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Have you ever felt a little too relaxed after applying CBD? Or have you felt like your mouth got a little dry, and you needed a sip of water? If so, then you might have experienced some of the most common and minor side effects of CBD.
The side effects of CBD are very rare, and funnily enough, you might even consider some of them beneficial! For example, tiredness - one of the most prominent side effects of CBD - is the reason why many of us decide to utilise the power of CBD.
Saying that, before you start your CBD adventure, it is crucial you become familiar with all of the potential side effects. While some of them might not bother you at all, there is always a chance you belong to a small group of users who have to be extra careful with CBD. These groups will include people on certain medications, with specific illnesses, or who have certain health conditions.
To make sure all our users have a safe and pleasant experience, we encourage everybody to read this article before they start applying CBD.
WHO states clearly: CBD oil is generally safe
One of the most reassuring pieces of information about CBD and its safety profile came from none other than WHO.
In 2018, the World Health Organization released a report on CBD prepared by the Innovation Team of its Essential Medicines and Health Products Department.
In the report, WHO specialists analysed the existing data and research on Cannabidiol (CBD) to find clear answers to questions such as how CBD can benefit the human body and what side effects might be associated with its use.
After analysing all the available data, WHO has concluded: "CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile."
This statement, coming from the most important organisation responsible for international public health, finally gave an official stamp of approval for the use of CBD.
CBD is not a narcotic
CBD is not only considered generally safe but is also officially not a narcotic! But why would anyone even think it is? Because it originates from cannabis.
CBD is one of many cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant.
Another very known cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant is THC. Even though both THC and CBD are cannabinoids derived from the same plant, their properties and effects on humans differ significantly.
The most significant difference between the two is that CBD does not have any intoxicating effects on humans, while THC most certainly does.
THC's intoxicating effect has been known for a while and is the reason why THC is still illegal in most parts of the world. However, only recently has the science moved forward enough to understand that other components in the cannabis plant do not have intoxicating effects but might still benefit humans - CBD is one of them.
Yet, even though CBD and THC are so different, the fact that they can both be found in cannabis means that, officially, they both fall under the same category of narcotic categorisation.
Fortunately, the European Court of Justice decided to move away from this outdated and inaccurate classification. In its judgement from November 2020, the European Court of Justice ruled that "cannabidiol extracted from the cannabis plant should not be considered a drug".
This means that, at least in the EU, CBD is officially not a narcotic!
These are the potential side effects of CBD
Even though CBD is not a narcotic and is (generally) well-tolerated by most users, it is vital to be aware that some mild side effects can appear.
We know many CBD side effects can appear when CBD interacts with other medications or when CBD is inappropriately applied. We will discuss this in more detail shortly. But first, let us tell you about the most common side effects.
Potential side effects of CBD include:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Changes in appetite
- Interaction with medication
- Impact on liver enzyme production
Will the side effects of CBD go away?
The good news is that the most common CBD side effects will go away as soon as CBD leaves the body. So, if you believe you might be experiencing some mild side effects, just take a break and do not apply any CBD products until the side effects are gone. And then, try again with a lower daily amount.
While dealing with the short-term side effects of CBD is very easy, things might get trickier when it comes to long-term side effects. Fortunately, most known long-term side effects don't happen when CBD is used correctly.
When used in high amounts, CBD products may impact enzyme production in the liver. This means that people with liver-related illnesses might want to use CBD under a doctor's supervision.
Additionally, there is a much greater risk of long term side effects when using low-quality CBD products.
Hemp is a variety of cannabis plants used for CBD extraction (we use the stem and the leaves around the stem). One of the most interesting characteristics of hemp is that it is highly absorbent.
When grown on polluted soil, hemp can absorb dangerous ingredients from the ground. As a result, CBD extracted from such plants might contain various harmful components, such as heavy metals, which can be extremely dangerous to human health, especially in the long term.
To avoid any side effects from low-quality CBD products, make sure to only purchase CBD from trusted producers who test their products in independent labs and share the results with customers.
Does CBD interact with medication?
CBD can interact with some medications. This is especially relevant for people who suffer from conditions that require prescribed medication.
If you take blood thinners, hormone replacement medication, or blood pressure medication, you should know CBD might impact the way your body digests and utilises your daily medication.
While you will not find warnings on CBD use in the instructions of your medication, there are a few things you should always keep in mind:
If you take medication regularly, always speak to your doctor before utilising CBD
- Never apply CBD at the same time as your prescribed medication. A break of at least two hours is recommended.
- Monitor your body closely and speak to your doctor immediately if you see any changes concerning your illness or health condition
Are you in a higher risk group for experiencing the side effects of CBD?
Some people are more prone to experiencing CBD side effects than others. These include:
- Breastfeeding women
- People who take specific prescribed medication, including but not limited to blood-thinners and hormonal replacements
- People with low blood pressure
- People with liver conditions
Make sure to speak to your doctor about CBD use, and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid it altogether.
How much do we know about the side effects of CBD?
While the number of existing studies on CBD is limited, many published and well-controlled human studies have allowed us to understand many potential side effects relatively well.
According to the WHO report, which we mentioned earlier, most adverse reactions come from interactions with other drugs. But apart from that, research suggests CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated. CBD also does not show any addictive properties, making it a good and safe choice for users.
Saying that science is constantly evolving, and every day we learn more about CBD, bringing us closer to knowing all of the potential benefits and risks of using this intriguing cannabinoid.