CBD treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, and NASH

Avraham Yosefa, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, School of Public Health
Berry Elliot, HUJI, School of Medicine - IMRIC, School of Public Health
Ilan Yaron

Prof. Yaron Ilan, Department of Human Nutrition and Metabolism and Liver Unit Hadassah Hospital

Cannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain functions



Nutrition and Metabolism, Treatment, Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, Liver Steatosis.

Development Stage

Proved mice model experiments

Patent Status

PCT application- WO 2008/050344 A2

Incidence (U.S)

1.87/1000 patients. in hospital admission.

The Need

To date, there is no effective treatment of liver diseases with the related

Hepatic-Encephalopathy symptoms.



  •  Hepatic-Encephalopathy occurs in:
  • 30-45%  of patients with cirrhosis.
  • 10-50% of patients with transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.
  •  Minimal symptoms of Hepatic-Encephalopathy occur in 20-60% of patients with liver diseases.
  • 30% of patients dying of end stage liver diseases experience significant Hepatic-Encephalopathy.
  • NAFLD is estimated to occur in one-third of the general population in the US.
  • Strategies to lower ammonia production/absorption.
  • Medications to counteract ammonia effect on brain cell function.
  • Devices to compensate liver dysfunction.
  • Liver transplantation.


Our Innovation

  • Treatment of liver disease(Cirrhosis/steatosis) and hepatic encephalopathy with cannabidiol or capsaicin and/or cannabinoids (THC/HU308) / endocannabinoids ( 2-AG).   
  • Method of administration: oral, parenteral, sublingual or intranasal is yet to be determined.
  • Has been shown to improve both liver and brain function in a mouse models of hepatic     encephalopathy(Both acute and chronic models).
  • No side effects were noticed (FHF acute model)(BDL chronic model).
  • No toxicity in chronic administration.

We have shown in mouse experimental models that cannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain functions. We suggest a treatment modality based on the following mechanism/s: blocking the CB1 receptor and stimulating the CB2 receptor by 2AG or HU308 or THC (for hepatic encephalopathy) and/or the TRPV1 receptors by capsaicin and/or the 5HTIA receptors by Cannabidiol . Thus, inducing therapeutic effect which is mediated through effects in the liver and brain.


The Business Opportunity

We are presently seeking to raise  0.5M.US$ to complete efficacy and safety studies in animal models and to Progress to preliminary human studies (safety and proof of concept) once pre-clinical safety has been determined .

Researcher’s information:




Patent Status

Granted US 10166202

Contact for more information:

Mel Larrosa
VP Business Development Healthcare