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Are There Side Effects of CBD Oil on the liver?
CBD Education

 

Are There Side Effects of CBD Oil on the liver?

In a landscape where the quest for natural remedies is ever-growing, CBD has emerged as a beacon of hope for many. With countless individuals turning to this cannabinoid to encourage relaxation and soothe tension, cannabidiol's reputation has soared.

Its potential benefits, rooted in the cannabis plant, have inspired both intrigue and excitement. But, with CBD’s rising popularity, it’s natural that questions regarding its safety arise as well.

One important question you may be asking: Are there potential impacts of CBD oil on the liver? In this exploration, we'll venture into the intricacies of cannabis, CBD, and their interactions with our body's vital systems, seeking clarity on this paramount concern.

What Is CBD?

CBD is found within the buds and leaves of the cannabis plant — a plant that's been revered for its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. This botanical powerhouse houses a unique blend of active compounds, including terpenes and cannabinoids, each contributing to the plant's holistic profile. Among these cannabinoids, two have gained the most attention: THC and CBD.

THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis. In simpler terms, it's the compound responsible for the "high" or euphoria that some cannabis users experience.

CBD (or cannabidiol), meanwhile, does not produce this psychoactive effect. Instead, it's sought after for its potential to promote relaxation, help maintain healthy stress levels, and partner with the body's systems to ease tension, all without the intoxicating effects of THC.

CBD and the Endocannabinoid System: What’s the Connection?

Diving deeper into the body's interaction with CBD, we encounter the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This complex system plays a pivotal role in maintaining our body's internal balance, or homeostasis.

Made of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid (CB) receptors, and enzymes, the ECS is involved in many physiological processes, playing a part in mood, appetite, and sleep patterns.

So, how does the ECS work? Evidence suggests that endocannabinoids, which are naturally produced in our body, can trigger various biological responses by binding to CB receptors throughout the body. There are two primary types of receptors within the ECS: CB1 and CB2 receptors.

While CB1 receptors are primarily found in the central nervous system, CB2 receptors reside mainly in the peripheral nervous system. After binding with these receptors as needed, the endocannabinoids are broken down to their most basic form by enzymes.

And, since endocannabinoids are molecularly similar to cannabis-derived phytocannabinoids, CBD and THC can also interact with the ECS — but in distinct ways. THC tends to bind directly with CB1 receptors, leading to its psychoactive effects.

But CBD has a more indirect interaction. Instead of binding directly, CBD supports the body's production of its own endocannabinoids, fostering a natural equilibrium.

What Are the Different Forms of CBD Products?

CBD comes in a variety of forms, each tailored to fit different needs and preferences. Among the most popular are topical creams, gummies, and oils.

Topical forms of CBD are applied directly to the skin, offering localized benefits. They're an excellent choice for those looking to ease tension in specific areas of the body. Gummies offer a simple and tasty way to incorporate CBD into one's daily routine. Finally, there are CBD oils, often used sublingually (under the tongue) for faster absorption, offering both versatility and convenience.

It’s also important to recognize the distinctions among broad-spectrum, full-spectrum, and CBD isolate products. Full-spectrum CBD contains all the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, including up to the federally legal limit of 0.3% THC content.

While this small amount is not enough to produce psychoactive effects, it can contribute to the entourage effect, where all the compounds work synergistically for enhanced benefits. Broad-spectrum, on the other hand, offers this same synergy but without THC. Lastly, CBD isolate is a form of pure CBD, with all other compounds filtered out and removed.

Can CBD Impact Liver Health?

When diving into the potential effects of CBD on liver health, it's important to understand how the liver works.

The hepatic system, primarily comprising the liver, is responsible for detoxifying our bodies and processing everything we ingest, from food to medications. It filters and processes blood, breaking down toxins and converting nutrients from the food we eat into essential blood components.

Due to its central role in detoxifying substances and drug metabolism, the liver is naturally at the forefront of concerns when introducing new compounds into our system.

As such, our liver plays a pivotal role in metabolizing CBD. When we take CBD, it undergoes metabolism and interacts with liver enzymes. Evidence from recent animal studies suggests that in cases where CBD is consumed in extremely high doses, there's potential for these enzymes to elevate, which can signal liver injury.

However, it’s critical to note that research indicates a low risk of liver damage with CBD when taken at the doses typically recommended for daily use. Addressing the concerns of liver damage, liver toxicity, and liver injury is essential, but a balanced perspective, informed by the latest studies, gives a more nuanced understanding.

Dosing: How Much Is Too Much?

