July 14

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The Side Effects Of CBD & What You Need To Know

CBD is becoming one of the most popular and in-demand treatments in the world for anxiety, depression and other mental and physical health issues.

While it may be all-natural, any supplement that you ingest comes with a list of side effects - this includes CBD.

The majority of the side effects of CBD are generally mild and tend to dissipate the longer that you use it.

For many people, they don't even experience them at all.

However, there are some to watch out for that are a bit more serious, and CBD also has some medication interactions to be aware of.

This article will explore some of the common side effects that CBD has been shown to have on humans.

What is CBD?

CBD is one of many compounds that is found in cannabis plants (hemp or marijuana). CBD stands for cannabidiol - which is a cannabinoid.

CBD is an all-natural supplement that can potentially improve mood, relieve anxiety and pain, and promote feelings of relaxation, balance and well-being.

CBD contains numerous potential benefits for our physical and mental health, but how exactly does it work?

The Endocannabinoid System is one of the essential regulators and modulators of our body's functions. As a result, this system profoundly impacts how we feel, think, and react to life.

The Endocannabinoid System is located primarily in the brain and the central nervous system, but it also extends to other parts of the body.

When you ingest CBD, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors found in the Endocannabinoid System; this regulates many bodily functions, including mood, anxiety, eating habits, memory, sleep patterns and more.

Side Effects of CBD

As mentioned above, many of the side effects from CBD are mild and tend to dissipate over time.

When starting with CBD, it is recommended to go with a low dose and gradually increase over time. Taking too much at once can increase the likelihood of experiencing negative side effects.

Here are the most common side effects of CBD:

Nausea and vomiting

CBD can cause nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common side effects when taking CBD - especially at higher doses.

If you experience nausea and vomiting from CBD, try taking it with food. If this doesn't help, you may want to consider lowering your daily dosage.

Diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues

Gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea, bloating, and excess gas, are also common side effects of CBD.

This can result not only from the CBD but the carrier oil used as well. MCT oil is a common carrier oil used in CBD oils; one of its main side effects is stomach issues in users.

If it persists, try using a CBD product with a different carrier oil or an edible like a capsule or gummy.

Headache

Many users report this as the main side effect when taking CBD. However, headaches are usually mild and tend to go away after being on CBD for a little while.

Dry mouth

When you ingest CBD, it can have the effect of drying out your mouth and throat.

This side effect is subjective; some people find that CBD causes their mouth to be drier than normal, while others don't notice any change in saliva production.

Try drinking more water to combat this issue.

Drowsiness

Some users may notice that they feel a bit more tired, groggy or sluggish when taking CBD (users who suffer from sleep disorders may find this a plus).

This is not universal for everyone. The best way to combat this will be either by lowering your dosage of CBD, switching from Full Spectrum to a product with no THC, or use it in combination with something like caffeine.

Dizziness

This is another side effect that can sometimes occur when using CBD and relates to CBD lowering your blood pressure.

It is less common than others, but it doesn't mean that it isn't out there. This feeling can be generally be alleviated by lowering your dosage or using CBD.

If you are one of those people experiencing dizziness or lightheadedness while using CBD, it is best to avoid driving or operating machinery.

Appetite changes

It is possible to lose or gain weight while taking CBD.  Your appetite may be altered, and you may feel more or less hungry when taking CBD.

Many people who use CBD report that they experience a decrease in their appetite rather than an increase, especially on the days they use it.

Low blood pressure

This is one of the more serious side effects of CBD. CBD lowers blood pressure in some users, making them feel light-headed or dizzy.

If you experience very low blood pressure while on CBD, it is recommended that you stop taking the product; if it persists, visit your physician for guidance.

CBD should not be taken without approval from a doctor if you are on blood pressure medication.

May thin blood

Another serious side effect of CBD is that it can thin your blood.

This can be problematic for those who have a bleeding disorder, like hemophilia.  

If you experience excessive bleeding, or cuts that will not clot while taking CBD, you should stop using the product and talk to your doctor about whether or not CBD is right for you.

What factors influence whether you experience side effects or not when taking CBD?

Not everyone will experience side effects when taking CBD. Factors that can influence whether you do or don't include:

Your sensitivity to cannabinoids

This is probably the biggest factor in determining whether or not you experience side effects from using CBD.

If you have never used any products containing cannabinoids, it is likely that you will experience some side effects while using any type of CBD, at least at first.

Taking too much CBD

If you take too much CBD at one time, it greatly impacts whether or not you will experience any side effects.

It is best not to exceed more than two doses per day (approximately 5-10mg at a time) at first.

After you've gotten used to them for a bit (one week), you can slowly increase your dose as needed.

Carrier oils

Certain carrier oils like MCT oil carry side effects on their own, like gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, etc.

If you're experiencing some of these symptoms and they aren't resolving in a week or two, try switching up your CBD product to one with a different carrier.

Other ingredients

Just like carrier oils, the other ingredients in your CBD oil or product can come with side effects of their own.

While the majority of CBD oils come with just CBD extract and a carrier oil, some companies add in other ingredients like flavourings, added vitamins and nutrients, even melatonin.

Always read your ingredients list carefully to ensure you don't accidentally ingest something you know your body will react to.

Unsafe products

One of the biggest concerns with CBD products is how safe they are. Reputable companies lab test their products to ensure that there are no toxins, pesticides, heavy metals, or otherwise harmful chemicals in them.

You can find this information on the COA (certificate of analysis). This should be listed on either the company website where you bought your CBD from or included in the information with the individual products.

This is the only way to ensure the CBD you are getting is safe for consumption. If a company doesn't provide this, look elsewhere.

CBD and medication interactions

CBD can interact with some medications much in the way that grapefruit does. CBD can inhibit the breakdown of many medications and change how much of a prescription medication becomes available in your body.

Some drugs that interact with CBD are carbamazepine, SSRIs, codeine and ibuprofen.

In some cases, these interactions could be harmful and cause serious side effects and even death.

This is due to the medications staying in your body for longer than they are supposed to. If your medication isn't being metabolized properly, it can be very easy to overdose without even knowing it.

Always talk to your doctor before starting CBD if you are on any medications.

Final thoughts on the side effects of CBD

While a few side effects of CBD have been reported, many of them are mild.  Many people do not experience some or any of the side effects commonly reported when using CBD.

Though serious side effects are rare, they can still happen.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, or symptoms persist for an extended period of time, it is important to stop taking CBD immediately and consult a medical professional.


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