Everyone’s talking about the positive effects of taking CBD. The benefits are numerous, but these CBD-praising articles usually forget to include CBD oil side effects. Despite the fact that not everyone experiences them and they’re rather rare overall, it’s still good to know about them.
It’s worth mentioning that the side effects are rather mild, especially when compared to some side effects of prescription medicine. Nevertheless, let’s find out, what are the side effects of CBD oil, as well as the frequency of them.
Table of Contents
- 1. CBD Oil Side Effects
- 1.1. Diarrhea and Changes in Weight
- 1.2. Changes in Appetite
- 1.3. Fatigue
- 1.4. Interaction with Medicine
- 1.5. Dry Mouth
- 1.6. Dizziness
- 2. What Could Be Done to Ease the Side Effects?
- 2.1. Lowering the Dose
- 2.2. Stop Taking CBD for a While
- 2.3. See a Doctor
- 2.4. Switch to a Different CBD Oil
- 3. Conclusions
CBD Oil Side Effects
Probably every drug has side effects. This cannabinoid is not an exception. Even though usually the consumption of CBD is safe, occasionally, some people report having side effects. However, these side effects are generally mild.
There have been no reports of CBD overdose, nor is it believed that it is possible. In fact, it’s safe for almost everyone to use. Despite it being safe, those who have increased risk factors should consider consulting a doctor before trying out CBD products.
So, let’s now talk about the most common CBD oil side effects.
Diarrhea and Changes in Weight
To begin answering the question of what are the side effects of CBD, let’s start with the first symptom. One of the possible side effects of using CBD could be diarrhea or changes in weight. Diarrhea or changes in weight or appetite are some of the common side effects of many medications. CBD is not an exception in this case.
A clinical study researched the effects of CBD on patients with psychotic disorder and epilepsy. The study pointed out that diarrhea was one of the possible CBD oil side effects.
Also, CBD could have an impact on weight due to it lowering your appetite. Another point worth mentioning is that CBD is said to help turn white fat cells, which are stored and often result in various illnesses that are impacted by obesity, into the brown fat cells. Brown fat cells are “good” fat. They’re burned off this way, reducing a person’s weight.
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Changes in Appetite
One more of CBD oil side effects is a change in appetite. Cannabis is usually associated with a higher appetite. That’s because those who use cannabis recreationally experience an increase in appetite due to consuming THC.
THC works by targeting your endocannabinoid system and activating CB1 receptors. That causes many different effects, including stimulation of appetite. However, the CB1 receptor’s antagonists may help with reducing the appetite.
CBD doesn’t really deactivate the CB1 receptors, but it can influence other molecules to do that. That results in molecules blocking the CB1 receptor and this way reducing your appetite.
One rat study showed that CBD could, in fact, reduce appetite. It showed that rats tend to consume less food when they’re given CBD. While we lack studies on humans to prove that, judging by the animal study, we could expect the results to be similar to humans too.
CBD tends to affect people in two ways. They either feel sedated or energized. This phenomenon is rather unusual, as it’s not that common for a drug or substance to have two completely opposite effects.
Although, what’s noticed that the drowsy effect is more common with higher doses, while the energizing one is more common in lower doses.
In some rare cases, people claim that CBD made them drowsy or fatigued. It’s quite likely since CBD is used to treat mental disorders such as anxiety. When treating anxiety, sedatives, or tranquilizers are often used.
By knowing that, we could assume that CBD is supposed to have a similar impact in order for it to be effective. So, one of the CBD side effects being drowsiness is not exactly surprising.
If this is a side effect you feel after consuming CBD, you should stay away from tasks requiring responsibility after consuming CBD.
These tasks include driving, operating heavy machinery, or even looking after children who are young enough to need adult supervision. CBD might put you at risk of not being able to complete these tasks successfully, or lead to trouble of staying alert or even staying awake while doing them.
What could be done to prevent this side effect is lowering the dose of CBD consumed. Due to fatigue being reported only while consuming higher doses of CBD, it’s likely that this one of the CBD side effects will be eased once you lower the dosage.
Interaction with Medicine
One more of the side effects of CBD oil is interaction with medicine. In order to understand how it works, you must first learn how medication and CBD are metabolized.
It all happens in your liver. Your liver is full of enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing drugs and substances and getting rid of the unneeded remnants. CBD and most of the other drugs are metabolized by CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 enzymes.
CBD affecting these enzymes can inhibit the metabolization of certain drugs. It might make it slower or faster, depending on the case. The problem with that is that when drugs are metabolized faster, there is a lower concentration of the drug in your system. This results in unwanted side effects and the drug not being as effective.
On the other hand, if the drug is metabolized slower than intended, the drug doesn’t work that well, and this way fails to treat the symptoms that it’s supposed to treat. Either way is not good for your body and may lead to the medicine not being as functional as it is supposed to.
What we also need to mention in this CBD Oil Side Effects guide is that certain drugs might inhibit the absorption of CBD. The effects are similar to the CBD’s effects on drugs. When CBD metabolization is disrupted, side effects are more likely to occur, or CBD might not end up being as effective as intended.
