How CBD oil can affect liver health

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Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has surged in popularity in recent years, praised for its potential health benefits, including pain relief, anxiety reduction, and improved sleep.

However, with this increase in use comes questions about its impact on the body, particularly on the liver, an organ crucial for metabolizing substances and detoxifying the body.

This review delves into current research on how CBD oil affects the liver, aiming to provide a clear, comprehensive understanding for the non-scientific reader.

CBD is one of over a hundred compounds found in the cannabis plant, known as cannabinoids. Unlike its cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a “high,” making it an attractive option for those seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive effects.

CBD’s interaction with the body occurs through the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating various bodily functions, including pain, mood, and appetite.

The liver’s involvement comes into play with the metabolization of CBD. Like many other drugs and supplements, CBD is processed in the liver, where it’s broken down by enzymes before entering the bloodstream.

Concerns about CBD’s impact on the liver stem from studies indicating that high doses can cause liver enzyme levels to rise, suggesting potential liver damage.

One study that raised eyebrows was conducted on mice and published in the journal Molecules in 2019. Researchers found that very high doses of CBD led to signs of liver toxicity in the mice, including elevated liver enzymes and liver swelling.

These findings sparked a debate about CBD’s safety and its effects on liver health in humans.

However, it’s crucial to contextualize these results. The doses used in the mouse study were significantly higher than what most humans would consume.

Furthermore, human biology differs from mice, and results in animal studies don’t always translate directly to human health outcomes.

Subsequent research in humans has provided a more nuanced understanding. A review in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggested that while CBD can interact with certain medications by affecting liver enzyme activity, the risk of liver damage from CBD alone is low for most people.

It highlighted the importance of monitoring and managing potential drug interactions, especially in individuals taking other medications metabolized by the liver.

Clinical trials of Epidiolex, a FDA-approved CBD-based medication for treating certain forms of epilepsy, also shed light on CBD’s liver effects. While some patients experienced elevated liver enzymes, indicating a potential risk for liver injury, these instances were generally manageable and often resolved with dosage adjustments or discontinuation.

The takeaway from current research is that while there is a potential risk for liver effects from high doses of CBD, especially in conjunction with other medications, the risk is relatively low for most people using typical doses of CBD oil.

Nevertheless, this underscores the importance of consulting with healthcare providers before starting CBD, particularly for individuals with existing liver conditions or those taking medications that affect liver enzyme activity.

In conclusion, CBD oil represents a promising area of therapy with a range of potential health benefits. However, like any substance, it’s not without its risks.

When it comes to the liver, the evidence suggests a need for caution and awareness rather than alarm, especially at high doses or in combination with other medications.

As research continues to evolve, so too will our understanding of CBD’s impact on the liver, helping users make informed decisions about incorporating CBD oil into their health regimen.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about Fatty liver disease linked to severe infections and findings of A new drug for weight loss and liver health.

For more information about liver health, please see recent studies about All types of coffee could help lower the risk of chronic liver disease and results showing that Whole grains could benefit people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

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