Some people believe CBD oil is safe and well-tolerated. Read about the side effects you can expect and what to be aware of. Are CBD supplements safe? What are the short and long-term side effects of CBD and other cannabinoids? Who should avoid using CBD altogether? Can CBD Oil Make You Dizzy? Most people enjoy the benefits of CBD oil without experiencing any of the possible side effects, but not everyone is that lucky. Getting dizzy when using CBD hemp
7 CBD Oil Side Effects You Should Watch Out For
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CBD oil is believed to be generally safe and well-tolerated, but it is not free of side effects. Read on to learn which adverse effects you should watch out for when using CBD oil, how the delivery form influences them, and what you can do to reduce your risk.
CBD Oil Side Effects
First, it is important to remember that CBD oil is considered experimental and investigational and far more clinical studies are needed before we can make any firm conclusions about its supposed benefits .
Similarly, it’s an insufficiently investigated supplement with a relatively unknown safety profile. The list of side effects listed in this article is, therefore, not a definite one.
So, make sure to speak with your doctor before starting on a CBD oil regimen.
With the recent legalization of CBD oil in many states worldwide, its popularity is booming and people are taking it for not only its FDA-approved use for seizures, but also conditions such as :
An advantage of CBD oil is that it’s considered generally safer and causes fewer adverse effects than the drugs typically used for these conditions. Chronic doses of up to 1500 mg/day were tolerated well in multiple studies [3+, 4].
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause behavioral and psychological side effects. What’s more, it may even reduce some of them such as anxiety, psychosis, and memory loss [5, 6, 7, 8].
CBD oil is believed to cause fewer side effects than THC and most prescription drugs, even at high doses.
Nevertheless, there are some potential side effects of CBD oil that you should watch out for. Below is a detailed overview of the most common ones.
1) Dry Mouth
Whether you use them for recreational or medicinal purposes, cannabis products will often make your mouth feel as if it were stuffed with cotton balls. Almost 12% of 1500 people responding to a survey about CBD use experienced dry mouth, making it the most common adverse effect .
Stimulation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the salivary glands reduces saliva secretion, which makes the mouth feel dry. The well-known cannabis compound THC activates these receptors directly. In turn, CBD raises the levels of an activator naturally produced in the body – the cannabinoid anandamide [9, 10, 11, 12].
2) Digestive Issues
Both CBD oil supplements and the FDA-approved CBD medicine Epidiolex have been reported to cause digestive issues such as [2, 4]:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased or reduced appetite
- Weight loss or gain
Because preliminary research suggests that CBD improves rather than causes nausea and diarrhea, these effects most likely result from the irritating effects of other ingredients (e.g., carrier oils) on the bowels [13, 14, 15].
Alternatively, the loose regulation of supplements may allow for excessive CBD levels in products or harmful contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents [16+, 17].
In turn, the endocannabinoid system has a role in promoting appetite. The mixed effects of CBD on appetite and weight seen in different studies may be due to its dual effect: it blocks the CB1 and CB2 receptors but boosts the levels of their activator anandamide [18, 19, 11].
If you experience digestive issues from using CBD oil, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend reducing the dose or shifting to another brand.
Contaminants and additives are likely responsible for the digestive side effects of low-quality CBD oil: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite and weight changes.
3) Drowsiness and Fatigue
People taking CBD oil often report feeling sleepy and tired. Indeed, this side effect was observed in early clinical trials and one of the most common uses of CBD oil is to improve sleep disorders [20+].
If the symptoms are very severe, you shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery.
The effect of CBD on sleep seems to be biphasic: high doses may increase sleeping time, lower amounts may promote wakefulness. Additionally, levels of endocannabinoid receptors depend on the circadian rhythm. This may explain why CBD tends to cause drowsiness later in the day but has the opposite effect in the morning [21, 22, 23].
CBD oil may make you feel sleepy, especially if you take high doses at night. Low morning doses, on the contrary, seem to increase wakefulness.
High doses of CBD lowered blood pressure in a small trial on 9 people. In turn, THC seems to have a more complex effect: it slightly raises blood pressure in people lying down but increases the risk of sudden blood pressure drops when standing up [24, 25+].
As a result, a common adverse effect of CBD – both alone and with equal amounts of THC (nabiximols) – is feeling dizzy and light-headed [26, 27, 28].
If your blood pressure drops too much, you may faint. The risk is especially high in people diagnosed with low blood pressure or on blood pressure medications – such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers. These people should be especially cautious with CBD oil and never try it out without discussing it with their doctor.
CBD oil, alone or with THC, may reduce blood pressure. This can make you feel dizzy and light-headed, especially if you are prone to blood pressure drops.
