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CBD (cannabidiol) increases Poison/"Vitamin A" storage in the liver

CBD products are all the rage right now, a health fad I've never seen take off so strongly.

I am, and have always been about the TRUTH.  That said, this post is about to "rustle some jimmies".

I'm going to potentially poke holes in the CBD fad that explain why it seems to work so well in the beginning, and why it stops working after a while, and why some people feel absolutely awful on it.  If you have started making a living off CBD products, after reading this, you may strongly reconsider that move.

Remember kids, heroin is derived from plants too, and has been promoted as medicine in the past:

Yes, Bayer Promoted Heroin for Children -- Here Are The Ads That Prove It

Bayer promoting heroin for children's coughs

It's not news that Bayer, the venerable German drug company, made its first fortunes in the late 1890s when it commercialized both aspirin and heroin as cough, cold and pain remedies. Many people have seen the sepia images of vintage Bayer's "Heroin" brand medicine bottles. But it's less widely known that Bayer promoted heroin for use in children suffering from coughs, colds and "irritation" as late as 1912, according to an anti-Bayer watchdog group. (See the ads below.)

Now that everything is set up, here we go.

One mechanism that certain compounds can have--that is directly related to Poison/"Vitamin A" (VA) toxicity mechanisms--that can help people feel better short-term, while making them much worse long-term, is as follows:

  • Said compound takes pro-inflammatory VA out of the bloodstream and directly stores it in the liver.
    • The above effect is how both studies and people will say it is "anti-inflammatory" in the short-term.
    • This is a case of merely "kicking the can down the road", as in, putting off some suffering now only to have much worse suffering later.
  • User feels symptom improvement very quickly, due to less VA in their blood, while they store more in their liver (where they don't "feel" it...yet).
  • Consistent use of the compound, along with too much VA in the diet/environment, eventually fills up the liver VA stores until it can't hold any more.
  • When the liver stores are full--and the time to do this is different for different people--that is when the real problems arise, or more specifically, that's when the person's OLD problems come back in full force.
  • The liver is now full of VA and is suffering from it too.  It cannot store any more.  Much more of the VA that is consumed (or rubbed on the skin) simply stays in the blood, causing greatly increased "inflammation" issues than before.
  • The compound doesn't help any longer.  Even larger doses don't help much any longer.  The mechanism of benefit has been "tapped out".
  • The person's old symptoms are back, and the compound isn't helping.  Even more confusing, if the person stops taking the compound, they feel EVEN WORSE.  Why does this happen?
    • There is no more room to "store" VA, so any VA that comes in just floats around causing toxicity.
    • By taking the compound, they are STOPPING DETOX by storing every bit they possibly can, whenever there is any space available.
    • If they stop the compound, then their body STARTS DETOXING the VA.  Now their blood (and symptoms) are showing the combined effects of any VA that is coming in, plus the release of old stored VA that their liver is now so desperately trying to get rid of (but was prevented from doing so by the compound).
    • This is how they feel "damned if they do, damned if they don't".  They feel bad if they take the compound, and even worse if they don't.
    • The only way out is through, as in solving the real CAUSE of their problems. This requires DETOXING the chronic VA toxicity that they have unknowingly worsened with said compound.

It's all very confusing to people until they finally learn/realize/admit that VA is a poison and nothing else.

Multiple compounds have this activity of increasing VA storage in the liver.  I cover these in my Poison/"Vitamin A" and Glyphosate Detox Program.  In my opinion, Poison/"Vitamin A" toxicity is the foundational cause of modern chronic disease (with other things layered on top of it, sort of like all sandwiches have bread, but it is the different fillings that make different sandwiches).  If this is true, then if my theory above is correct, this would explain the perceived benefit of CBD in these early years of the fad...the CBD craze has all the markers of a fad...and the benefits will fade while the problems grow as it goes longer.

Here is the scientific evidence of this for CBD.  I'm going to explain the following sentences carefully:

Changes on metabolic parameters induced by acute cannabinoid administration (CBD, THC) in a rat experimental model of nutritional vitamin A deficiency

Some of the rats were on a "Vitamin A deficiency diet" (VAD), while the control animals were fed the "normal" rat diet containing VA.  This is important to understand first.

Influence of vitamin A deficiency and cannabinoid administration on plasmatic retinol and RBP and hepatic retinol levels

VAD caused a significant decrease in retinol content in plasma and the liver, which was associated with a concomitant decrease in plasma RBP levels (table II),

The rats on the "Vitamin A deficiency diet" (VAD) had lowered plasma retinol ("blood VA"), lowered hepatic retinol ("liver VA"), and lowered RBP (retinol-binding protein).  That all makes sense.

whereas no effect on the above mentioned plasmatic parameters was observed after the intraperitoneal administration of THC or CBD.