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When talking about CBD oil side effects, we should also mention that it could cause a dry mouth effect. Dry mouth might feel like having your mouth stuffed with cotton balls. It’s an unpleasant feeling, but it’s far from being life-threatening or even mildly serious.
It can be treated by merely consuming lots of fluids after the consumption of CBD. The reasoning behind the dry mouth effect is that the endocannabinoid system has receptors in salivary glands. After consuming the cannabinoids, the secretion of saliva is inhibited, and therefore, you experience the dry mouth effect.
It’s important to note that the dry mouth is rarely ever one of the CBD side effects. However, it could be one of the CBD oil side effects if it has any THC in it, as THC is usually the cannabinoid responsible for reducing the salivation.
While talking about CBD oil side effects, dizziness or lightheadedness should also be mentioned. It’s usually caused by lowered blood pressure, as CBD has an effect of lowering the blood pressure. The common symptoms of low blood pressure include fatigue, sleepiness, and lightheadedness.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to deal with the symptoms. A simple cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage could easily help. Or, as I was once advised, you could get a bar of dark chocolate and have a piece or two.
There’s a lack of proof when it comes to this method, but I like believing that it helps. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a nice pick-me-up when you’re not feeling well.
What Could Be Done to Ease the Side Effects?
Now that you know about the possible CBD oil side effects, you must be wondering what could be done to prevent them. While they don’t usually guarantee success, there are a few things to do before you decide that CBD is not for you.
Lowering the Dose
The first thing to think about if you notice any of CBD oil side effects is the dose that you take. The dose might be a little too high, and that might be the only reason why you don’t feel well after taking CBD oil.
You should experiment with a lower dose and see if the side effects subside. The main side effect that could be impacted by it is the drowsiness, as it said to occur only when taking higher doses of CBD. If drowsiness is what you experience, the chances are that it will disappear once you start taking a lower dose.
Moreover, it might also affect other symptoms. The CBD oil side effects are way more likely to occur if the concentration of CBD in your body is higher than intended. So, lower the dose that you take, and maybe that will solve the problem.
Stop Taking CBD for a While
Another way to treat CBD oil side effects is by taking a break from CBD. That has to be done mostly to see if the symptoms you’re experiencing really are the CBD side effects. There are many other illnesses that could cause these symptoms.
To see if it is one of the side effects of CBD oil that you’re experiencing, you could simply skip your daily CBD dose. It might be enough to notice changes. Or, if you doubt that this will bring any light to the issue, you could do it for a longer time.
See a Doctor
It would be for the best if you could see a doctor concerning these issues. Most of the CBD oil side effects are common to a variety of other illnesses.
For example, fatigue is a symptom of various different illnesses, such as depression, flu, or even cancer. Due to these symptoms being quite common, it’s hard to tell if CBD is really at fault here.
A doctor could test you to see if you have any illnesses that could result in these symptoms, which could be believed to be CBD oil side effects.
However, if the results of extensive testing show that you’re overall healthy, your doctor could help you deal with CBD side effects. Professional advice could help you treat these symptoms.
Switch to a Different CBD Oil
Sometimes the cause of the CBD oil side effects could be the wrong choice of CBD oil. There are three types of CBD oil: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and pure isolates.
If you’re currently using either full or broad-spectrum CBD oil, the chances are that the CBD side effects are caused by other cannabinoids present in the oil.
What could easily be done is switching to pure isolate CBD oil. These oils only have CBD and no other cannabinoids. By eliminating other cannabinoids, you lower the risk of your body not tolerating the product by far.
After all, while CBD doesn’t usually come with many side effects, other cannabinoids like THC might be at fault here. The main side effect it could cause is the dry mouth feeling. Eliminate those and then monitor your wellbeing. Maybe you’ll notice an improvement by that.
While not common, CBD oil side effects still exist. What are they, and are they serious? Well, there are many different side effects that could be experienced by consuming it. These include diarrhea, changes in appetite, fatigue, interaction with medicine, dry mouth, and dizziness.
What’s important to mention in this CBD Side Effects guide is that these symptoms might as well just be symptoms of other illnesses. You should first check your health to ensure that you’re otherwise overall healthy, and there are no illnesses that would have these symptoms.
If having done that you realize that it’s not related to other illnesses, you could try to minimize the CBD side effects felt. That can be done by lowering the dose of the medicine, stopping to take CBD oil altogether, seeing a doctor, or changing the type of CBD that you take to a pure isolate.
Having learned about the CBD oil side effects and how to manage them if they occur, you’re likely more confident in trying out CBD oils, so you must be looking for the best CBD oil to buy. For your convenience, we made a guide on the best CBD oils. So check it out!
Contributed by Leslie Mudd, Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist
1. Iffland K., Grotenhermen F. 'An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies'
2. Farrimond J., Whalley B., Williams C. 'Cannabinol and cannabidiol exert opposing effects on rat feeding patterns.'