Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring cannabis plant cannabinoid compound. CBD has become incredibly well-known for its claimed benefits. In recent years CBD has been attributed to many supposed health benefits. However, these claims have many weaknesses:
- Not FDA evaluated or approved
- No conclusive evidence
- No standard dosage or use
- No standard formulation
Not all retail CBD products have the same (or any) effects in all individuals. This can be very confusing for consumers. Along with the actual effectiveness of CBD, there are risks, drug interactions, and side effects to consider. Just because a product is natural does not mean it is safe.
Many wonder, "Can you take too much CBD?" And the answer is most definitely yes! When people take too much CBD they start to notice side effects like stomach aches and loose stools. This is why it is very important to understand CBD safety!
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Always Talk to Your Doctor!
Whether you take a prescription, over-the-counter medicines, or natural supplements, a doctor should always monitor what you are taking to address health conditions. Retail CBD products are not medicine. They do not meet the standards that are expected from medicine.
Retail CBD and hemp products should not be used for medical purposes without physician directive.
This may sound scary, but please know that it is very important to take seriously any substance that you put in your body.
CBD Safety and Regulation
CBD may not be psychoactive like THC, but it is not generally regarded as safe (GRAS). "GRAS" is an FDA protected term. Surprisingly, terpenes are an FDA approved GRAS ingredient. However, cannabinoids like CBD and others are not part of this category. They also do not qualify as a dietary supplement per FDA regulation.
CBD Side Effects
A 2017 review published within the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research documents the safety and side effects of CBD. The review discusses the use of CBD within numerous human and animal studies. They note:
...commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight. In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect profile.
CBD Drug Interactions
Iffland and Grotenhermen also elaborate on CBD drug interactions, saying:
...some side effects have been reported for CBD, but mainly in vitro or in animal studies. They include alterations of cell viability, reduced fertilization capacity, and inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism and drug transporters...
This may sound like a complicated statement, but what they are saying is that CBD changes the way your body metabolizes other drugs. It may extend their activity, hasten their excretion, or neutralize them altogether. The types of drugs that it does this to are mainly those that would share a "grapefruit warning."
Yes, some medications list grapefruit as a counter-indication and warn users not to eat grapefruit while on that medication. These medications are also ones that are digested by a specific liver enzyme complex (CYP450).
Since CBD can effect the prescription and over the counter medicines that you take, you should always talk to your doctor. Likewise, other natural products need to be considered for the way they could interact with medications.
Hemp Side Effects
Hemp products carry the same risks and dangers associated with CBD side effects and cannabis. Hemp can have the same CBD drug interactions because it is known to be rich in that cannabinoid. That is to say, CBD side effects are also hemp side effects.
Jeffrey Chen, MD explains how cannabis, including hemp, can have amazing benefits but also many risks:
Final Thoughts on CBD Side Effects
This article is just a glimpse into CBD safety. It is very important that CBD consumers do their own research and talk to their doctors. Retail CBD and hemp products are not intended to be or replace medicine that your doctor recommends. Self-treating yourself with retail CBD products is very risk and dangerous. Please always use caution with all CBD and hemp products!