The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all mammals and consists of receptors (CB1 and CB2) endogenous cannabinoids, and enzymes that facilitate their production or break them down.
Other studies found that administration of CBD to the rats with ischemic liver injury resulted in a significant reduction of liver damage associated with the condition (6).
CBD Oil for Viral Hepatitis
CBD has been shown to have therapeutic effects in many major liver diseases, including viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease, ischemia-reperfusion injury, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and liver cancer.
CBD has a remarkably good safety profile. Researchers have tested the efficacy and safety of CBD in humans using doses as high as 1,500 mg – 3000 mg CBD daily.
CBD Oil for Alcohol-Induced Liver Injury
However, inflammation in the liver causes the endocannabinoid to be very active in this area. Unfortunately, an overactive endocannabinoid system plays a role in the development of fatty liver disease (3).
In one study , 10% of the subjects developed high liver enzymes—they had to stop using CBD for this reason. Other research suggests that CBD can improve liver function.
The FDA has approved a CBD-based drug named Epidiolex®. The drug was researched and made by Greenwich Biosciences, and the company’s vice-president of U.S. professional relations, Alice Mead, has stated to the FDA that CBD is “potentially” a liver toxin. She said this during the FDA’s first public hearing on CBD oil on May 31, 2019.
Note, the study cited in the article was very small with children under physician care but if you are a liver patient it is a cautionary note if you are considering CBD oil. We are not aware of any research that would suggest using it more broadly but consult your doctor.
Because CBD oil is not considered a drug, it can be a common additive in many products. This includes e-cigarettes (vape oil), lotions and various herbal supplements. It has also been shown to relieve symptoms of different disorders like epilepsy, anxiety and multiple sclerosis.
The few studies performed on how CBD affects the liver are not clear.
To further complicate the question, products with CBD oil may not give the exact amount listed on the package . Depending on the brand, the consumer may be using much more or less than they think. This is especially true of OTC supplements and e-cigarettes.
How does it impact the liver?
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive ingredient of Cannabis sativa (Izzo et al., 2009). Many mechanisms have been suggested for its action, such as agonism of 5-HT1A receptors (Russo et al., 2005). It also has a very strong anti-inflammatory activity both in vivo, as an anti-arthritic therapeutic (Malfait et al., 2000; Durst et al., 2007), and in vitro, manifested by inhibition of cytokine production in immune cells (Ben-Shabat et al., 2006). The finding that CBD is devoid of any psychotropic effects combined with its anti-inflammatory activity makes it a promising tool for treating HE, which is exacerbated by an inflammatory response (Shawcross et al., 2004). In the present work, we aimed to explore the effects of CBD in the acute model of HE induced by the hepatotoxin thioacetamide (TAA), focusing on brain function, brain pathology and 5-HT levels, liver function and pathology as possible targets for therapeutic effects of CBD.
All data are expressed as mean ± SEM. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way anova followed by Bonferroni’s post hoc test.
Serum for alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), bilirubin and ammonia measurements was obtained on day 3 in glass tubes, centrifuged, and analysed on the day of sampling using a Kone Progress Selective Chemistry Analyzer (Kone Instruments, Espoo, Finland). All serum samples were processed in the same laboratory using the same methods and the same reference values.