5) Possible Liver Damage
Several trials testing CBD for seizures found possible liver damage (high transaminases ALT and AST) in 9-25% of the people. The risk increased with the dose and was highest in people also taking the anti-seizure drug valproate, which is known to cause liver injuries [29+, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34].
Similarly, CBD caused signs of liver toxicity (high transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin) in mice and dogs. However, the doses were generally higher than those used in human trials [35, 36, 37].
Make sure to talk to your doctor, especially if you are taking valproate, and never exceed the recommended CBD oil dose to reduce your risk of liver damage.
CBD oil may cause liver damage at very high doses and in people prescribed the anti-seizure drug valproate.
CBD is often used to curb anxiety, although research suggests it has “inverted U-shaped” effects: moderate doses, but not low or high amounts, may be effective for a range of anxiety disorders and stressful situations [38, 39].
In contrast, very high doses may even trigger anxiety and irritability. This was the case in 7-9% of the children in 2 clinical trials using CBD for seizures and autism [40, 41].
The effect probably involves the TRPV1 receptor, the activation of which increases the brain’s response to stressful situations .
CBD boosts the naturally-produced cannabinoid anandamide. While moderate anandamide levels activate CB1 receptors and curb anxiety, high amounts may worsen it by binding to TRPV1. CBD also activates this receptor directly, further contributing to the potential anxiety-triggering effects [43, 44, 11, 45].
7) Immune Suppression
CBD may reduce the immune response. It prevents T cells from dividing, migrating to inflammation sites, and producing pro-inflammatory cytokines. This may be beneficial in people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis [46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52].
The downside of blocking the immune response is that it may make people with weakened immune systems more prone to infections. Thus, people on immunosuppressants or with conditions such as HIV, diabetes, and Down syndrome might want to avoid it .
CBD oil seems to reduce the immune response, which may make people with a weak immune system more prone to infections.
CBD didn’t damage the kidneys in clinical trials. In fact, researchers believed it protected against kidney injury and inflammation in numerous animal studies [54, 55, 56, 57, 58]. Remember that larger and better designed clinical trials are needed before these findings are conclusive.
Though more clinical trials are needed, the current evidence suggests CBD oil will not harm your kidneys at normal doses.
On the other hand, people with kidney disease should probably avoid THC-containing medical marijuana without consulting a doctor.
According to a recent review, THC may worsen kidney health and increase urination by activating CB1 receptors. Remember that, unlike THC, CBD blocks these receptors. However, CBD may indirectly activate them by increasing anandamide levels in the body [59+].
Lastly, avoid synthetic cannabinoids at all costs (products like “spice” and “K2” sold in smoke shops). These chemicals caused sudden and severe kidney injury in several cases [59+].
Unlike THC and synthetic cannabinoids, CBD oil probably does not cause side effects on the kidneys; some researchers believe it might even be protective.
Are You at Risk of CBD Oil Side Effects?
CBD altered the levels of two drug transporters in placental cells. This suggests that taking CBD oil during pregnancy may increase the exposure of the fetus to any drugs that the mother takes. Pregnant women should avoid CBD oil in any case, since safety data are lacking .
Taking THC-containing CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding is particularly dangerous, since THC may reduce growth and cause brain developmental anomalies in babies [61+].
Because there are no studies testing its safety in children below 2 years old, it’s better to avoid giving them CBD oil unless prescribed by a doctor.
CBD is thought to be safe in older children, but they may be more sensitive to THC and toxic contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides than adults. Be sure to use high-quality, THC-free CBD in children and consult the doctor first.
Pregnant women and children under 2 years old should avoid CBD oil due to the lack of safety data; THC during pregnancy is known to be dangerous.
Most drugs are broken down by liver enzymes. Among them, cytochrome (CYP) P450 plays a key role. A single CBD dose blocks several CYP enzymes, such as:
By doing so, it may slow the breakdown of several drugs and enhance their effects [62, 63, 64, 65, 66].
Indeed, CBD reduced the breakdown of the sedative hexobarbital, the anti-seizure drug clobazam, and the blood thinner warfarin in humans. It had the same effect on the immunosuppressant cyclosporin and the cannabis compound THC in cells [67, 68, 69, 70].
On the other hand, repeated CBD doses can increase the levels of some enzymes of this group and reduce the effects of the drugs they break down [71, 72, 73, 74].
Plus, CBD itself is broken down by CYP enzymes, especially by CYP34A and CYP2C19. Drugs that block these enzymes (such as ketoconazole and ritonavir) will enhance its effects, while those that activate them (such as phenobarbital and rifampicin) will have the opposite effect [75, 4].
