CBD Oil and your liver

Natural supplements are very popular and CBD Oil is no exception. Unfortunately, also natural remedies can cause side effects. Recent research has shown that CBD can be harmful for the liver at very high doses. However, it’s very important to put this into context. At normal doses, CBD Oil is safe to use. In this blog we’ll go deeper into the effects of CBD Oil on the liver and we’ll clarify both the possible risks and the advantages!

Is CBD Oil good or bad for your liver?

Some people use natural supplement with the idea: no harm, no foul. But not everything that comes from nature is safe to use. Think about toxins, for example from plants, snake venom or harmful fungi. In fact: every substance can be toxic if you take too much, even water!

Also natural supplement can cause annoying side effects. CBD Oil is safe at normal doses, also with long-term use. Even the WHO, the World Health Organization, confirms this, besides the scientific evidence that keeps piling up and the many personal experiences of happy consumers.

But in spite of the safety of CBD Oil, this plant-based hemp supplement can also cause side effects, even though it won’t get you ‘high’. They are not very common and always have a mild character. Some of these effects can possibly be negative for the health of the liver, but only with extremely high doses. So, it’s important to keep looking critically, which is exactly the tasks of scientists.

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Studies into CBD Oil and the liver

Researchers at the University of Arkansas felt that there wasn’t enough research done into the safety of CBD Oil. They started a study into the effects of different doses of CBD, for which they used mice. Generally the mice could tolerate the CBD very well. One part of the mice got a normal dose of 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight. The other part however, were administered 10 times as much: 200 mg CBD per kilo of bodyweight. And only the mice in this last group suffered from liver damage.

Also at the lower dose of 50 mg CBD per kilogram of bodyweight, some signs of swelling of the liver and liver damage were seen. However, this is still an extreme high dose of CBD. To compare: with this dose, someone who weighs 50 kg should use 10.000 mg CBD. That comes down to almost 14 packs of SupMedi CBD Tablets every day! Those aren’t normal daily doses.

A normal daily dose of CBD Oil is between 0,5 to 20 mg per kilogram of bodyweight. When you use more than recommended, this obviously can have harmful effects. Most people know ibuprofen, tranquilizers and other regular medication can have these kind of effects. But it also goes for natural supplements like CBD Oil. So, be cautious when you want to take high doses!

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Does CBD have positive effects on liver function?

So, CBD Oil can cause liver damage at extremely high doses. However, in normal use the oil is safe and can even have positive effects on the liver, for example with liver cancer and hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis

When you are suffering from hepatitis, you liver is inflamed by a viral infection. There are different kinds of hepatitis, A, B, C and E. Hepatitis is a very common and contagious disease, which can not only lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis, but could also be fatal. CBD Oil can possibly be used as a treatment for viral hepatitis, especially hepatitis C. Research has shown that CBD can reduce the spread of the virus in the body with nearly 90%.

These effects did depend on the dose, but didn’t cause damage to the liver cells. CBD also seemed to cause apoptosis (cellular death) in cells that were infected with the hepatitis B virus, although it didn’t kill the virus itself.

CBD Oil and liver cancer

We already know quite a lot about the influence of cannabinoids on cancer cells. Many studies have shown that cannabinoids can prevent the division of tumour cells and can kill cancer cells. Besides that, they also have a protective effect on healthy cells. But, there are more mechanisms, which is why CBD is such a great ally in the fight against liver cancer.

CBD can get in the way of how tumours create blood vessels, which are important for the growth and metastasis of the cancer cells. It prohibits metastasis: the way tumour cells spread through the body and can eventually end up in the liver and start to grow into a liver tumour. Finally, CBD can make cancer cells kill themselves, which we call apoptosis (programmed cellular death). This was proven by a study on animals and models and the evidence goes both for CBD and THC.

Unfortunately, so far no research has been done into the positive effects of CBD Oil on liver cancer in human beings. And of course that kind of research is very important. But the results we already have, show strong anti-tumour effects, so CBD could be very useful and support the liver when it’s suffering from cancer. Furthermore, CBD can also help to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation (like nausea and loss of appetite).

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CBD Oil: elevated liver enzymes

If we want to get to know the effects of CBD Oil on the liver, we should also take a look at the way the oil influences the functioning of the entire organ. Studies show mixed results. One research found that 10% of the participants had elevated liver enzymes. They had to stop using CBD because of this. On the other hand, some studies demonstrated that CBD can actually improve the functioning of the liver.

Another way in which CBD can have an impact on the liver is the possible interaction with regular medication. The liver breaks down medicines into metabolites: compounds your body can reuse. Liver enzymes are responsible for this metabolism. CBD is also being metabolised by the liver. Unfortunately, the metabolism of CBD uses the same enzymes (the CYP450-enzymes) as the metabolism of regular medication.

If you’re already on a certain kind of medication (like antidepressants, certain painkillers and beta-blockers) and start to combine it with CBD Oil, it could be that the enzymes get focussed on the metabolism of the CBD and the medication doesn’t get metabolised properly. This could lead to more side effects, or the medication’s effectiveness is (negatively) influenced. Do you already use medication and you want to start taking CBD Oil? Always consult your doctor first!

who safe cbd oil liver
The WHO confirms that CBD Oil is safe to use.

Is CBD Oil safe?

After reading this blog, you might be wondering if CBD Oil is actually safe to use. Just like any other (natural) remedy, CBD Oil can cause side effects. These are typically very mild (nausea, drowsiness or loss of appetite). If and how they will affect you can’t be predicted. But with normal doses, CBD Oil is safe to use, also for long-term use, for chronic or acute complaints.

It’s important you choose a well-tested product, that’s being produced with the highest standards when it comes to pureness, quality and safety. Check our online shop and take a look at our CBD Oil and CBD Tablets!


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