A new study has revealed evidence that extremely high doses of cannabidiol (CBD) can be harmful to the liver. This finding is supported by the World Health Organization, and conflicting research has suggested that CBD oil may actually improve liver function due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Alcohol abuse and fatty liver diseases are the most common chronic liver diseases and the main reasons for liver transplantation worldwide. In our previous studies, we found that CBD can prevent fatty liver induced by the Lieber-Decarli ethanol diet or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) induced by a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. To further explore the potential of CBD, we conducted an additional study on whether it could alleviate ethanol-induced liver damage plus a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet (EHFD), which is a model that simulates excessive alcohol drinkers on a Western diet.
An EHFD-induced mouse liver injury model was applied for 8 weeks to explore the protective properties of CBD and the underlying mechanisms. Our findings showed that CBD prevents liver steatosis and oxidative stress induced by EHFD. CBD treatment inhibited macrophage recruitment and suppressed activation of the NFκB-NLRP3-pyroptosis pathway in the mouse livers. The hepatoprotective property of CBD in this model could be attributed to its ability to inhibit inflammation by relieving activation of the hepatic pathway NFκB (NLRP3 inflammasome) pyroptosis. However, when mice were given repeated doses of a lower concentration of CBD (50 mg), liver damage and edema occurred. In addition, EHFD decreased SOD liver activity, which increased slightly with CBD treatment, but with no statistical significance compared to the EHFD group.
Following a single study in mice last year, there have been concerns that CBD oil could damage the liver if used in large quantities. However, no negative impact on basic functions such as digestion, heart rate, or glucose levels has been observed even with higher doses of CBD oil (up to 1,500 mg per day). The optimal amount of CBD for each individual depends on factors such as weight, metabolism, age, gender, severity of symptoms, and previous history with CBD products. The only CBD product approved by the FDA is the prescription drug Epidiolex, which treats pediatric epilepsy. This conclusion is reinforced by the fact that no liver damage has been reported in CBD users, even when using the highest recommended dose of CBD.
Scientists still don't know what happens if a person consumes CBD daily for prolonged periods; the effect of the compound on children taking CBD, growing fetuses, or breastfed newborns; its interactions with herbs and botanicals; and if it leads to the same male reproductive problems in men who are seen in animals. CBD has been shown to have anti-fibrosis properties by killing cells that secrete collagen and cause fibrosis. Liver damage is one of the biggest fears people have when taking new supplements and medications, and CBD is no exception. It is important to consider factors such as intensity of symptoms, metabolic rate, and experience with CBD products when determining an optimal dosage. Based on previous studies, CBD products prescribed to adults resulted in elevated liver tests. However, it is important to note that no negative effects on basic functions have been observed even with higher doses of up to 1,500 mg per day.