If you are on prescription medication and plan to use CBD oil, ask your doctor about potential interactions and dose readjustment. Additionally, avoid combining CBD oil with grapefruit or other supplements that block the same liver enzymes (such as St John’s wort or watercress).
CBD oil can block or activate liver enzymes that metabolize drugs. This may increase the side effects of both CBD oil and the medication you’re taking.
How Does the Delivery Form Influence CBD Oil Side Effects?
While rapid-release forms (mouth sprays and oil tinctures) deliver CBD directly into your bloodstream, slow-release forms (capsules, edibles, and teas) have to pass your digestive system first. This means their ingredients may irritate your bowels and give you nausea and diarrhea [76+, 77].
However, rapid-release forms will release CBD faster, so you may experience both wanted and unwanted effects sooner [76+, 77].
And since tinctures and sprays are directly applied in the mouth, they will quickly reach the salivary glands and cause dry mouth. Mouth sprays may also cause a stinging sensation and even burns, especially if they contain alcohol [9, 78].
Capsules and edibles are more likely to cause digestive side effects, while mouth sprays and tinctures more frequently cause dry mouth.
Vapes bypass the digestive system without irritating your bowels, but they may trigger the other adverse effects faster [76+, 77].
Vaping is considered safer than smoking cigarettes or joints because the oil is heated at lower temperatures that produce fewer toxic byproducts [76+ 79].
However, the additives used as flavorings and thinning agents in vaping oils may still pose some hazards. Although they are normally food-grade, they may release harmful compounds (including the cancer-causing formaldehyde) when vaporized. Their heavy use may lead to [80, 79, 81+]:
- Dry throat
- Lung injury
- Fat particles entering the lungs (lipoid pneumonia – rare)
For instance, one man developed severe lung damage from vaping CBD oil [82+].
Creams & Gels
Creams and gels act locally on the application site and don’t release CBD into the gut or bloodstream. This means they will not cause most of the adverse effects previously described [76+].
However, they may cause allergic reactions with itching, redness, and rashes on the skin. It’s important to note that the reactions can be caused by either CBD or other ingredients in the formulation [83+, 84+].
How to Reduce Your Risk of Side Effects from CBD Oil
1) Drink More Water
The best way to reduce dry mouth when using CBD oil is to drink plenty of water and other hydrating liquids before, during, and after consumption.
2) Find Additive-Free Products
You can reduce the risk of digestive issues by choosing forms that bypass the gut and directly release CBD into your bloodstream such as vapes, mouth sprays, and oil tinctures. High-quality oils without additives may also irritate your bowels less.
3) Take it Before Sleep
If you feel drowsy or light-headed after taking CBD oil, you may need to reduce the dose or take it only before sleep.
4) Increase Wakefulness Naturally
Drinking coffee or tea will help you both stay awake and raise your blood pressure, but it also causes many side effects. Try to get more sunlight first thing in the morning, as it will energize you and help you get better sleep at night. We talk about other natural ways to increase wakefulness in this post.
5) Support Your Liver
Avoid combining CBD with the anti-seizure drug valproate. Additionally, make sure not to exceed the dose and regularly monitor your liver function to reduce your risk of liver damage. Eggs (choline), artichokes, NAC, and probiotics also support liver health. Read more foods and supplements that are good for the liver here.
6) Don’t Take Megadoses
Only very high CBD doses may cause irritability. Make sure not to exceed the dose and try reducing it if you notice this symptom.
7) Monitor Your Immune Response
If you have a weakened immune system, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD oil. You may need to avoid CBD or take a lower dose.
Additionally, you may also want to look into balancing your Th1/Th2 immune response. If you have a slightly weaker immune system and are prone to allergies, you are probably Th2-dominant.
To reduce your risk of CBD oil side effects, avoid products with additives, drink plenty of water, get sunlight during the day, and support your liver and gut health.
Always make sure to speak with your physician before starting on a CBD oil regimen.
CBD oil is thought to be safe and most people seem to tolerate it well.
Low-quality products may contain additives and toxins that can irritate the lungs when vaped and the gut when taken orally. Choose high-quality products to reduce your risk.
Additionally, CBD oil can make you feel drowsy and lightheaded. If you feel tired after taking CBD oil, lower your dose or use it only before sleep. Look to also increase your wakefulness naturally by getting more sunlight during the day.
High doses may damage the liver, but likely only in people taking the anti-seizure medication valproate. Monitor your liver enzymes and look into natural ways to protect your liver.
Avoid CBD oil if you have a weak immune system, as it might make you more prone to infection.
