Is CBD Toxic?
The answer is apparent, right? When even the World Health Organization calls CBD “safe and tolerable,” it’s clear CBD is fine.
It’s the one cannabinoid that public health hasn’t been able to demonize. Yet.
Food and Drug Administration officials published a review study on CBD. They claim their findings show “potential hazards associated with oral exposure to CBD.”
They also claim “no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.”
So let’s examine these two claims. Are these FDA researchers unbiased? And is CBD toxic?
Is CBD Toxic? Ask the “Experts”
Who are the “experts” behind this latest review of CBD studies? How did they conclude that CBD might be a toxic hazard for the general population?
First up is Jeremy Gingrich. An FDA employee. Technically it’s Dr. Gingrich, but his doctorate is in philosophy. Not medicine.
Suppuration Choudhuri. Another FDA employee. An actual scientist, he wrote Bioinformatics for Beginners. He’s also published a paper suggesting CBD interferes with male sperm.
Patrick Cournoyer. Heads the FDA’s cannabis strategy.
Jason Downey. An FDA employee and a former employee of the military-industrial complex. He worked for Leidos as a biomedical scientist.
Kristi Muldoon Jacobs. FDA and former US Pharmacopeia.
Now, we’re not saying these people aren’t qualified. With some exceptions, most are actually experts in plant medicine.
But their neutrality is called into question as employees of the FDA. The more simple-minded may think “government regulators are honest and trustworthy.” And 80% of the time that may be true.
But there’s a revolving door of pharmaceutical executives and FDA bureaucrats. And when the FDA holds a monopoly on certifications of food and medicine safety and efficacy, then it’s reasonable to dispute every claim they make.
Suppose the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a review of renewable energies. Let’s say they found wind and solar to be inadequate, and thus oil and gas were the preferred means for America’s energy source.
Suppose someone investigated this study and suggested the EPA has a bias since their funding comes from oil and gas lobbyists.
Nearly half of the FDA’s funding ($2.7 billion annually) come from the companies they’re supposed to be regulating.
It is not unreasonable to question the motives and biases of the authors behind a study asking if CBD is toxic.
Is CBD Toxic? What The Study Says
Is CBD Toxic? Yes, according to this study. They even have a section entitled “Toxicological profile of CBD.”
Here, they reference a number of previous studies that tested CBD on primates (Rhesus monkeys), rodents, New Zealand white rabbits, sea urchins, zebrafish, and chickens (including chicken eggs).
They found that CBD is toxic to the liver and negatively affects male and female reproduction, increases embryo-fetal mortality, suppresses the immune system (by triggering oxidative stress) and aggravates cancer cells.
Concerning the liver, I’ll let the study off the hook.
Other research has confirmed that CBD can prevent the breakdown of substances in the liver. If you’re taking thyroid medication or blood thinners, best to talk to your doctor first.
But suppressing the immune system? Triggering oxidative stress (when others have found the opposite?), as well as making cancer worse (contradicting what others have found)?
It’s clear something is amiss in this FDA-sponsored study.
The authors wanted a conclusion that indicated CBD was unsafe and, ergo, needed heavy regulation and manipulation at the cellular level via pharmaceutical interests (who can then patent their genetic manipulations).
So how did this study come to all these bold conclusions that other studies don’t support? How did they conclude that CBD may be toxic?
By throwing out data on humans and focusing on animal studies. And then extrapolating the findings from animals to humans.
The Problem with Animal Studies
Is CBD toxic? “The diverse and disparate effects observed following CBD exposure suggest multiple potential mechanisms of toxicity,” says this study.
“CBD can cause adverse effects on the male reproductive system,” it says.
The FDA employees warn, “Potential adverse effects from CBD use may not be immediately evident to users of CBD-containing consumer products.”
Best just to assume toxicity and trust the people who’ve let murderous pharmaceutical companies have free rein in America.
The study admits that “the endocannabinoid system is still poorly understood” but doesn’t seem to make the connection that if the ECS is poorly understood, then your CBD information will be incomplete.
It could be that future double-blinded, placebo-controlled studies find CBD to be toxic. But this study ain’t it. All they’ve done is look at potential negative aspects of CBD on animals and then assumed the same is true for humans.
There are obvious problems with this.
- Animals and humans have biological differences. The sexual reproduction of sea urchins, zebrafish, and chickens is nothing like human beings. Whatever effect CBD has on them cannot be extrapolated to human outcomes.
- The review study wasn’t clear on dosages. The difference in animal and human dosages limits the generality of their findings.
- The Endocannabinoid system is complex; even the FDA authors admit they don’t fully understand it. Yet, they don’t make the connection between an incomplete understanding of the ECS and making authoritative claims about CBD’s so-called toxicity.
Overall, modern science suffers from a publication bias. The tendency is for results to get published, whether these results are inconclusive or biased.
Certainly, the problem with government-funded studies is that political considerations take precedence over truth. This has been the case for decades in cannabis-related studies.
Is CBD Toxic?
CBD is only toxic when consumed without the approval of your wise overlords in Washington D.C. At least, that’s the general feeling one gets from the study’s conclusions.
“The available data clearly establish CBD’s potential for adverse health effects when consumed without medical supervision by the general population.” [emphasis added]
But everything you need to know about this study is summed up in their conclusion.
“[O]bserved effects from the toxicology data, such as male and potential female reproductive effects, have not been documented in humans.” But the FDA employees still want CBD held in contempt by the general population.
Their collection of animal studies “makes long-term consumption of CBD products by the broad population concerning.”
But the only long-term concerning trend is the revolving door of big business and government regulators.