Side Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD)

There I was, sitting with my family at Thanksgiving watching football and discussing CBD oil and how similar CBD oil is to turkey.  Yep, turkey. Why turkey? On this holiday, it became quite evident that turkey was being spoken about in very similar ways as administering CBD hemp oil.  Best of all, it was covered in a way that is easy to remember when considering CBD oil.

What would someone new to cannabis products want to know about CBD and are there any adverse effects that could be expected?  Here were our findings on these CBD topics covered on Thanksgiving. They should ease your mind, and strengthen your reason for trying CBD oil, to determine if it is right for you.

What Can Happen if You Take Too Much Cannabidiol

One misnomer out there that needs to be clarified upfront first, is that each of the “side effects” often referred to with CBD oil, really aren’t side effects at all, but rather symptoms from administering CBD oil.  The term “side effects” is reserved for the medical industry, when referring to pharmaceuticals. CBD oil is not a drug, it is a nutritional dietary supplement. Therefore, CBD oil does not have what are termed as “side effects”.  At Thanksgiving, you don’t hear people say that eating turkey has a side effect of making you sleepy. Yet, most of us have experienced falling asleep after eating too much turkey with all the trimmings because getting sleepy is a symptom of eating too much turkey.  CBD is similar. If you take a huge amount of CBD oil (100’s to over 1000mg), you may want to take a nap for a while. If you eat too much turkey and ingest to much CBD oil at the right time of the festivities, you may just find yourself sleeping while all the dishes are being washed in your absence…so plan accordingly.

Following the meal and before the dishes got put away in the kitchen, we each rested a bit and let our meal start to digest.  A few of us were commenting about digestive type symptoms like a stomach ache and even a case of diarrhea (personally, I think it had to do with too much green bean casserole, spicy pickles, and mixing it all up with alcohol and sweets).  Of everyone attending, only a few family members reported any G.I. symptoms at all. CBD oil is similar. Some stomachs are more sensitive than others, and while it is rarely seen, some people have reported mild digestive symptoms just like eating too much food on Thanksgiving.   When you are stuffed and just can’t eat anymore, your appetite changes. It is also possible to see a change in appetite and weight with CBD oil as well.

Bringing any large family together for the holidays usually means some stress and anxiety for whoever was selected to host the gathering.   Just for the record, CBD oil has been reported from users to alleviate stress and anxiety. So, it might prove to be a good idea to have some CBD on hand before the holiday even starts!

Liver Drug Metabolism

It became clear that CBD oil does not have any major symptoms when most people consume it.  At least not any additional major symptoms than celebrating Thanksgiving. Afterall, you don’t see many people missing the “holiday of food” because they are concerned with feeling tired or being stuffed after they attend.  The benefits of CBD oil far outweigh any related mild symptoms that are often short lived and rarely associated with most people. Because CBD oil inhibits hepatic drug metabolism, you will want to be aware of any interactions CBD oil may have on other medications you may be taking that are also metabolized in the liver.  But that’s about it.

Like virtually everything else you ingest, there is always a chance that a person could have allergies to the cannabis plant.  Very unlikely, but always possible. CBD oil is a nutrient dense supplement, so consult with your doctor if you start to experience any symptoms after taking CBD oil.  Due to this high concentration of nutrients, rare incidences of people have reported detox-like symptoms, which may include a headache or mild mind-altering feeling – depending on the quality of the CBD oil product.  Providing you are purchasing a quality product (which can usually be determined by the price range of between $45-50) the likelihood of seeing those symptoms will be minimized. Ideally, try to search out CBD products made in America or Canada as there are more stringent guidelines to the ingredient contents in these countries.  Whereas China for example, does not follow these same guidelines. So, you are likely to find inferior or fake products imported from outside the USA. Ideally, you should identify the products with 50% or more CBD oil in the ingredient contents to obtain the maximum benefits per dose.

Something worth noting is the rarity of any symptoms seen from CBD users. Typically, only a handful of very sensitive people report any type of symptoms at all. The ones that do, often find that the CBD dose strength and quality of the product often solved the condition.

CBD Dosage

When starting to take CBD oil, it is advantageous to start at a lower dose and work up to an effective dose, versus starting at too high of a dose and needing to lower it. Remember, the lowest effective dose is always the right choice.  Taking an excessive amount of CBD oil could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose, so start low and go slow.

So, what exactly is the correct dose for you?  Always refer to the packaging recommendations because CBD oil can be packaged as either having a specific percentage (%) of CBD oil, or it will identify how many milligrams (mg) of CBD oil is mixed within the packaging. Knowing which one of these is represented in the ingredients and what is recommended from the manufacturer will be a baseline for initial dosing.

According to the FDA, CBD has been recognized as providing a “statistically significant outcome” for seizure patients as young as 2 years of age.  In patient trials reviewed by the FDA for CBD usage in seizure patients, they found that a dose of 10mg twice a day to be an effective treatment. If the person being evaluated is a child or small adult that’s prone to sensitivity, cutting the dose down to 5mg twice daily delivered favorable results.  Larger men and women should consider 20mg twice a day to attain the same results. Here is where a higher CBD content will make the most impact.

Can You Overdose on CBD if You Take Too Much?

Just like CBD’s big brother THC, there has never been a lethal dose identified or reported from either compound.  None. You will however experience similar symptoms when you take excessive amounts of both. Although extremely rare, the minor symptoms associated with taking too much CBD may include:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Changes in Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased Tremors in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Nausea

As you ponder whether you should begin a CBD regimen, just remember, there are many similarities between any adverse effects of CBD to the adverse effects of enjoying a family Thanksgiving dinner.  So, pass the stuffing and enjoy all the benefits of a home-cooked meal in the same way you would benefit from CBD hemp oil products!

Additional Reference:  https://www.fda.gov/downloads/advisorycommittees/committeesmeetingmaterials/drugs/peripheralandcentralnervoussystemdrugsadvisorycommittee/ucm604736.pdf

Disclaimer:

These statements have not evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.  Always check with your physician or medical provider before starting a new dietary supplement program.