What are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?

By now, unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard of CBD, or cannabidiol oil. Reviewers rave about its effectiveness in treating conditions such as pain, anxiety, and even skin issues. But is CBD safe? 

Because cannabidiol is found in the Cannabis sativa plant, many people assume that since it’s natural, it’s completely safe to consume. While that is true for most, it can have some issues with safety and side effects. It’s important to know the uses, as well as CBD oil side effects before jumping into using this product.

A Brief Overview

As mentioned, cannabidiol is a chemical that is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, which can be either marijuana or hemp. Unlike THC, cannabidiol does not have psychotic effects, or feelings of euphoria, making it more appealing in treating certain conditions. Users site the effectiveness of CBD oil for anxiety, pain, seizures, depression, insomnia, diabetes, and withdrawal symptoms, among many others.

There are several ways to consume or ingest cannabidiol, with more seeming to come out daily. There are CBD creams, oils, lotions, capsules, gummies, and even drinks. No matter your preferred method, you are likely to find it in this rapidly growing market.

CBD Oil Side Effects

Though most CBD effects seem to be positive, as with any product, some people will react negatively to it.

If starting a cannabidiol product, it’s best to let a friend or family member know so they can monitor how your body responds. If you experience any of the following, you may want to consider forgoing the product and researching other options.

Dryness of Mouth

Whether ingesting or smoking cannabinoid, users reported experiencing dry mouth. It is believed that it affects the endocannabinoid system and inhibits the secretion of glands making the mouth almost feel like it has been stuffed with cotton balls. It’s important to drink plenty of water before and after using this product.


Though rare, some users have reported feeling lightheaded or dizzy with use. These effects typically don’t last long, and can be remedy with the help of caffeine from coffee or tea. However, it’s still important to note this side effect and take caution if you choose to continue to use cannabidiol.

Drop in Blood Pressure

One of the effects that makes CBD so appealing to those with high blood pressure and heart disease can actually be a dangerous side effect in others. For some, this product can actually drop blood pressure, including those within the normal range. This too may contribute to an individual experiencing lightheadedness.


sleepy woman

Like most products, CBD can have different effects on different people. In most, cannabidiol will provide an awake or alert feeling, but in some, it may actually cause drowsiness. In this case, try using CBD lotions and other products in the evening and avoid driving or operating equipment after use.

Diarrhea or Change in Weight and Appetite

Common to side effects experienced by traditional medication, users of this natural drug may also experience diarrhea and changes in their weight and appetite. Since these effects are not ideal long term, it is best to speak with your doctor and discuss the best treatment plan for your ailments. If you are taking CBD oil for pain, the last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable while using it.

Negative Interaction with Medication

Another important topic to discuss with your doctor when considering cannabidiol is how it will affect your other medication. Though natural, this drug has been found to hinder the activity of the enzyme cytochrome P45 which is found in the liver and used to metabolize pharmaceutical drugs. Some medications impacted include:

  • Steroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antidepressants
  • Beta blockers
  • And many more

Despite impacting the liver, though, CBDs effect on the kidneys is extremely minimal which can be unusual for traditional medication.

FDA-Approved Medication

Currently, there is only one cannabidiol product on the market that has been approved by the FDA. That product is Epidiolex and it helps to treat two forms of epilepsy - Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. It is used for patients as young as two years and older. This drug too comes with several side effects, including:

  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Reduced urination
  • Rashes
  • Infections
  • Breathing issues
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Mood swings, depression, and suicidal tendencies

Special Cases

Because research on cannabidiol and its many products is limited, there are certain populations that should avoid use altogether. These include those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, children, and those with Parkinson disease. It is not fully known how this product could impact a growing baby or child, and some studies have found that high doses of CBD can actually worsen the tremors and muscle movements of a patient with Parkinson’s.

Purity is Vital

With so many companies scurrying to produce and supply CBD products and no official governing body, it is extremely important that you do your research before buying and consuming anything. Look for companies that do thorough testing of their product and have a commitment to purity.

pure cbd oil next to cannabis plant

Buying cannabidiol from an unknown source could lead to you consuming high amounts of THC, pesticides, heavy metal particles, molds, bacteria, aflatoxins, and even fake cannabinoids. Additionally, dosage amounts could also be off, having you consume more than is actually necessary. Therefore, investigate and make sure you find a company you trust before putting anything on or in your body.

Is it Worth It?

Reading through the various side effects of cannabidiol can be daunting and perhaps a turn-off from using it altogether. However, it’s important to remember that everyone is different and not all people will experience these.

Additionally, it’s important to look at many of the positive effects of this natural drug. While not heavily regulated right now, it is popular for a reason, and that is because many people truly feel different when using it and believe in its effectiveness. So if you are looking for a more natural remedy to some of your ailments, talk to your doctor and consider how CBD can help.

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