CBD is a natural chemical compound that has gained tremendous popularity in recent years. It’s been widely consumed regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, but does it have side effects? Is it safe? We have put together a list of potential side effects that could be experienced using CBD oil and who should avoid them, and some of CBD’s potential benefits.
But first, let’s find out…
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 chemical compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant, known for its non-intoxicating qualities that don’t produce a euphoric sensation. In contrast, its infamous counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is over 480 psychoactive chemical compounds that get you high or causes euphoria.
According to a recent study, CBD doses up to 1,200 mg are completely safe and well-tolerated without observing any severe unwanted reactions. Not only does the use of CBD not have any known serious damage to your brain, but also it’s been suggested to have neuroprotective antioxidants. Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared CBD to be safe and does not pose any threat to human health. Albeit CBD is considered safe; however, there are some undesirable reactions from consuming CBD, such as dry mouth, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and impediment of hepatic drug metabolism.
Side Effects of CBD Products
Even though CBD products are gaining their fan-base across the globe, there is still much disinformation floating around about its possibilities of undesirable reactions. As we mentioned earlier, CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical compound that doesn’t get you stoned as its counterpart THC does. CBD comes in various forms, including oil tinctures, chewable edibles, skin creams, soft gel capsules, and others. Different forms of CBD may have different potency of CBD molecules, leading to different reactions to consuming CBD.
- When taken orally
CBD products are usually safe to consume, and the majority of people consuming CBD oil don’t experience any unwanted reactions. The same lower level of risk applies to CBD when it’s administered orally. The side effects of consuming CBD oil via mouth include dry mouth, drowsiness, and lightheadedness. Epidiolex, FDA-approved medicine, has also been associated with asthenia, nausea, appetite changes, and diarrhea.
- Dry Mouth
The use of CBD may lead to what many cannabis aficionados called “cottonmouth.” This unwanted reaction is generally an outcome of CBD’s impact on CBD receptors in the mouth called submandibular glands. As a result, this reaction tends to slow down the production of saliva. It can be prevented by drinking a lot of fluids after consuming CBD oil.
- Low Blood Pressure
When taken in higher doses, CBD is suggested to impact on blood pressure. Generally, it’s been found to lower the blood pressure within a matter of minutes after entering into the bloodstream. Consequently, it causes lightheadedness for a brief moment, especially when standing too quickly. Apart from that, it shows great promise in treating hypertension, a severe medical condition that’s troubling the vast majority in the western world.
Generally, the intake of CBD in higher doses may lead to fatigue or drowsiness. This unwanted reaction was found by the research that tried to determine the CBD’s impact on sleep. The higher doses of CBD contributed to increasing consumers’ sleeping time; however, some experienced tiredness post-exposure. Therefore, medical practitioners don’t advise on the intake of CBD oil while or before driving.
CBD may have a potential impact on the sleep cycle. Studies suggest the intake of CBD in higher doses may cause drowsiness. Ironically, it has also been reported to be a wake-inducing agent.
- Impediment of Hepatic Drug Metabolism
CBD, similar to grapefruit, has been suggested to interfere with your body’s natural ability to metabolize pharmaceutical drugs. To be more specific, CBD offsets the enzyme cytochrome P-450 for a short period.
Diarrhea is also one of the many unwanted reactions caused by the consumption of CBD oil. Nonetheless, this adverse reaction generally occurred due to other ingredients in CBD products. Some studies indicate two possible reasons for diarrhea: dosage and CBD carrier oils. It’s quite plausible that other chemical compounds in CBD items can cause gastrointestinal distress. MCT oil and coconut oil are generally utilized as carrier oils in CBD products made for commercial use. They’re known to cause diarrhea and loose stool in those who’re not accustomed to taking it before.
If an individual is exhibiting this unwanted reaction, it’s highly recommended to refrain from taking CBD for at least 24 hours right away. Such a timespan is crucial to determine whether CBD or any other ingredient may have caused this reaction. Furthermore, it’s well-advised to lower the CBD dosage or locate a CBD product that doesn’t contain a carrier oil. It goes without saying, consulting with your medical practitioner should be your top-most priority when supplementing CBD into the overall health regimen.