Did you catch that?  There was NO EFFECT (NO DECREASE) in the blood VA, liver VA, or RBP found in the VAD animals after they were given THC or CBD.  It must be understood that this result, compared to the previous part (where all VA numbers were lowered), means that both THC and CBD effectively RAISED all the VA-related parameters in comparison.  They did not give the rats VA (these were still the VAD rats), and the rats that got THC or CBD had more VA in their blood and liver when they were given THC or CBD.  Obviously, the THC and CBD did something to their VA metabolism.

In contrast, the intraperitoneal administration of CBD to the control animals led to a considerable increase in plasmatic RBP and hepatic retinol levels, whereas similar plasmatic levels of RBP were found after vehicle or THC administration.

The control group rats that were on the "normal VA diet" and were then given THC didn't really see much change in the VA parameters. OK.

The "normal VA diet" rats that were given CBD saw CONSIDERABLE INCREASES in their liver VA and RBP (RBP being the protein your body makes to protect you from VA).  It must be noted that the THC and CBD were given in a SINGLE DOSE...not taken every day for months or years.

This is showing increased storage of VA in the liver from CBD.

Is there any research linking CBD to increased liver issues over time and/or symptoms that we can commonly associate with the known symptoms of chronic VA toxicity?  Yes.


Cannabidiol is an orally available cannabinoid that is used to treat patients with refractory epilepsy due to Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome.  Cannabidiol is associated with frequent [liver/hepatic] serum enzyme elevations during therapy particularly with higher doses but has not been linked to cases of clinically apparent liver injury with jaundice.
Cannabidiol was found to improve symptoms in schizophrenia

Hey, what causes schizophrenia anyway? See this paper (retinoids means VA):  Three independent lines of evidence suggest retinoids as causal to schizophrenia

The dose should be reduced in patients with pre-existing hepatic impairment.

Interesting.  Pre-existing LIVER problems indicate potential issues with CBD.  What is the main cause of liver problems in my opinion?  Chronic VA toxicity.

Side effects are mostly dose related and can include fatigue, somnolence, dizziness, sleep disturbance, insomnia, anorexia, weight loss, diarrhea, infections and rash.  Rare, but potentially severe side effects include marked sedation and somnolence, suicidal behavior and ideation and hypersensitivity reactions. 

These are all CLASSIC and KNOWN symptoms of VA toxicity, see here.

In prelicensure studies, serum aminotransferase elevations arose during cannabidiol therapy in 34% to 47% of patients compared to 18% of controls who were receiving other anticonvulsant medications.  Elevations above 3 times ULN occurred in 13% of cannabidiol treated compared to 1% on placebo.  ALT and AST elevations were more frequent with higher doses and were particularly common (and sometimes delayed) in patients who were receiving valproate and clobazam.

The higher the dose of CBD, the more the liver enzymes rose.  I bet no one selling CBD tells people about this research on liver enzymes...if you are not mentioning these issues to your CBD customers, especially now that you just read it, you must know that you are doing exactly what the pharmaceutical industry you likely despise so much has done for decades.  Know better, do better.

Mechanism of Injury
The cause of serum aminotransferase elevations during cannabidiol therapy is not known but may be due to production of a toxic intermediate in its metabolism. 

It's not that.  I gave you the mechanism above, it is the increased VA storage in the liver, causing liver damage.  The "side effects" come later.

Here's my summary for you folks reading this, to tie it all together for the real world:

  • If you felt bad from CBD from the very first time you took it, that likely means that your liver is/was ALREADY overflowing with Poison/"Vitamin A".
  • If you felt relief from CBD at any point, it is quite possible (likely in my opinion) that you are Poison/"Vitamin A" toxic, but your liver still has some room to store it.  Continued use of CBD will fill up your liver eventually, likely seeing the benefits disappear, and the old problems re-appear.
  • If it were me, I would only use CBD on an as-needed basis, and get on the VA Detox train ASAP.
  • Is THC a problem?  Not as much as CBD, that's for sure.  It may still have some of the problem though (see research above).  Our goal is to not need to "medicate" at all.

Let me give you my own personal example.  CBD oil really helped my sleep in the past, and I had really significant insomnia issues.  I stopped using it at some point, before I knew all of the above.  Now that I have detoxed VA enough out of my system, I have no problems with sleep any longer and don't "need" CBD to help.  I've also gotten rid of many other symptoms that were related to VA toxicity that CBD would have never helped anyway.

I'm only after the truth.  If/when the shine wears off of CBD for you, remember this post.  If everything above makes sense to you based on your CBD (or even THC) experiences), I hope you see fit to change what you are doing.

Dr. Garrett Smith, the "Nutrition Detective"
Licensed Naturopathic Physician (NMD) in Arizona
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