If you take prescription drugs, consult your doctor. Many drugs can interact with CBD oil and increase the risk of side effects.
Pregnant women and children should avoid CBD oil until more safety data are available.
Some people have genes that make them more likely to experience inflammation. Check out SelfDecode’s Inflammation DNA Wellness Report for genetic-based diet, lifestyle, and supplement tips that can help reduce inflammation levels. The recommendations are personalized based on YOUR DNA.
About the Author
Carlos spent 9 years in the laboratory investigating mineral transport in plants. He then started working as a freelancer, mainly in science writing, editing, and consulting. Carlos is passionate about learning the mechanisms behind biological processes and communicating science to both academic and non-academic audiences. He strongly believes that scientific literacy is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid falling for scams.
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What Are The Side Effects of CBD?
In the bureaucratic language of the WHO — this essentially means there’s a lot of evidence to suggest CBD is safe, and that the side effects are mild and manageable.
Despite having an excellent safety profile, there’s still some potential for side effects and few cases where CBD supplements should be avoided altogether.
In this article, we’ll cover the potential side effects of CBD in detail — including both the long-term and short-term side effects.
Table of Contents
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
The short answer to this question is yes.
Although CBD (cannabidiol) has been proven time and time again to be inherently safe — nothing is entirely without side effects. Any health supplement or medication that causes a physiological change in the body has the potential to cause side effects.
CBD has many effects on the human body — which means it’s totally possible that some of these changes will be undesired.
These undesirable effects are what we refer to as a side effects.
With that said, the side effects of CBD tend to be very mild. Issues with side effects from CBD most often come from high doses of CBD, combining CBD with other medications, or using CBD alongside other underlying health conditions .
What Are The Side Effects of CBD?
There are five main side effects you may experience when using CBD — low blood pressure, dry mouth, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and tiredness.
Each of these side effects is considered a short-term side effect — which means it only lasts as long as CBD remains in the body. These symptoms will disappear as the CBD wears off.
There are a few CBD-based pharmaceutical preparations on the market, such as Epidolex and Sativex — each of which has had a ton of research done to assess the potential for side effects. This research has given us a lot more insight into the potential adverse effects of CBD and other related cannabinoids.
The side effects of CBD can be broken up into two categories — short-term and long-term. Let’s cover each in more detail.
Short-term Side Effects of CBD
Short-term side effects happen right away as the CBD begins to take effect. They can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Once the CBD wears off, the side effects usually wear off along with it.
Short-Term Side Effects of CBD May Include:
- Low blood pressure (defined as blood pressure below 110/80 mm Hg)
- Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
- Poor appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rash
Long-Term Side Effects of CBD
Long-term side effects don’t appear right away. These side effects develop gradually over time with consistent use. There are very few long-term side effects reported from CBD, and many of these effects can be traced back to other aspects of CBD use instead — such as smoking, vaping, or combining CBD with pharmaceutical medications.
Long-Term Side Effects of CBD May Include:
- Changes in weight (loss or gain)
- Frequent infections (low immunity)
- Abnormal liver function tests (high AST or ALT)
- Feeling weak or tired
Is CBD Safe?
There’s a wealth of research available in the scientific literature that explores the safety profile of CBD — I dug into it to see what I could find.
This research is critical in order for further testing can take place to explore the practical and medicinal applications of the compound in humans. Researchers can’t test CBD on health conditions such as epilepsy before it can be proven safe.
Let’s cover some of the most important safety research involving CBD:
Study #1 — A Meta-Analysis on 132 Different Studies
This review looked at 132 research papers that assessed the safety and tolerability of CBD. These studies included in vitro research, animal testing, and human clinical trials.
The study concluded that CBD is well tolerated and safe in humans, even in high doses over long periods. Researchers made note that there was potential for adverse side effects if CBD was used in combination with other medications or underlying health conditions .
Study #2 — Animal Testing on CBD Safety
This review seeks to build off the research published by Bergamaschi et al., 2011. The results of the study confirmed the initial conclusion for the first review, highlighting CBD as a safe and effective compound for the vast majority of patients.
This study reported the most common side effects to be fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite/weight. Researchers also noted CBD to be significantly better-tolerated than other medications used for similar purposes .
Study #3: Long-Term Safety of CBD & THC
This study examined the long-term health effects of CBD and THC.
Preparations of the two cannabinoids were given to 43 cancer patients every day for two weeks. Researchers of this study reported there to be minimal side effects and concluded that the preparation was “well-tolerated” .
Study #4 — Safety of CBD With Dravet’s Syndrome (Epilepsy)
This randomized clinical trial looked at the effects of CBD in the treatment of a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome over 13 weeks.
