Side Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD)

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In 2018, the World Health Organization recommend that Cannabidiol (CBD) be removed from drug schedules worldwide. The  2018 Farm Bill in the U.S. followed, making hemp-derived CBD products legal across the USA.

Hemp CBD has become one the of fasted growing health trends, and this makes it even more important to know what potential side effects you could experience after consumption. Even though hemp is widely regarded  as very safe, and has very few known side effects, minor side effects have been reported by some CBD users.

There are dozens of scientific studies and experiments that conclude that CBD is safe and virtually free of major side effects. Although many studies suggest that CBD is safe for consumption, consumers should be made aware of any known potential problems when taking health supplements.

A study on the safety and side effects of cannabidiol by the NCBI suggests that controlled cannabidiol administration is safe and non-toxic in humans and animals. Results show that it does not affect physiological parameters like heart rate, body temperature or blood pressure. Also, according to this review paper, “high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.”

In 2018, the World Health Organization recommend that Cannabidiol (CBD) be removed from drug schedules worldwide. The  2018 Farm Bill in the U.S. followed, making hemp-derived CBD products legal across the USA.

Hemp CBD has become one the of fasted growing health trends, and this makes it even more important to know what potential side effects you could experience after consumption. Even though hemp is widely regarded  as very safe, and has very few known side effects, minor side effects have been reported by some CBD users.

There are dozens of scientific studies and experiments that conclude that CBD is safe and virtually free of major side effects. Although many studies suggest that CBD is safe for consumption, consumers should be made aware of any known potential problems when taking health supplements.

A study on the safety and side effects of cannabidiol by the NCBI suggests that controlled cannabidiol administration is safe and non-toxic in humans and animals. Results show that it does not affect physiological parameters like heart rate, body temperature or blood pressure. Also, according to this review paper, “high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.”

Can you overdose on CBD?

With no known fatal overdose levels ever reported, CBD is widely accepted as non-toxic.The previously mentioned study from NCBI indicated that chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans. The USA Department of Health and Human Services states, ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:127-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol, Biochem, Behav. 40:701-708, 1991).’

Can you overdose on CBD?

With no known fatal overdose levels ever reported, CBD is widely accepted as non-toxic.The previously mentioned study from NCBI indicated that chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans. The USA Department of Health and Human Services states, ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:127-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol, Biochem, Behav. 40:701-708, 1991).’

Lets take a Closer Look at Some of the Reported Side Effects of CBD

  1. CBD interferes with prescription medications that are metabolized in the liver.

The NCBI study does mention some potential side effects for cannabidiol, such as the inhibition of hepatic (liver) drug metabolism and decreased activity of p-glycoprotein. CBD can potentially interact with a variety pharmaceuticals because it interferes with the functionality of some liver enzymes which metabolize most pharmaceutical drugs.

This is not limited to just CBD. Even eating some grapefruit would have a similar effect on these liver enzymes. If you are taking pharmaceutical drugs and wish to take CBD, you should discuss any potential complications with your doctor and/or pharmacist.

  1. Dry mouth

Another reported side effect of CBD  is an unpleasant dry sensation in the mouth. A study published by Argentinian researchers back in 2006 showed that cannabinoid receptors (type 1 and 2) are present in glands in the mouth which are responsible for producing saliva.

The interaction of CBD with these receptors inhibits the saliva excretion, leading to mouth dryness (also referred to as “cotton-mouth”, or ‘droogbek’). This side effect can be avoided by drinking plenty of water or using a rehydrating mouth rinse.

  1. People suffering from tremors have increased symptoms with high servings of CBD

Although there are studies that suggest that cannabidiol is safe and well-tolerated by patients affected by certain severe conditions, early research also claims that CBD taken in large amounts may worsen tremor and involuntary muscle movement in some individuals.

People whose conditions include tremors should consult their doctor before taking CBD.

  1. Low blood pressure and light-headedness

Higher dosages of CBD oil can cause a slight decrease in blood pressure, usually within a few minutes of the CBD entering your system. This drop in blood pressure is often associated with a feeling of lightheadedness. If you take CBD regularly, you might find yourself with a lower-than-normal blood pressure due to CBD’s ability to help relax the walls of your arteries and veins, letting the blood flow through more easily. This isn’t particularly dangerous or deadly, but if you already suffer from low blood pressure, this can worsen your condition and be potentially harmful.

If you are taking medication for blood pressure, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD.

  1. Drowsiness

In higher servings, CBD can cause drowsiness. CBD, as well as THC, is taken as a sleep aid to help treat patients suffering from insomnia or anxiety that stops you from sleeping. The reason CBD has this effect is because of the interaction between CBD and the brain’s release of certain hormones. When the CB1 receptor is triggered, it causes a release of melatonin, the chemical responsible for that feeling of drowsiness that lets you fall asleep.

