This isn’t the first time that CBD use has been linked to liver disease.
In recent years, CBD has been hailed as a health product by everyone from hipsters to health professionals, but a new study indicates that taking CBD could have a nasty effect on your liver, much like other drugs that affect the organ.
The study, published in the journal Molecules, looked at the effects of CBD on the livers of mice. The mice were given doses that aligned with the human equivalent of the maximum dose of CBD in Epidiolex, the only marijuana-based medication approved by the FDA.
The researchers found that CBD quickly had a detrimental effect on the mice’s liver. In addition, the way that the compound affected the mice indicated that it could have dangerous interactions with other drugs.
“CBD exhibited clear signs of hepatotoxicity, possibly of a cholestatic nature,” study authors wrote. “The involvement of numerous pathways associated with lipid and xenobiotic metabolism raises serious concerns about potential drug interactions as well as the safety of CBD.”
Speaking with Nutra, lead study author Igor Koturbash said that the results show that more information is needed about the safe use of CBD.
“I don’t want to say that CBD is bad and we should ban it,” he said. “But in my opinion there is clearly not enough research.”
This isn’t the first time that CBD use has been linked to liver disease. In fact, the FDA requires Epidiolex to carry a warning about liver issues, and patients who receive the drug have their livers monitored regularly. Even in the testing phases of the drug, there were indications of adverse liver reactions.
“There is a potential for liver injury,” Koturbash said. “If you look at the Epidiolex label, it clearly states a warning for liver injury; it states you have to monitor the liver enzyme levels of the patients. In the clinical trials 5% to 20% of patients developed elevated liver enzymes and some patients were withdrawn from the trials.”
Koturbash explained that the way that CBD affects the body could also cause a host of other unintended side-effects, including in the way that other drugs are processed.
“CBD differentially regulated more than 50 genes, many of which were linked to oxidative stress responses, lipid metabolism pathways and drug metabolizing enzymes,” he said. “There is a potential for herb/drug interactions.”