- Potential Vape Additive Problems
There are several possible side effects of using CBD vaporizer additives and products. Some CBD manufacturers use artificial flavors with chemicals labeled as ‘safe’ by the FDA but might cause a few unwanted reactions. It’s crucial to note that it applies only to CBD products that are consumed orally.
Vegetable glycerin is a common component in most of the CBD vape juice prone to allergic reactions. Furthermore, it may also cause consumers to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness, especially sensitive to this compound. Similar to vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol is too ‘safe,’ but individuals may still suffer from an allergic reaction.
- When topically applied
Preliminary studies have suggested the tremendous potential of CBD in treating multiple severe medical conditions. However, when applied over the surface of the skin, CBD isn’t totally free from risks. There’s not much credible information to determine CBD’s undesirable reactions when it’s topically applied; however, an allergic reaction could often happen.
Who Should Avoid CBD?
Even though many reputable health organizations have declared CBD to be safe; however, there’s insufficient information regarding its uncertainty about its safety on certain populations. Due to ethical reasons, clinical trials to determine the CBD safety of pregnant women and children are limited. Nonetheless, the FDA-approved Epidiolex is considered safe for children of aging two and older to treat seizures linked with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Previously, Epidiolex was used to treat seizures linked with two of the uncommon forms of epilepsy: the Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. People with liver complications might also need to avoid consuming CBD. It’s still not known whether CBD products directly influence the liver or interact with other medications that cause liver dysfunction.
Generally, it’d be a good safety procedure to regulate liver enzymes when including CBD into the overall wellness regimen. Since studies suggest CBD to lower blood pressure; therefore, it’s better to keep an eye on hypertension patients when introducing them to CBD products. Similarly, avoid including CBD to supplement along with certain pharmaceutical drugs as CBD is known to interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize drugs.
Benefits of CBD Oil
- May Alleviate Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are generally treated with pharmaceutical medications, which are known to cause multiple unwanted reactions. That includes agitation, sleeping disorders, headaches, sexual dysfunction, and drowsiness. CBD oil has demonstrated great promise in treating both depression and anxiety, which leads to many who live with these medical conditions to shift towards this natural remedy.
In a Brazilian clinical trial, 57 male participants were orally administered with CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before going through a public speaking simulation. The experts concluded that 300 mg of CBD dosage was the most potent at dramatically alleviating anxiety during the simulation. While a 600 mg CBD dosage, a 150 mg CBD dosage, and a placebo with minimal to no impact on anxiety.
- May Alleviate Cancer-Associated Symptoms
CBD may contribute to reducing symptoms associated with cancer and adverse reactions related to cancer treatment, including pain, nausea, and vomiting. One research observed CBD and THC’s impact in 177 test subjects with cancer-related pain who didn’t feel relief from pain medications. Patients treated with both extracts of THC and CBD felt a substantial alleviation in pain than those received with THC extract only. CBD may contribute to alleviating nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, which are typical side effects of patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- May Alleviate Pain
Our bodies have a special system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for controlling a diverse range of functions such as appetite, pain, immune system response, and sleep. The body generates endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that are attached to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Research has indicated that CBD may alleviate chronic pain by stimulating endocannabinoid receptor activity, relieving inflammation, and acting neurotransmitters. For instance, one clinical trial conducted on rats concluded that CBD injections alleviated pain response to surgical incision. Another clinical trial of rats had similar findings, where oral administration of CBD dramatically alleviated inflammation and sciatic nerve pain.
- May Alleviate Acne
Acne is caused due to several factors, such as bacteria, hidden inflammation, genetic inheritance, and excessive production of sebum, which is an oily secretion by sebaceous glands in the skin. According to various research, CBD oil may contribute to treating acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and the ability to inhibit sebum production.
One test-tube study concluded that CBD oil inhibited sebaceous glands from producing excessive amounts of sebum, exercised anti-inflammatory abilities, and impeded acne-causing agents’ stimulation such as inflammatory cytokines.
If you wish to supplement CBD into the overall wellness regimen, consult with your medical practitioner beforehand. Never alter or stop taking your prescribed medications.