CBD Side Effects: The 5 Most Common Side Effects of CBD and What To Do
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD is arguably the most studied and therapeutically active cannabinoid found in the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is also gaining a tremendous amount of users and devotees, swearing by it to help relieve the symptoms of a variety of physical and mental health conditions.
Especially amongst individuals who are looking for a safer, more natural yet effective treatment option, CBD is often replacing their traditional pharmaceutical drugs as both they, and a growing number of physicians, researchers and scientists, considers CBD to be a non-toxic, well-tolerated treatment option.
However, despite a lot of people tending to think of natural medicines such as CBD as being a hundred percent safe and without side effects, as with any type of therapeutic compound, CBD works because it interact with the body in very specific and profound ways. And because of this, for some people the powerful effects of CBD can unfortunately also cause some unpleasant side-effects.
What Are The Side Effects Of CBD?
If you’re using CBD from organically grown hemp (i.e., without pesticides, insecticides and GMO-free), side effects tend to be few and far between. Notwithstanding, they do exist for some people, so let’s take a look at what these are and how you can remedy them.
1. Tiredness, Drowsiness or Feeling Sleepy
For those users taking CBD for reasons other than insomnia, it is important to note that, although not a typical effect, you can become drowsy, especially after taking a high dose of CBD.
The reason for this is because CBD works differently for different people. In most users, CBD has a revitalising effect, making the user feel more alert and energetic. In others however, it can produce just the opposite effect. Especially in very high doses of 300 mg or more, some people report feelings of drowsiness and sleepiness after consuming CBD.
If CBD makes you drowsy, just like with other types of medications that cause this side effect, it is best NOT operate any heavy machinery or drive a vehicle - for your safety as well as those around you. You might also want to cut back on the dosage of CBD you are consuming to help reduce drowsiness, or try another product with a different cannabinoid profile.
2. Dry Mouth
Common among people who use any type of cannabinoid, dry mouth is a phenomenon that is also sometimes reported in CBD users.
If you sometimes feel like your mouth is stuffed with cotton balls after taking a dose of CBD, you might be one of those individuals who are prone to the “dry mouth” side effect. The reason this happens is because of the way in which cannabinoids such as CBD interact with the endocannabinoids system (ECS) which also have receptors in the salivary glands, inhibiting secretion.
If CBD gives you dry mouth, it’s pretty simple to remedy - just drink a glass or two of water, herbal tea or some other type of hydrating beverage. It might also be a good idea to try a different product type (i.e. switch from a vape to a water soluble CBD product.
3. Dizziness or Lightheadedness
Similar to drowsiness and although pretty rare, some people can feel dizzy or lightheaded after taking a dose of CBD.
The reason for this is that there is evidence that CBD oil can lower their blood pressure, an effect that can be useful in people suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and even diabetes. However, for people who have a normal blood pressure, these hemodynamic changes can prove to be less beneficial.
People who suffer from low blood pressure or are taking blood pressure medications should consult a doctor before considering CBD oil as an alternative or complimentary treatment. If you have normal blood pressure but occasionally get the odd dizzy spell after a dose of CBD, drinking coffee can help. Similarly, try and take a lower dosage more often or try a slow release CBD product like a gel cap or try another product with a different cannabinoid profile which might counteract the blood pressure effect of CBD.
4. Changes in Appetite & Weight
Some people taking CBD over a prolonged period of time report that they experience changes in their appetite and/or weight.
A growing body of research is showing that CBD has the potential to regulate glucose levels in the body. Although this is great news for people suffering from diabetes or insulin resistance disorder, for users that do not have these kinds of issues, this can lead them to sometimes feel either more or less hungry. Similarly, over time changes in eating habits can also have an effect on weight.
Try and take a lower dosage more often or try a slow release CBD product like a gel cap or try another product with a different cannabinoid profile which might counteract this side effect. Also take your dosage with, or directly after your meal to help buffer CBD’s effect on blood sugar, and make sure to eat a health, balanced diet which will also help stabilize blood sugar and weight.
5. Digestive Changes & Diarrhoea
One of a group of commonly experienced side effects reported by CBD users is a change in their digestive function, most often diarrhoea.
As part of studying the general safety profile of CBD, researchers found that subjects reported experiencing some common side effects including diarrhoea. However, the researchers were quick to point out that these symptoms were mostly reported in patients using Epidiolex, and that often times it is was not possible to draw a reliable conclusion on the causation of the observed side effects because most of the patients were severely sick.
If you experience digestive changes and/or diarrhoea when taking CBD, the first thing to do is reduce your dosage. You can also try using a product with a different cannabinoid profile as the other cannabinoids might counteract this side effect. If this does not help, you might also want to have a check up with your doctor to, at the very least make sure there aren’t any complications such as dehydration resulting from the diarrhoea, but also eliminate other causes while helping you find the right dosage.
Considering the relatively few side effects and next-to-nothing chance of overdosing, CBD is undeniably an extremely attractive treatment option for many people - either complimenting and sometimes replacing their pharmaceutical drugs in favor of this natural alternative.
And despite some individuals experiencing some of the side effects discussed above, when using an organic, high quality and natural CBD product, CBD has repeatedly shown to be safe. Similarly, by making a few changes like decreasing dosage, changing the type of CBD product or trying a different profile of cannabinoids, most of the discomfort will decrease significantly, if not disappear completely.