34 patients diagnosed with Dravet syndrome (aged 4 to 10) were randomized into four treatment groups — 5 mg/kg, 10 mg/kg, 20 mg/kg CBD, and an inactive placebo control.
The study concluded by stating that CBD was well-tolerated by the majority of patients (94% completion rate), and safety findings were consistent with other research. Some patients were noted to have elevated ALT or AST (indicating changes in liver function), but these elevations disappeared once CBD was discontinued.
This is one of the best studies we have so far on the safety of CBD in children, especially since the doses used in the study were significantly higher than the standard dose of CBD .
What Causes The Side Effects of CBD?
CBD has a long list of effects on humans. It works by binding or modulating various receptors in the body. These receptors control other chemical, cellular, and organ functions. This interaction with receptors is what gives CBD its benefits as well as some of its side effects.
There are other ways CBD may lead to side effects as well — some of which come down to the way CBD was consumed, how much CBD was used, what other medications were taken alongside CBD, underlying health issues, and the presence of contaminants in the CBD extract itself.
Let’s cover each of these potential causes in more detail and what you can do to minimize your chances of experiencing side effects from each one.
1. Smoke or Vapor Inhalation
Different forms of CBD can bring unique side effects. For example, smoking, dabbing, or vaping CBD may lead to short-term side effects caused by the inhalation of compounds through the lungs rather than from the CBD itself.
When smoke is inhaled it causes damage to the lungs along with an increase in carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the blood. This can lead to side effects like coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and nausea.
There have also been some recent reports of a condition known as lipoid pneumonia, which can be life-threatening. This condition is caused by inhaling fatty compounds into the lungs — such as with vape oils or e-liquids. This condition is rare but can happen from any e-liquids, including CBD-infused vape oils.
How To Minimize Your Risk
The easiest way to minimize the chances of experiencing side effects from smoke or vape inhalation is to use CBD orally (CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD edibles) or topically instead.
There are a ton of excellent CBD products available that don’t rely on smoking or vaping to deliver CBD into the body. This saves your lungs and keeps harmful compounds like carbon monoxide out of your bloodstream.
2. High Doses of CBD
The more CBD you take, the stronger the effects.
This is true for both the positive and negative effects of CBD. Several of the research papers cited above used large doses of CBD (up to 20 mg/kg), which is significantly higher than the standard dose of CBD. However, despite remaining safe at these doses, the larger the dosage of CBD, the more chances there will be side effects.
Learn more about how much CBD you should take.
How To Minimize Your Risk
If you’ve never used CBD before, it’s important you understand how to find the best dose for your body individually. The effective dose of CBD is different for everybody, so you have to use some trial and error to find what works for you.
Most people do this by starting with a low dose and building up slowly over time. Once you reach the desired level of effects, you’ve found your dose.
Some people will continue increasing the dose gradually until they experience some mild side effects, then dial the dose back to the last dose that didn’t produce any side effects and stay here — this is what’s considered the maximum tolerated dose — or the highest dose you can take before experiencing negative effects.
You may want to avoid using exceptionally strong CBD oils if you’re just starting out with CBD as well. It’s easier to take too much when using very strong oils.
3. Interactions Between CBD & Other Medications
Whenever you take medications or supplements, you have to consider how the active compounds interact inside the body. Even if you take them separately, they end up mixing in the digestive tract or bloodstream.
CBD rarely interacts with other medications — but there are a few exceptions. CBD may cause the effects of the drug to become stronger or weaker than intended — which could lead to side effects from the medication.
How To Minimize Your Risk
CBD can interact with medications in many different ways. Even drugs that seem to be utterly unrelated to the effects of CBD can result in a negative interaction because of how the liver or kidneys process various medications. If CBD and the medication both compete for the same pathway of metabolism or elimination, it can lead to a buildup of both in the system — ultimately leading to side effects.
Because of this, you must speak with your doctor first about using CBD if you’re taking any medications. Your doctor will give you more accurate advice on whether or not CBD is likely to interact with any medications you’re taking — and what you can do to reduce your chances of developing side effects.
4. Underlying Health Issues
CBD is well-known to offer benefits to specific health conditions. There’s a lot of research on how this compound offers benefits towards diseases such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, arthritis, and more — however, some people may experience a worsening of symptoms after using CBD for their health disorder.
Some examples of this may include Parkinson’s disease, anorexia, and hypotension (low blood pressure).
Liver conditions can also increase your odds of experiencing side effects.
