The popularity of medicinal marijuana has increased quite a bit over the past years and among the numerous products that consumers are seeking, CBD seems to be the most popular.

There is no denying that CBD, or cannabidiol, is rapidly becoming more and more popular in the United States. With over 11 states having approved marijuana for recreational use, CBD’s popularity has skyrocketed and is used in both medicinal and recreational ways.

It gained popularity after Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s "Weed 2" documentary was released several years ago. The documentary showed how the non-intoxicating component of marijuana prevented seizures in epileptic children.

Since then, CBD, which has been considered to be safer compared to popping pills, has become a highly revered form of alternative treatment for a variety of ailments, ranging from mild to severe. It’s being used to treat ailments like anxiety, chronic pain, and epileptic seizures, to name a few. However, a new study suggests that the substance may cause its fair share of health issues. Specifically, researchers found that the substance could be damaging our livers in the same way that alcohol and other drugs do.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science investigated CBD hepatotoxicity in mice. And while CBD has been gaining significant recognition in the world of health and wellness, the researchers found that people who use it are at an elevated risk for liver toxicity.

The research, which was published earlier this year in the journal Molecules, suggests that while people may be using cannabidiol as a safer alternative to conventional pain relievers, the compound may actually be just as harmful to their livers.

Liver toxicity is considered to be an adverse reaction to a number of substances. Alcohol, drugs, and even natural supplements all take their toll on your liver. However, this is the first study of its kind to indicate that CBD might be as detrimental to the human liver as other chemicals.

Lead study author, Igor Koturbash, Ph.D., told Nutra Ingredients USA that more research needs to be done on CBD in order to evaluate its overall safety.

As it stands, none of the CBD products you find in grocery stores and malls have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The only CBD-based medicine that has received approval from the FDA is Epidiolex, which lists potential liver damage as a side effect.

While the study has proven that CBD can cause liver damage, the doses used were 10-20 times more mg than what average consumers currently take. So the main takeaway would have to be that CBD can cause liver damage, but only if you abuse it.

CBD oil
CBD is being used for many purposes, both medicinal and recreational. The component of the cannabis plant has made strides especially after being found to prevent seizures in epileptic children. Gibraltar Organics / Flickr