CBD treatment for Hepatic Encephalopathy, Liver Cirrhosis, and Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (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


To date, there is no effective treatment of liver diseases with the related Hepatic-Encephalopathy symptoms. It is established that Cannabinoids/endocannabinoids and/or capsaicin or cannabidiol, improve both liver and brain function.

Hepatic-Encephalopathy occurs in:   

  • 30-45% of patients with cirrhosis diseases.Minimal symptoms of Hepatic-Encephalopathy occur in 20-60% of patients with liver
  • 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.
  • Following treatments  to lower ammonia production/absorption.
  • Following using medications to counteract ammonia effect on brain cell function.
  • Following using  Devices to compensate liver dysfunction.
  • Following 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):  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.



  • It has been shown to improve both liver and brain function in a mouse models of hepatic encephalopathy (in both acute and chronic models).
  • Method of administration: oral, parenteral, sublingual or intranasal is yet to be determined.
  • No side effects were noticed (FHF acute model)(BDL chronic model).
  • No toxicity in chronic administration.

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 10,166,202

Contact for more information:

Ariela Markel
VP, Business Development, Healthcare