Most of the compounds you take into the body need to be processed and metabolized by the liver before they can be removed from the body. If the liver is compromised for any reason, CBD and its metabolites can build up in the bloodstream — which can ultimately lead to side effects.
Hypotension (low blood pressure) is one of the most concerning health issues people should be aware of before using this supplement.
Cannabidiol can cause a reduction in blood pressure. For many people, this is one of the major benefits — however, if blood pressure is already too low, this effect can push blood pressure below safe levels. If this happens, the heart may be unable to pump enough blood into the brain, leading to lightheadedness, confusion, and fainting.
How To Minimize Your Risk
The best way to avoid side effects if you have an underlying health issue is to speak with your doctor directly before using CBD.
5. Low-Quality or Contaminated CBD Products
The source of CBD matters when discussing side effects. CBD oil can become contaminated during the cultivation or manufacturing process. These contaminants may lead to both short-term and long-term side effects — some can even be quite severe.
This is why we encourage people to only order CBD products from companies that publish independent lab analyses for each batch of products they produce.
These tests should look for all the main contaminants of CBD products, including:
- Heavy metals
- Organic solvents (like propane, butane, or hexane)
- Microbial contaminants (mycotoxins, bacteria, mold)
- Psychoactive cannabinoids (THC or THCV)
Contaminated CBD products aren’t uncommon, so it’s important you look for a reputable supplier before placing your order. CBD oils that are significantly cheaper than the competition are most likely too good to be true.
Many of these oils are made from cheap hemp cultivated in places like China or India where soil contamination is common — leading to the accumulation of heavy metals or other harmful compounds in the final product.
Contaminants can lead to side effects such as:
- Allergic reactions
- Skin rashes
- Memory loss
- Vision loss
Some low-quality CBD oils may also contain the psychoactive cannabinoid, THC. If the THC content is high enough, it will lead to undesirable side effects as well — essentially causing the same effects of marijuana that make users high.
How To Minimize Your Risk
Always purchase your CBD from a reputable manufacturer that offers clear evidence that each batch of product they produce is completely free from these contaminants. There’s no safe dose of heavy metals, pesticides, or organic solvents, so it’s critical the tests show no trace of these compounds.
If a company can’t or won’t provide this information, we suggest you look elsewhere.
6. Allergic Reactions
Some side effects are purely the result of allergies. This may be an allergy to the CBD itself, other cannabinoids, or additives such as oils, synthetic flavoring, or vape fluids.
Allergies are driven by the immune system, which is continuously monitoring the body to identify and destroy anything that poses a threat. Sometimes the immune system mistakes a harmless compound as a threat — leading to what we call an allergic reaction.
When a threat is discovered (even if by mistake), the immune system immediately mobilizes a fleet of white blood cells and chemical messengers to the area to fight off the invader. This can lead to side effects including skin rashes, swelling, tightness in the throat, or much more severe effects like a closing of the airway, tachycardia (excessive heart rate), elevated blood pressure, and loss of consciousness.
Most allergies to CBD products are triggered by chemical additives from synthetic flavorings or preservatives rather than to the CBD itself.
How To Minimize Your Risk
Allergies can be hard to prevent and even harder to predict. For this reason, it’s wise to test a small amount of a supplement or topical before using the full amount to see if there’s any reaction to it.
For topicals, apply a small amount to the skin and wait for about 30 – 45 minutes to see if any rash or irritation appears. If not, you’re probably safe to apply the topical to a larger area of the body.
For edibles, the process is similar. Start by taking a tiny amount. Hold it in your mouth for a moment, if you can. Wait for 30 – 45 minutes to give the immune system time to react. If you don’t experience any side effects (most commonly, swelling or itchiness), you can safely take a larger dose.
What Can I Do If I Experience Side Effects From CBD?
What happens if you start to experience side effects from CBD? When should you be concerned?
The vast majority of side effects from CBD are mild in nature — meaning that although you might feel uncomfortable, the side effects will soon pass on their own. Depending on which side effects you’re experiencing, there may be some steps you can take to help them go away much faster.
1. Dry Mouth (Cottonmouth)
The best way to eliminate cottonmouth from CBD is to drink something fruity like orange or pineapple juice, sip water, or chew gum. If you remain well-hydrated before using CBD, the chances of experiencing this side effect are reduced.
This side effect is pretty common and usually doesn’t mean anything serious. However, lightheadedness can also signal a deeper underlying problem. The cause of this is typically low blood pressure, so it’s best if you can either sit or lie down for a while. This will allow the blood to flow easily into the brain. It also helps to drink something with electrolytes in it to help stabilize your blood pressure before you take CBD.
