Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD oil, is gaining momentum in the United States. CBD oil is one of the compounds found in the cannabis plant. However, unlike the well-known THC compound, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect, so a person’s state of mind is not altered with use.
CBD oil has proven health benefits for certain conditions, such as childhood epilepsy, and has a growing list of supposed positive effects on other health problems such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, opioid addiction, anxiety and even acne. However, even natural health supplements can have side effects. What about CBD oil? A recent study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science has helped shed some light on CBD oil.
CBD Oil Side Effects
Researchers at the University of Arkansas set out to find what link — if any —there is between CBD use and liver toxicity. Utilizing the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved CBD-based drug, known as Epidiolex, researchers administered varying doses of CBD to lab mice and monitored the effects. Using what’s called a mouse equivalent dose (MED) that correlates to the maximum dose of CBD contained in Epidiolex given to a human, researchers noted that the mice given the max dose showed signs of liver damage in less than 24 hours. Approximately 75% of the mice in this category either died or died within a few days due to liver damage.
On the Epidiolex label, liver damage is noted as a potential side effect. So while some may waive the idea that CBD oil can only help and is much better than prescription medications, the results from this study indicate otherwise.
Unlike prescribed medications or over-the-counter medications that must be approved by the FDA before being sold, CBD oil has not been approved. Thus, the CBD oil found in stores or online has not been tested. With no long-term safety data available for CBD, it should be taken with caution.
To Use CBD or Not
As with any treatment method, each person must weigh the potential risks and benefits. More studies will need to be conducted before a more definitive answer is available for general consumers.
In addition to potential side effects, natural supplements have the potential to interact with prescription medications. So, if you are contemplating taking CBD oil or any other natural supplement, be sure to discuss any possible interactions with your physician first.
Grinspoon, Peter. “Cannabidiol (CBD) – what we know and what we don’t.” Harvard Health Publishing, June 5, 2019. Accessed June 29, 2019.
Ewing, Laura; et al. “Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model.” Molecules, April 30, 2019. Accessed June 29, 2019.