What are the side effects of CBD?

Does CBD Have Side Effects? 

CBD is a choice remedy for various ailments and symptoms and is often used for pain relief, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and to assist with overall health. 

Studies also show it may benefit cancer, epilepsy, psychotic disorders and might even show potential in preventing the development of Alzheimer disease symptoms and deficits. 

Through bountiful benefits, people may experience adverse or unexpected side effects of CBD, as is possible with any vitamin, supplement, medication, or food.

If you have ever wondered about potential CBD side effects, here’s what you may come across and what you need to know. 

Common CBD Side Effects

Some of the most common CBD side effects include drowsiness, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, and a change in appetite.

Drowsiness and Fatigue 

Due to CBD’s reputation as a sleep aid and relaxant, it is no surprise that a more common side effect is sleepiness. 

Depending upon the manufacturer, product, and dose, these side effects can range from sleepy to drowsy, and in some extreme cases, fatigue. 

CBD is said to function as a sleep aid due to its interaction with the endocannabinoid system. This naturally occurring biological system maintains balance and homeostasis within the body, including sleep, immunity, and mood. 

Try adjusting your dose or the time of day you take your CBD or the type of CBD you are using if you are feeling a little tired. You can also put CBD in tea and coffee, allowing the caffeine to balance this out.

Gastrointestinal Issues, Diarrhea, and Nausea 

While some people use CBD to treat upset stomachs and nausea, reducing acid and intestinal inflammation, in others, it can cause these symptoms. In more severe cases, it can cause diarrhea. 

Because CBD so rarely causes GI discomfort and nausea, often the suspect is not CBD itself but the carrier oil in which it is contained. 

If you are experiencing these symptoms, check to see if your CBD is combined with hemp seed oil, coconut oil, olive oil, or another carrier oil. Changing which carrier oil you ingest may alleviate these problems. 

Weight Loss and Change in Appetite  

CBD can reduce appetite because CBD1, a type of CBD receptor antagonist, deters hormones that stimulate food intake. 

Meanwhile, CBD2 receptors reduce inflammation and food intake, together with the two-show great potential for controlling hunger and weight and can assist in weight loss. 

If you notice a difference in your appetite or weight, be sure to check in with your medical professional and make sure these side effects are safe and healthy. 

Dry Mouth 

CBD and all cannabinoids cause dry mouth because cannabinoids hinder saliva production.  

A dry mouth is relatively easy to subdue. Drinking water before, during, and after CBD use will curb this side effect. 

Acne and Stress Reduction

CBD is often used as an anti-inflammatory and as a form of pain relief. Studies have shown that it is because of this capability that CBD may reduce your body’s oily sebum production and excretion and perform anti-inflammatory functions that reduce acne. 

Anxiety and stress reduction is another commonly sought-after CBD remedy. Stress is also linked with acne. The reduction of stress via CBD use may lead to fewer breakouts. 

If you notice your skin clearing up or looking less red, it may be thanks to your CBD. 

CBD Allergies – can you have an allergic reaction to CBD?

CBD is derived from the hemp plant, and plants often pose allergen potential due to their pollen. 

However, only male hemp plants produce pollen and are rarely used in cannabis products, as the female plants have more oil. 

More common allergic reactions to CBD result from terpenes or other compounds found within the hemp plant and the carrier oil used to create CBD oil or other chemicals and materials used in CBD products. 

If you experience an allergic reaction while using CBD or CBD products, be sure to check with your doctor to find out the root of the cause and determine whether a different CBD product would work better for you.     

Drug and Medication Side Effects With CBD  

Perhaps the most pertinent side effect of CBD is its potential to interfere and interact with certain drugs and medications. 

The concern lies not so much with CBD itself but how your body metabolizes or breaks down materials. 

The enzyme family responsible for processing substances, including cannabinoids, in the body, is called cytochrome P450 or CYP450. Certain materials or medications can affect the metabolic rate of CYP450, which can change the way your body performs the processing procedure.  

A sub enzyme of CYP450 known as CYP3A4 is one of the main enzymes that metabolizes more than half of prescribed medications and CBD. When CBD interacts with this enzyme while other medicines are already inhibiting it, it can interfere with it, causing CYP3A4 to be unable to break down materials efficiently or effectively. 

Changes in medicinal metabolic rates can cause your medication to stay in your system for longer, increase the amount you should have in your body at one time, or exacerbate medicinal effects, which can induce further side effects. 

On the other hand, if your body is processing a drug too fast, you may not have the needed medication dispersing throughout your system, leading to medicine not working effectively. 

Dual inhibition within the enzyme can also affect CBD processing, meaning certain medications can cause dosage to elevate and remain active for longer while others deter CBD effectiveness.  

This is not to say those who take prescribed medications or other supplements cannot use CBD. It just means that you should check with your doctor to find the product or dose that is safe and appropriate for you. 

For example, non-sublingual or ingestible forms of CBD (such as lotions or balms) may be a better option because they enter your body transdermally instead of entering your bloodstream. 

You can also look for the grapefruit warning, a label used to warn consumers of certain medications to refrain from grapefruit or grapefruit juice consumption. 

Grapefruit consumption with specific medications can negatively interact with the same CYP450 enzymes as CBD, producing similar side effects or adverse effects. Therefore, if you cannot take medicines with grapefruit, chances are it should not be used with CBD either. 

Many drugs and medications bear the grapefruit warning, including antibiotics, blood thinners, gastrointestinal and anti-nausea medications, pain medications, and more. 

This warning does not cover all medications with adverse interaction with CBD, so be sure to check with your doctor regardless of grapefruit warnings. 

Positive Side Effects of CBD

You may also experience effects that you were not aware CBD provided. For example, if you used CBD for anxiety, you may notice you are sleeping better or that your backache is not bothering you as much. 

Being aware of all the benefits of CBD can be helpful if you are noticing a new or different reaction or effect. 

Changes or differences in CBD effects can depend on what products you are using, how often you are using them, what you are using them for, which company you purchased from, and how your body reacts to CBD. What are desired effects for some may be unexpected side effects to others. 

Like most vitamins, supplements, medications, or homeopathic remedies, everybody is susceptible to various reactions. If you are experiencing CBD side effects -good or bad- talk with your doctor or a medical professional about how these effects may interact with your body and which CBD products may be right for you.  



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Andrew Mattison

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