Cannabis Edibles Liver : Things you wanted to know but were afraid to ask

June 20, 2021

Consuming cannabis edibles is another way to enjoy the benefits of cannabis. If you don’t like smoke but you are after the benefits—such as helping you maintain optimal health, emotional balance, and physical and mental well-being—cannabis edibles are for you. However, there have been some who are wary about the cannabis edibles liver effects.

Do cannabis edibles really have effects on the liver? Are these effects good or bad for your health?  In this article, we’ll look at the effects of cannabis edibles on the liver and see if they’re harmful to this organ.

The Liver And The First Pass Effect

The liver acts as a filter in our bodies. Its major job is to filter the chemical levels in the blood that come from the gastrointestinal system. Furthermore, it excretes bile, a substance that carries waste products away from the liver and back to the intestines. The filtered blood subsequently circulates throughout the body.

Aside from this, the liver metabolizes medications and produces nutrients from the blood, which are broken down into a non-toxic form that is easily dispersed throughout the body.

These functions always happen to anything taken orally. This process is referred to as the first-pass effect. Anything that is ingested and goes down to the digestive tract is metabolized in the liver.

Cannabis edibles will also follow this process. This is where questions are raised if cannabis edibles processed by the liver will have harmful effects on this organ.

Cannabis Edibles Liver

When cannabis edibles enter our digestive tract, the cannabinoids will be digested due to how the liver processes everything we eat. It’s the same with prescription drugs and other substances.

Since the cannabis edibles will follow the first-pass effect, the psychoactive effects take time to kick in. The effects of smoking or inhaling can be felt in as little as 10 to 30 minutes after the smoke or vapor enters the lungs. Meanwhile, because cannabis edibles are processed by the liver, the cannabinoids enter the bloodstream, causing the euphoric effects to appear between 30 minutes and 2 hours after consumption.

Can Cannabis Edibles Harm The Body And The Liver?

Since it enters the bloodstream, the effects last much longer than in smoking and it is much more intense. Because of this, one should be careful when eating cannabis edibles as one can easily get overdosed.

Moreover, one may not experience the effects of the cannabinoids whether THC or CBD because of the first pass effect process of the liver. The compounds are broken down so much that they weren’t able to produce an effect. Because of this, as well as the fact that cannabis edibles take time to take effect, a user may ingest more cannabis edibles than prescribed. This is where the intoxication effects of THC or the medicinal effects of CBD build up on the body, causing these effects to become so strong and long-lasting that difficulties may emerge.

Does Your Liver Suffer From Cannabis?

Through consuming a lot of cannabis edibles liver suffers. Because the impacts are more potent and last longer, they influence the entire body. There is no turning back once cannabinoids enter the bloodstream, where they may have positive or toxic effects, as well as a negative impact on liver health.

Also, if a user tends to consume cannabis edibles daily, the tolerance level drastically increases. This often results in a higher dose consumption of edibles, which may cause drastic health complications.

Furthermore, because both cannabis and pharmaceuticals are metabolized by the liver, the cannabinoids may interact with the medications. As a result, the effects of the drugs will be hampered. In the worst cases, it may even cause allergic reactions. Hence, it is important to consult a medical professional first before consuming any form of cannabis, especially if you are taking any medication.

What Should Be Done?

The best way to avoid bad consequences from cannabis edibles is to consume them responsibly. Micro-dosing is a technique that can assist in preventing overdosing. This is also much healthier because you won’t be eating significant amounts of THC and your tolerance level won’t be affected.

Also, follow the prescribed dosages. This is to also prevent cannabinoid overdoses that can harm not only the liver but the body as a whole. Finally, seek advice from a medical health professional especially if you are under certain medications. This is to make sure that the cannabinoids will not interfere with the job of the medications that are being taken.

Benefits Of Cannabis Edibles Liver

While it is still important to be cautious and consume cannabis edibles in moderation, medical authorities have claimed that cannabis edibles still possess certain advantages.

There are limited studies about the effects of cannabis edibles on the liver. More research is still needed to fully prove the benefits of cannabis edibles and other ways of consuming cannabis. According to one study published in Liver International in January 2018, cannabis use aided in the prevention of alcoholic liver damage in the liver.

Other medical professionals also suggested that cannabis edibles can help maintain optimal health and relieve issues associated with other liver conditions such as:

  • HIV
  • Chronic Hepatitis C
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy
  • Hepatic fibrosis

Furthermore, the therapeutic effects of CBD can give benefits to the liver by:

  • Help in maintaining the liver’s optimal health
  • Help in alleviating oxygen issues
  • Help in controlling fibrogenesis

Conclusion

Cannabis edibles are a fun way to enjoy the euphoric and therapeutic effects of cannabis. While there are still limited studies and much more research is needed to fully establish the claimed benefits, some medical professionals are already suggesting that cannabis can help in maintaining physical and mental well-being. However, one should still be careful in consuming cannabis edibles as the effects can be either beneficial or harmful to the liver and the body as a whole. 

Avoid cannabis edibles liver complications by being a responsible cannabis user. Do not overdose yourself, follow the prescribed dosages, and take everything in moderation. This is to not only avoid possible harmful effects on the liver but the whole body as well.

References

https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-liver

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions

https://canlivj.utpjournals.press/doi/full/10.3138/canlivj.2018-0023

https://www.westword.com/marijuana/eating-edibles-do-they-hurt-your-liver-10188178

https://herb.co/learn/happens-liver-eat-edibles/

https://floridasmedicalmarijuana.com/what-happens-in-the-liver-when-you-ingest-cannabis-edibles/

https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/marijuana/is-weed-bad-for-your-liver

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/liv.13696