When it comes to CBD, the age-old adage "less is more" can often apply. The concentration, often measured in milligrams (mg) of CBD, can significantly influence how your body responds. Over-the-counter forms of CBD, like oils and dietary supplements, can vary widely in their CBD concentrations, so it's essential always to read the label and follow recommended dosages.

Typically, daily doses of CBD can range anywhere from 5mg to 100mg, with the right amount hinging on individual factors like metabolism, body weight, and specific wellness needs. For those new to the world of cannabidiol, starting with a modest five to 10mg per day can be a good place to start. This foundation allows you to gradually increase until you pinpoint your personal sweet spot.

Once you hit that sweet spot, ramping up the mg of CBD won't continue to escalate its effects. This is reassuring news for those worried about overdoing it, as there's genuinely little incentive to venture into the realms of excessively high doses of CBD — doses that might be linked to potential liver function risks.

Are There Any Other Potential Risks to CBD Use?

As with many substances, our bodies might react to CBD in diverse ways. It's crucial to recognize and be prepared for potential side effects, though most users find CBD well-tolerated.

Potential Side Effects of CBD

Side effects for CBD are rare and are usually related to product additives, such as flavoring, sweeteners, other ingredients, and carrier oils, as opposed to the CBD itself. Some of the potential side effects include:

Drowsiness

Particularly noticed with higher doses, CBD can induce feelings of drowsiness or mild sedation in some users. It's essential to monitor how you feel, especially when trying CBD for the first time or adjusting your dosage. If relaxation shifts into feeling excessively sleepy, it might be a sign to reassess your intake.

Dizziness

Some users have reported feeling light-headed or dizzy after consuming CBD. This is usually a short-lived sensation and might be related to dosage or individual body chemistry. As always, it's crucial to start with lower doses and observe any changes or sensations in the body.

Gastrointestinal Issues

A less common side effect, some users might experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort. This is usually caused by consuming large amounts of carrier oil and could manifest as an upset stomach or changes in appetite.

Remember, as with all health-related decisions, staying informed, listening to your body, and consulting with professionals will always guide you toward the best choices for your well-being.

Can CBD Interactions With Other Medications?

When combining any substances, there's always a potential for drug interactions, and CBD is no exception. The key concern lies with CBD's potential to interact with prescription medications.

When CBD is processed by the liver, it interacts with the same liver enzymes that other medications can interact with and affect. Taking CBD with other supplements or medications can potentially lead to heightened effects or reduced efficacy of either substance.

It cannot be emphasized enough how essential it is to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional before introducing CBD to your regimen, especially if you're taking blood thinners, blood pressure medication, SSRIs, or other types of prescription drugs.

You should also check with your doctor if you have any diagnosed medical conditions or suspect that you may have one. They can provide guidance, ensuring that you're making safe and informed choices regarding the effects of cannabidiol.

Safety First: Best Practices for CBD Use

When it comes to CBD, choosing high-quality products is key — not just for the potential benefits but also for your overall safety. Seek out products free from pesticides, harmful chemicals, and other contaminants.

Third-party testing and result transparency are essential in ensuring a product is free from heavy metals and pesticides and that its cannabinoid content is accurately labeled.

At Muscle MX, we take pride in our commitment to quality, ensuring that our third-party lab results are available online for everyone to view. This transparency is a testament to our dedication to providing products crafted with only clean, high-quality ingredients.

Dosage is another crucial aspect of CBD use. Just as a seasoned chef knows adding too much of an ingredient can overshadow a dish, so too can excessive CBD overshadow its benefits.

Try starting with a small amount of CBD, and if you notice any adverse effects, take a step back, reassess, and consider consulting a professional. It's always about balancing enthusiasm with caution.

The Bottom Line

The promise of CBD's potential health benefits has been a beacon for many, shining light on paths of relaxation, ease, and wellness. Its journey from the cannabis plant to the vast array of products in the market today speaks volumes about its revered place in holistic wellness. And, as with all potent botanicals, being informed and cautious of potential side effects is key.

While CBD stands as a testament to nature's gifts, it's essential to approach its use with both eagerness and diligence. Celebrate its benefits, respect its power, and always prioritize safety in your use of CBD.

For those seeking the finest in CBD products, Muscle MX offers a range tailored to your unique wellness needs. We're more than just a brand; we're a partner dedicated to supporting you on this enriching journey. Explore our collection and let us be a part of your path to balanced well-being.

Sources:

An introduction to the endogenous cannabinoid system | PMC

Pharmacology of cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors | PMC

Liver: Anatomy and Functions | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Hepatotoxicity of a Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract in the Mouse Model | MDPI

Cannabidiol presents an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve in a simulated public speaking test | PMC

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