If CBD oils and edibles are legal in your state, you can find them everywhere from gas stations to pharmacies. The medical benefits of this byproduct of the cannabis plant are a mile long. Frankly, though, many are doubtful it is the wonder drug its proclaimed to be. You can be sure the studies of its benefits will continue. However, one aspect of the studies does not report good news at all. In fact, it shows a strong link between CBD and liver damage.

Of course, we take study results with a grain of salt all the time. Another study is just going to come along and contradict it next year or even next month, right?

Benefits abound

Millions of people use cannabidiol (CBD) for a number of reasons. Scientific studies confirm its use for treatment of chronic pain and anxiety. In fact, those are the top two reasons that people purchase the product. Specific studies regarding pain relief have proven that CBD, especially in combination with THC, may be effective in reducing the pain caused from diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

We have to note here, though, the final conclusion of the studies reflects “may” be effective.

According to the World Health Organization, depression effects 300 million people worldwide. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States alone. The conditions are both treatable, but the pharmaceutical drugs used have side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, and even worse, some are highly addictive.

The statistics above don’t reflect children, but CBD oil is definitely used to treat children suffering from anxiety linked to post traumatic stress disorder. The results are definitely in regarding the benefit of CBD oil to treat anxiety and depression. In fact, the drug proves itself to be beneficial for humans and animals.

Possible pros

In addition to treating pain, anxiety, and depression, CBD helps reduce the symptoms related to certain cancers. Some studies are showing that CBD may even have qualities that fight cancer.

Wait, there’s more.

  • The anti-inflammatory qualities of CBD make it a contender in the battle to clear up acne.
  • CBD might effectively treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
  • It’s hopeful that CBD will also be proven to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Heart health can be in the realm of CBD advantages.
  • Substance abuse treatment makes the list as well.

We need more human research to totally prove these benefits, however.

The big con

For the most part, the cons of CBD use are few and relatively minor.

  • Diarrhea
  • Change in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Interaction with certain medications

However, there is new information coming to light that puts an entirely different spin on things.

Of mice and men

A study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science titled Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model shows that CBD can damage the liver. The study, conducted on eight week old mice, used an equivalent of the human dose of CBD. In less than 24 hours, the mice that were given higher doses were exhibiting signs of liver damage.  Within days, those mice died as a result of hepatotoxicity.

They died.

In addition, we should note that the human equivalent doses were on the low end of the spectrum. Humans often take much higher doses when using the drug for medicinal purposes.

Not only that, in human studies some subjects began to show an increase in liver enzymes to such an alarming degree that they were removed from the study entirely.

That’s not good news.

We need regulation

The problem with using CBD products boils down to the fact that there is absolutely no regulation in the extraction process.

This is troubling for two main reasons.

  1. The CBD levels are not measured in any way, or if the manufacturer does perform tests to determine them, there is no set standard of comparison.
  2. With no set test standards to adhere too, the amounts of THC that are extracted along with CBD are not known.

People purchasing these products have no way of knowing what level of CBD that they are ingesting. Of course, a person’s unique ability to metabolize these products also plays a part. Some people will experience the ill effects of the drug sooner than others.

Not to mention the THC issue, many CBD users are unaware of the fact that their CBD product of choice contains some amount of THC. The amounts vary by product, of course. However, with no extraction regulations in place, there is no way to determine how much. Also noteworthy, the levels of THC are often high enough to cause someone to test positive for THC if given a drug test.

It may be that the individual used CBD products just prior to the drug test and it’s possible that if they took another later in the day, it would show a negative result. However, employers must follow company policy and many of them don’t allow for second chances.

It all boils down to this

Further studies will eventually determine whether all the claimed benefits of using CBD to treat medical issues are true. But at the moment, it’s all pretty iffy.

If you use CBD to treat this ailment or that, check with your doctor. Dead mice and releasing humans from the CBD study should not be overlooked. Ask your doctor about monitoring your own liver enzymes from time to time.

Many people choose to self-medicate with CBD. Their doctor isn’t even in the picture. The studies mentioned here prove that is not a wise idea. Neither is grabbing CBD from the gas station, for that matter. Research manufacturers before you choose to purchase.

“The lure of easy money has a very strong appeal.” ~The Eagles, Smuggler’s Blues

Drug smuggling is not the only mark of that saying being true.

No one wants to suffer with chronic pain. It’s debilitating. Acne’s no fun either.

However, you are alive.

Let’s keep it that way.