their liver disease than those who didn't. 

It has been known, and proven, that the use of various substances like alcohol, drugs, and potentially some natural supplements can affect the liver and how it functions. However, few studies explore the effects of CBD on the liver. 

To date, the FDA has not approved any of the CBD products currently being sold across the U.S. except for Epidolex. Could this CBD-based medicine open doors to more research regarding CBD and its potential cause of liver damage or the FDAs decision to approve further CBD products?

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Chelsey is a content strategist and copywriter with a business degree. She has a background in public relations and marketing and enjoys writing about various topics, from health, to lifestyle, to women’s issues. Since 2016, she has written for a variety of online publications, earning well over 100,000 shares. She published her first book in 2019.
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