Worried About CBD Hurting Your Liver? Here’s What the Experts Have to Say
- A new study shows evidence that extremely high doses of CBD can be damaging to the liver.
- But experts say this research, which was done in mice, is still in the early stages, and more information is needed.
- CBD isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, but the agency has been cracking down on companies claiming certain health benefits from taking CBD.
The market for products containing cannabidiol (CBD) — the non-psychoactive, pain-relieving chemical in cannabis — has exploded in recent years, but the product is still relatively understudied.
That’s drawn scrutiny from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulators as manufacturers make claims on their CBD products that aren’t necessarily backed by science.
Now, a recent mouse study has been making headlines for the findings that taking too much CBD might lead to liver damage in high enough quantities.
Should you be worried? We took a look at the study and talked to experts about what this mouse study can mean for human fans of CBD.
What the study says
Citing a “lack of comprehensive toxicological studies devoted to CBD safety that are critical for further marketing of CBD and CBD-containing products,” researchers from the University of Arkansas investigated the effects of treatments of various doses of CBD on a group of 8-week-old mice.
While the mice largely tolerated the CBD, those given the highest doses — a human equivalent to 200 milligrams (mg) of CBD — showed clear signs of liver toxicity, the researchers found.
In addition, repeated doses of a smaller amount of CBD — the human equivalent of around 50 mg — also showed signs of liver swelling and damage.
“Although (a dose of) 200 mg is not applicable to most real-life scenarios, it does provide critical information regarding the potential consequences of CBD overdose as well as for doses needed for further subchronic and chronic toxicity studies,” the authors, publishing in the journal Molecules, wrote.