If you experience any loss of consciousness or feel excessive lightheadedness, stop using CBD immediately and set up a visit with your doctor to discuss your symptoms.
This side effect is hard to stop once it’s begun. You can take medications to help, but by the time the drugs take effect, the side effects will likely have worn off anyway.
It helps to take CBD along with food to minimize the chances of diarrhea.
If diarrhea continues to occur, it’s wise to speak with your doctor before using CBD again.
4. Fatigue or Tiredness
Feeling tired after using CBD is often a goal for using the supplement, especially in people who have a hard time sleeping. However, not everyone wants this effect from CBD. The easiest way to avoid this is to take CBD alongside caffeine to counteract the sedative effects of the compound.
5. Poor Appetite
CBD can lower our appetite — and while this is usually not a significant problem, it can cause you to go undernourished for long periods if you use CBD frequently. This could lead to nutritional deficiencies, weakness, irritability, and weight loss. It can help to take CBD along with a meal to avoid this effect.
Do Other Cannabinoids Have Side-Effects?
CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. There are over one hundred other cannabinoids also produced in the plant — many of which end up in your CBD oil. This is especially the case for full-spectrum hemp extracts.
So, do any of these other cannabinoids have side effects you should be concerned about?
Overall, the side effects of these other cannabinoids are very similar to the side effects of CBD, with some subtle differences.
1. Side Effects of THC
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis plants. Hemp products have very low levels of THC in them in order to stay within the legal limit and to prevent any psychoactive side effects.
Products that have high THC content (over 2%) may produce side effects related to the psychoactivity of THC.
There is more than one type of THC. The most common is delta 9 THC but there’s also delta 7 THC, delta 8 THC, delta 10 THC, THCP, THCC, and more.
Here are some of the most common side effects of THC:
- Visual disturbances
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Changes in emotion and mood
2. Side Effects of THCV
THCV stands for tetrahydrocannabivarin. It’s closely related to THC, but has significantly less psychoactivity and is found in much lower concentrations in cannabis plants. This cannabinoid is unlikely to cause any real side effects in CBD products simply because of how low the concentration is.
Here are some potential side effects of THCV:
- Visual disturbances
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in mood
3. Side Effects of CBC
CBC stands for cannabichromene — it’s the third most predominant cannabinoid next to CBD and THC. Some hemp strains are high in CBC, so it has a greater potential for impacting the side effects of hemp products than most other minor cannabinoids.
The potential side effects of CBC include:
- Loss of appetite
4. Side Effects of CBG
CBG stands for cannabigerol — it’s the precursor molecule for both CBD and THC. Therefore, plants that have been harvested too early will have high levels of CBG.
CBG has few side effects and is reported to counteract many of the psychoactive effects of THC.
Side effects of CBG may include:
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
5. Side Effects of CBN
CBN (cannabinol) is on the opposite end of the scale to CBG. Instead of being a precursor, it’s a metabolite of THC. As THC breaks down, CBN levels rise.
This compound is not found in high concentrations in hemp plants because of the lack of THC but will still be present in some capacity — especially in plants that have been harvested late or in full-spectrum CBD oils nearing their expiration date.
CBN is more sedative than most other cannabinoids, so the most common side effects are sedation and fatigue.
The side effects of CBN may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased appetite
- Poor memory and concentration
Who Should Avoid Using CBD?
Now that we’ve covered all the side effects of CBD and highlighted some of the factors that can make these side effects more frequent or more severe — let’s discuss a few examples where CBD should be avoided altogether.
1. People With Liver Disorders
CBD is metabolized in the liver — along with just about every other medication or supplement we consume. If there’s already a problem with the liver, it will be difficult to metabolize CBD effectively, causing CBD levels (and other medications) to remain elevated for extended periods.
If you suffer from any liver disorders (hepatitis, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, etc.), it’s wise to speak with your doctor before using CBD.
2. People Trying to Conceive a Child
CBD and other cannabinoids are untested on a growing fetus, and there are many theories that the compound can negatively affect brain development. Therefore, if you’re trying to conceive, it’s wise to avoid the use of CBD supplements.
3. Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers
Similar to the point above, CBD should be avoided in expectant or nursing mothers to avoid losing the baby with CBD. Cannabinoids are highly interactive with our central nervous system and may cause problems in the developing infant nervous system.
CBD is a fat-soluble substance and will transfer to the child through breast milk.
