Although it’s hard to imagine all the different side effects you might experience from contaminated or synthetic products, the worst effects of dishonest CBD products could be long-term damage to your body that you won’t immediately experience as a side effect.
These trials will double the number of preexisting clinical trials that have been carried out for cannabidiol, and it’s just the beginning. Will some of the promising benefits of CBD prove wrong when tested clinically? Most likely. People are currently trying to treat countless conditions with CBD, and it’s likely that a few of them might not be any more effective than placebo when tested with clinical trials.
When looking through the thousands of scientific articles referencing CBD, it’s very difficult to find any evidence of dangerous side effects or contraindications. However, widespread use of concentrated CBD is a very new phenomenon, and your safety is our priority.
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In the absence of definitive, slam-dunk clinical evidence, what the general CBD community does have to work with is a great deal of preliminary scientific evidence from laboratory experiments, animal models and case studies. Hundreds of scientific papers are published annually on cannabidiol, and the vast majority continue to point at CBD’s safety & efficacy for a wide range of conditions. This preliminary scientific evidence — from animal studies and human case studies — is what gets the ball rolling towards clinical trials.
You have complications with your liver. (Could be important) This warning is speculative, but people who have liver problems might want to be cautious about their CBD intake. During the clinical trial of Epidiolex, children taking CBD were more likely to have elevated liver enzymes (ALT and AST aminotransferases). In CBD’s defense, all of these children were also taking pharmaceuticals known to damage the liver. It’s currently unclear whether CBD directly affects the liver — or if the interaction with pharmaceuticals (mentioned above) results in higher bloodstream levels of liver-damaging prescription drugs. However, just to be safe, if you suffer from liver problems or take medication that is hard on your liver, you might want to monitor your liver enzymes when introducing CBD into your daily routine. Epidiolex additionally suggests that people with liver impairments slowly increase their CBD doses . They also reported that elevated liver enzymes were primarily observed in children taking the maximum dose, and lower doses (680 mg or less per day for a 150-pound person) posed a much lower risk.
You’re immune compromised. (Most evidence disproves this concern) CBD is known as an immunomodulator because it can calm down a hyperactive immune system , but some worry this could harm people whose immune systems are already impaired, like HIV sufferers. Although we don’t have evidence specifically testing CBD against this fear, many studies have been done using the whole cannabis plant. Research shows that cannabis helps relieve pain and other HIV-related symptoms without causing severe side effects . And when marijuana is tested against specific HIV symptoms like liver fibrosis, cannabinoids do not appear to worsen it . Although current evidence suggests that CBD could be more helpful than harmful for immune-compromised individuals, the jury is still out.
You have low blood pressure. (Could be important) Some studies report that CBD lowers blood pressure, which could be a concern for people already dealing with low blood pressure. Overall, CBD appears most effective at reducing blood pressure during stressful events , which is widely embraced as one of its benefits. But CBD might also temporarily decrease your resting blood pressure as well. If you suffer from hypotension, you might want to monitor your blood pressure when trying new CBD products or increasing your dose. Are you the type that gets a bit light headed when you stand up suddenly? Just be a bit more cautious if you’ve just used a CBD vape pen or if you’ve been taking high oral doses of CBD.
CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by alleviating hypertension (high blood pressure) in certain people, suggests a 2017 study in JCI Insight.
Since some CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC, you should avoid driving or using heavy machinery when taking CBD oil, particularly when first starting treatment or using a new brand.
Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.
Scientists believe that CBD reduces nerve pain by binding to glycine receptors in the brain that regulate the speed at which nerve signals pass between nerve cells.
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both are exceptionally rare genetic disorders causing lifelong catastrophic seizures that begin during the first year of life.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.