Are There Negative Side Effects to Taking CBD?

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CBD, the non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant causing both an applause and a ruckus across the U.S. is being praised for its oodles and oodles of health benefits — everything from aiding in gut health and relieving inflammation to reducing epileptic seizures — but some are wondering if the therapeutic cannabinoid is too good to be true.

Why? Because with every drug comes unpleasant side effects, right? Even if that medication is natural?

That’s precisely what we’re looking into in this post; the potential negative side effects of CBD.

Here is what we know so far.

The Skinny on CBD’s Side Effects

Multiple studies, some published as early as the 1980s, suggest CBD has minimal to no side effects, claiming the cannabinoid to be generally safe for consumption, for anyone. Still, consumers should be made aware of any known or potential drawbacks of a substance they’re putting into their bodies.

Several small-scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults to find the wellness supplement to be well-tolerated across the board under many circumstances.

To date, there have been no significant side effects in the central nervous system, effects on vital signs, or individuals’ moods among those who take CBD regularly or sparingly. The most common side effect reported has been tiredness. Other users have also noticed changes in appetite or weight, and in extreme cases, bouts of diarrhea.

Potential Side Effects of CBD

There are numerous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of cannabidiol in treating various health conditions, most of which conclude CBD to be safe and free of any harmful side effects.

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Although, in rare cases, there have been a few known side effects from taking CBD, all of which have been pretty minor. But, as mentioned previously, you should be well-informed before taking any and all forms of CBD.

Here are three potential side effects of taking CBD, according to health professionals from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It is important to know that these side effects may only and most likely occur when individuals are taking high doses of CBD. For a better understanding of CBD dosing, check out our post on CBD dosage.

  1. Lightheadedness: This could be caused by the drop in blood pressure which can affect users taking very high doses of CBD. This potential side effect of CBD is temporary and can often be resolved by drinking a cup of coffee or tea.
  2. Drowsiness: In higher doses, CBD can reportedly cause drowsiness. If you do feel drowsy after taking CBD, you should follow the same protocol as other powerful medication directives –Don’t operate machinery or drive your car. In most cases, however, CBD is a wake-inducing agent.
  3. Dry Mouth: Another reported side effect of CBD administration is an unpleasant dry sensation in your mouth, which seems to be caused by the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the disruption of saliva secretion. Really, all dry mouth will do is make you thirsty. And again, this is usually only the case if and when someone takes a very high dose of CBD.

Why are CBD’s negative side effects so minimal?

For starters, CBD does not contain mind-altering properties. What does that mean? Let’s be blunt — CBD will not make you high, no matter how much you take. At a most basic scientific sense, the way the human body reacts to CBD is positive and pleasant, as the healing properties of CBD are released into the bloodstream, the digestive tract and other tissues, causing users to feel relief from their ailments.

A comprehensive review of 132 original studies by Bergamaschi et al. described the safety profile of CBD, mentioning several beneficial properties of the cannabinoid, including no alteration of major bodily functions including heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature.

The studies, concluded in June of 2017, also ruled out any negative effects on both psychological (the doesn’t-get-you-high glory part of CBD) and psychomotor functions of the body (like coordination, movement and speech). Another positive result from these studies? Gastrointestinal transit and potential toxicity elements were not adversely affected; aka no negative side effects were reported.

Furthermore, chronic use and high doses of up to 1500 mg per day have been repeatedly shown through research to be well-tolerated by humans. To put that into perspective, one CBD capsule typically contains between 30-45 mg, so taking 1500 mg of CBD would be the equivalent of taking 33-50 CBD capsules in a single day.

In spite of the positive results from those particular case studies, some negative side effects have been reported from taking CBD, but those have been reported from animal studies, which included changes in cell growth, reduced fertilization capacity and hindrance of the cannabinoid’s metabolism.

So, more human studies need to be conducted to see if these same effects occur in the human body.

Though CBD is generally well-tolerated and considered safe, everyone’s body is different, and reacts differently to any external substances. That being said, CBD could cause adverse reactions in some people whose bodies do not react well to the cannabinoid. Those adverse reactions could include anxiety, nausea, lightheadedness, drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea and dizziness.

Conclusion

Because research on the potential health benefits of CBD is still ongoing, new therapeutic uses for this natural and grand remedy are pretty much guaranteed to be discovered.

And although there is so much knowledge to be gained yet about the efficacy and safety of CBD, the majority of researchers, along with a growing list of promising results from recent scientific studies, all give CBD a gold star for providing safe, effective and powerful treatments for a multitude of health issues.

Takeaways

  • CBD’s most common side effect is tiredness
  • More research needs to be conducted to see if CBD has negative side effects
  • Each individual reacts differently to CBD, and may need to tailor their method of use to fit what works best with their bodies
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