4. People Taking Certain Medications (Ask Your Doctor)
Some medications may interact with CBD, as highlighted in several of the safety studies listed earlier. Here are some of the key ways CBD can interact with a drug:
- CBD may increase the effects of medication — this can lead to side effects from the CBD or the medication being too strong
- CBD may prevent the breakdown and excretion of drugs from the body — this can cause compounds to build up to dangerous levels in the bloodstream over time
- CBD may counteract the effects of a medication — this can cause the medicine to become ineffective for addressing the symptoms it’s being used to treat
Certain drugs are more likely to interact with CBD than others — such as antipsychotics, blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and pain medications.
Always speak with your doctor before using CBD if you’re taking any prescription medications.
5. People Suffering from Low Blood Pressure
As mentioned above, CBD may cause a reduction in blood pressure. If you already experience low blood pressure, taking CBD could worsen the problem.
It’s recommended that people who have low blood pressure (hypotension) should avoid using CBD, or use CBD under the supervision and advice of a medical professional.
6. People With Known Allergies to Cannabis Products
If you’ve had allergic reactions to cannabis products in the past, be very careful when trying CBD. Sometimes these allergies are experienced only from smoking the plant or from additives like synthetic flavorings or preservatives — however, in other cases, the allergies are to the cannabinoids or other phytochemicals in the hemp plant.
In cases of severe allergies, such as anaphylaxis, avoid CBD products altogether.
Conclusion: Is CBD Safe?
Everything has the potential to cause side effects — especially compounds that have apparent physiological effects on the body. This includes CBD — which has a long list of effects and benefits.
CBD has been proven to be a safe and effective compound in animal and human clinical trials many times over. The side effects this compound is most likely to cause are very mild in nature — such as dry mouth, mild drops in blood pressure, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and fatigue, or drowsiness.
Most people can avoid these side effects by following some of the advice listed above — such as drinking plenty of water, taking CBD with food, combining other supplements like caffeine, or limiting the dose of CBD.
However, in rare instances, these side effects are more severe. The most severe side effects come from allergic reactions, smoke or vape inhalation, or interactions with other medications and underlying health disorders.
For this reason, it’s wise that you speak with your doctor before using CBD if you have any underlying health issues or are taking any medications. It’s also a good idea to start with a very low dose of CBD (~2 mg) and build the dose up gradually over time once you know how this compound interacts with your body individually.
Have you experienced any side effects from CBD? Leave your comments below!
Can CBD Oil Make You Dizzy?
Most people enjoy the benefits of CBD oil without experiencing any of the possible side effects, but not everyone is that lucky.
Getting dizzy when using CBD hemp oil is one of the most common side effects people face, and this guide helps you understand why it happens and what you can do to prevent it. Using these tips lets you take advantage of the health benefits of CBD without worrying about getting dizzy.
Table of Contents
- Why CBD Oil Can Make You Dizzy
- Combating the Problem and Staying Sharp
- Speaking With a Doctor
- Final Thoughts
Why CBD Oil Can Make You Dizzy
Learning why CBD oil can make you dizzy is a great place to start if you want to use it without dealing with the issue. When you take CBD oil, it can lower your blood pressure, which is a powerful benefit for a lot of people.
The problem occurs if you already have normal or low blood pressure when you begin taking CBD oil. In those cases, it can lower your blood pressure enough that you get dizzy or even lightheaded. The good news, though, is that most people only feel dizzy for a few minutes after taking their CBD oil.
Combating the Problem and Staying Sharp
If your dizziness lasts for more than a few minutes or if you want to stop yourself from getting dizzy in the first place, start by lowering your dose of CBD oil each day until you no longer get dizzy. The goal is to take enough of the CBD oil to get the benefits you want without facing the downsides, which means finding the right balance for your unique body and needs.
If lowering your dose causes you to lose the benefits, you are not out of luck yet. Try finding the lowest dose that lets you enjoy the rewards for which you have been looking. Next, try sitting or lying down for a few minutes after taking the CBD. Eating a light snack is another excellent way to combat the dizzy feeling and stay sharp.
Speaking With a Doctor
Speaking with your doctor is important if you experience anything more than a light or mild dizzy feeling that lasts for more than a few minutes. While the odds of facing a serious medical issue are low when taking CBD, talking with your doctor is always the safe bet if you care about your overall well-being.
Your doctor will monitor your blood pressure and test you for other conditions that might be causing you to feel dizzy. Maintaining open and honest communication with your doctor is important. It lets your doctor give you viable advice that keeps you in top shape for as long as possible.
Quality hemp oil from a reputable CBD company can help people treat and prevent a range of harmful conditions. It also improves their quality of life by providing them with several benefits, including improved mood. Even though CBD hemp oil can do wonders to improve your overall health, you could encounter one or more side effects along the way. CBD oil can cause some people to get dizzy by lowering their blood pressure, but there are steps you can take to keep the problem at bay.