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Report That CBD Can Cause Liver Damage Debunked

A June 18 article in Forbes reported that researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have determined «people that use CBD are at an elevated risk of liver toxicity.»

The article cited the study, «Heptatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in a Mouse Model,» posted at Molecules on April 30. It concluded:

«CBD exhibited clear signs of hepatotoxicity, possibly of a cholestatic nature. The involvement of numerous pathways associated with lipid and xenobiotic metabolism raises serious concerns about potential drug interactions as well as the safety of CBD.»

Can the popular cannabinoid cause such damage in humans? Project CBD says no, in a rebuttal article published on July 11.

«The breathless article in Forbes focuses on a single, flawed, pre-clinical study and exaggerates it to the point of falsehood,» Adrian Devitt-Lee writes. «A close examination of the Molecules study reveals a Pandora’s box of strange statements, problematic publishing and unreasonable experimental design.»

Beware of High CBD Dosing 

The Arkansas researchers reported that several mice had died due to CBD toxicity. But Devitt-Lee says the mice were mega-dosed with 2.5 grams each, which is 100 times less than the recommended 25 mg dose of the FDA-approved CBD-isloate Epidiolex.

«The study is a hit piece against CBD,» he contends, «not legitimate scientific work… Without a doubt, the dose used in a mouse experiment does not translate directly to human dosing.»

However, Devitt-Lee does admit, «High doses of CBD – usually around 20-50 mg/kg – can cause issues with the liver, but there are important caveats. Numerous publications from the makers of Epidiolex have shed light on potential risks of CBD. Project CBD has been reporting on these dangers for years.

«One issue is CBD’s ability to inhibit drug-metabolizing enzymes. This usually occurs when someone is taking hundreds or thousands of milligrams of CBD per day… These issues resolve when people stop taking CBD or reduce their dose, according to many reports. Once there is an awareness of the risk, it can be simple for a doctor to manage.»

So then the moral is this story is don’t believe every study you read and be careful with your CBD dosing.


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