At lower dosages, you can still feel alert and focused. One study published by Rodriguez et al. found that, depending on when you actually imbibed the CBD, the effects on your sleepiness changed. During the experiment, if CBD was taken during a period of regular wakefulness, such as during the day when you’re not physically or mentally tired, CBD was shown to actually increase awareness and the feeling of wakefulness. However, if taken during the evening when your body is generally expecting you to be tired, it has in the inverse effect; it makes you sleepier and more prepared to go to sleep. This fascinating result means that the side effect of CBD changes depending on your usage of it; if you take CBD during the day, it might make you a bit more alert and aware, whereas taking it at night will encourage you to go to sleep easier.

Lets take a Closer Look at Some of the Reported Side Effects of CBD

  1. CBD interferes with prescription medications that are metabolized in the liver.

The NCBI study does mention some potential side effects for cannabidiol, such as the inhibition of hepatic (liver) drug metabolism and decreased activity of p-glycoprotein. CBD can potentially interact with a variety pharmaceuticals because it interferes with the functionality of some liver enzymes which metabolize most pharmaceutical drugs.

This is not limited to just CBD. Even eating some grapefruit would have a similar effect on these liver enzymes. If you are taking pharmaceutical drugs and wish to take CBD, you should discuss any potential complications with your doctor and/or pharmacist.

  1. Dry mouth

Another reported side effect of CBD  is an unpleasant dry sensation in the mouth. A study published by Argentinian researchers back in 2006 showed that cannabinoid receptors (type 1 and 2) are present in glands in the mouth which are responsible for producing saliva.

The interaction of CBD with these receptors inhibits the saliva excretion, leading to mouth dryness (also referred to as “cotton-mouth”, or ‘droogbek’). This side effect can be avoided by drinking plenty of water or using a rehydrating mouth rinse.

  1. People suffering from tremors have increased symptoms with high servings of CBD

Although there are studies that suggest that cannabidiol is safe and well-tolerated by patients affected by certain severe conditions, early research also claims that CBD taken in large amounts may worsen tremor and involuntary muscle movement in some individuals.

People whose conditions include tremors should consult their doctor before taking CBD.

  1. Low blood pressure and light-headedness

Higher dosages of CBD oil can cause a slight decrease in blood pressure, usually within a few minutes of the CBD entering your system. This drop in blood pressure is often associated with a feeling of lightheadedness. If you take CBD regularly, you might find yourself with a lower-than-normal blood pressure due to CBD’s ability to help relax the walls of your arteries and veins, letting the blood flow through more easily. This isn’t particularly dangerous or deadly, but if you already suffer from low blood pressure, this can worsen your condition and be potentially harmful.

If you are taking medication for blood pressure, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD.

  1. Drowsiness

In higher servings, CBD can cause drowsiness. CBD, as well as THC, is taken as a sleep aid to help treat patients suffering from insomnia or anxiety that stops you from sleeping. The reason CBD has this effect is because of the interaction between CBD and the brain’s release of certain hormones. When the CB1 receptor is triggered, it causes a release of melatonin, the chemical responsible for that feeling of drowsiness that lets you fall asleep.

At lower dosages, you can still feel alert and focused. One study published by Rodriguez et al. found that, depending on when you actually imbibed the CBD, the effects on your sleepiness changed. During the experiment, if CBD was taken during a period of regular wakefulness, such as during the day when you’re not physically or mentally tired, CBD was shown to actually increase awareness and the feeling of wakefulness. However, if taken during the evening when your body is generally expecting you to be tired, it has in the inverse effect; it makes you sleepier and more prepared to go to sleep. This fascinating result means that the side effect of CBD changes depending on your usage of it; if you take CBD during the day, it might make you a bit more alert and aware, whereas taking it at night will encourage you to go to sleep easier.

Final Thoughts

CBD and its interactions on the body’s natural cannabinoid system affect your body in many beneficial but complicated and yet-to-be-discovered ways. Therefore, we always recommend first time users to consult with a medical practitioner before taking any form of CBD.

Sources:

Bergamaschi, M. (2011). Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent.

Prestifilippo, JP. ( 2006, Sep). Inhibition of salivary secretion by activation of cannabinoid receptors.

Final Thoughts

CBD and its interactions on the body’s natural cannabinoid system affect your body in many beneficial but complicated and yet-to-be-discovered ways. Therefore, we always recommend first time users to consult with a medical practitioner before taking any form of CBD.

Sources:

Bergamaschi, M. (2011). Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa Constituent.

Prestifilippo, JP. ( 2006, Sep). Inhibition of salivary secretion by activation of cannabinoid receptors.

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