In this article, we will discuss the side effects that some have experienced after taking CBD. Although these side effects appear to be rare based on publicly available information, it is still important to understand the potential risks.
What Is CBD?
(Cannabidiol CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical compound that is extracted from the hemp plant. Common carrier oils used for dilution are coconut, olive, and hemp seed.
CBD oil has received a lot of media attention in recent years. It has also grown in popularity in the health and wellness industry, primarily because research is investigating the link between cannabidiol and the alleviation of certain symptoms from various ailments.
Is CBD oil right for you? “To date” reads one report from the World Health Organization (WHO), “there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”. However, it is always best to talk about any CBD use with a healthcare professional before starting use.
A potential side effect from taking CBD oil is feeling queasy and unwell. Some gastrointestinal issues may also result, like vomiting and diarrhea. This can occur when your body has a negative reaction with cannabidiol. If you are unable to digest it, your system will attempt to find a way of flushing it out.
At this time, it is not yet known why some people on CBD oil experience the discomfort of diarrhea. However, it is a potential side effect of CBD use.
The CB1 receptor located in the brain is responsible for releasing neurochemicals like melatonin. In its natural state, melatonin works like an internal clock. For example, let’s consider your regular nighttime routine. When the time for you to go to bed draws near, melatonin will cause you to feel sleepy.
Research from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies suggests that CBD oil can induce the pre-release of the hormone into the body. When tested on rats, factors like their rapid eye movement and wakefulness showed an increased level of fatigue.
Another possible cause for tiredness may come from one of the ingredients commonly found in CBD oil: terpenes. This is what gives plants like lavender and pine their distinct smell. Moreover, the chemical composition of terpenes results in physiological changes when inhaled. One of these changes is an induced state of calmness or tiredness. A form of terpene called linalool is a compound found in cannabis. If a terpene is present in the CBD oil some users may experience increased tiredness.
Another potential adverse effect of taking CBD oil is moodiness. Research hints at an incompatibility between the cannabidiol and some people’s neurochemistry. Anecdotal evidence suggests that irritability may be caused by a downregulation of stimulation in the neurotransmission process. In some rare cases, CBD oil is thought to perhaps worsen abnormalities in the human brain that cause certain mental disorders.
If you are experiencing depression-like symptoms after taking CBD oil, it may be from a neurochemical incompatibility. This means the brain isn’t accepting the neuromodulation from the cannabidiol. This isn’t necessarily the only cause for feelings of depression. Another explanation may be found in a downregulation of activity from the central nervous system. When this happens, it is normal to feel lethargic. Of course, only a medical professional is capable of diagnosing depression apart from lethargy.
Dryness of the Mouth
The salivary glands inside of the mouth carry the receptors of the endocannabinoid system. CBD oil is believed to partially inhibit the secretion of saliva. The National Center for Biotechnology Information hypothesized the link between anandamide (the most common endocannabinoid) and its effect on saliva secretion in the submandibular gland of lab rats. The research concluded that the rodents had significantly less saliva in their mouths. As for humans, CBD oil is also understood to cause xerostomia, or dryness of the mouth. Its interaction with these receptors may suppress the production of saliva.
A Drop in Blood Pressure
The American Society for Clinical Investigation has discovered that “a single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study”. Therefore, people with hypertension are often more cautious with their use of CBD.
Heart Rate Change
When taking CBD oil, users may experience an increase or a decrease in their heart rate. Why? Let’s first briefly discuss what can cause a decrease. Since one side effect associated with CBD is relaxation, it is only normal for the heart rate to slow down in this case.
What about an increase in heart rate? One possibility is what has been explored during research conducted by Nicholson et al. in 2004. Their findings hinted at an increase in stimulation in some test subjects. Higher levels of arousal are synonymous with a faster heart rate.
Because the heart is such a vital part of bodily health, it is always ideal to consult a medical professional before the use of CBD for people with heart conditions.
One of the most common side effects of CBD oil are changes in a person’s weight and appetite. Evidence from research conducted on both rats and humans suggest that cannabidiol may suppress appetite. Of course, if you aren’t feeling hungry, you will eat less. As a result, a smaller calorie intake can lead to weight loss.
It seems as though CBD oil may indirectly interact with CB1 receptors, mitigating the interest or craving for food. It may facilitate weight loss by augmenting the oxidation of fat through genes and proteins. Through this process, the body’s mitochondria count is upregulated whereas fat cell production in lipogenesis is downregulated.
Those suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders like dystonia are unable to control the movement of their muscles. The International Journal of Neuroscience published a report of a study where patients with this condition were administered CBD oil. They wrote how “CBD appears to have antidystonia and Parkinsonism-aggravating effects in humans”. In other words, the subjects’ thought process as well as physical movements were significantly slower. In cases of patients experiencing tremors, these symptoms may worsen.
On the other hand, a different study examined the potential benefits on quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease. While the results were promising, they were just one piece of research. As those findings concluded at the end of their report, “studies with larger samples and specific objectives are required before definitive conclusions can be drawn.”
Those with pre-existing medical conditions and who are taking drugs to treat them should exercise caution when taking CBD oil. This is because the cannabidiol is thought to impede the activity of cytochrome P450 and CYP3A4. These are different enzymes in the liver that help to metabolize medication.
Studies show that CBD oil requires the same number of enzymes to be metabolized as does the enzymes in the liver. In other words, a high dose of cannabidiol can be as powerful as the 50 or so enzymes used to clean and flush out toxins.
Some users of CBD oil have noted a side effect of cognitive impairment. This means that they may have a harder time concentrating on or remembering things. Skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and learning in general become more difficult to do. When your brain finds itself in a less aroused state, the lack of stimulation may result in feelings of drowsiness. The opposite, however, will take place in someone with heightened arousal. For instance, someone suffering from anxiety might experience an increased amount of cognitive function.
During the review of the marketing application for Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD that was approved by the FDA in 2018 for use in two rare and severe seizure disorders, a potential for liver damage was discovered. It is not yet clear how much this affects real world patients who are taking CBD. The markers were discovered via a blood test.
The perceived benefits of CBD must be weighed against its potential side effects in the body, and those starting a CBD regimen should consult with their medical professionals.
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What benefits have you experienced from taking CBD oil? Tell us about it in the comments below: