Navigating CBD Use for Liver Health: Potential Benefits and Risks

a doctor and a human liver

The Key Points:

  • CBD shows potential in protecting the liver from alcohol-related damage and in improving liver function in Hepatitis C patients.
  • Excessive CBD doses may cause liver damage, as seen in a mouse study. However, this requires a dose far beyond normal human consumption.
  • Another study in humans showed no liver toxicity signs in adults who consumed CBD orally, suggesting moderate use may be safe.
  • CBD's effects on the liver are complex and need further research. It's advised to consult a healthcare provider before using CBD, especially for those with liver conditions.
  • Experts recommend moderation and caution in CBD use, keeping in mind the evolving nature of scientific research around CBD's effects on the liver.

Nowadays, there's a lot of talk about CBD oil and its potential benefits. But what about possible risks? Is CBD harmful to the liver? In this blog post, we'll take a look at the effects of CBD on the liver and delve into some of the functions of this essential organ. Moreover, we'll examine some studies exploring the connection between CBD and liver health.

What is the Function of the Liver?

The liver is a large, multifaceted organ that plays a significant role in the body. Its primary functions include filtering toxins from the blood, producing bile fluid that aids in breaking down fats, and storing nutrients. The liver also regulates hormones, aids in fighting infections, and produces cholesterol.

In short, the liver is crucial for good health, and any damage to the liver can have serious consequences. Fortunately, the liver has an amazing ability to regenerate itself. With proper care and treatment, it is possible to keep this vital organ healthy and ensure its function.

What Effects Does CBD Have on the Liver?

There are several studies that have investigated the impacts of CBD on the liver. For instance, one study found that CBD can protect the liver from damage due to alcohol abuse. Another study showed that CBD can help improve liver function in individuals with Hepatitis C.

However, a recent mouse study has also made headlines because it found that ingesting too much CBD in large quantities can cause liver damage.

When it comes to CBD and its effects on the liver, the correct dosage seems to be key in any case.

Further research is needed, however, to determine the long-term effects of CBD on the liver.

So, Is CBD Harmful to the Liver?

This question hasn't been fully answered yet. More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of CBD on this vital organ. If you have liver problems, it's advisable to consult a doctor before taking CBD.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas studied the effects of treatments with various CBD dosages on a group of eight-week-old mice.

While the mice mostly tolerated the CBD, the mice given the highest doses—equivalent to a human dose of 200 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight—showed clear signs of liver toxicity, as the researchers found.

In addition, repeated administrations of a lower CBD dosage— the human equivalent of about 50 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight— also led to signs of liver swelling and damage.

"While a dose of 200 mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight is not applicable to most real scenarios, it provides important information about the potential consequences of a CBD overdose and the dosages needed for further subchronic and chronic toxicity studies,"

write the authors of a contribution in the scientific journal Molecules.

Experts point out, though, that patients need to be informed about what exactly they're getting and what risks may exist, but that the CBD amount to which the animals were exposed was far higher than the dose most people would take.

To put this in the right context, a person weighing 150 lbs would have to ingest over 1,300 mg of CBD per day, which is far beyond what most people take (10-80 mg daily).

New Study Shows No Evidence of Liver Toxicity in 839 Adults Who Consumed CBD Orally

Due to the results of the mouse study, a research company in Denver, Colorado named ValidCare decided to conduct their own clinical study, this time in humans.

After a seven-month clinical investigation, the ValidCare team met with members of the US Food and Drug Administration's "Cannabis Product Council" to present the initial results of their study on the safety of CBD products from hemp in humans.

This study was commissioned and designed in response to FDA demands, including the agency's report to Congress on March 5, 2020, requesting scientifically backed data so the FDA can confidently establish the appropriate regulatory pathways for hemp-based CBD products.

Preliminary results show no signs of liver disease in the 839 participants and no increase in the prevalence of elevated liver function tests compared to a population with a similar incidence of diseases.

Other Studies on CBD and the Liver

While most studies in the past have been conducted on animals, there are also some clinical studies involving human participant groups. All of these studies give us important insights into how CBD affects the liver.

CBD Protects the Liver from Alcohol-Related Damage

French researchers reviewed 143 studies published between 1974 and June 2018 on the effects of CBD on the liver. They concluded that CBD reduces alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis in the liver by reducing lipid accumulation, stimulating autophagy, modulating inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and triggering the death of activated hepatic stellate cells.

CBD May Improve Liver Function in Hepatitis C Patients

In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers treated hepatitis C patients with a daily dose of CBD for one month. The results showed a significant improvement in liver function among these patients. This suggests that CBD could potentially help improve liver function in individuals suffering from hepatitis C.

Study on CBD, THC and the Liver

Another study conducted by the University of Minnesota examined the effects of CBD and THC on the liver. They found that when given in combination, these cannabinoids can cause mild liver damage. However, the researchers also found that CBD alone did not cause the same liver damage. This indicates that CBD, when used on its own, may not be harmful to the liver.


The effects of CBD on the liver are complex and require further research. While some studies suggest potential benefits, others warn of possible damage in cases of excessive dosage. As a result, the safest route to take is to discuss your interest in using CBD with a healthcare provider, particularly if you have liver conditions or are on medications that can impact your liver function. This is the best way to ensure your use of CBD is safe and effective for your specific needs.

While researchers continue to explore the effects of CBD on the liver, current data suggests that moderate use of CBD is unlikely to cause significant damage to the liver in most people. However, those who are considering taking high doses of CBD, especially over a long period of time, should be aware of the potential for liver damage and should consult with a healthcare provider.

In conclusion, the science around CBD and its potential effects on the liver is evolving. As with any supplement or medication, it is important to take these findings into consideration and use CBD safely under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

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