As much as we love CBD and the health benefits it does have – we’ve got to be honest with you.
Like anything you ingest for health purposes, there’s a risk it will come with side effects.
Your age, gender, medicines, vitamins, and dietary supplements can all impact which side effects you feel and to what intensity.
We will say – the most common side effects from CBD oil are nothing compared to some of the life-threatening effects that are casually listed on prescription drugs. No potential blindness or death here.
Regardless – it’s your body, and you deserve to know the potential side effects of ingesting CBD oils.
Nurse Appa will see you now! Let’s talk about the most common side effects and how to manage your risk.
Side Effect #1: Dryness of the Mouth
Dryness of the mouth is when you feel like you’ve got no moisture in your mouth and cheeks. It may feel like your mouth is full of cotton balls.
If you feel like this is happening, many people find relief by drinking a lot of water before, during, or after taking CBD oils. Try to avoid taking CBD early in the morning since you will be less hydrated after a long night of sleep. You can also try lowering your dosage.
Side Effect #2: Dizziness or Lightheadedness
This feeling is when everything appears to spin slowly, or if you feel a little woozy after some CBD. This side effect is relatively rare and easy to manage.
If you feel this effect, sit with both feet flat on the group, or just lie down. Have a warm beverage like tea or coffee, and stay hydrated with some water. Consider lowering your dosage or taking CBD less often if you feel this effect.
Side Effect #3: Drowsiness
Drowsiness is when you feel sleepy and begin to have trouble focusing. This side effect is interesting since it’s common for CBD oils to claim to be both energy-boosting and a sleep aid. Which one you feel may be dependent on the dosage.
There’s not much to do here other than try CBD more than once and alter your dosage to see which amount gives you your desired effect. The first few times you try CBD oil, avoid operating heavy machinery or vehicles until you figure out your preferences.
Overall, CBD has a positive effect on sleep. A literature review done by Palo Alto University in 2017 shows it might help with insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, and increase REM sleep.
Side Effect #4: Drop in Blood Pressure
If you have high blood pressure, this could be a good thing. There’s positive evidence for CBD oils helping people with heart diseases and diabetes because of this effect.
However, if you’ve got normal blood pressure, this is something to watch out for. This side effect is typically seen after people take high doses of CBD – so try lowering your intake if you feel this effect.
Finally, if you’re on medication for low blood pressure – consult your doctor before trying CBD oils to see if there’s a dosage that’s safe for you.
Side Effect #5: Diarrhea & Bloating
Having Diarrhea or upset stomach from CBD oil is another common side effect. CBD has strong gastro qualities. For most people, it decreases the amount of gastric acid, improves inflammation, and increases blood flow in your stomach lining.
This side effect is primarily noticed with high dosages or CBD carried by MCT oils. If you experience this, try lowering your dosage or using a product with a different carrier oil.
Side Effect #6: Changes in Appetite and Weight
Changes in appetite and weight are another potential side effect of CBD oil. This side effect was seen in a study done on patients who were receiving treatment epilepsy and psychotic disorders – so this might only be a common side effect in more extreme cases.
The research said that, “In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.” At least for these patients, these side effects were still better than their alternatives.
If you experience feelings of dehydration or diarrhea while using CBD oils – this side effect could occur. Take the precautions mentioned earlier, and try playing around with your dosage and frequency.
Side Effect #7: Anxiety
Anxiety is a common side effect people worry about because they hear it’s a common experience with THC. CBD oils have trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), so this shouldn’t be a concern.
In fact, studies have shown that CBD improved sleep and anxiety in a clinical population. Out of 72 adults, anxiety improved for 52 adults. CBD improved sleep for a month in 48 patients – with some fluctuation over time. Only three adults reported that the CBD was not well tolerated.
If you feel anxious while taking CBD oils, try lowering your dosage or taking CBD oils less frequently throughout the week.
If there’s a chance your anxiety is because of an upcoming drug test – switch to broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate to calm your nerves. The 0.3% THC won’t appear on drug tests, but if 0.0% would help you relax – go with that instead.
Side Effect #8: Interaction with Other Drugs
People taking prescription medication for a pre-existing ailment or condition must be particularly careful of CBD’s effects.
CBD has been found to impact the liver’s ability to process drugs, thereby impeding on their medicinal effects. Considering that nearly 60 percent of the medications on the market are metabolized through a set of liver enzymes – this is worth noting before trying CBD oils.
For women, research is still shaky on how it might affect hormonal birth-control options, including the contraceptive pill.
It goes both ways as well – if a drug you’re taking is inhibiting the liver’s processing ability, then this could slow the breakdown of the CBD oil. This interaction could cause the CBD oil to have increased physiological effects.
If you’re on regular medication – consider talking with your doctor and beginning with very low dosages.
What is a typical safe dosage?
You probably noticed that many of these symptoms can be managed or avoided by taking the right dose at the right frequency. This will vary from person to person, but here are some guidelines based on CBD research:
- Cannabidiol in doses of up to 300 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 6 months.
- Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been taken by mouth safely for up to 4 weeks.
- Cannabidiol applied under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks.
Life is long – so take your time trying different dosages and frequencies until you hit a stride that works for you. Check the serving size label to know how much CBD is in one drop of oil.
Should I Visit a Doctor before using CBD oils?
The symptoms listed here are generally mild and dependent on dose. They typically resolve themselves in two to four hours.
There are a few categories of people who should consult their physician before beginning CBD oils or any CBD product, without exception:
- Expecting Mothers
- People with Liver concerns
- People with Blood-Pressure concerns
- People on Long-Term Prescription Medication
- People with Bowel Movement/GI concerns
- Children and the Elderly
This list isn’t all-inclusive. Ideally – everyone should consult their doctor before taking CBD products. This isn’t necessarily due to risk, but your doctor may have advice on the type of CBD oil best for you based on your current health concerns and past medical history.
We know visiting a doctor isn’t always possible. In that case, it’s best to try small doses of CBD oil and see how you feel. If you don’t feel the effects, slowly increase your dosage over time.
The good news is, using CBD sublingually is the second most direct route into your bloodstream (the first being a straight IV). This means that any other method of CBD consumption would have an even lower risk of experiencing these side effects.
Even the World Health Organization released a report in 2017 stating, “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Although there are potential side effects, the research that continues to come out is overwhelmingly positive. We hope this article helps you make a more informed decision on the use of CBD oils.