The greatest fear that accompanies drug or supplement consumption is the potential to affect the liver badly. Despite the non-psychoactive and pain-relieving elements of CBD, people fear that it can harm the liver in the long run.
The regulations regarding CBD are unclear, and till now FDA has approved only one drug Epidiolex for treating seizures and epilepsy. Such a situation raises the question that CBD imposes a threat to liver functionality.
In conjunction with ValidCare, Project CBD is conducting a study on CBD’s effect on the liver in adults. Here in this article, we will talk about CBD’s potential for liver harm in light of different studies and experts’ opinions.
FDA has limited information regarding the CBD compound, but manufacturers are producing without any scientific evidence.
Recently researchers from the University of Arkansas conducted a study on mice which revealed that too much CBD consumption could damage the liver.
The team tested different dosages of CBD on a group of 8-week-old mice. Although mice successfully tolerated the normal dosage of CBD, mice with the highest CBD dose consumption indicated signs of liver toxicity.
By high dose means 200 mg of CBD per kilogram of human body weight. Besides, the consistent dosage of low CBD amount that is the human equivalent of 50 mg CBD per kilogram of body weight also indicated liver damage and swelling.
The study author further said that the CBD dosage of 200 mg per kilogram of human body weight is unrealistic. Although, it does provide awareness into the possible consequences of the compound from overdosing and necessary information for subchronic and chronic toxicity studies.
What Did the Experts Say?
The study on mice stirred up people’s interest in its potential danger to the liver, but experts do not agree with the investigation.
The amount that mice were taking was too much than the usual dosage of an average human being.
Tesséra Naturals (CBD product brand) founder, Jason Cohen, about the mice study, said the mice were consuming the dosage equivalent to the maximum suggested dose of drug Epidiolex. Epidiolex is consumed only when the medical expert prescribes it, so it cannot impose a real threat to the liver of the consumer.
Regarding the study, Dr. Diana Martins-Welch, attending physician at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York, said that the prevalence of CBD products does not imply that it is safe to take in high potencies. Also, it does not indicate that CBD is more effective at a higher dosage.
Further, she added that CBD is the same as other drugs like ibuprofen or Tylenol as they too come with consequences. Besides, the CBD potency that mice were getting is much higher than the therapeutic dosage range of 0.5 mg per kg to 20 mg per kg in a day.
While wrapping up the discussion, she said that the therapeutic range of CBD is safe for the liver, although the high dose is concerning, just like any other drug.
Study Indicating No Toxicity for Liver
A study conducted by clinical research company ValidCare showed no toxicity for the liver in humans. The said company aims to aid the FDA regarding the appropriate regulation of CBD products.
The researchers observed 839 individuals for 60 days while ingesting them with CBD in oral forms. After studying the subjects, they observed no liver toxicity in the participants.
Co-investigator Jeff Lombardo said that they observed clinically insignificant rises of liver function tests in not more than 10% of consumers not linked to age, product configuration and form, and consumed amount.
The ValidCare researchers say their new study’s preliminary findings “show no evidence of liver disease in the 839 participants and no increase in the prevalence of elevated liver function tests when compared to a population with a similar incidence of medical conditions.”
Another essential factor that the study investigated was whether CBD affects other prescribed drugs, leading to potential side effects?
Luckily, the researchers found that 70% of the participants already had medication for specific health conditions with no adverse events. Such findings of the study add to the statement that CBD might not be toxic for the liver.
With such promising results of the research of ValidCare, the researchers are expanding this clinical research. ProjectCBD is even helping them to recruit volunteers for the said study.
The CEO of ValidCare, Patrick McCarthy, said that they are thrilled for their researchers to carry on and extend the research. Moreover, he was hopeful of getting a report of this initial research in the next few months.
He promised to share the lab results of the study with contributing brands and the FDA.
Is CBD Completely Safe?
Consuming the right amount of dose might be safer, but this does not imply that CBD comes with no side effects.
Besides, many CBD products contain traces of THC, which is the psychoactive compound of cannabis. The FDA sent warning letters to the companies selling mislabeled products, but there is no federal regulation for most of the over-the-counter CBD products.
Another analysis by ConsumerLab indicated that commercially available CBD products contain a minimum of 2.2 mg to a maximum of 22.3 mg of CBD doses, increasing the toxicity risks.
Many CBD manufacturing companies are developing organizational processes to convince customers that the information on the product labels is accurate. The creation of peer groups such as the American Hemp Association to create and enforce standards is the most popular of these strategies.
Another way to assure the CBD products is by making third-party certifications. Manufacturers refer their merchandise to certified laboratories for third-party testing; after a complete examination of the third-party product, a certificate acknowledges that the product is safe to consume.
By accurate labeling and correct information of the product, buyers can then check the ingredients of each batch of products to determine whether any chemicals can harm their liver.
The CBD market is not regulated yet, and that brings many health concerns for CBD consumers. The study on mice showed that CBD consumption could be a risk for liver health. Although, this study was bleak on many verges since they were giving unrealistic dosage to the mice.
Another study opposed the statement that CBD badly affects the liver. The most recent study by ValidCare indicated that CBD could not affect the liver of the consumer badly. Also, it revealed that CBD does not harm the liver when taken in conjunction with other prescribed drugs.
FDA is trying to restrain the snowballing market of the CBD with proper regulation yet it is our responsibility to take the drug thoughtfully.
CBD products with third-party testing certifications are safe to consume since they do not contain mislabeled or under-labeled information.