Is CBD Safe? Potential Side Effects of CBD
The CBD industry is fast becoming a multibillion-dollar industry with no sign of stopping its progress in sight. There are still things left unanswered to even some of the CBD users that have already incorporated cannabidiol into their daily routine.
Is CBD safe for regular, consistent use? Are there any potential side effects to taking CBD every day? Today, we look to answer some of the heavier questions about the cannabidiol industry to put the decision of using CBD into your own hands. We want to remain honest and give you the tools you need to make your own informed choice on the matter.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the 400+ compounds found in cannabis plants. Non-psychoactive, it’s become an appealing choice to those who want the benefits of cannabis without the high that comes from THC. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, industrial hemp and all hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal for sale, possession, and use.
It’s no wonder why almost 15% of the US adult population has started incorporating CBD into their every day. Used popularly for general wellness, many people also report using it to relieve various types of pain, reduce anxiety, and get better, deeper sleep.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes, CBD products that have been tested properly and have been extracted from US-grown industrial hemp that contains no more than 0.3% THC are legal within the United States. However, make sure to check both your local and state laws to ensure CBD is not still a restricted substance on that side of things. While CBD remains legal on a federal level now, some states and local areas have chosen to ban the cannabinoid anyway, likening it to marijuana and THC. Do some research ahead of time to make sure you can use CBD products where you live before you decide to shop.
Safety of CBD
The safety profile we know for CBD was compiled through an immersive, comprehensive review of over 132 original studies on the subject. Physiological parameters and other variables used to gauge safety like heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature were not negatively impacted. Psychological and psychomotor functions were also not negatively affected.
One study tried to determine how large of an amount we could take before experiencing negative side effects. This study found that humans were able to tolerate chronic, high doses of up to 1,500mg CBD per day exceptionally well. The study spanned on a couple months of consistent use. Since 1,500mg is larger than some entire bottles of CBD products available on the market, this proves promising; however, some side effects were reported.
Most of the studies that are a part of this compiled review were regarding CBD as a treatment for epilepsy or certain psychotic disorders. Regardless, the most commonly reported side effects were changes in appetite and/or weight, diarrhea, and drowsiness. This still demonstrated that CBD has a more positive side effect profile than many other drugs, as these symptoms are mild to irritating for most individuals.
We need to see relevant human studies before we’re able to confirm that there are side effects, but some animal studies reported side effects as well. We’re looking forward to a future where more clinical trials with human participants is performed so we can get the real answers we’re looking for.
Is it Possible to Overdose on CBD?
The short answer is no, it’s technically not possible to overdose on CBD – but we’re going to dig into why researchers might believe that. The collection of clinical trials and other data about the subject helps us understand the answer.
At up to 1,500mg CBD per day, volunteers were able to take incredibly high, chronic doses for months at a time. As we’ve stated, there are many CBD bottles on the market that are meant to be a one-month supply that contain less than 1,500mg per bottle.
The study was able to verify that there were no negative side effects for taking even that high of a dose of CBD per day, helping to reinforce its non-psychoactive, non-toxic nature. In fact, not just CBD but cannabis as a whole has never caused a fatal overdose.
According to the National Cancer Institute, “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.” This helps us confirm that it is not possible to overdose on CBD.
Can You Take Too Much CBD?
First, let’s take a moment to examine the idea of taking “too much” CBD. Since there’s not a fatal overdose amount, one might assume there’s not an amount that’s considered too much. However, the voluntary participants in the study that consumed 1,500mg CBD per day are not exactly individuals to aspire to.
Taking too large of a serving of CBD at one time can cause some mild but negative side effects, like lethargy and drowsiness, diarrhea, and dry mouth. Everyone’s different, so how much you take will depend on your weight, tolerance, sensitivity to cannabinoids, and much more.
Our best advice is to just stick with the recommended serving size so that you don’t end up taking too large of a serving to feel productive. However, if you’re not new to CBD or you know you have a higher tolerance, you may play around with the serving size until you feel more comfortable with the strength level.
Potential Side Effects for Taking CBD
There are still minor side effects that need to be brought to your attention before you decide to incorporate CBD into your daily routine. Though they are minor, a common issue with taking CBD is a reported dry mouth afterwards. This can cause you to consume more water or other liquids than usual due to the ECS (endocannabinoid system) and its ability to inhibit salivary secretion. A low-key side effect, staying hydrated with a drink on hand is the easiest solution.
Drowsiness is another big reported side effect depending on when you take CBD throughout the day and how much CBD you take in one serving. Potentially more significant than dry mouth, make sure you know how you operate with cannabidiol before you take it as part of your daily routine. Some people report feeling invigorated with a burst of energy, which is why they take it in the morning, but some people report feeling sleepy, which can be why it helps them in the evening that much more. Also, make sure you’re not taking too much CBD at one time, as taking more than your body needs can lead to tiredness.
Some people have reported diarrhea, nausea, and general sickness as a side effect to taking CBD oil. However, we’re not able to determine if these people reported this when it was something other than CBD, how consistent these side effects are across CBD users, and much more. User reports help us understand what might potentially happen, but it does little to show us in what quantities and how frequently it may happen. It may just be that some people don’t digest CBD products as well as others, or we may yet be able to discover that cannabidiol has the potential to cause these side effects.
The biggest reason we recommend speaking with a certified medical professional before you start taking CBD is because it can cause the blood pressure to fluctuate. Especially if you’re already taking other medication of some kind, CBD products can cause a decrease in blood pressure. And while this can usually be seen as a good thing, it’s still important to know that cannabidiol runs the risk of potentially lowering your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is already on the lower side, you may want to speak with a doctor prior to trying out cannabidiol.
Finally, sometimes a drop in blood pressure can lead to lightheadedness. Consuming caffeine or other substances that help wake you up can help you balance out your blood pressure to relieve the lightheadedness. These aren’t the only side effects that can come into play when you take CBD every day, but they are the most commonly reported.
Everyone is different, so you may experience CBD differently and have completely opposing side effects to what we described today. However, we can assure you that CBD is safe with minor to negligible side effects if that’s what’s been keeping you from trying it so far.
CBD products that have been properly tested through an independent, third-party lab to be free of pesticides, heavy metals, and other pollutants, as well as containing no more than 0.3% THC. Products that meet these requirements and have the data to back it up are safe, effective options that show off the little side effects that CBD has with the powerful array of benefits that it also has to offer.