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cbd oil and the liver

The pharmacy only uses medicinal cannabis produced by Bedrocan. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has commissioned Bedrocan to standardize and grow the plant pharmaceutically in order to guarantee a consistent composition of the cannabis oil.

This article is based on an UMCG press release.

The University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), Netherlands, is to study the effect of cannabis oil on liver cancer patients who have exhausted all other treatment options. The aim of the study is to see whether cannabis oil acts as an anti-cancer agent that will shrink the liver tumours.

Research design

The first step in this study is to determine the correct dose for each patient. Patients will be given the maximum dose of cannabis oil that can be given without causing side-effects. Blood tests will be carried out and images made of the livers of those taking part after three, six and nine months to see whether the liver tumours are responding. The blood will be tested for the presence of tumour markers and to check the liver function of the participants.

The study was started after two separate reports that patients with advanced liver cancer had seen their tumours shrink after using cannabis oil. Now, two and five years after their diagnoses, the tumours have completely dissapeared and the patients are cured. Although laboratory research shows that cannabis can curb the growth of liver cancer cells, a possible anti-cancer effect of cannabis oil in patients cannot be explained as no scientific research has been carried out.

The cannabis oil being used is produced by the Transvaal Apotheek, a specialist pharmacy with the certificates needed to produce drugs for research purposes. The oil is produced according to a fixed recipe with precise amounts of THC and CBD, two of the important substances contained in cannabis.

This study is being carried out with the help of patients with advanced liver cancer, for whom best supportive care is the only remaining option. As cannabis oil is broken down by the liver, all participants must have a good liver function. Patients with severe liver cirrhosis (liver damage caused by the formation of scar tissue) will not be considered for the study unless the cirrhosis is not affecting their liver function. Patients willing to join the study can be referred to the UMCG by their specialist. A total of 20 patients can take part. The study will last approximately three years.

Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the hemp plant, which is in the same family as marijuana. Unlike THC in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” or chemical dependence. CBD that is extracted from the hemp plant is legal, but individual states have laws to regulate it.

Because CBD oil is not considered a drug, it can be a common additive in many products. This includes e-cigarettes (vape oil), lotions and various herbal supplements. It has also been shown to relieve symptoms of different disorders like epilepsy, anxiety and multiple sclerosis.

To further complicate the question, products with CBD oil may not give the exact amount listed on the package . Depending on the brand, the consumer may be using much more or less than they think. This is especially true of OTC supplements and e-cigarettes.

What is CBD oil?

Note, the study cited in the article was very small with children under physician care but if you are a liver patient it is a cautionary note if you are considering CBD oil. We are not aware of any research that would suggest using it more broadly but consult your doctor.