The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants the American public to know that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating component of the cannabis Sativa plant, might not be as safe and effective in the grand scheme of their overall health and wellness as they are being told.
Other than one prescription drug product to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy, the FDA has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body. Therefore, the FDA wants to clarify a couple of critical points surrounding CBD before more of the public jumps on the bandwagon.
Research shows CBD can cause liver damage. The FDA admits that it does not yet have a real understanding of the potential health risks associated with CBD. But liver damage is one of the side effects that it has uncovered in its limited study. The agency wrote, “ The FDA identified certain safety risks, including the potential for liver injury.”
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences did a study that found high doses of CBD brought about liver damage in mice within 24 hours. Many of the animals died or were close to death within three or four days. Critics have argued that the dosage used in this study was extreme, but the highest dosage used (615 mg/kg for 10 days) was “The allometrically scaled mouse equivalent of the maximum recommended human maintenance dose.” So while the dosage leading to liver damage in mice was, in fact, high, there are epileptic children in the U.S. right now being administered a comparable amount. This is the reason that doctors must monitor the liver enzymes of these patients. In clinical trials, 5 to 20% experienced liver issues. As a result, some patients were permanently removed from the study to prevent the damage from escalating.
Even doctors in Colorado, where marijuana is legal for any purpose, monitor the liver enzymes of patients who decide to treat themselves with CBD or Marijuana, according to a report from STAT News.
The most common side effects associated with CBD based products include: “Sleepiness, Sedation, and lethargy; Elevated Liver Enzymes; Decreased Appetite; Diarrhea; Rash; Fatigue; Malaise and Weakness; Insomnia; Sleep Disorder; Infections.”
According to a news release from the FDA, “More severe side effects include “thoughts about suicide, attempts to commit suicide, feelings of agitation, new or worsening depression, aggression, and panic attacks.”
The cannabis industry has been trying to convince the public that CBD can remedy their pain, help with anxiety, pull them out of depression, give them a healthy heart, and even protect them from cancer. The FDA worries that all of the unsubstantiated allegations floating around about how CBD can help relieve or even cure medical conditions will give consumers a false sense of hope. The FDA writes, “ Misleading and false claims associated with CBD products may lead consumers to put off getting important medical care, such as proper diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care.”
It is essential to make sure you stay educated. Don’t just buy into the CBD hype blindly. If you need help educating your staff on CBD use in the workplace, give our office a call at 1.800.452.0030 ext. 203.