Safety with CBD
CBD oil has grown in popularity over the last few years, with many websites indicating that sales of CBD products in the UK are almost twice what they were 12 months ago.
People want to try CBD for many reasons. Some are attracted by its potential to help with pain and discomfort, including chronic pain. Others see CBD oil as a natural alternative to prescribed medications commonly used to treat anxiety and other conditions.
Others also claim that it helps to enjoy deeper, more refreshing sleep.
CBD’s potential benefits are well known and increasingly backed up by scientific studies, like other natural treatments, HOWEVER, CBD is also linked to a range of potential side effects.
Usually but not exclusively, the side effects are neither severe nor dangerous. However, it is important to be aware of these if you’re planning to use CBD. After all, the better you understand the effects of CBD, both positive and negative, the more equipped you are to use it effectively and safely.
We’ve listed below the currently known side effects related to CBD oil, with information on why and how they can occur. We’ve also listed several potential interactions of CBD that you should be aware of before using it to try to alleviate any other health condition.
Potential Side Effects of CBD
CBD oil and our range of other supplements containing CBD have only been approved for sale in the UK in the last few years. Therefore, research into side effects of CBD and CBD containing products are still in a relatively early stage.
However, thus far researchers and users have identified several common potential side effects that could occur while using CBD. These include:
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
There’s also limited evidence that CBD could cause an increase in liver enzymes, signalling the potential for damage to the liver. This is primarily based on the results of a mouse study carried out in April of 2019, in which the researchers noted CBD’s potential hepatotoxic effects.
While this study is definitely worth consideration, especially if you have any history of liver health issues, it should be noted that it’s an animal study, meaning the results may not apply equally to humans that use CBD.
Still, if you have a history of liver diseases or liver health issues (or any underlying health issue) it’s always best to speak to your doctor before using CBD or any other treatments.
Using CBD With Other Medications
Overall, CBD is an extremely safe treatment for a wide range of conditions. However, like many other natural treatments, it has the potential to interact with other medications and supplements.
The fact that CBD is a naturally-occurring substance does not mean that it’s always safe to use with other medications. For example, other natural substances such as grapefruit juice and St. John’s wort are widely known to interact with some medicines, despite being 100% natural.
Although research on CBD’s interactions with other drugs is still in its early stages, researchers have identified that CBD can affect a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450.
Cytochrome P450 is responsible for breaking down some substances as they enter into the body via the liver. Current research indicates that CBD may inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450, meaning your body has a lesser capability to break down chemical compounds than it would without the introduction of CBD.
This can drastically increase the effects of certain drugs that are in your system. For example, after using CBD oil or other products containing CBD, drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be more likely to cause certain dosage-related side effects than normal.
If you use ANY prescription drugs, speak to your doctor regarding the risk of interactions before using any products that contain CBD. You should be particularly careful if you use medications that are designed to:
- Lower your blood pressure, including nitrates, diuretics, beta-blockers, alpha blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.
- Affect your blood sugar levels, such as insulin, corticosteroids and certain other drugs used to treat diabetes and similar conditions.
- Have a thinning effect on your blood, such as ibuprofen, warfarin, heparin, naproxen and others.
- Relieve pain, such as opioid painkillers and certain non-opioid painkillers prescribed to treat chronic pain and other pain-related conditions.
- Treat anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants and other medications used for this purpose.
Again, it’s important to state the CBD is overwhelmingly a safe and effective natural treatment that isn’t linked to any dangerous side effects. However, like with all treatments, it needs to be used with caution when you’re taking it, especially alongside other medications.
If you use any of the medications listed above, or any other prescription medication, speak to your doctor about potential interactions and side effects before you start using CBD.
Using CBD Oil Safely
CBD oil and other CBD products are used by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK alone, with usage increasing exponentially. The vast majority of people who have used CBD have had a positive experience, with very few reporting anything other than very minor side effects.
If you’re new to CBD, make sure you follow the dosage instructions provided with the CBD oil or product you’ve purchased. Take it slow and start with a small dose to assess your tolerance and the substance’s effects before adjusting your dosage to meet your needs.