The Side Effects Of CBD
As with every vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplement, CBD is known to sometimes cause some mild side effects. Any substance has the potential to affect different people in a variety of different ways. Before you start taking CBD as part of your daily regimen, it’s important to be aware of possible side effects. It’s recommended that you discuss using CBD with your doctor or health professional beforehand to make sure it's the right decision for you, particularly if you are taking regular medication.
You may experience dry mouth after taking CBD
CBD has the potential to cause dry mouth, even if the method of administration has nothing to do with smoking or vaporizing. In fact, CBD can cause dry mouth via its interaction with the Endocannabinoid System. By affecting cannabinoid receptors on the salivary glands, CBD can reduce secretion of saliva, thereby causing dry mouth. Although this might feel a little uncomfortable, it's easily remedied by carrying around a bottle of water or juice after you've taken some CBD.
CBD has the potential to lower blood pressure
Didn’t we just say above that CBD has no effect on blood pressure? Studies seem to show that although CBD doesn’t cause any major, sustained changes in blood pressure, it can cause a temporary reduction. For most people, this alteration will go completely unnoticed; however, for those with certain health conditions, even a small drop in blood pressure can be significant.
Taking CBD could make you lightheaded or sleepy
Although rare, other reported side effects of CBD could include lightheadedness and possibly drowsiness. Some users claim to feel more awake and alert after administering a dose, whereas others start to feel more relaxed and sleepy. In the same way, certain users report feeling lightheaded, which, again, may be associated with a small drop in blood pressure. Because of these potential side effects, it's important for users to start out with small doses and gradually increase after seeing how CBD affects them. It also makes sense to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery after taking CBD for a couple of hours, for the first 3-4 days.
CBD can interact with prescription drugs
A 2017 paper states that CBD may cause a range of side effects when taken in conjunction with certain pharmaceutical drugs. This is because the cannabinoid interacts with drug-metabolising enzymes, including those belonging to the cytochrome P450 family. Once CBD is metabolised by P450, it ends up essentially displacing the enzymes and preventing them from metabolising other drugs. This can result in higher levels of other drugs sustained in the body for longer periods. Individuals taking any regular prescription medication should consult their doctor before taking CBD.
CBD and potential side effects - the bottom line
Most of the current research on CBD's potential side effects is the result of in vitro (involving cells) and animal-based studies. More human research is required to come to accurate conclusions regarding the side effects of CBD, especially in contested domains like those mentioned above. A paper published within the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research discusses the problem with comparing animal and human research outcomes. In humans, CBD is often administered orally or via inhalation. In rodents, CBD is administered orally or via injection.
Additionally, the blood concentrations of CBD within humans and rodents differ upon oral administration. Even if the same blood concentrations are achieved between species, CBD may have varying biological effects. However so far, the safety profile of CBD is high; however, ongoing in-depth human research continues.
Can you take CBD alongside other medication?
In today's modern age, it is not uncommon for us to take a variety of different medications. Given CBD’s influence on several biological systems, knowing whether it can be taken alongside these regular medications is an important topic. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
Current Research Shows CBD Has An Excellent Safety Record
The different ways in which CBD can support the body continue to be unveiled, but one factor remains constant—the compound’s favorable safety record. CBD is well tolerated, even in doses of up to 170mg a day, with minimal side effects. To put that in perspective, an average dose of CBD Oil is 3–4 drops three times a day or more conveniently 5-6 drops before breakfast and then late evening, this totals approximately 24mg/day (based on CBD Medical’s 4% CBD Oil).
Furthermore, the compound has been acknowledged as possessing a good level of safety by The World Health Organisation after they conducted an in-depth review. Their conclusion of current CBD research was the following:
“CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Any reported adverse effects may be the result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications”.
The review took into account a broad range of research papers, alongside clinical and preclinical trials. Their findings are encouraging because it outlines that, based on what we currently know, the side effects of CBD are minimal. You can read more about what those potential side effects might be here. However, it is important not to disregard that these side effects may be the result of drug-drug interactions. The critical part of their statement is the word “may”, as it indicates that we still don’t fully understand every possible interaction or complication that, although unlikely, could occur inside the human body.
Understanding the relationship between CBD and medication
CBD, like many forms of medication, needs to be metabolised by the liver before it can be distributed around the body. Once the digestive system has processed CBD, it will go through a “first-pass” process in the liver. It is at this point that the liver uses special enzymes to help break the CBD down into smaller core components (metabolites) and distribute them around the body via the circulatory system. This process is perfectly natural.
The potential problem with CBD is that when it is consumed alongside other medication, it basically takes all of the liver's attention. The special enzymes we mentioned, specifically the cytochrome P450 enzyme, becomes distracted by CBD, and this can stop it from breaking down any other medication present into smaller parts. This is where adverse effects can occur. If certain medications are left in the body for longer than they should be, the body can start to experience side effects.
Research into the potential interaction between CBD and medication is ongoing
Any drug that is metabolised by the P450 enzyme could be affected by CBD. Many types of steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, beta blockers, and antihistamines fall into that category, amongst several other forms of medication. However, just because these types of medication are broken down by enzymes in the liver doesn't mean that interaction with CBD will definitely occur. When deciding to take CBD, you should always consult a doctor first, if you have concerns about its possible impact on your prescribed medication.