Generally speaking, a high-quality CBD product is good for overall health and does not offer negative side effects, even in large doses. However, in June 2019, a study suggested that CBD may be damaging to the liver.
In the study, researchers gave mice extremely high doses of CBD, and studied the effects it had on their health. While the results showed that CBD did some damage to the mice’s livers, the news coverage of this was sensationalized and intentionally frightening. Not only that, but no studies done on humans consuming CBD back up the assumption that if it is harmful to mice in large quantities, it is also harmful to human livers.
So, Is CBD Oil Bad for Your Liver? Likely Not.
As with any health supplement, it is important to be educated on the side effects of using CBD. However, unless a person has existing liver issues or is taking extremely high doses of CBD, a person’s liver is likely safe from harm while using CBD.
The liver is only involved when a person consumes CBD through the stomach—either by eating it in gummy or another edible form, such as swallowing oil. Other methods of CBD consumption do not involve the liver, and the CBD goes directly to the bloodstream. If individuals smoke CBD flower, the CBD is absorbed by the lungs and bypasses the liver entirely, too. These methods of consuming CBD improve its bioavailability, too. The more CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream, the more rapid absorption will happen and the sooner the user will feel the desired effects.
Though CBD only affects the liver when consumed orally, CBD edibles don’t need to be avoided for the safety of the liver. While it’s important to understand the ways in which the body absorbs the supplement, and the risks of any supplement taken, most who consume CBD have little to no risks—in fact, CBD is typically safer than traditional medications used for pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
More studies are required to learn the full effects that CBD has on human livers. It is advised that individuals buy from a provider that offers transparent laboratory testing, preferably in a state that has firm CBD regulations in place that’d require the producers to adhere to strict guidelines.
Individuals should consult a healthcare provider before trying CBD, particularly if they take prescription medications that may be harder on the liver. Healthcare providers will likely want to monitor liver enzymes if a person is at risk. However, for most individuals, CBD is a safe supplement with very low risks for liver damage or other damage within the body. Always check the label, read reviews, and purchase only high-quality products that have been thoroughly tested in an independent lab.