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Marijuana May Protect Liver Against Common Environmental Toxin

By on September 3, 2013
Cannabidiol may prevent liver damage caused by exposure to cadmium.

Cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana may prevent liver damage caused by exposure to cadmium. Cadmium is sometimes found in low-quality fertilizers – Marijuana may offer protection against the harmful effects of a widespread chemical toxin, according to new research from Saudi Arabia.

The findings were published online in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology.

“It was concluded that cannabidiol may represent a potential option to protect the liver tissue from the detrimental effects of cadmium toxicity.”

Cadmium is a highly toxic heavy metal that tends to build up in the liver and kidneys – leading to serious injury and dysfunction.

However, scientists believe a compound in marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) can prevent the damaging effects of cadmium because of its “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiapopotic activities.”

Exposure to cadmium is often related to industrial work, but traces can also be found in the atmosphere, water sources, low-quality fertilizers, old batteries and cigarette smoke.

Using rat models, the researchers found that pre-treatment with CBD “provided a significant protective effect” against high doses of cadmium. In some tests, CBD even appeared to restore the liver to its normal condition.

While CBD has yet to be studied in human cases of cadmium poisoning, it seems to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects across a wide range of diseases.

“Previous reports demonstrated that cannabidiol may have therapeutic utility in a number of conditions involving inflammation and oxidative stress, including diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurodegenerative disorders.”

What’s more, a study published earlier this year suggests that smoking cannabis can also provide relief from symptoms associated with liver disease.

The study was published ahead of print and the authors declared no sources of funding.

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