Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2023-12-12

CBD and its impact on the liver: a toxicologist’s perspective

CBD and its impact on the liver: a toxicologist's perspective

In an interview with Cristelle Santos, toxicologist at Contract research organisation and scientific consultancy Broughton, we explore the complex connection between Cannabidiol (CBD) and liver health. She highlights the need for a closer look at the safety data that is currently available in order to determine the true impact of CBD on the liver, in light of the growing conversations and concerns expressed by regulatory agencies like the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Investigating potential harm

The opposing views and the EFSA’s cautious approach prompted Santos to look into the possible liver damage caused by CBD. The lack of common liver toxicity cases in countries like Canada, where CBD is legal, sparked her curiosity. They led her to emphasise the importance of strong safety data to address concerns.

Questions over the safety of products containing CBD have been voiced by the FDA and EFSA. These institutions emphasised the need for additional research. Santos fills in the blanks raised by the EFSA, including the impact on the liver and various physiological systems, reinforcing the complexity of evaluating CBD’s safety as a novel food.

Limits and insights on CBD safety

Santos explains how reported effects on liver enzymes correlate with regulatory organisations’ recommended daily limits. Various opinions regarding appropriate dose ranges are examined. All took into account elements such as the UK FSA’s recommendation of 70 mg/day and the Australian TGA’s clinical review-based methodology, which suggests a daily intake of up to 150 mg without causing negative side effects.

The reassurance comes from the clinical trial analyses conducted by the Dos Santos group and the Chesney group, respectively. When consumed by itself, CBD doesn’t have any significant negative effects. Hepatic functional modifications, however, could result from mixing CBD with other medications, particularly anti-epileptic ones.

Recent studies highlight the need of finding the right balance between therapeutic efficacy and safety. Santos emphasises that in order to ensure responsible CBD use, medical professionals and regulators must be aware of the effective therapeutic range.

Long-term safety assessments

An important factor in determining the long-term safety of CBD is the analysis of Henderson’s 90-day toxicity tests. With no apparent harmful effects at the studied dosages, the research offers important new information for determining safe dose ranges and safety standards for long-term usage.

Santos claims that the dose determines harm based on the data. Low doses of CBD should be safe according to current knowledge. Particularly for people who don’t have any other medical conditions or are taking no other drugs. Santos encourages communication with medical professionals and supports a personalised approach.

Santos emphasises the significance of taking dosage levels and other contributing elements into account in order to optimise therapeutic advantages while guaranteeing public health safety, speaking from the viewpoint of a toxicologist. Achieving this delicate balance requires extensive research and evidence-based standards.

Does CBD harm the liver?

“CBD can have different effects on the liver, depending on the dosage.”

Although there may be risks associated with high doses, particularly when combined with other drugs, CBD is generally well-tolerated at very low quantities.

Future research, according to Santos, should concentrate on long-term studies, clinical trials, and cooperation between academic institutions, research groups, and industry stakeholders. For a more comprehensive understanding of CBD, filling in data gaps, investigating various intake options, and evaluating product stability and safety are essential.

Santos’s views offer a thorough overview of the present level of knowledge surrounding CBD and its effects on the liver as the CBD landscape changes. The appeal for more study and cooperation demonstrates the dedication to maximising CBD’s potential while protecting consumers’ health and safety.

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