Study Summary: CBD May Improve Brain & Liver Function

Updated: Aug 28

Welcome to Higher Learning LV's Study Summary series. This series reviews and summarizes peer-reviewed research studies and was developed specifically for cannabis industry professionals. These study summaries provide easily digested quick reads for a variety of important issues regarding the commerce and chemistry of legal cannabis.

A 2011 study entitled "Cannabidiol Improves Brain and Liver Function in a Model of Hepatic Encephalopathy in Mice" that was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology investigated "the effects of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive constituent of cannabis with anti-inflammatory properties...on brain and liver functions in a model of hepatic encephalopathy."


"The Mayo Clinic reports that hepatic encephalopathy develops in about 50 percent of patients with cirrhosis of the liver."

The Study

The study defined hepatic encephalopathy as "a neuropsychiatric disorder of complex pathogenesis caused by acute or chronic liver failure." The Mayo Clinic reports that hepatic encephalopathy develops in about 50 percent of patients with cirrhosis of the liver. This research is classified as pre-clinical and was conducted on rodent subjects, not humans.

The CBD molecule


"Hepatic encephalopathy is a syndrome observed in patients with end-stage liver disease. It is defined as a spectrum of neuropsychiatric abnormalities in patients with liver dysfunction, after exclusion of other known brain diseases, and is characterized by personality changes, intellectual impairments, and a depressed level of consciousness associated with multiple neurotransmitter systems," reported the study.


"The research found that CBD restored neurological, cognitive, and motor functions in mice with hepatic encephalopathy."

The Results

The research found that CBD restored neurological and cognitive functions in sick mice. "Similarly...motor activity [in sick] mice was partially restored by cannabidiol," reported the study's authors.


The scientists concluded that CBD "restores liver function...and improves brain pathology in accordance with normalization of brain function" and determined that these positive outcomes "may result from a combination of its actions in the liver and brain."


"In summary, the present study demonstrates the therapeutic effects of CBD in an acute model of hepatic encephalopathy," concluded the study.


Visit the original study.


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