CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant – or more specifically, the hemp plant. Unlike its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, CBD does not give its users a high.
Instead, it is celebrated for its therapeutic wellness benefits. Nowadays people are incorporating CBD into every aspect of life, this may be in a morning coffee, as a post-workout recovery, or in a topical CBD skin cream. The list is forever growing. But you might question, just how safe is CBD? And are there any side effects to be aware of? Which is what we’re going to look into today.
First of all, it is important to note that current studies conclude that humans cannot overdose on CBD. A 2011 study from the University of São Paulo looked into the safety and side effects of cannabidiol. Researchers found that continuous daily doses of up to 1500 mg CBD were well tolerated by humans (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22129319). Meanwhile, the recommended dosage hovers around 20-30mg (this can vary depending on the individual’s body weight and their condition).
But while CBD may not show any long term health effects, it is worth being made aware of any potential immediate side effects and how to combat these.
Scientifically known as xerostomia, dry mouth is caused by a cannabinoid known as anandamide. CBD in the endocannabinoid system interacts with receptors which can inhibit saliva production. To avoid dry mouth, a sensation sometimes referred to as “cottonmouth”, you can overcome it by hydrating well and drinking plenty of fluids either before, during, or after CBD consumption.
Whether or not you’re affected by drowsiness caused by CBD can depend from person to person. If this is you, it is highly recommended that you neither drive nor handle heavy machinery after having taken CBD. This may also be a sign that you should reduce your dosage.
Lowered Blood Pressure
For those who suffer from high blood pressure, or conditions associated with it such as heart disease or diabetes, this effect of CBD could work as a great positive. However, for those with regular or lower blood pressure, CBD may cause it to drop lower than desired. People who suffer from low blood pressure or are taking medication for it should not take CBD.
Interactions with Other Medications
If you are taking any other medication for a condition you must be especially cautious about taking CBD due to the compound’s effect on drug metabolism in the liver. Cytochromes P450 are the enzymes which breakdown and process drugs in the body. Studies have found that CBD could impede the activity of this enzyme, which is key if you are taking any other medication.
In short, yes, CBD is safe to use. There may be some short term side effects, but you will be able to overcome or avoid these if the correct steps are taken. Always follow the instructions provided by on the product label and do not exceed your suggested dosage. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or feel unwell after taking CBD please contact a medical professional.