In one study, one-third of users reported non-serious CBD side effects, including dry mouth, drowsiness, irritated eyes, and/or fatigue.
While 16% of women and 21% of men in the United States have taken CBD. And almost three-quarters of them say it's moderately effective for the symptoms they're taking it for. Almost half of them say it's very or extremely effective for treating symptoms.
However, CBD use carries some risks. Though it's often well-tolerated and is possibly safe to take in appropriate doses, even so, it can cause side effects.
Potential Side Effects Of CBD Use
Those of you who are just learning about CBD may not realize that it does not have the ability to make you intoxicated like THC, which is the only compound in Cannabis (Marijuana) that is capable of doing that.
The most common side effects of CBD include nausea, drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, and interaction with other medications. Those are outlined in detail below:
One reported side effect of CBD use is nausea. This can result from how sensitive the person is to CBD, as well as taking too high of a dose, which can be a different amount for each person as it is based on their individual biochemistry.
Another thing to be aware of is that CBD products come in so many different forms—such as oils, gummies, capsules, and vapors that all have different absorption times and levels, so the time it takes to feel the effects and the amount of CBD that’s actually absorbed can vary drastically.
This, combined with each person, will ultimately affect (if any) CBD side effects you might experience.
To play it safe, when first trying out a CBD product, it is best to begin with the smallest dose possible and slowly work your way up.
Some common side effects when using CBD include drowsiness. This is also considered a benefit for those wanting to use CBD to help them sleep, note that the effects might be too strong if you’re also taking CBD with any other sedating medications.
A small percentage of users experienced gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea after consuming CBD. This may also be due in part to their medical history or to the carrier oil that is used as a preservative in CBD products.
Different types of carriers can include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or propylene glycol, and some people might be sensitive or allergic to a particular type.
Also known as “cotton mouth,” CBD can potentially cause your mouth and eyes to feel very dry. Although this side effect is more likely to occur with THC.
However, if a CBD product causes excessive dry mouth, it may also be an indication of higher amounts of THC, which is primarily associated with this kind of symptom.
Changes In Appetite Or Weight
Some consumers say they have experienced changes in their appetite or weight after using a CBD product. CBD reduces the appetite and/or body weight or body mass index in most clinical trials, and this is considered one of the most common side effects of cannabinoids.
Can Interact With Other Medications
CBD might interfere with supplements, herbal products, over-the-counter (OTC), and prescription medications. So, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether CBD could affect your existing medications.
Does The Form Of CBD Matter?
Absolutely. Inhaled CBD gets into the blood the fastest, reaching high concentration within 30 minutes and increasing the risk of acute side effects.
Edibles like CBD gummies and CBD-infused drinks require a longer time to absorb and are less likely to produce a high concentration peak, although they may eventually reach high enough levels to cause an issue or interact with other medications.
Topical formulations, such as creams and lotions, may not absorb and get into the blood in sufficient amounts to interact with other medications, although there is very little information on how much CBD gets into the blood eventually.
All of this is further complicated by the fact that some of these products are not regulated or checked for purity, concentration, or safety.
It is important when choosing a CBD product to ensure that the company provides independent lab tests to confirm the purity and concentration of the CBD and to make sure that it does not contain higher amounts of THC, and no toxic ingredients like pesticides.
How To Reduce Your Risk Of Side Effects From CBD
The best way to reduce dry mouth when using CBD oil is to drink plenty of water and other hydrating liquids before, during, and after consumption.
You can reduce the risk of digestive issues by choosing forms that bypass the gut and directly release CBD into your bloodstream such as vapes, mouth sprays, and oil tinctures. High-quality oils without additives may also irritate your bowels less.
Don’t Take Too Much
Usually, very high CBD doses may cause irritability and other side effects. Make sure not to exceed the recommended dose, or better yet start with the lowest dose possible to see how you react to CBD.
Low-quality products may contain additives and toxins that can irritate the lungs when vaped and the gut when taken orally. Choose high-quality products to reduce your risk.
Do CBD side effects go away?
The good news is that the most common CBD side effects will go away as soon as CBD leaves the body.
So, if you believe you might be experiencing some mild side effects, drinking plenty of water helps to flush out the body's systems, while exercising helps to increase the body's metabolic rate and helps to break down the CBD molecules more quickly.
Also, be sure to take a break and do not take any CBD products until the side effects are gone. And then, try again with a much lower dose.
Special Precautions and Warnings
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if CBD is safe or what the side effects might be.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Most experts recommend avoiding CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding.
We don't know enough about CBD to conclude that it's safe or effective for a pregnant mom and her developing baby – or for a breastfeeding mom and her nursing baby. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Children: It is very dangerous to start your child on a treatment that is unproven. Talk to your child’s provider first regarding risks and benefits before adding CBD to your child’s medication regimen.
Pets: Anyone considering giving CBD to their pet should know that THC has been found to be toxic to pets.
Because of this, all CBD pet treats and supplements should contain as little THC as possible (preferably 0%), but the lack of regulation makes it difficult to know the true percentage of either THC or CBD in any specific product.
The Bottom Line On CBD Side Effects
CBD is technically an unregulated substance in the United States and therefore it ought to be used with caution.
This is especially important for those taking additional medications and/or those with underlying medical conditions like liver disease, kidney disease, epilepsy, heart problems, a weakened immune system, or are taking medications that can weaken the immune system (such as cancer medications).
That said, preliminary research on CBD and its benefits are promising in relation to managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain and helping with mild to moderate health concerns and it is generally considered a safe natural substance when taking the proper dose.
If you decide to try CBD, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source. And talk with your doctor to make sure that it won't affect any other medicines you take.
Hello! We are writers here at Hemp Jubilation. We are a diverse small group of experienced CBD users. We strive to bring you the finest, up-to-date reviews and content on all things CBD.
We have been writing about CBD for more than 5 years and have tried and reviewed dozens of CBD products. We are knowledgeable about the popular CBD brands and products, the CBD industry as well as the science and research behind this popular natural remedy.